Winners and Losers of the Off-season: NALCS

Franchising has definitely brought a different level of spiciness this off-season that has had many fans alike excited for the upcoming season. It almost feels that anyone and everyone has been on the move with every team having money to spend this off-season. While not everything is confirmed yet, most of the rumors have come to fruition.

Some teams have made big splashes recruiting big names this off-season. Others seemed to have been late to the party. This piece we’ll be looking at the winners and losers of the off-season so far. Let’s take a look:

Winners

Team Liquid

While “Paid by Steve” has become a meme, it became a reality as Team Liquid struck fast in the off-season. They were able to obtain most of the Immortals roster who qualified for Worlds last year and added two veteran stars to go along with them. Their starting roster consists of Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, Eugene “Pobelter” Park, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung.

Being able to obtain three players who previously worked together is definitely a win right off the bat will bring some needed synergy for a new team. Pobelter, Doublelift, and Xmithie are all longtime NALCS vets who can bring a lot of leadership to this team. Impact has been a star for the past few seasons on Cloud 9 and had another great Worlds performance. Having played in NA for the past two years, his English has gotten a lot better. He’s often been heralded for his communication and which is a great trait to have as an import. He also has the experience of having been a world champion with SKT in season 3.

Olleh is an aggressive laning support who should do well with star ADC Doublelift. Doublelift comes to Team Liquid after being replaced on TSM by European star, Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen. Doublelift is hungry to be the best and get revenge on his former team. He’s been arguably one of the best ADC’s in the West since becoming a pro. While domestically he’s been great, it’s internationally where he’ll need to show up. His past few Worlds performances have been average at best so he’ll want to get to Worlds again to finally prove himself.

Xmithie and Pobelter come off a summer split where they both revitalized their careers on Immortals. Both players looked to be on the decline after rough Spring Splits. Xmithie had an MVP like split in which the meta leaned towards tank-control junglers. His play was vital in Immortals making it to Summer finals.

Team Liquid without a doubt had a lot of money to spend, and this time spent it in the right places.

TSM’s Mike “MikeYeung” Yeung

Photo by: Riot Esports

Mikeyeung went from playing on a 9th place Phoenix1 team to one of the most successful franchises in NALCS history. While the pressure will be on to perform, he’ll be surrounded by star veterans in every lane. Opportunity arose with TSM importing the European bot lane duo of Zven and Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez. With TSM needing a North American talent in the jungle, Mikeyeung’s opportunity was there.

Mikeyeung had one of the most surprising rookie splits this past summer. He came into a flailing Phoenix1 team that went from 3rd to last place and tried to salvage as much as he could. He showed great aggression on champs such as Lee Sin and Nidalee. He’ll have every chance to succeed with TSM being the kings of domestic success. He’ll also have a chance to learn under the leadership of former Immortals coach Kim “SSONG” Sang-soo. Any team Ssong has coach, he’s been praised for improving the team drastically.

TSM has the reputation of turning aggressive junglers into ward bots so we’ll need to see what Mikeyeung becomes. If he stays the aggressive, play making jungler, it may be just what TSM needs.

100 Thieves

Of all the new teams entering the league, 100 thieves have the build of a prominent roster if things pan out. As one of the only teams who hasn’t announced their bot lane yet, all signs point to star support Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black heading their way. The confirmed players look to all be individually really good. They are top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, jungler William “Meteos” Hartman, and mid laner Yoo “Ryu” Sang-wook. It’s also good to note that they’ll be coached by Neil “pr0lly” Hammad who showed great success in EU with H2K.

If Aphromoo is heading to 100 thieves as their support it will most likely be a North American rookie at ADC. Aphromoo has shown the ability to mold great ADC’s in the bot lane with Stixxay on CLG so it won’t be new for him. This team could be a major sleeper to storm into the league as legit contenders right away.

 

Losers

 Counter Logic Gaming

Counter Logic Gaming took a major hit this off-season losing long time veteran leader Aphromoo. Aphromoo has always been associated as CLG’s main leader inside and outside of game. His leadership qualities will be missed. He was always seen as the mediator when things got rough and with how inconsistent this roster can be, his absence will be felt.

Taking his place will be TSM’s former support, Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. While mechanically Biofrost has showed to be really good, his communication seems to be lacking as Doublelift and Bjergsen were more of the shot callers on the team. He’s still young, but this roster isn’t too talented on paper. Everyone else imported big names, while CLG looked to stay mostly the same. They picked up jungler in Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin who had a horrific season on Team Liquid. Individually he did okay, but he’ll be looking to bounce back big this year.

