2017 CWL Birmingham Open Preview
The 2017 CWL Birmingham Open, hosted at the Insomnia Festival, will take place April 14th through the 16th in Birmingham, England and features the top Call of Duty talent Europe has to offer. Teams will battle it out for a $50,000 prize pool, with the winning team taking home $20,000 and 10,000 Pro Points.
CWL Birmingham will feature an open bracket where teams will fight tooth and nail to qualify for a spot in Pool Play. Pool Play will consist of four pools made up of three pre-qualified teams and a spot for the winners of the Open Bracket.
Being the fist European-only event since CWL London back in January, we will get a definitive answer as to who is the most dominant team on the continent. CWL Birmingham will also tell us which team benefitted most from the EU rostermania following CWL Paris.
Pool A features what many believe to be the best team in Europe and the fourth best team in the world, Splyce. Now made up of Ben “Bance” Bance, Dylan “Madcat” Daly, Jordan “Jurd” Crowley, and Trei “Zer0” Morris, Splyce is the 1st seeded team in the EU and is the favorite to take this event.
In pool A, Splyce will face off against iGame and Black Forrest Gaming Green. Having replaced Joshua-Lee “Joshh” Shepard with Zer0, this new Splyce roster seems to be reaching its true potential.
In pool B, Millenium (ex-Infused) will go up against the French team Supremacy and Black Forrest Red.
Sticking together after the EU rostermania, Millenium will look to bounce back from an uncharacteristic 13th-16th finish at CWL Dallas. Having finished within the top six in the last three international events, Millenium is the clear favorite to take pool B. Their success will ride on the back of breakout star Tom ”Moose” Handley as they clash with Europe’s best.
Unlike pools A and B, pool C does not have a clear-cut favorite. Made up of Fnatic, Epsilon, and Team Vitality the number one and two spots are up for debate.
Hot off wins in the last two EU 2K series, Epsilon seems to have found its form after replacing Ben “Desire” Wright with veteran leader Joshh. Fnatic, on the other hand, has been touted as the most improved team since the start of Infinite Warfare. A group of young talent led by another CoD veteran Tom “Tommey” Trewren, Fnatic squad stands a serious chance of taking this pool and even the whole event.
Finally, in pool D we will see Red Reserve take on Elevate and FAB Games.
Red Reserve, seemingly made up of the “leftovers” of the EU rostermaina, has been turning heads with strong finishes in the EU 2K series as well as an impressive 5-6th place finish at CWL Dallas. Elevate, on the other hand, is a team that’s struggled to find its form since the replacement of Sean “Seany” O’Connor for Rhys “Rated” Price. After bombing out in 21st-24th at CWL Dallas, many believe Elevate is in major trouble heading into this weekend. This pool will also feature the clash of former longtime teammates Joe “Joee” Pinnington and Rated.
What to expect
The favorite to win this event is Splyce, followed closely by any combination of Fnatic, Millenium, Red Reserve, and possibly Epsilon. However, teams such as iGame and the newly formed Vitality, led by Shane “ShAne” McKerral, look to cause some upsets in this clash of Europe’s finest.
CWL Birmingham will be great LAN practice for Europe’s top teams before they travel across the pond for the Global Pro League later this month.
Jack Waters is an avid Call of Duty Esports fan and wants to hear from YOU! Find him on Twitter.