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Published: July 3, 2023

Written by: Stoyan Todorov


  • Age of Empires 4 recently had its first tournament
  • Over 500 pros from around the world competed for the $20 000 prize pool
  • TheViper came out on top despite his injury

TheViper, considered one of Age of Empires’ top players, outplayed many StarCraft and Age of Mythology professionals to win AoE 4’s first ever tournament.

AoE 4’s First Ever Tournament

Age of Empires 4 hit the market very recently and it already had its first tournament this weekend. The GENESIS event had a prize pool of $20 000 and attracted attention from former StarCraft professionals and RTS fans.

The initial qualifiers starred 512 players from all around the world. Out of all those, only eight emerged victorious for the finales. Many of them were StarCraft or Age of Empires pros, like Themistoklis “TheMista” Bonidis, “RecoN” and Juan “VortiX” Durán, and of course, Ørjan “TheViper” Larsen, who is considered the best Age of Empires player of all time.

Viewers and players alike thought that Franks would be the meta civ in the tournament, however, the GENESIS event surprised audiences with having a substantial variety in civ matchups. The Mongols, popular for their early game aggression, and the Abbasid Dynasty (which TheMista used in the first game of the finals) saw plays along with French vs. French mirror matches.

Viper Plays and Wins despite Serious Handicap

After hard-fought games, Viper eventually reached the final to play against Themistoklis “TheMista” Bonidis, who is a top Age of Mythology player from Greece, with an astounding 90% win rate. The latter is considered one of the top AoM players, sometimes even compared to the “Viper of Age of Mythology”.

Both players entered the match with impressive results from previous games. The stage was set for an epic showdown of Age’s top professionals, but one of them was playing with a serious disadvantage.

The Viper has been suffering from a benign tumor in his wrist, that was causing enough pain that it had to be addressed by a surgeon some months ago. Although he had the surgery a long time ago, his wrist hadn’t fully healed yet and was still causing the player some discomfort.

In his quest to win the tournament, the Viper won the Norwegian qualifiers by beating the most successful Age of Empires Online player in history and one of the top five AoE 4 players in the closed beta – ZertoN. The Viper entered the finals by defeating former WarCraft 3 and StarCraft professional Pedro “LucifroN” Durán with a 3-1, as well as RecoN, a member of the Age of Empires Online balance team.

Viper finally faced off against TheMista, playing with his injury. The game was heated, but eventually the Norwegian pro beat his Greek opponent with a 4-2, winning the GENESIS event and cementing his place on top of AoE’s pro players.

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