The returning members  of the team, mid laner Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun, ADC Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes, and Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya have had their share of inconsistencies. Without the leadership of aphromoo this team may crumble if they don’t perform well early.

CLoud 9

Photo by: Riot Esports

In a shocking turn of events rising star Juan “Contractz” Garcia and top laner Impact both left the team for brighter pastures. While one could see Impact leaving as a possibility, the fact that Contractz left meant Cloud 9 needed to either import a jungler or top laner. Cloud 9 seemed to be late to the party as most of the North American junglers had already found new homes.

They found their replacement in former TSM jungler, Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen who is an EU talent. This means Svenskeren will be taking an import slot. This most likely means that rookie Eric “Licorice” Ritchie will be the starting top laner for Cloud 9. Svenskeren has had his troubles with inconsistencies. He was a huge scapegoat in TSM’s performance at Worlds in which their early game play making was lacking.

While Svenskeren isn’t necessarily a steep downgrade to Contractz, replacing Impact with a rookie will definitely be felt. Licorice spent his time in the challenger series on EUnited last split. He’s been a top player in the challenger scene for the past few splits. He’ll have big shoes to fill if they plan to start him right away. With many of the top teams looking even better, Cloud 9 may have taken a step back. Only time will tell if this was the right move for them.

EuLCS

An exodus was bound to happen with franchising heading to North America. With EU having some big name talents who can proficiently speak English, North America was bound to try to recruit them to cross the Atlantic. Europe loses the G2 bot lane of Zven and Mithy, along with mid laners Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage and Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten. The off-season isn’t even over yet. There’s definitely still room for more players to head over.

This is a major hit for EU. Misfits in particular almost knocked off former champions, SKT. Most of these rosters did not choose to stick together and EU will have to look to garner new talent to replace the ones that left.

With franchising not coming until 2019, many of the EU organizations can’t compete with the salaries being offered in North America. This will most likely result in EU being top heavy. Players are looking to team up with the best in EU while younger orgs will have to fight for scraps.

 

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Thanksgiving Free Agents: League of Legends Edition

League of Legends is having their first major free agency period since the start of franchising in North America. As with traditional sports, free agency is going to be a major time for teams to build their rosters for LCS’ new start. Instead of just giving you who some of the free agents are and where they might go, a holiday theme has been added for your enjoyment. (Note: As of the time this was written none of these players have signed officially)

Corn “Froggen”

Froggen has been consistent since the day he entered the LCS. Never overly flashy but a major part and sometimes the best part of his team. Corn like Froggen is never flashy but it is reliable and can be the best part of a bad meal.

Last year on Echo Fox, Froggen was the unchallenged leader of the team. Echo Fox finished in eighth, just outside of the playoffs the last two splits. This was due to many things, but rarely ever Froggen. There are plenty of new openings for Froggen. As an in-game and out of game leader, Froggen will be someone who is going to be brought on to do just that. His play is consistent but his leadership skills are what gets him his next position.

For this reason, Froggen will be going to a completely new squad in NA as some of the newer teams will be looking for a leader to help guide them through their first season. He did this with Echo Fox and maybe with a better and more consistent roster around him, Froggen will finally make NA playoffs this year.  With sources saying Akaadian has been bought out by OpTic Gaming it would make sense that they add arguably the two best players from Echo Fox.

Prediction: OpTic

Cranberry Sauce “PowerOfEvil”

Like cranberry sauce you either love PowerOfEvil or you strongly dislike him. He can be an absolute legend on the rift or look like he is lost. That being said PowerOfEvil is testing the waters of free agency hoping to be picked up by a NA squad.

Misfits made a surprising run in world this last year making it out of group stages. While the team played well as a whole, in most games until the end, PowerOfEvil had looked solid. He can make the flashy plays and keep up with many of the games top mid-laners when he is on his game. If he can find consistency there is no doubt that he can challenge just about anyone while in lane. For that reason I think PowerOfEvil will be a hot commodity for NA this free agency.

A great squad for PowerOfEvil would be Flyquest. With Flame reportedly signing there and a solid bot-lane of WildTurtle and Stunt, bringing on PowerOfEvil would make a nice splash for FlyQuest. For PowerOfEvil he would be able to play with teammates who can help guide him in his first year in NA and allow for him to learn from his mistakes he will probably make early on. If they get the PowerOfEvil we saw during group stages and during Mistfits’ run in EU championships, then FlyQuest could have a very strong squad next season.

Prediction: FlyQuest

Sweet Potatoes “LemonNation”

Sweet Potatoes are classic when talking about Thanksgiving dinner. They are sweet and almost like desert before actual desert. Lemonnation is a classic NA support who can surprise people by quietly being solid throughout the game. (Also both are orange/red) Lemonnation has been a consistent and overall solid support since he came into the professional league scene. He does his work and helps lead teams to being better than many people would have thought.

Last year on FlyQuest, many people felt that they would be a joke because it was made up of players who had not played in the pro-scene in awhile. They came out and surprised everyone by making playoffs their first split and barely missing playoffs their second split. Lemonnation came back with a vengeance and showed that older players in the scene can still play and has maybe changed everyone’s opinions about what a “old” player really is.

While Ignar and Aphromoo are higher on teams’ lists, there are still openings for supports especially on new teams. You could reasonably argue that once the other two have signed, whoever else has an opening would sign Lemonnation. With that in mind 100 Thieves looks like a good place for Lemonnation to end up. Ssumday and Meteos (both of whom are on this list) are rumored to be signed with 100 Thieves and Ryu has been confirmed. With Pr0lly as their coach this group could add Lemonnation and have a very reliable team.

Prediction: 100 Thieves

Green Bean Casserole “Meteos”

Some years it’s there, some it’s not. Sometimes you dislike it, sometimes you love it. Like “Dark” Meteos green bean casserole comes back after missing some time at family events and you’re afraid of what is coming next. It is put on your plate against your will and you are told to try it. This time you like it and oddly want more.

Meteos was a mainstay with Cloud9 for many splits. He has a solid following and thus every time he’s filled in for a team people have been very excited. After spending different parts of the year with Phoenix1, who went from playoffs to last between Spring and Summer split, Meteos is ready to be a starter again. With the many opportunities it is likely that he will get a chance to show he is a top level jungler at the professional level.

It is being reported that Meteos will be signing with 100 Thieves. If this stands, with Ryu and Ssumday, it looks as though 100 Thieves could have a very interesting roster to start of League of Legends franchising.

Prediction: 100 Thieves

Biscuit/Corn Bread/Rolls “Febiven”

Any type of bread is needed with any Thanksgiving meal. They help to fill you up and are a go to if you’re not ready to try something new. Febiven in NA would be that. He is a solid mid-laner who brings consistency to any team. He may not be the mvp on his team but he is needed and a safe pickup for any team.

Febiven brings that feeling of a stalwart in the middle of the rift for any team. For H2k this past year Febiven brought composure to an already winning team. He got his start with Cloud9 Eclipse and many speculate he is testing free agency in order to go back to NA. Febiven can bring a lot to one of these new franchising teams and it is likely that he would have a nice payday doing so.

According to sources Golden Guardians only have their coach so far, Locodoco. It is also rumored that Shiphtur might be signing with them. While Shiphtur is a good mid-laner, the Golden Guardians would be making a big time acquisition by signing Febiven. He would not only attract fans but also players. If they know they have someone like him holding down the middle of the Rift then players will feel more comfortable around him. Also wouldn’t it be fun to see Bjerg, Jensen, Pobelter, Huhi, Ryu and Febiven battling it out in mid next season?

Prediction: Golden Guardians

Stuffing “Ignar”

On the outside, if you have never had stuffing before you might think, “I dont know what to think about this”. Then you try it and realize it’s solid and brings the meal together. In many ways this is Ignar. The All-Pro support had some questions coming over to Misfits and showed this year that he is the stuffing to any Thanksgiving meal.

After a quick stay with KT Rolster Ignar found a home with Misfits. He was exactly what you would want in a support. He is able to speak Korean and getting better at English, and he is able to help get bot-lane ahead. His aggresion mixed well with his lanemate, Hans Sama, as he played champions like Rakan, Blitzcrank and Thresh. He is a playmaker and with that will come many offers from teams for a support who can do more than just keep their ADC alive.

There are rumors that Ignar is looking to head back to the LCK, possibly even with SKT. If this doesn’t happen and he heads to NA, there is no doubt that he will land a starting roll. OpTic would be a good match with Ignar. Sources say that Arrow has already signed and thus Ignar would have another Korean ADC. This would eliminate a language barrier and give OpTic another nice pickup.

Prediction: OpTic Gaming

Gravy “Aphromoo”

If you don’t like gravy, what are you doing with your life? If you don’t like Aphromoo the same question should be asked. The man is one of the best supports in NA and, like gravy, he is liked by mostly everyone. Gravy is also what you put on everything in order to help it taste better. No matter what team Aphromoo joins, he will make them that much better.

The Moo has been one of the best, if not the best, supports in NA since he arrived on the scene. His ability to get his ADC ahead by whatever means necessary has made him a lanemate that any ADC would want. While he still can go back to CLG if he wants to, it is interesting that he is testing free agency. It may help drive up the money for his contract wherever he signs, including CLG.

While it would be interesting to see another team pick up Aphromoo, it is likely he stays with CLG. They will give into giving him a large contract and that should bring him back. He is already familiar with the team as most of his teammates, Darshan, Huhi and Stixxay have all already signed with CLG.

Prediction: CLG

Mashed Potatoes “Ssumday”

Mashed potatoes are one of the best parts of the entire Thanksgiving meal. Is it really Thanksgiving without them? Nearly everyone loves them and sometimes if the other parts of the meal aren’t good you can always turn to mashed potatoes to be the best part. Ssumday will be this for which ever team he signs with. Everyone is going to want to bring him on and when others may not be as good around him, you can turn to him and know he will show why he is one of the best top-laners in the world.

Ssumday did not live up to the hype during his first full year in NA, but was still very good. Coming over from KT Rolster everyone believed Ssumday was easily a top 3 top-laner in the world. Dignitas fans were ecstatic when he signed on. Dig went to the playoffs both splits in their first full season back, but unfortunately were not chosen to go forward with franchising. Now Ssumday is again looking for his next home to show he is a top tier top-laner again.

Originally it was thought that Ssumday would be looking to go back to the LCK this season. Then sources came out claiming that 100 Thieves is looking to sign him. While the team has not confirmed it yet, if he were to sign there 100 Thieves, it would have a very nice start for their team.

Prediction: 100 Thieves

Pumpkin Pie “MikeYeung”

Pumpkin pie is what everyone wants even though they are already full, it is that good. It can be the only part some people care about. MikeYeung is the new, young jungler that everyone is going to be going after. He is the pumpkin pie at this Thanksgiving dinner, every team will be giving him a look.

MikeYueng made a splash in NA during his first split with Pheonix1 by winning Rookie of the Split. He showed that he can be an impact player at every phase of the game, especially when he got ahead. The problem was when he didn’t get ahead or his team struggled, he lacked the experience to bring them back. Now that he has played a full split he will be looking to show anyone who signs him that he is the real deal.

Sources are saying that TSM is likely going to sign MikeYeung. After a disappointing year with Svenskeren, it is not a huge surprise that TSM would be looking at someone with the potential of MikeYeung. With Bjerg and Hauntzer most likely staying, they will be able to help bring Mike along and help him to reach his full potential. Also, with sources saying that Zven and Mithy have come over to TSM, this squad could have an incredible 2018.

Prediction: TSM

Turkey “Peanut”

The main course, the bird that represents all of Thanksgiving is the turkey. Turkey is what people spend days prepping to make sure it looks and tastes amazing. Shows and movies constantly show people fighting over the last available turkey. Thanksgiving dinner is not Thanksgiving dinner without a turkey. Peanut is someone people can build a team around. He is the turkey of this Thanksgiving meal.

Many people were surprised when Peanut announced that he was a free agent. He instantly shot up to the top of teams wishlists, as he is considered by many to be the best jungler in the world. Every team that has a jungle opening should be looking to sign someone of his talent level. He made his name on ROX Tigers and then signed with SKT this last season. While they didn’t win Worlds he was still a major part, along with Faker, of getting this team to Finals.

Peanut is the prize in this free agency and if he heads to NA, every team will want him. If it wasn’t likely that TSM was signing MikeYeung, it is probable that they would be in the mix. Counting them out, there are three teams who will likely be vying for his service: FlyQuest, Golden Guardians and CLG. CLG has a very good squad especially if they bring back Aphromoo. OmarGod had a solid first split after Dardoch left but, if CLG want to be a contender for Worlds, they need to sign Peanut. With him on their team CLG could easily be vying for a top spot in NA and could make a huge run at Worlds.

Prediction: CLG

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

FaZe Clan-OpTic Gaming Set For First Place Showdown

A battle of giants will decide the first place team exiting this week. (Photo Courtesy: MLG )

A battle of giants will decide the first place team exiting this week. (Photo Courtesy: MLG )

Thursday night at 9 P.M. Eastern time, a first place showdown between two of the giants on the Call of Duty scene will erupt. FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming have been long-time rivals and competitors at the top of the CoD competition. With Stage Two of the CWL nearing the halfway mark, this matchup will set the pace for the rest of the Stage.

The winner will take first place in the CWL standings. For OpTic, it would be a familiar place after winning the Stage One Finals. FaZe is looking to solidify itself amongst the top in Black Ops Three competition. Both teams

Both teams are entering the match at 7-2. FaZe has the advantage with a map winning percentage of 72 percent, compared to OG’s 66 percent. OpTic is riding a wave of momentum with a six-match winning streak; FaZe enters on a four-match winning streak.

For OG, the season started slowly at 1-2. The second loss is still weighing heavy on the minds of OpTic Nation. A lag issue would prevent OpTic from defeating H2K in Week Two. Karma openly talked about it in a recent YouTube video, essentially saying that it killed the drive because they felt cheated out of a win. Ever since that loss, they’ve been playing like a team possessed. Winning two matches 3-0, and all others 3-1. They’ve not been taken past the fourth map since the first match of the season against Team SoloMid (they would win 3-2).

FaZe has had some near misses and have only lost against Rise Nation and Dream Team, two of the top teams in CWL. Despite the ability to outslay almost of its opponents, FaZe has allowed a team like TSM, who’s at the bottom of the standings, nearly won all three of the maps last night, (250-238 in HardPoint, 6-5 in Search and Destroy, and 10-7 in Uplink) despite the 3-0 FaZe win, it was a rough evening. The only match FaZe was outslayed was against Rise; that’ll be high on OG’s priority list.

Keys To The Match:

OpTic Gaming: For OpTic this match is all about staying level-headed and trying to beat FaZe in whatever way they can. Early on we’ll be able to determine if OG is going to win by out slaying or by winning the objective battle. Last Stage OpTic dominated FaZe in every facet. Out slaying them 247-214 for the match. It was a 250-96 HardPoint that kicked things off in last Stage’s first matchup. For OG to win, a big HardPoint and consistent slaying, keeping FaZe out of the zone is the key.

A recap of the first match between the two during last Stage's regular season. (Photo Courtesy: CoD World League)

A recap of the first match between the two during last Stage’s regular season. (Photo Courtesy: CoD World League)

FaZe Clan: Same old, same old for FaZe. The only way they’re going to win is to play the way they have been. They need to slay early and often. However, only killing OG won’t do it. They need to rotate on spawns efficiently and score in game modes like HardPoint and Uplink. Killing by itself won’t be enough to beat a team like OpTic. Wednesday’s near disaster should suffice to get the team to focus up.

Prediction: FaZe will do well slaying tonight, but not as well as they need. An early start and win by OpTic in HardPoint will be enough to get things started. FaZe wins the SnD. But back-to-back wins on Uplink and CTF will be sufficient for OpTic to win 3-1.

CoD World League: Week Six

eLv continues its push for respect as they rise in the standings of CWL Stage Two (Photo Courtesy: eLevate)

eLv continues its push for respect as they rise in the standings of CWL Stage Two (Photo Courtesy: eLevate)

Heading into Week Six of Stage Two, things are starting to become apparent. The competitors have separated themselves from the weakest teams, and that means team changes are bountiful. The biggest of the team changes was on display in the first match of the night.

100 Thieves (2-6) v.s. H2K (6-2)

100T came into the match looking like a brand new team. After a tumultuous week, 100T had to enter this week with a whole new roster. Royalty and Nelson (in a weird set of circumstances) were the two to remain on the roster; now they are joined by Remy and Aches, two solid veterans that Nadeshot is hoping will make his team a competitor.

Things looked like they were trending in the right way. On the first map, Hardpoint on Evac, 100T would manage to blow out H2K, 250-189. The match was all 100T, and they were led by the two newcomers. Aches finished on top with a 36-28 Kill/Death ratio, and Remy went 32-27. It was a solid match and had 100T fans optimistic about the future. Nobody on H2K could pull positive, and they were quickly down 1-0.

After the Hardpoint, things looked like they have the past few weeks. 100T got beat 3-0 on SnD, Capture the Flag, and Uplink. Aches and Remy would go 4-14 in SnD, the team got beat 11-2 in Uplink, and they lost in the first minute of OT on CTF. H2K moved to 7-3 and kept pace with the top teams. 100T will play

100T will play Thursday against eLevate (4-4). H2K will play against Rise Nation (6-2) tomorrow night.

 Dream Team (6-2) v.s. Team eLevate (4-4)

This match was one everyone was looking forward to. eLv started the season 0-3, and would rebound to 4-3 before losing its last match. They come into this match as one of the hottest teams in CWL. dT has been underestimated in many of its matches coming into this week, and they are still fighting for respect despite the great start.

The first map, Hardpoint on Evac, began with a ban of the Man O’ War, that would affect all AR users as they’d have to rely on the M8 more.

Once the game got started, it would be all eLv, all the time. Starting off the first hardpoint, Nagafen would open the game up with a 5-0 and gain a lightening strike. It was 42-1 quickly, and it would be an uphill battle for dT. They would find a way to fight back and take a 64-62 lead after the third hardpoint; that was basically because of Killa going on a quick five streak. The glass hardpoint would go for dT thanks to Killa once again; he’d follow up his five streak with an eight streak, and Dream Team held a 93-86 lead after the first rotation.

Moving onto the second rotation, eLv wouldn’t surrender the lead again. They’d gain a 200-158 lead heading into the third rotation. The biggest reason was that dT was losing the slaying battle. Nagafen would go on another big kill streak and gain full streaks to close it out, 250-168. Nagafen and Killa played big in the slaying role for their respective teams. Killa finished 39-30 but was countered by Nagafen going 37-22 and gaining 2:31 in the hardpoint.

SnD was almost as embarrassing as could be for dT. They had five kills in the first four rounds, not unsurprisingly they’d start down 0-4. eLv didn’t let up. They’d win it 6-0 and hold dT to only seven kills. Felony would go on a seven streak and finish 10-2. It was a match that was over in less than four minutes. Killa went 0-6, and it was just an all out annihilation of dT for eLevate.

eLv was able to open Uplink on Infection up with two minutes of map control that led to a 4-0 lead. However, dT battled back and pushed its way through the eLv lines to gain four points in rapid succession. In the final minute eLv added on another point and took mid-map control to get the 6-4 halftime lead.

The second half was slow as could be to start. Killa had the opportunity to tie things up as he camo’d into the eLv base. However, he missed his melee kill and eLv pushed them back. A minute later, dT would gain mid-map control and somehow battle through two spawns from eLv to get a pair of dunks and take an 8-6 lead. Quickly down the map eLv countered with another big dunk. Things were tied, and they’d end up going to overtime.

Dream Team would take a quick run after a set of spawns and get a bounce over the wall to score in only 48 seconds.

Quickly in the second overtime, eLv had a legitimate shot to win, and should have.

Aqua opened it up with a huge round; he would finish with 48 kills (second on his team was 19 kills, combined the other three had 52 kills), and allowed Faccento to grab the all and run up snow street. He had 20 seconds to throw it in for the win, and he hit the side of the rock. eLv would get slain out and dT managed to get a lucky win.

Managing to send it somehow to a round four CTF, dT had to come up huge and force a game five. They started out on pace. After both flags had been pulled, dT fought through two separate attempts to get a return, and they were able to maintain. Killa threw on camo and rushed via trains to get the kill and return for dT; they took the 1-0 halftime lead.

In the second round, dT would get another capture to run the score up to 2-0. But a wise pull and rush from eLv allowed them to cut the lead in half.

Faccento had a great opportunity to rush the flag back after heatwave and returning the eLv flag. Pushing up and getting two more kills, he and Aqua did a joint rush. Aqua would drop, and that left Faccento to pull. He would die shortly after sliding off of top grandmas. Sender made several key kills in dT flag protection, and they held off the eLv rush. Aqua was left alone on the leaderboards going 25-16, the rest of the team managed only 38 kills (14-12-12).Game five it was.

After nearly securing a 3-0 victory, dT found hope in the two capture modes. That would bring the first map five of the night up; Search and Destroy on Hunted.

The first round saw Faccento fall into a 1-v-2 situation with the bomb planted in his favor. As he ran around the map, dT had both guys setup on the bomb, one defusing. He wall ran through the waterfall and had to get the shots on the bomb defuser to clutch the map but only landed two shots and would fall into the water dead. dT quickly took a 1-0 lead.

dT would be carried by diabolic through the next round by Diabolic’s 5-0 start. But Aqua, who had been clutching all day, would win the third round with a two piece to get eLevate back into the match. Faccento and Nagafen closed out the fourth round with an incredible kill by Faccento against a head glitched Chino. It was a 2-2 match now, and it’s essentially a best of seven series that would tilt in eLv’s favor after another quick round.

