This year Games Workshop continued the competitive play series it began in 2021 with another four major events across the United States, specifically in Seattle, San Diego, Chicago, and Kansas City. If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed that these have been building towards a big finale event in Albuqueque, New Mexico this year, in which GW will run a sort of “Championship Series” for its three biggest games – Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, and Kill Team. You may remember a similar event last year in Grapevine – this year’s promises to be much, much bigger.
Today we’re kicking off our coverage of the event talking about the Finale itself – how it works, who’s playing, and what we can expect to see at the event, plus what we’re excited about. In addition to the competitive invitational events there’s also a massive narrative event that quite a few Goonhammer authors are attending – be on the lookout for our Road to Writeups and recaps this week and next.
The Finale Invitational Tournaments
Let’s start by talking about the five big Invitational tournaments at the event. There are five of these total – two each for 40k and Age of Sigmar – and then one for Kill Team. For 40k and Age of Sigmar, the tournament brackets are eight-player brackets for the Best Generals and Best Overall winners at the year’s biggest events (more on that in a moment), while the single bracket for Kill Team is just for top players.
How Did These Yabbos Get Invited, Anyways?
This is a fun question, because if you haven’t been paying close attention, it’s easy to miss when and how these players punched their tickets to the Finale. Basically Games Workshop has been giving out invites all year as prizes for winning at the game’s biggest events.
This is the easiest award to figure out – the winner of the event received this ticket. Eight of these – four per game – were given to the winners of the GW US Open events for 40k and Age of Sigmar in Seattle, San Diego, Chicago, and Kansas City. In the case of event winners who won multiple tickets – such as Jack Harpster for 40k and Gavin Grigar for Age of Sigmar – the ticket at that event passed on to the second place finisher. In this case, all eight of the Kill Team tickets were for best general finishers and runners-up.
In addition to the four GW events, the top generals also received tickets at the 2022 Las Vegas Open (Siegler and Grigar), Adepticon (Zach Point and Matthew Swinney), NOVA (Jack Harpster and Nicholas Walters), and the London Grand Tournament (Alexandre Sacco and Darren Watson).
This award is for players who finish with the highest combined paint and competitive scores at their respective events. Players are judged on painting at large events, and those players who both score high on that paint score and also win the majority of their games are in the running. Usually this award goes to a one- or two-loss player who had an army that finished in the top 10 for paint score. Eight of these tickets were handed out as well.
That leaves us with five tournament brackets to play out this upcoming weekend:
- Warhammer 40,000 Best General
- Warhammer 40,000 Best Overall
- Warhammer Age of Sigmar Best General
- Warhammer Age of Sigmar Best Overall
- Kill Team Best General
Each of these is going to be a double-elimination event, meaning that a player will have to lose twice before they’re eliminated from the event entirely. At the end of the first three rounds, the undefeated player of the winner bracket will then play the one-loss winner of the loser’s bracket. Should the one-loss player win that game, they’ll then play another, sudden death game to determine the event’s overall winner.
Tomorrow: Bracket Previews
That’s the basic rundown of the event. We’ll be back tomorrow with a rundown of the brackets for each of the three major games along with player spotlights and a look at some of the lists and factions those players will be bringing. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.