The finale of the biggest Call of Duty Esports season took place on Sunday and the champions were crowned! It'll come as a surprise to no one who won but how they did it may shock you.
Luminosity vs Rise Nation
Kicking off the final day of CWL Championships would see the semi-final match of the losers bracket, Luminosity vs Rise Nation, going to blows. All week long we talked about the redemption story of Rise and they're fall from grace, early in the tournament, but Luminosity were undergoing that same process. The added layer to this match was that Octane, Slacked, and Classic of LG were previously on Rise. They left Loony by himself for LG. So, for Loony this was as much revenge as it was redemption.
Opening up Game 1, it looked as if Loony was just as motivated as we all assumed he'd be. Rise came out to a fast start but LG would make up the deficit. Rise’s Felony would go off but it wouldn't be enough to stop LG from taking the lead and pulling away. What made it possible was a remarkable showing by Slacked who was going on Slayfest. Rise would get within 10 points but LG were too good with the trigger and ultimately fended off Rise to take Game 1 250-208.
LG took that momentum to Game 2, S&D, with a big 4-1 lead. Rise would find a way to tie up the score, but LG found a way to pull off yet another win, putting Rise Nation's backs to the wall.
Frost Uplink would be where Rise would start their comeback. It happened to be LG’s worst map and it showed. Rise would nab a 2-0 lead but a dunk from LG and a throw from Rise would end the first half 3-2. Under fire, LG would tie up the game in a grueling fashion but Facceto’s clutch dunk would give Rise the lead with just 1 minute left. Felony would throw in one more point for good measure and Rise would get on the board 2-1.
Scorch Hardpoint saw another fast start by Rise 62-13 but a clean sweep by LG would clear the field, allowing them to shrink the lead 73-53. LG and Rise would make it a close Game, staying neck and neck but LG would not be denied on this day. They'd break 200 and never look back, sending Rise home with 4th place and $80,000.
Optic Gaming vs Team EnVyUs
This was a match up of two Esports juggernauts. EnVy, the reigning champs, vs Optic, the team of destiny. EClassico would begin with a roar from the Optic fans, that filled the Amway Center. Optic would lead in the first rotation, 96-60, with clutch kills by Scump and Crimsix. With each kill, the crowd would be sent into a frenzy. EnVy would, then, make their move, quieting the crowd as they made up ground, 153-122. It wouldn't last long, though. The best slayer on Optic, Formal was playing out of his mind, dropping 40 kills on EnVy. Then Scump joined the 40 club. By the time Slasher of EnVy hit 40, it was too late. Optic had already taken Game 1.
Breakout S&D would be where EnVy would make their mark. They began by taking Round 1 in a slow fashion. Optic would answer in Round 2. The two teams would go blow to blow tying it 2-2 until a clutch performance by superstars JKap and Apathy would help EnVy take the next 4 Rounds to win the game and tie the series 1-1.
Frost Uplink was touted as Optic’s best game, just, it wouldn't be this day. Apathy started the game with 9 kills, which set up Optic for a long Game 3. It would open up a dunk, which Optic answered with a throw 2-1. As time ticked down before half, EnVy would hit a lead extending dunk to end the first half 4-1. EnVy then did the smart thing. They retreated to their own base and played defense for the rest of the game. Optic could do but throw in a point but it wouldn't be enough to defeat a strong EnVy team.
Down 2-1 in the series, it was Hardpoint next, a map Optic is normally good at. However, they wouldn't show it today with EnVy pulling away 100-39 and Optic only able to watch as they got sent to the Loser Finals to face a waiting Luminosity. If EnVy could win the whole thing, JKap could be considered the GOAT, but there was more CoD to play.
Optic Gaming vs Luminosity
Throughout the event, CWL would roll the same package over and over. It was the package of Luminosity taking out Optic Gaming before. So, many assumed this would be a heck of a series. They would be wrong.
After taking their only loss of the season the Octane-led Luminosity would not be enough to contain a pissed off Optic Gaming. The rage was so strong, Optic just slammed the door on LG in Game 1, with a score of 250-107.
S&D wouldn't be much better for the light blue members of LG. Optic would allow it to go back and forth for a few games but regrouped and rained down bullets to end Game 2 at 6-3.
They'd continue their campaign to the championship on Uplink. By the time half time came around, it was already 5-2 Optic. From there, Luminosity would just fade away, going home $100,000 richer. Meanwhile, Optic would force a rematch against EnVy.
Championship Series 1: Optic Gaming vs Team EnVyUs
Before Game 1, it was assumed that the first game would be a toss up but that most of it would go to Optic. That proved to be true as Game 1 saw a tie of 37 all, early on. Optic would pull away but a good showing by JKap would keep the boys in blue in the game. While they reduced the deficit, Scump would go on a ridiculous Slayfest, taking down anyone with red highlighted above their head. Optic would steamroll EnVy, 250-135, much like they did before.
Game 2 revealed a couple of things. Formal is a dirty with a sniper and Josh is also dirty with a sniper. I thought I was good...I'm not. S&D would start out pretty even with neither team giving up too much ground. EnVy would end up taking 2 more than Optic and it would be enough to finish off the Green Wall in Game 2. Series tied 1-1
Throwback Uplink would be an interesting game. EnVy hadn't lost an Uplink all weekend, thanks to some great defense. However, that D wouldn't be enough in this moment. While EnVy settled for 1-point throws, Optic would gain 2-point dunks. A late dunk by Karma would have Optic leading 5-2 at half. Afterward, Optic would score 4 points unanswered and get rid of EnVy’s remarkable Uplink streak and lead the series 2-1.
Optic would then finish off Series 1 with a slaughter on Scorch Hardpoint to the score of 250-204. It sounds like a game but it really wasn't with the way Optic was playing
Championship Series 2: Optic Gaming vs Team EnVyUs
After a slow start by EnVy, Slasher would begin showing his dominance to allow EnVy to take the lead. Optic would eliminate a 60 point deficit and take hold of the lead later, much to the delight of the fans. However, it would become a ghost town when EnVy would take the lead 125-106, thanks to John. Formal would create another lead change 142-137, followed by EnVy 150-143. That would be the last lead they would have as Optic cleared out Train Station and finished off their rivals 250-176.
After losing each Game 2, Optic, with their eyes set on championship glory would not let this game loosen their hold on the series. Scump, seeking his first championship, would be the x factor on rounds 1 & 2. EnVy would tie it up but Optic would run away with it in 8 Rounds to lead 2-0. At this point, the crowd starting singing the White Stripes 7 Nation Army.
Uplink would be the end for an EnVy team that fought so hard all season to become repeat champions. A 7-2 victory by Optic would finished them off, though, and earn the franchise their first World Championship and a cool $600,000!
They were by far the best team at the event this weekend, and really, all season. The teamwork they showed and the ridiculous streaks they had were all the difference and why they are now called Champions.
They'll take that sweet title back to Chicago for now, but it'll be moved to their new home in Dallas soon enough. In the meantime, I'll be heading back home to Dallas soon after what was an incredible tournament. It was a blast and huge thanks go out to Dae and the entire agency he represents, Xav, with CWL, and Claire of talent relations. The whole Activision team made us all feel welcome and completely spoiled me rotten. I can't wait for next year when it's on WWII!