It's been a wild start to the Call of Duty World League circuit! Hundreds filed into the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, in Dallas, TX, on Friday expecting to see a ton of awesome Call of Duty WWII Pool Play, only to be disappointed by an unfounded bomb threat that would result in the tournament running behind schedule. Nevertheless, the teams didn't let that phase them as they came roaring back with some amazing Call of Duty gameplay. The result of these incredible games led us to rank teams, set for the elimination round, from least to most likely to win the first title of the long Call of Duty World League circuit!
20. Ghost Gaming
Once a formidable team at the Call of Duty World League Championships, Ghost Gaming proved that they weren’t ready for Boots on the Ground, losing every match they played in Pool Play. Perhaps they are lulling the other teams into a false sense of security...then again probably not.
It’s been a tough weekend for the Aussies as they couldn’t seem to pull out a single win throughout pool play. Losing to the Pool team, Next Threat was another significant blow to a team that’s been trying to make a name for themselves for quite some time. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be in Dallas.
Over the last couple of tournaments, Allegiance has not played well in Call of Duty. Despite making their way into the pool play, they couldn't take down any team in their group. The tournament could get even tougher as they try progress even further.
Despite coming in at #10 Vitality has not had the start they hoped for. They were that little team that could in Pool play, providing one of the few major upsets in the tournament, by beating Luminosity. Before that, they lost to a rough Epsilon team and and an up-and-coming Ground Zero team. Vitality could play spoiler for some teams, like they did against Luminosity, but they won’t be taking home the top prize.
16. Next Threat
It was exciting to hear that Censor was coming back to Call of Duty. He last attempted to qualify for a Call of Duty tournament back in 2016. Since then, he’s formed a new team, but new teams usually take a while to gel. Time will tell if they can build that chemistry throughout the circuit, but too many well-established teams are the main reason why they won’t be able to go far.
Oh man, I wanted to believe in UNILAD. They gave Optic Gaming a run for their money in Pool Play, winning a pretty convincing game of S&D and staying in it for CTF. It would be a dominant performance on Hardpoint that would ultimately take them down. There is no doubt that UNILAD is a talented team. They could even be a threat down the road, but they just need a little more time.
Like UNILAD, it’s not that E6 is a bad team, they just had bad luck being in same group as Optic Gaming and Team EnVyUs. That being said, outside of the one win against UNILAD, E6 didn’t look like a championship caliber team on Saturday. I could see them winning a few in the Loser’s Bracket against inferior opponents, but getting exposed against a quality squad.
13. Rise Nation
Rise Nation is an interesting team to watch. They’ve got a ton of talent, but they always seem to get in their own way. We saw that in the Call of Duty Championship tournament last season. It would seem that history would repeat itself on Saturday, losing to Kaliber after it was revealed that they broke the rules. It wouldn’t get any better as the game progressed. Mental mistakes would be their downfall, and yet they are a team that could some damage in the Loser Bracket, much like E6.
Don’t let the record fool you, finishing .500 in Pool Play doesn’t mean that Epsilon is a great team. They beat an Allegiance team that has just looked all out of sorts and a Vitality team that hasn’t played very well. Epsilon could make things interesting in bracket play, but unless they can fix the issues that afflicted them in pool play, they could be headed home a lot sooner than they want.
11. Faze Clan
Faze may not look like much, without Clayster, Enable, or Gunless, but they still have the potential to be a tough team to beat in brackets. They beatdown Ghost Gaming and even took one of the strongest teams in Splyce to the limit in Pool Play. Don’t sleep on Faze to make a statement that they have enough star power in Zoomaa and Attach.
10. Red Reserve
Anger is usually associated with the color red and that seemed to hold true for Red Reserve as they typically fought back with a vengeance on Saturday. They had a tough start to Saturday, losing pretty handily to TK. Then, they shot themselves in the foot early in the game against Mindfreak in Pool play. After those two missteps, the boys in red raged back to take 2nd place in their group. They keep that up and they could be a wild card team in the next round.
9. Evil Geniuses
EG is another unpredictable team. They played in the most competitive group in Pool Play with EUnited, Splyce, and Faze. What did they do? They took down the heavy favorited Euros only to lose to EUnited and then came back to handedly take down Ghost Gaming. If EG can be more consistent they could get back to their winning ways, but the road isn’t easy.
8. Ground Zero
Just like their logo depicts, this team could be the teams that blow up the bracket round early. They were so impressive in Pool Play against Epsilon, Vitality, & Allegiance. However, against a strong Luminosity team, they showed just how outmatched they were. They could deal with the same struggles when they meet the better teams in this tournament but they’re at least set up in decent position.
7. Team EnVyUs
Two tough losses to Optic Gaming and Echo Fox may have people down on EnVy, but you really shouldn’t sleep on the boys in blue. If they can get better communication, they will be just fine in tournament play. That seems to have been the main issue on Saturday, but that’s easily fixable for a team with a winning pedigree.
6. Echo Fox
Call me crazy but I actually believe in Echo Fox, mainly because of the starpower they’ve assembled with Gunless, Faccento, SAINTSS, and Assault. The duo proved that they can be formidable in a close game against EnVy. (Seriously, that Hardpoint was stressful to watch!) Gunless has had a ton of success in Call of Duty with both Faze Clan and EUnited. Now joining with a team of solid players in SAINTSS, Faccento, and Assault and they could be a fun team to watch in the elimination round. No one wants to face this team.
The perennial Call of Duty contenders, EUnited, fared well on Saturday, taking down Ghost Gaming and EG. They did lose to Splyce but it wasn’t an easy win, by any means. Their series was one of the few forced to a Game 5, resulting in a narrow win by Splyce. EUnited are no strangers to the winner’s circle and could find their way back to it if they play the way history has shown they can.
This strongest European team in the tournament maintained did not disappointed, proving to be formidable against every opponent they faced on Saturday. They stumbled against EG, but that was the lone blemish of the day. Splyce should be locked in as one of the top teams when the dust settles in bracket play.
Getting JKap from EnVy seems to have been just the acquisition needed to lift LG to the next level. They downright dominated their Pool, logging two 3-0 victories against Ground Zero and Epsilon. They did lose to Vitality, but it was competitive, going to a game 5. That blemish aside, LG should have a good showing, with the potential to make a splash, in tournament play.
2. Team Kaliber
TK and their 18 year old rookie sensation, Kenny, blasted through the competition on Saturday. After coming as the #3 team in the world, TK earned to be one spot above the rest after going undefeated against their entire pool. Red Reserve did give them a run for their money by taking them to Game 5, but TK never lost their resolve, clinching the top spot in the group with a phenomenal 9-3 map count. The only other team to have those numbers, Optic Gaming.
1. Optic Gaming
The reigning champions are out to prove that what they did just 4 months ago was no fluke. The green wall was in full force smashing all those who came before them with incredible force. There are a handful of teams that seem ready to challenge OG, but this team has proven that you have to be flawless to take them down. They are the champs and, after Saturday, it appears that they are poised to take the first title of the circuit in their new home state!
See how the rest of it unfolds during the Elimination Round tomorrow on "Championship" Sunday!