An upset, several sweeps, and lots of dunks. That’s what Day 3 of Call of Duty World League Championship was all about. Come inside for my full recap!
Three days into a 5-day Championship tournament for the Call of Duty World League found fans, media personnel, and the greatest Call of Duty players in the world inside the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. The goal today, get one step closer to the $600,000 first place pay day and the recognition of CWL Champions. 12 matches would take place on Friday with 8 teams still alive and 4 teams hopes dashed. Here’s how it went down:
Rise Nation vs Infused
Rise Nation came into this bout the heavy favorite, with sights set on deeper rounds of the tournament. However, that thinking would ultimately be their downfall. A hungry Infused team stood in the way of Rise Nation, and their thoughts of glory.
Game 1 played out the way Rise Nation drew it up. Early 100-20 lead on Hardpoint. Infused would eventually come back to make it a game, but Rise ended up taking it 250-177. That would be the last game Infused would let Rise Nation win. Infused would tie the series 1-1 on Search & Destroy and proceed to own them again on Uplink, to lead 2-1. Rise would try to fight back and make Game 4 a close game, but despite getting as close as 191-189, Infused would pull off the upset, 250-241, and advance in the Winner’s Bracket tomorrow. Rise Nation would drop to the Loser’s Bracket, and play again later that day.
In speaking with Infused later, most of them believed they would take the series after the Game 1 loss, but you wouldn’t know it based on them walking around, breathing sighs of relief, saying, “Wow”
Faze Clan vs Str8 Rippin
A broken controller would become the main story of this match, as panic set in after an abysmal game by Zoomaa allowed Str8 to take Game 1. I would ask Zoomaa what happened later and he said,
“Yeah, I broke my controller before Game 1, probably because I dropped it when the match started. I was able to get it replaced and regroup right after. Help my team come back.”
Boy did he. Any hopes for an upset for the underdog newcomers were quickly squashed when an angry Faze Clan, led by new addition Gunless, fired back winning 3 more matches to advance in the Winners Bracket.
Faze Clan will try to prevent another Cinderella story when they play Infused tomorrow.
Splyce vs Enigma6
There wasn’t technically an upset in this one, but it was crazy to see a really good Splyce team sweep a just as good Enigma6 team. I suppose you could say a #2 beating a #1 is an upset but, in all reality, Splyce shouldn’t have been a #2 seed to begin with. Nevertheless, they took down Enigma6 in 3 very close rounds to move on in the Winner’s Bracket. Meanwhile, Enigma6 would become the nightmare of every team that loses in tomorrow’s bouts.
I asked Jurd of Splyce about the team being a #2 seed and if that had any impact on the game against Enigma6 and said, “For sure, we knew that yesterday’s loss was our last chance. Obviously there is the loser bracket but we looked at losing the #2 seed as our last loss. It helped us give 120%”
The Splyce team was fired up after the win and even more fired up to play a team they’ve been looking forward to testing for a while, tomorrow…
Optic Gaming vs MindFreak Black
Before we get too far into this recap, let’s get one thing out in the open. The lone Australian team in this tournament, MF Black, never stood a chance. In wrestling, when a big name talent faces off against a no name talent it’s call a squash match. This was OG’s squash match.
Optic Gaming came out and absolutely destroyed MF Black. At one point, they even had a 15-3 lead on Uplink, of all games. The sweep was Optic’s way of showing the league that they are the ones to beat. I asked Hector Rodriguez about the key to Optic’s success.
“I think it’s important for me to constantly remind them of who they are. They tend to get things in their head and it bothers them but if they understand who they are, they can sweat the small stuff and remember what they do well.”
A steel mentality could be the key to Optic Gaming taking the whole tournament on Sunday, but Hector doesn’t want to talk about that yet. Although, he did like talking about his homecoming to Texas and all the fishing he’ll do when Optic Gaming moves to Dallas.
Optic’s next challenge is against Splyce tomorrow.
Epsilon vs Team EnVyUs
Defenses win championships and Envy has a hell of a defense, especially on Uplink. They absolutely rocked Epsilon 8-1 to lead the series 2-1. This came after an excited Epsilon team burst onto the series with a convincing Hardpoint win, led by Dqvee. However, that fast start would slow down quickly, as Envy would ultimately take the next 3 and move on in the bracket.
Meanwhile, Epsilon would be relegated, but not out as they’d show later on.
Envy moves on to face off against the winner of the next fight.
Ghost Gaming vs Cloud9
I was shocked when Ghost Gaming did as well as they did in the Group stage yesterday.. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, either. Although, Ghost Gaming would show why with a highly entertaining domination of Uplink. Truly, it looked like an NBA All-Stars Dunk Contest. Then again, we were in the home of the Orlando Magic, so I guess it made sense.
Despite losing one game, Ghost Gaming took the match handily, but they aren’t satisfied. In speaking with reporters, Ghost Gaming maintained that, “We haven’t won anything yet. It’s one game at a time but we won’t be happy until Sunday when we’re Champions.”
Envy will do their best to stop Ghost Gamin’s advance tomorrow.
EUnited vs Luminosity
It was unfair of me to believe that Luminosity wouldn’t stand a chance against EUnited. They actually are a good team that made this series interesting. That being said, EUnited is just ridiculous and if S!lly goes off, like he did today, everyone should be nervous.
Luminosity would get removed from the Winners Bracket by EUnited by a score of 3-1, but it wouldn’t be the end of Luminosity’s night.
Fnatic vs Allegiance
Fnatic had a rough day today. Hopes were high for the Esports team going into today, but a talented Allegiance team would destroy those hopes and it just got worse from there in the loser bracket.
EUnited will look to ride past Allegiance tomorrow morning at 10am.
Speaking of the Loser Bracket!
MindFreak Black vs Enigma6
Remember when I said everyone would be worried about Enigma6 in the Loser Bracket? MindFreak Black found out why as the Aussies would end the season without winning a single game in CWL Championship. Now, Enigma6 waits for their next victi...I mean opponent.
Str8 Rippin vs Rise Nation
After a tough outing to begin the day, Rise Nation would get back to their winning ways against Str8. The underdog team would start off Game 1 strong but Rise was just too good to be denied, in what was a back and forth game, and took a 1-0 lead.
Game 2 would get ridiculous as Rise would lead 2-0 but Str8 would come back 2-0. It would ultimately go to Round 11, sudden death, with Loony playing hero and pulling off some ridiculous finishes. Str8 Rippin would ultimately avoid the sweep, winning 9-8, but would still be eliminated with Rise winning 3-1.
The question remains, can Rise Nation do what they were destined to do and go deep into the tournament?
Luminosity vs Fnatic
Remember when I said it was a bad day for Fnatic and Luminosity would show why they’re good? Yeah, this was when that all happened. Not once did Fnatic show that they were contenders in this tournament as Luminosity convincingly took each round to sweep the once promising team.
We’ll see if Luminosity can prove themselves against the tougher losers tomorrow.
Epsilon vs Cloud9
The final game of the day pit two teams that on any other day could’ve made it farther in the Winner’s Bracket. Alas, it wasn’t on this day. One would move on and the other would leave Orlando without a title.
We would all quickly learn that that team would be Cloud9, as Epsilon handed them their walking papers with a big SWEEP on it and double digit streaks by several of Epsilon’s greats. They were coordinated with their assaults and fast with their trigger fingers and it would be the downfall of Cloud9.
8 teams remain in the CWL Championships, with a prize pool of $1.5 million on the line! Which team will be the one to take it? We’ll find out as more Call of Duty action continues with Day 4!
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