North America’s top World of Warcraft team is slowing down its pace of raiding during the Sepulcher of the First Ones Race to World First event. Team Liquid will end its day-raiding schedule without taking down the final boss of the raid, the Jailer, and its players will fly home tomorrow, according to an announcement made by the team’s captain Max “Maximum” Smith. Maximum mentioned the decaying overall mental health of his team’s players as a reason for stopping their grueling schedule.
“People are just checked out,” Maximum said on his stream earlier today. “A race has never gone this long. Playing from behind is extremely, extremely taxing. I’ve never really experienced anything like this. I’ve just been in a constant state of stress, focus, and being fatigued. It’s just not been fun for a lot of our players.”
The Sepulcher of the First Ones Race to World First is one of the longest races in the history of modern WoW. Not since 2017 during the Tomb of Sargeras raid has a boss lived for at least 19 days. The Sepulcher joined Tomb of Sargeras earlier today as one of only two WoW raids to see their final boss go undefeated for three weeks since 2010.
The biggest reason as to why the Sepulcher of the First Ones race has lasted so long is because many of the bosses towards the back-end of the raid took several hundred attempts to defeat. Bosses like Halondrus, Rygelon, and Anduin Wrynn all took over 200 pulls each to take down, with Halondrus specifically entering the top 10 most-pulled bosses in WoW history when he was finally defeated after 357 tries by Liquid.
“We played insanely well nine to 10 days into this race and it just hit us like a fucking brick,” Maximum said on his stream. “We were just fucking done. Just zoinked. It’s a hard call to make, but honestly, it’s not a hard call, everyone wants this. We’re playing just to play and that’s reflected in our play, and currently, we’re in a spiral of people being insanely demotivated and not having fun, which makes total sense.”
According to Maximum, Liquid will be taking tomorrow, March 27, off to fly players back home before finishing the race on Monday, March 28. The team has been consistently raiding for 16 hours a day since the race began back on March 8. “Doing anything, even something you love, for 16 hours a day for literally four weeks now is just really damaging, and it’s not fun,” Maximum said.
At the time of the team’s announcement that they would be slowing down their schedule, Liquid had pulled the Jailer 345 times. The team hasn’t seen a new-best attempt since they brought the boss down to 15.8 percent of its total HP yesterday afternoon on their 279th attempt. For comparison’s sake, Echo, Liquid’s biggest rival in the RWF event, brought the Jailer to within 0.6 percent of his HP earlier today.
“Just in case this was not clear at all, this is not us bowing out before the race is over,” said Maximum. “…Echo clearly played better than us on Jailer, they will kill the boss, they deserve to win the race…but at this point, we don’t fucking care about that, we just want that to fucking end. Just fucking get us out.”
Liquid will return to the Race to World First on Monday, March 28.