With the second qualifiers soon underway for Red Bull Wololo IV, the epic 1v1 Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition tournament, competitors still have an excellent chance of making it through, especially with these tips from four of the best Age of Empires II players around – Darko 'DauT' Dautovic, Kai 'Liereyy' Kallinger, Hamzah 'Hera' El-Baher and Ørjan 'TheViper' Larsen.
Whether the second qualifier is going to be your first step into Wololo, or if you're already a hardened tournament veteran, check out what the pros have to say and you may well find yourself making it to the main event.
Advice for newer players
If you're a newer player trying to qualify for a Wololo tournament for the first time, then you're in luck. Every pro has listed their top tip to help you make a deep run into your first tournament.
Liereyy says that newer players focus too much on what the pros do and blindly copy their build orders: "Instead, they should think about why they work and what's so good about them that pro players execute them."
During the tournament
Playing in tournaments can be a little scary at first. You know that you'll be facing a lot of very good players – especially in Red Bull Wololo IV. However, it's an opportunity to get better at the game, because facing strong players is very good practice. DauT says while you're trying to get better, you should focus on learning the strengths and weaknesses of all the civilizations "and then being able to use them during the game." Liereyy says that you have to be self-critical of your mistakes and question your decision making.
Hera explains that you should focus on perfecting your Dark Age. "Every game has a Dark Age, but not every game gets to the Imperial Age," he says. "Focus on getting a near-perfect Dark Age and then start perfecting your Feudal Age, then Castle Age and then, finally, Imperial Age. The Dark Age is also more simple to learn than the rest of the game, so it's a great place to start."
TheViper agrees, explaining that it's really important to focus on your economy management: "Everything you can do in the game comes from a solid economy."
Red Bull Wololo IV is played using the special Empire Wars game mode. This mode is a lot faster-paced than the traditional Age of Empires II game modes. As a result, Liereyy says that it's important to practice the game mode with your friends before jumping into the qualifiers. "Everything is different in the Red Bull events," he says. "There are new bases, new build orders, new civilisation dynamics and maps will be played in a completely different way."
Hera confirms this, and says that "preparation is the key to success." He adds that since the game mode isn't often played in other tournaments, there's a lot of room for creativity. Who knows, maybe you're the player that defines the meta in Red Bull Wololo IV.
TheViper says that it's really important to stay focussed and calm when the game starts: "You've really just gotta keep your nerve and make sure you do the simple things right. Empire Wars is a game mode that can snowball really fast, so it's really important to not take a lot of damage early on."
Like Lierrey and Hera, DauT agrees that the real practice for Wololo happens when you simply try out new things, however: "Spamming ladder games is definitely good for keeping your mechanics at a solid level."
Now that you know what to do, it's time to sign up for the second qualifier with your friends. Join a voice chat server with other Age of Empire II players and theory craft the new winning strategy. Who's to say that in a few weeks, you won’t be facing off against the same players that have just given you a few tips. Good luck.