CWL Preview Heading Into Final Two Weeks of Stage Two

CWL Stage Two is winding down. Who will make the Finals? (Photo Courtesy CWL, ESL Gaming)

CWL Stage Two is winding down. Who will make the Finals? (Photo Courtesy CWL, ESL Gaming)

It’s been an exciting Stage Two so far for Call of Duty World League. At the start of the Stage, we saw OpTic Gaming start 0-2. Team eLevate started 0-3 and then turned things around in a big way. A 9-4 start from Rise Nation had them sitting near the top of the standings, but a 0-4 skid would follow. We currently have an abundance of teams near the top and each is playing at a high level. OpTic, FaZe Clan, Team EnVyUs, and eLv are all scattered at the top; Rise, Dream Team, and Cloud9 are all looming close behind. The league is deep with talent, in ninth place H2k and Complexity Gaming are both 8-9 and on the outside looking in at the Stage Two Finals.

The only two teams out of contention are 100 Thieves and Team SoloMid. When former CoD champion,  Nadeshot, acquired King Papey and rebranded the team, expectations were high. A quick start has soured into an 11-game losing streak and a 2-15 record. TSM has had high points, beating Rise two weeks ago, but the season has been bad mostly a skid mark for the organization.

The Race For The Top

The race for the top has taken many twists and turns, but things are starting to become clearer. OpTic Gaming has been the team to beat since Black Ops Three started. The Green Wall has won almost everything they’ve competed in, and up to this point, they haven’t slowed a bit. OG is on top of the standings at 13-4 and looking to seal the top seed over the next few weeks.

FaZe Clan enters the stretch run at 12-6, and could easily have a better record. The team has struggled with winning the objective. Slaying hasn’t been a problem for the team; they’ve just found ways to struggle. A great week nine, beating Rise and 100T 6-0, carried over to week 10. A 3-1 win over EnVyUs would push them into second place. However, it all came crumbling down against H2k with a 3-2 defeat. The team is in a good position, but they still need to sure things up. FaZe hasn’t played exceptionally well on LAN this year. The team has eight, 3-0 wins this Stage, double that of OG.

EnVy is in a great spot, currently in third, after a 1-1 week. Things have been more good than bad with nV. However, a 3-0 loss against LG and a 3-1 loss to FaZe have shown the team has holes. LG exposed EnVy with dominant wins in all three games (250-193, 6-1, 13-5). But when you look at EnVy’s play against OpTic, it’s not all that bad. A 250-88 Hardpoint victory headlined a week eight, 3-1 EnVy victory over the top team. Earlier in the Stage, a 3-2 loss to OpTic was another key point for the team. For EnVy, it’s a matter of stepping up when the opportunity presents itself.

Rising, Falling; Deflated, Elevated

Rise Nation and Team eLevate are two teams that have taken different paths to get to where they currently are. eLv sits in fourth place at *******, and Rise are right behind eLv at 10-8. Rise started quickly and has faded recently, and it’s the opposite for eLevate.

eLevate started 0-3 with losses to EnVy, H2k, and OpTic. They were a combined 1-9 in map count over that start. Since then, a 10-4 run has allowed them to move steadily into striking distance in the CWL. They’ve won the map count, 33-20 (62 percent), since the poor start. They are right on pace with OG and FaZe. Many now consider eLevate a top three team. They finished second at MLG Anaheim and nearly beat OpTic before the reverse sweep. eLevate has a little work left, but they’re now considered an elite level CoD team. On Thursday night, once again, eLv had the chance to take the next step forward against OpTic, but couldn’t do so. They allowed OG to win it, easily, 3-0. The biggest question surrounding eLv is, can they consistently beat the top teams?

Rise came into Stage Two as the number consensus number two team. However, that title is starting to fade quickly. The team was 8-3 after a 3-0 sweep against eLevate in week seven. A primetime, Match of the Week, showdown against OG was next. They put up a goose egg, losing 3-0, in a match that was never even close to the Green Wall. Since the 8-3 start, Rise is 2-5. They’ve lost 3-1 to TSM and Luminosity, and they’ve lost 3-0 to FaZe and dT. A 3-1 victory over C9 is the only Rise-like result we’ve seen. Against 100 Thieves on Wednesday, Rise only won Hardpoint by two points (250-248) and Search and Destroy by one round (6-5). For Rise, things are starting to falter. The major slump is something that has to worry all Rise Nation fans.

Fighting To Get In

From sixth place all the way to 10th place, the CWL standings are about as close as can be. Dream Team is sitting in sixth at 9-8, Complexity is 10th at 8-9. With how tight things are, one thing is for sure; two good teams are going to get left out of the party at the Stage Two Finals.

Dream Team has had a roller coaster stage. The team seems to win a match and gain momentum, just to lost the next match and surrender all the gains. A 5-1 start had people whispering some dT love on Reddit and stream. Since then, the team has gone 4-7. In week 10, the team started quickly with a 3-0 victory over Rise. With the opportunity to make this a statement week, they fell short against EnVy, 3-1. It was more of the same. Can they find the momentum from early on in the stage? Or will they continue to have up and down matches?

H2k had the chance to move into the fray with a big win over LG on Thursday night. They did just that. With the win, H2k moved into the seventh spot in the standings. Identical to dT, it was a 5-1 start from H2k that had people talking. Things fell off after the rapid start; they’d only win one match over the course of the next nine matches. But things have turned around, and it’s starting to look like the first three weeks of H2k play has started again. They’ve won their last three matches in 9-4 fashion. A 3-2 victory over FaZe (minus Clayster) was the highlight of the week. They now move into the driver’s seat towards making the Stage Two Finals.

Cloud9 has only one 3-0 victory this stage, week one against dT. It was a 2-5 start for C9, but it’s been a nice resurgence since then. A pair of week 10, 3-1 games, are the epitome of the last few weeks for C9. Much like dT, it’s been a roller coaster. The team beat eLevate 3-1 but then lost on Wednesday night to OG. With TSM and Complexity next week, C9 needs to step up if they want to secure a spot in the finals.

A quick 1-6 start for coL had people considering them one of the bottom feeders this Stage. Picking up Parasite for Nameless has turned out to be a big move for the Complexity squad. However, it was a week of forfeits (one to OpTic, one to Dream Team) that really gave the team a boost. They’re 7-3 since the bad start, but outside of the two forfeits, it’s been a wealth of close matches. They’re much better than the outset, but are they good enough to make it into the finals?

Luminosity lost both of its matches in a crucial week. Losing to eLv 3-0 and then 3-2 to H2k, they fell out of the top eight and all the way to 10th in the CWL standings. Next week brings coL and OG to the schedule; those will both be tough matches and another 0-2 week could push LG out of the Finals. They have to step up or it’ll all be over before it could really start.

Bottom Feeding

For TSM and 100T, this has been quite the disappointing stage. The teams haven’t been able to find the success either wanted. 100T is 2-15, TSM 3-14. Both teams have map win percentages below 20 percent. The third lowest? 47.1 (H2k and coL). This Stage has been a disaster. Both teams have failed to gain any momentum. For the pair of teams, the question now turns from can we make it to the CWL Finals, to can we play in the CWL next year? Major team reconstruction is to be expected for 100T; Nadeshot has already hinted at this. The team makeup will likely include Aches and Remy, but who will be the other two?

Who Makes The Final Eight?

My final eight will be as follows:

  1. OpTic Gaming
  2. FaZe Clan
  3. Team EnVyUs
  4. Team eLevate
  5. Rise Nation
  6. H2k
  7. Dream Team
  8. Cloud9

 

What are your predictions for final standings?

 

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