XCC Spotlight: Echo and Direct Relief
If you thought things were winding down on the esports front because a new expansion is on the horizon, you would be sorely mistaken. Season 4 has brought some great opportunities to explore new events and competitions, such as the expanded format of The Great Push, the brand new Variety Show that took place recently, and now the upcoming Xy’mox Charity Cache, or XCC for short! The new Fated Raid system has brought the concept of head-to-head Raid Races back to WoW Esports, and we could not be more excited. We still remember when live Raid Races were a part of BlizzCon, and we are thrilled to see them resurface in any capacity. The XCC will be full of exciting twists and turns, and it’s all to benefit charity, so be sure to tune in and support.
The Xy’mox Charity Cache will be pitting two guilds against each other in a head-to-head race through Castle Nathria and Sepulcher of the First Ones. Liquid and Echo have been invited to represent a charity from their respective sides of the pond. Today, we will give you an overview of the event and an inside look at how each guild performed in the Race to World First (RWF) for the two raids. Additionally, we are here to inform you of the important and life-changing work done by each of the charities. In this segment, read on to learn more about Echo and their charity, Direct Relief!
Table of Contents
The Event: XCC
The Xy’mox Charity Cache is a head-to-head raid race taking place over two days, September 10th and 11th. Liquid and Echo will be racing through both Castle Nathria and Sepulcher of the First Ones on Mythic difficulty with the goal of raising as much money as possible for their respective charities. The guilds will be tasked with killing specific bosses in each raid, with various checkpoints. When a guild reaches a checkpoint, they will earn a cash prize for their charity, and the amount is determined by whether they reach that checkpoint first or second!
The XCC will be taking place on the Tournament Realms (TR), which means the players will have normalized gear across the board. More importantly, the TR gives Blizzard the opportunity to play around with a few extra obstacles; we might see some pretty interesting combos of the Season 4 Fated Raid affixes! In addition to the raid bosses being scaled to a higher difficulty, there will be certain “Curses” applied to the players in real life. What these are, nobody knows…but we can only imagine that they are going to be creative and loads of fun (for the viewers at least)!
The event will be streamed live on the official Warcraft Twitch Channel, starting at 11am PDT each day. There is significant money on the line and we are sure to see some shenanigans, so make sure to tune in.
The Guild: Echo
It wouldn’t be a Raid Race without the reigning RWF Champions taking part. European powerhouse Echo has been invited by Blizzard to partake in the inaugural XCC, battling it out against their NA rivals, Liquid. Echo, both the guild and the esports organization, were founded during the end of BFA and the start of Shadowlands. The core of the Echo roster, and its leaders were once a part of the Method guild and organization, with whom they had substantial success in the World First raiding scene. In their last tier with Method, the guild lost to Liquid (then Limit) during the RWF of Ny’alotha and, upon reforming as Echo for Shadowlands, came second again to Liquid in Castle Nathria. However, it did not take long for the Echo squad to return to their winning roots, as they bested Liquid and the rest of the world in the past two tiers, taking the World First title in both Sanctum of Domination and Sepulcher of the First Ones.
Image credit: Echo Esports
Not only is Echo coming into XCC with the most recent World First win under their belts, but the guild also boasts the 5-time back-to-back (and more “backs”) Mythic Dungeon International (MDI) Global Championship team! Made up entirely of Echo raiders, Echo’s impressive squad of dungeon racers has bested the competition in the MDI since Battle for Azeroth.
Before Echo starts to focus on their preparation for Patch 10.0, it’s time for them to battle through the Xy’mox Charity Cache in hopes of winning as much money as possible for Direct Relief. Keep in mind that Liquid did win the World First title during Castle Nathria, while Echo were the champions of Sepulcher, so the XCC could be anybody’s game!
If you want to learn more about Echo, check out their website, but in the meantime, read on to learn about the amazing charity Echo is representing in the XCC, Direct Relief!
The Charity: Direct Relief
Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, working globally to address emergencies and the effects of poverty to improve the health and lives of people in need. They provide assistance to people around the world regardless of political affiliation, religion, or ability to pay.
Being a humanitarian aid organization certainly includes providing assistance in emergency situations, but the work Direct Relief does goes well beyond responding to natural disasters. They are actively working around the world to address health equity, reproductive health, the opioid epidemic, and more. Current emergencies and crises where Direct Relief is providing assistance include the Covid-19 pandemic and relief to victims of the war in Ukraine.
Image credit: Direct Relief
Proudly non-governmental, non-sectarian, and not-for-profit, everything Direct Relief does to help people in need around the world is entirely reliant on private contributions. When you donate to Direct Relief, you make a substantial impact. Some examples of ways the charity has provided aid in recent crises includes sending a seven-week supply of long-acting insulin to Ukraine, expanding and facilitating the delivery and storage of millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses around the world, and so much more. Financial contributions received by Direct Relief turn into tangible on-the-ground assistance and aid to people in dire need.
Image credit: Direct Relief
To learn more about how you can help Direct Relief in their life-saving mission, check out the various avenues you can take to make a difference here. There are more ways to get involved than financial contributions, and every little bit helps! Echo will be battling as hard as they can to raise money for Direct Relief, and you can show support for both the guild and the charity by contributing today.
