Overall probably NAC, not only because it's a LAN but also the maps/settings. Mixed map pool is best imo, that's why i liked The Open Classic too. Also lot's of fun with players being all together if course.
HC is fun and i like the guessing, but in HC4 i didn't like the new maps all that much and tbh the home map drama from Viper-Hera left a very bad taste for me, a serious flaw in the rules of such a big tournament shouldn't be a thing. Only cought parts of the final after that, killed the hype for me.
KOTD4 was awesome and the tournament format was great, but only Arabia makes it a little less fun for me because it takes ao many civs out of the equation and the draft is less strategic/important.
RBW was cool, but the only one anywhere close to the others on the list was the final. And that one was great, probably the most fun i ever had watching AOE2 but as a most likely one time event i can't really compare it to the other tournaments.
This is an interesting question for a thread. All are fantastic, but I'd have to go with HC myself. I love the concept, the casters' guesswork throughout, and then the big reveal at the end.
The poll results are also interesting and I think it's good to see a fairly even(ish) spread.
Although RBW may be trailing behind I still very much enjoyed all five of them. I wonder if part of the reason it isn't doing as well as the others is because there were five tourneys over only a year and half or so? This takes away some of the hype factor and anticipation as we didn't have to wait as long, and this may influence people's decision here as we recall our emotions/excitement regarding each tournament.
As a viewer though I'm not complaining, and I get hyped for any announcement of the events listed above!
NACs were an improving experience and just thinking of the latest NAC3, the map variety let players showcase strategy preparation which was nice. Casts with memorable pro-coops were the best ever seen anywhere, no contest imo, so as a viewer those get the top place for me.
KOTDs were just competitive goodness, as a player or player-spectator, that’s the good stuff.
HCs identity guessing knowing was really fun and the whole thing of letting the gameplay be a focus, but it’s not my favorite as a competitive tournament. Most fun though for sure, finns have had two national tourneys with the format (Kalevala and Moomin characters) which were superb fun to play and guess.
RBWs don’t get that high, empire wars as a setting interests me just above aoe4 (=negligible).
I guess my favorite has evolved based on what phase/type of game-interest I happen to have at the time of the events. Historically KOTDs get the top spot I guess, because it spawned the most tryhard training from players, which speaks for itself.