Aqua had a sharp three-piece and followed it up with the final kill to give eLv an ace and a 4-2 lead. It had to be one of the easiest aces Aqua has ever had as he continued to be the clear MVP of the eLv team. Aqua would drop in the seventh round, after his five streak. However, eLv would finish it off in a 1-v-1 against Chino, for the third time in the match, eLv bested him. And in the fourth opportunity for Chino to win a 1-v-1, he’d lose and eLv managed to win the game 6-2, and overall won the match 3-2. Aqua finished 14-6, completing an incredible series.

Rise Nation (6-2) v.s Team EnVyUs (5-3) 

EnVy had the opportunity to dethrone the first place team in CWL while at the same time pushing them into the conversation atop the league.

It initially looked like EnVy had a good chance at jumping ahead at the start of the series. It was John and Apathy jumping out to big starts, a 28-10 lead after the first hardpoint would be extended to 91-51 by the third point. Apathy and John were 28-17 to anchor the EnVy lead. It was 112-71 as the teams rotated back to mid.

Apathy would be 19-13 after the fifth hardpoint, which allowed Envy to lead 136-79. However, the turning point came in the sixth hardpoint, kitchen. Slasher was flanking around the helipad and had an easy two piece in front of him. That would’ve broken the Rise lines and flipped spawns, allowing EnVy to jump in with 40 seconds on the clock. He got one kill and missed four bursts as he dropped and that allowed Rise to make it a 136-129 game, they were back in it.

Slacked would get entirely streaked out on the laundry hardpoint, but Rise didn’t initially capitalize. EnVy ran the score to 172-136. Heading to glass both teams would get key plays. Slacked and Apathy traded four kill streaks for their teams and EnVy came out on top, 186-161. Back to mid for the

Back to mid for the third rotation, the game turned sideways. Loony took a five kill streak on the hill and pushed the Rise lead, for the first time in the match, to 201-194. In the kitchen point, it was all Loony again. A six kill streak coupled with Classic’s four-kill streak allowed Rise to win, 250-196.

Apathy and Slacked both started 3-1 for their teams, and it was a quick 1-1 tie to start the match, both defensive teams winning. The defensive teams continued winning, and the series would go to 2-1, but Rise would break the theme up with an offensive win. An Octane versus Apathy 1-v-1 would happen in Round five, down 3-1, Apathy would manage to fly over top greenhouse and get the nice kill on Octane to make the series 3-2. The teams would trade wins to 4-3. In round eight, Classic fell off the map (dropping bomb back to the base) and somehow, it turned into a positive for Rise, they’d get the kills to win by surprising EnVy. The trades continued, and it was 5-4 Rise. Apathy got put into a 2-v-1 situation and popped kinetic, but Rise managed to get the kill anyway and win the match. Rise would take a 2-0 lead into Uplink.

In Uplink Rise and EnVy gave the fans one heck of a game. Back and forth, back and forth, it was just a massive battle of giving and taking. Early it was Rise that would take a 3-0 lead. However, Jkap’s 17-9 start and some timely plays would result in a 3-3 tie. It was Slasher that broke it and made it 3-1, and two more clutch plays would have the match square at the half.

In the second half, Rise would continue to start fast, leading 5-3. But Slasher would come up with more insane plays to tie the game at 5-5. With 50 seconds remaining, it was Octane who had a wall run near apartments spotted out, a leap and interception would halt the EnVy push. But Apathy would ultimately find another late push with 12 seconds left, getting the game-winning throw to make the series 2-1.

EnVyUs had an incredible run to start the CTF, scoring 30 seconds in. But after things settled down, Octane’s 8-2 start allowed Rise to tie it up 1-1. Much like the first cap, Apathy took over the barn and was firing lasers to gain control allowing EnVy to cap again. But guess what? A counter-capture came in again, in less than 30 seconds the score would be 2-2.

Starting the second half, Rise burned two specialists and an HC-XD trying to cap, but EnVy held it off. EnVy would get a cap with 2:30 remaining, taking a 3-2 lead. Apathy and EnVy kept the push going, pulling another flag out. Apathy had a huge return down trains to allow a 4-2 lead for EnVy with under two minutes remaining. John’s big plays down the stretch while carrying the flag would push the lead to three, 5-2. And that essentially ended the match. Jkap’s 22-16 and John’s 21-14 were huge, John added three captures and a return. EnVy battled back to force game five and earned a shot at a reverse sweep.

