In no more than half a day after Cataclysm was released worldwide, the leveling competition to be the first to hit the level 85 cap has ended with Athene, a Euro WoW fanatic, hitting level 85 in only 5 hours.
How exactly did Athene achieve this? First off, the said character is a human holy Paladin. Athene started playing 8 hours before players in the the States according to the Central European Time. In other words, the first WoW character to ever hit level 85 in World of Warcraft did it even before US players were able to start playing.
Using tactics and well-planned strategies which he tested out since beta, he was able to effectively and efficiently shorten his leveling time. Athene shares how he leveled up that quickly in this video: