The Open Classic: Gan ‘Mr_Yo’ Yangfan Wins First in $35K AOE2 Tournament | History Hit

The Open Classic: Gan ‘Mr_Yo’ Yangfan Wins First in $35K AOE2 Tournament

The Open Classic 2021
Image Credit: TheViper

Age of Empires II player Gan ‘Mr_Yo’ Yangfan secured victory in The Open Classic after defeating Kai ‘Liereyy’ Kallinger in the Grand Final. After three days of competition in The Open Classic, Yo, 29, was declared champion on 25 July and recipient of the $7,450 first place award.

Hosted by notable competitor Ørjan ‘TheViper’ Larsen, the Age of Empires II tournament took place between 23 and 25 July. It featured 128 players and a prize pool totalling $35,000. Yo is considered the best Chinese player and among the best Age of Empires II players in the world.

“Deservedly won”

The Open Classic Grand Final on TheViper’s Twitch stream

Image Credit: TheViper's Twitch stream

The Grand Final took place between players Yo and Liereyy in a best of seven. The deciding match was on the Islands map. Despite retaining a higher score, Liereyy resigned having failed to prevent Yo exploiting wood supplies and succeeding with the Portuguese civilization and its Feitoria buildings. Yo ultimately won 4 – 2.

“I feel great,” Yo said afterwards on TheViper’s Twitch stream. “I’m so happy with this tournament, with a good prize pool and good players.” He said: “The bracket this time was hard. I think it proved something more.”

Host, participant and commentator TheViper congratulated Yo for his victory, though noted that Liereyy made costly mistakes. “Liereyy could and should have won that game, no matter what. Even though we all hate the way Feitoria plays out, it was still an error of judgement on Liereyy’s end. Yo just did what he should do and he deservedly won.” Yo previously knocked TheViper out of the competition in the Quarterfinals.

The Open Classic

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

Image Credit: Xbox Game Studios

The Open Classic is an Age of Empires II 1 vs 1 tournament hosted by TheViper. Players compete over classic maps in the format of a single-elimination bracket. The prize pool was sponsored by Microsoft, Surfshark and TheViper.

Games took place concurrently over 23 and 24 July as players competed in successive rounds. The semifinals, Third Place Match and Grand Final all took place on 25 July. Competitor TaToH achieved third place against JorDan_AoE. “I’m very happy with the tournament,” TheViper told his Twitch audience. “I think it was great in the end.”

The Open Classic 2021

Image Credit: TheViper

“What I felt has been missing lately in tournaments has been straight up tournaments,” he said, “and a draft system where you can actually play what you draft. […] The main thing was to allow people to pick whatever they want, they can prepare, they can play what they get and plan around their civs.”

Player Hera was conspicuously absent from the tournament because he missed an early-morning check-in. “Hera not making it in was a bit awkward,” said TheViper. “We all want to see Hera in the tournaments. It is what it is.”

Kyle Hoekstra