With bright orange lights illuminating the Call of Duty World League stage, the best COD players from around the world went head to head at the CWL Stage 2 championship for a chance to compete for the grand prize at Call of Duty XP in September. We were lucky enough to survive the experience and come back with a few war stories.
In the Australian/New Zealand bracket, the second seeded Mindfreak beat out Orbit to take their spot at a chance for the grand prize this September. While on the European bracket, Millenium took out Infused to once again reign supreme. The team started the finals hot by winning the Hardpoint match, but Infused showed some grit by battling back with a 12-3 victory in Uplink. Unfortunately, all was for naught as Millenium took the final 4-2.
The real drama grew exponentially on the NA side of the competition. The sixth seeded Dream Team (dT), lead by Chino, KiLLA, Sender, and Diabolic made an improbable run at the finals by going to game 7 against both FaZe Clan in the first round and then Luminosity Gaming in the second. This is the same team that had not too long ago dropped Nick Suda (Happy) and added Cloud9’s Adam Sloss (KiLLa). So there was some drama leading up to the competition already, but things were about to heat up even more.
Going toe-to-toe with the tournament’s Cinderella squad was Team EnVyUs (EnVy), made up of JKap, SlasheR, John, and Apathy. This group steamrolled their way into the finals, only losing one map on their road to facing dT. The stage was set for a David vs. Goliath showdown.
It didn’t take EnVy long to assert their dominance by taking the first Hardpoint map decisively. But just when everyone was ready to write dT off, Chino had one of the best Uplink games of the tournament, completely carrying the team to a victory that put them right into the thick of things.
Chino did not hold back his joy, demonstratively shouting at his team to keep it up. His celebration electrified the room, and it finally felt like we were going to get a battle for the ages. But unfortunately that wasn’t the case. EnVy responded to the loss by whooping dT on the next two maps. I mean, it was a complete thrashing; EnVy won Capture the Flag 8-1. Sadly, Cinderella’s carriage had turned back into a pumpkin.
Apathy was the real stand out in the finals, though everyone played well. EnVy looked the part of the champions throughout the whole tournament, and in the end, proved they were leagues better than the competition.
The good news is that we’ll be seeing a lot of these faces in September at Call of Duty XP. It will be interesting to see if the national competition can take out some of the better teams from the States.
During a time when eSports are incipient as mainstream media, it’s great to see so many stars gracing the CoD scene (arguably one of the most popular games ever made). Activision should be applauded for adding so many game modes that emphasize teamwork. CoD is the perfect game to carry the fps eSport mantle, especially when you consider that so many gamers already know the basics of the game. Its reach is also unmatched, and highlighting all the different personalities already in the sport will only attract more eyeballs. More drama is good!
It was also impressive watching how cool and under control competitors were during these heart-pounding, potentially career-altering matches, even while the analyst were only a few feet away pointing out all of their individual miscues.
Another under-appreciated aspect of eSports is the amount of communication that goes on during these tournaments. Being able to hear the ongoing conversations between teammates brings a different type of energy to the crowd. Hopefully more people start paying attention to this scene, because the competition is as fierce as any other competitive sport.
Did you guys get to watch the CWL Stage 2 Finals? How did your bracket fare? Who do you think will be taking the championship at Call of Duty XP? Let us know in the comments below!