How Method rose from ashes to take second in the WoW RWF
In 2020, Method, one of the biggest guilds in RWF history, melted down amid a host of misconduct allegations. Two years later, they’ve rebuilt some of their former glory.
If you asked who the best World of Warcraft Race for World First (RWF) guild was at any point from around 2013 to 2019, chances are Method would be the answer. While the guild was formed in 2005, it was this period where the organization was most prominent, becoming a world leader throughout Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion, and Battle for Azeroth.
But in 2020, the guild shattered amid allegations of sexual abuse, grooming, and other disturbing accusations. Partners and sponsors left. The main raid team splintered, with the majority of the team reforming into Echo. Method was seemingly done. A symptom of a larger issue in World of Warcraft, that saw the team fall into disgrace.
And yet under two years later, the team was rebuilt. Shedding its tainted image, they’ve transformed from a broken guild into one that took second place in the longest RWF in the modern era.
So how does a guild go from untouchable and embarrassed to second place in a world first race?
Method Building Back Better
Method announces its new guild in November 2020 (Image via Method
When multiple senior members of your organization are hit with predatory behavior and abuse accusations, there’s no recourse. You have to cut them out and start again. That’s precisely what Method did in removing Sascha Steffens and MethodJosh.
But beyond this, a culture of covering up for the actions of others had to be removed. In that vein, then GM Shanna “Darrie” Roberts and esports Manager Rob Evans also departed, although on a somewhat truncated timeline. A hiatus by the guild’s founder Scot McMillian also helped remove the previous toxic core. In its place, a more diverse and robust c-suite and management cadre.
And then there was the small matter of replacing perhaps the most successful group of raiders of all time. With a large portion of the raid team leaving to form Echo, Method had essentially lost its main competitive squad. Four months later, having implemented a new series of checks and balances, it was time to rebuild properly.
After putting out a public call, the team received over 900 applicants, showing that the chance to become a RWF raider on a team like Method still had some allure. This open recruitment combined with members of the disbanded Reason Gaming raiding group, including guild leader Biff, Huntoper, Tsiumi, and others.
Reason guild leader Biff migrates his alts to Method in November 2020 (Image via wowprogress.com)
Method had its raiding team, but there was still a lot of work to do.
Becoming a new Method
Reason Gaming was a storied guild, but it had only rarely been a full-time raiding guild. Instead, it raided on four or five-day schedules in BFA. This changed for Ny’alotha, where they hit a seven-day schedule. Their reward? EU 10th place and World 21st. While this was nothing to turn your nose up at, it was still nothing close to the world-first pace.
Prior to their acquisition by Method, Reason Gaming was a part-time raiding guild with big potential (Image via wowprogress.com)
For Shadowlands, under the Method banner, the former Reason Gaming players and new recruits took on what for some was their first-ever, our second ever full-time Race. Unfortunately, the unique format of the RWF means it’s simply not possible for all guilds to raid full-time for the sometimes 10-day races. And seven-day raiding is one of the most grueling schedules in gaming.
And yet faced with Castle Nathria, Method was definitely in the running. The team was slow off the blocks for Shriekwing, but they were third in the EU and fifth in the world by the second and third boss. In this Race, Method peaked at fourth in the world but could not sneak past Pieces and Echo.
Ultimately, the raid’s timing seemed to sap the energy of the raiders. Released just ten days out from Christmas, the Race’s momentum drained away. And after the world first was claimed, it was more a matter of who would take the least time off over the holidays. Ultimately the more experienced Echo and Pieces pulled away, with Fatsharkyes, and Skyline, and Jitianhong from Asia pushing Method down to 7th.
The Sanctum of Domination went far better for Method. Without the specter of the holidays on the horizon, the team shot up, ranking 5th. In just three races, they’d gone from 21st to 7th to 5th. Finally, they were poised to push onto the podium.
A Race for the Ages
Haldronus was a roadblock in the Sepulcher of the First Ones (Image via WoWHead)
On release, Sepulcher of the First Ones Mythic was the most punishing raid in the modern era of WoW. The Race started reasonably enough. Most guilds delayed pushing through the bosses to farm set bonuses on day one. Then, between days two and four, Team Liquid had demolished the first six bosses.
During this time, Method rushed up the rankings, cementing themselves firmly in 3rd place in EU and between 5th and 3rd overall. And with the first big breakwater of the raid, Haldronus the Reclaimer, sometimes known as the crab, a pecking order started to develop for the tier: Liquid on top, followed by Echo, SK Pieces, Skyline, and then Method.
But when Aster, Skyline, and Jitianhong, the guilds that had blocked Method’s path to the podium, struggled on Rygelon, Method surged forward. Then, with only the final boss left, it was time for something special to happen.
When Echo claimed the world First four days later, Team Liquid’s Max made a crucial decision: After 19 days of raiding, he was taking his boys home. With a day of rest, and a day or more of traveling for their raiders, Liquid would be out of the Race for three days. And ultimately, that was all Method needed.
Method takes the podium.
Method's World Second kill (Image via Method)
Having reached the final phase of the fight on the evening of March 28th, Method claimed second place. It’s a return to form for a team that has gone from a bunch of open applicants and a five-day raiding guild to a top-tier team in record time.
Some could point to the drop out of Liquid as a mitigating factor. That Method would have barely made third if Liquid hadn’t mercifully taken its player’s mental health into consideration. But nothing should take away from the blistering pace that Method put on in those final three days. They surged past SK Pieces, Skyline, and left others in the dust.
Against a boss that almost a month later, no more than three guilds in the US and four in the EU have defeated, Method has proved they’re a top-tier raiding guild.
Editor | Twitter @hoffasaurusx
Michael is a UK-based content creator who caught the esports bug in 2010, but took eight years to figure out he should write about it. Throwing away a promising career in marketing and PR, he now specialises in MOBAs, covering League of Legends, Dota 2, and esports in general since 2019. When not glued to tournaments taking place on the other side of the globe, he spends time nurturing an unhealthy addiction to MMOs and gacha games.