Q&A with Echo and Direct Relief
We had the privilege to speak to Rogerbrown of Echo leadership, as well as Heather Bennett, the Vice President of Partnerships and Philanthropy at Direct Relief. Read on to learn their thoughts on the upcoming XCC!
Q-1: What are your thoughts on the format of the XCC event with the added Affixes, in-real-life Curses, Mini-games, and more?
Rogerbrown:Any sort of raid race is always exciting for us to participate in. It gives us a chance to look at the raid from a different perspective and adapt to the rules, which is a breath of fresh air from the usual weekly farm clears. For the XCC event in particular, since we have done a similar style race with Liquid, I expect it to be extremely fun and to generate hilarious moments. Even though it is a light-hearted race, it still has the thrill of trying to be as quick as possible, but I personally am looking forward to the IRL “Curses” the most! Also, the checkpoints are a great way to give us a few moments in the middle of the race to relax and not feel like we are in a 1-hour+ sprint. Lastly, I am very curious to see how fast some bosses will be downed with 3 or 4 of the new affixes. The raid’s DPS numbers will be quite insane.
Q-2: Who are you partnered with for this event, and what does that mean for you?
Rogerbrown: We're honored to be partnering with Direct Relief for this event. The work they do is so important, providing medical supplies and treatment to people all over the world regardless of their situation to make sure that everyone has access to the healthcare they need. We're truly lucky to have access to things like medicine and healthcare that some may take for granted — it's one of those things that you don't realize how lucky you are to have until you can't access it. Direct Relief's recent work with supplying medical support to those affected by the Ukraine crisis is also something that hits a little closer to home for us being in Europe, and we want to do what we can to support that cause.
Heather Bennett: Direct Relief is partnered with Echo for this event, and we're both honored and thrilled. The Echo guild is the best in the industry and we're excited to see them use their skills and expertise to raise awareness and funding for Direct Relief's humanitarian activities.
Q-3: This event will obviously have a very different atmosphere than the RWF. How are your players and staff preparing for it?
Rogerbrown: Our players have a very competitive nature. Judging from previous similar events, even when it is a friendly competition, they still always want to perform well. That’s why we asked Blizzard to not allow us to practice for this race, so there is not even the option. We always have a blast doing these races when the race begins, so everyone is looking forward to it and is actually glad that they get to show up and have a nice time. As for our staff, I think they will be on the hunt to try and get as many funny clips from our fails during the raid. 😜
Q-4: What else do you have planned for Season 4? What do you think about the Fated Raid System and the Mythic+ Dungeon Pool being revamped?
Rogerbrown: We actually don’t have any big plans for Season 4. Historically, the end of each expansion is a great time for people to relax and do things in their life that they normally wouldn’t have the time to do in the middle of the expansion. So we want to give our team the necessary break after a series of extremely tough RWFs against the fierce competition that they deserve.
Q-5: How is your preparation going for Dragonflight and the first RWF of 10.0?
Rogerbrown: Many of our players have been playing the Dragonflight Alpha and trying out the new talent trees. As more and more content gets released and we enter the Beta phase, the amount of time we play will also ramp up. Our plan is to make the best usage of the Beta to learn all the classes, dungeons and raid bosses when the raid testings commence. As we are waiting for the above, we are currently working on our ‘infrastructure’ — building up our roster, creating more tools to help us in the long run, and preparing great content for when Dragonflight gets released. If we look back at the last 3 RWFs, there has always been a clear trend upwards in terms of preparation, so I don’t expect this to change this time around. We are all hyped to get into Dragonflight and the next new raid.
Q-6: Tell us about the work your organization does, and why it is important.
Heather Bennett: Direct Relief provides medicines and other health-related resources to people around the world who are affected by poverty and emergency situations. Sick people who don't receive care can't work; they get poor or stay poor, and people who are poor are at higher risk of getting sick. Direct Relief works to break this cycle by ensuring that all people have access to medicine.
Q-7: Can you describe the programs and initiatives that will be funded by the XCC prize money?
Heather Bennett: Prize money from the XCC event will be used to provide more medicines to more people who need them -- both in the U.S. and across the globe.
Q-8: If community members want to donate and support your work, how would they go about doing that?
Heather Bennett: They can go to www.directrelief.org to learn more and to make a donation. Thank you!
About the Author
Hulahoops has been playing WoW since Vanilla. She has recently shelved Retail to go back and re-experience TBC in all its glory, but will one day make her way back to the Shadowlands. In her hey-day, Hulahoops could be found raid-leading in Mythic Progression, or competing in the MDI with her team Angry Toast. Hulahoops is a Holy Paladin in every sense of the term: she moderates the Hammer of Wrath Paladin Class Discord, and she was a practicing Lawyer for 7 years. Judgment isn't just a spell! Hulahoops decided to put the law books away and follow her passion for gaming and esports by joining the team at Raider.IO. In her capacity as General Manager, Hulahoops oversees events, content, and more!