Ørjan 'TheViper' Larsen collecting his trophy
© Julian Schilase/Red Bull Content Pool
Esports

TheViper just won his first Red Bull Wololo tournament

TheViper won his first Red Bull Wololo trophy, in the biggest edition of the tournament yet, Wololo V, and here's how he did it.
Written by Pieter van Hulst
6 min readPublished on
Troubadours, flame spitters and jesters – Red Bull Wololo V was the biggest edition of the Age of Empires II Definitive Edition tournament yet. Set in the beautiful backdrop of the Heidelberg Castle in Germany, the stage was set for an epic match between two-time Wololo winner Kai 'Liereyy' Kallinger and one of the greatest players to ever touch Age of Empires, Ørjan 'TheViper' Larsen.
TheViper has been dominant in the Age of Empires scene for years. However, until now he's never managed to win Red Bull Wololo. In the first edition he took second-place, but since then, until Wololo V, he's never made it back to the finals. On the other hand, Liereyy is a Red Bull Wololo veteran who's winning the tournament twice and enjoyed another second-place finish. This time things would be different. Here's what went down at the Red Bull Wololo V finals.
Liereyy, currently ranked as the best player in Age of Empires 2, was looking to bring his third Wololo trophy home this weekend. All that was standing in his way was the legendary Norwegian. The grand finals started on Runestones, with Liereyy on Ethiopians and TheViper with the Vikings. For some players, Vikings are one of the strongest civs in the Empire wars format, because of the free upgrades they provide. On the other hand, not many players have seen success with the Ethiopians.
A relatively slow start meant that both players had time to wall up and play a longer game. In the mid-game TheViper boomed his economy, being up 20 villagers on Liereyy. However, Liereyy's military and tech were both a lot better. This temporary advantage in the military meant that the two-time champion had to find holes in TheViper's defence in order to bring their economies back to even.
Participant during Red Bull Wololo V at Castel Heidelberg, Germany, on September 19th, 2021.
TheViper is a legend, but he'd never won a Red Bull Wololo until now
TheViper defended well however and Liereryy wasn’t able to deal enough economic damage to set TheViper back far enough. As the game approached the 40-minute mark, TheViper started flexing his economic muscles with small scrimmages across the map. Liereyy wasn't able to keep up the pressure and conceded.
On the second map, Atacama, Liereyy on Magyars vs TheViper on Huns, Liereyy went for a much more aggressive strategy, flexing his multitasking and micro skills. A scout rush meant TheViper had to deal with cavalry on all sides. Without a safe space to gather wood, Liereyy was finding economic advantages everywhere. With TheViper's base filled with enemy horses, he was forced to tap out. Liereyy tied up the series 1–1.
The third map, Aftermath, with Liereyy on Franks and TheViper on Saracens, saw Liereyy once again decide to push his advantage early. TheViper's biggest strength lies in the late game, where he can show his unrivalled macro. Liereyy's plan was to end things before the game got to that stage. All throughout the mid and early game, Liereyy prodded and poked at TheViper's walls and infrastructure. TheViper didn't fall behind economically, but Liereyy's army advantage started to snowball, resulting in a mid-game victory.
The fourth map, Enclosed, proved particularly interesting. Players are spawned in the middle of the map inside a massive forest. Cutting through the forest offers players the chance to attack straight at their opponents' backs. There's also a long way around, which Liereyy opted for, to once again be the aggressor. With siege engines ready, Liereyy assaulted TheViper base, hammering down on his defences.
However, this time TheViper held on and thwarted the attack. TheViper amassed a massive economy, with over 130n villagers. He then amassed a massive army and bulldozed over Lierrey, forcing him to tap out.
Winner Orjan "TheViper" Larsen celebrates winning at Red Bull Wololo V at Castel Heidelberg, Germany, on September 19th, 2021.
Ørjan 'TheViper' Larsen celebrates winning at Red Bull Wololo V
Winged was the fifth map and this uniquely shaped map provides a sea in the middle where players are able to fish for extra food if they dare to move out of their base. This water is generally under constant pressure however since players don't want their opponents gaining these extra resources. This is exactly what TheViper did – he took control of the water and took the fight to Liereyy. With the extra income, he was able to overwhelm Liereyy's army and take control of his production lines. With no income and no means to produce units, Liereyy surrendered on his home map.
With the champion's back against the wall, Liereyy opted in for an archer rush with the Tartars against TheViper's Mayans. Poking and prodding around TheViper's base, Liereyy suddenly found an opening, pushing TheViper off food. Without food, TheViper wasn't able to get to the Castle Age as fast as he would have liked.
TheViper launched a counter-attack with archers himself, but, by this time, Liereyy already had an overwhelming archer force denying TheViper's gold. Liereyy micro'd perfectly against the army in TheViper's base and he won the battle in his own base as well. With no threats on the field and free entrance to TheViper's base, the sixth map, Acclivity, was an overwhelming victory for Liereyy.
The scoreline was now 3–3 and both players just needed one more win to take the tournament. TheViper on Teutons vs Liereyy's Berbers on Land Madness. TheViper decided to switch things up and go full aggression. Clearly, Liereyy didn't expect the aggression, because he was playing extremely greedy and trying to match TheViper in the late game.
Liereyy defered the all-in from TheViper without losing a single villager at first. A few minutes later, TheViper managed a single villager kill, but was at a massive economic disadvantage. His scouts kept dipping into Liereyy's base, keeping him on his toes and giving TheViper the opportunity to tech-up and catch up economically.
When the counter-attack from Liereyy finally hit, TheViper demonstrated a perfect defence on lower-tier units. Once again this gave TheViper more time to catch up and explode in military strength. With a massive mid-game army advantage, TheViper launched a multipronged attack, taking over the entire map as he completely enclosed Liereyy's base. With nowhere to run and nowhere to expand, TheViper choked out Liereyy from resources. TheViper didn't let go and kept streaming in units, and Liereyy’s base started showing holes, tapping out when he noticed there was nowhere to go.
In a seven-game series, TheViper finally managed to win his first Red Bull Wololo trophy home against Liereyy.