Search and Destroy on Hunted is always a fun map, it started 1-1 with EnVy winning the first round. Each round seemingly came down to a 1-v-1, and EnVy jumped ahead 2-1. EnVy got on an aggressive streak and just outslayed round, after round, they continued winning and ended up leading 5-1. Slasher’s eight streak enabled him to end the game 10-2, and EnVyUs closed out the reverse sweep.

compLexity Gaming (2-6) v.s. Cloud9 (3-5)

Playing in the first match since gaining Parasite, coL was looking to gain some much-needed momentum in CWL. They were able to start off about even with C9 but were down 98-68 after the first rotation. After the sixth hardpoint, coL took its first lead 135-120. Battling back and forth throughout the next few hardpoints, the second rotation ended for coL, 164-157. coL being aggressive and C9 stagnating on the mi hill would allow the lead for compLexity to push all the way to 214-157. The kitchen hardpoint was all coL, they won 250-159. It was a map that was dominated by efficient slaying and just pure outplaying. coL’s new era got off on the right foot.

coL couldn’t push all of the success from the first map into the second, they were quickly down 5-1. They salvaged two rounds to make it 5-3. But a two piece from Happy clutched it out and sent the series into a 1-1 tie.

Cloud9 started fast in the first half of Uplink and carried all of their momentum over. They took a 3-0 lead into the half. The lack of offense continued for coL, and the defense would lapse as the match continued. coL dropped behind 5-2 with two minutes remaining. However, coL made a late charge to make the score 5-4. With a few seconds remaining mirX took a hail mary heave that just missed. coL was behind 2-1 in the series.

Drama For 100 Thieves

100 Thieves Drama continues to mount as team comp is changing everyday. (Courtesy, 100 Thieves)

100 Thieves Drama continues to mount as team comp is changing everyday. (Courtesy, 100 Thieves)

Ever since the end of stage one and the process that led from KingPapey finding its way into CoD World League, we have been on a roller coaster of emotions with the team now known as 100 Thieves. Nadeshot began his venture into organization ownership when he started 100 Thieves and acquired King Papey’s team of Nelson, Royalty, Johnny, and Examples. Since that, we’ve seen the good and bad that comes from an upstart CWL team.

The first match of stage two went in favor off 100T, and it appeared that they may be able to compete. Things quickly went the other way and the team lost match after match. They were a decent Hardpoint team and above average at Search and Destroy. However, Capture the Flag and Uplink have been the nemesis of the team all season long. The team is currently 2-6 and boasts a dismal 34.4 map win percentage. The stage has been a disaster for the team, but not for the record; that was likely to happen, it’s the last week that has made this stage ugly.

Things started last week when Nelson decided to “quit” (more on that in a second) the team and walk away from 100 Thieves. He thought that he was playing with inferior teammates that were not progressing as much as needed. This move brought about a firestorm of criticism from fellow pros and even some of Nelson’s closest friends. It’s a move that is unlikely to work out; leaving a CWL team mid-stage without having a team to move to. It’s not like Nelson was going to be atop the free agent market upon his decision to leave the team.

With the spot now “open” Nade and 100T brought on Aches, one of the top players not on a team, to finish out stage two and play with them at MLG Anaheim. This move was one that has been widely rumored for weeks. Aches and Nade have had an up-and-down relationship, but they both have seemingly worked through things and maintain a professional relationship now. This was met with wild enthusiasm as it looked like 100T had found a way to benefit from the Nelson departure.

Fast forward to Sunday and things have taken another strange, very strange, turn for the worse. Johnny tweeted out an extended tweet that detailed that he had been dropped from the team. It was very in depth, here is the breakdown.

— Nelson was going to be dropped for being hardheaded and not willing to work with the other players. Johnny essentially said he was being immature, and the move had to be made.

— In the second part of the tweet, titled “The Swindle,” he talked about the addition of Aches and what followed. The addition happened and for the next two days, they didn’t scrim at all, which is obviously strange considering that things are still midseason and the team needed to develop some type of chemistry. Examples and Johnny didn’t understand, so they began talking. Royalty filled them in on a conversation he and Nade mentioned, this is where things start getting hideous. Nade had allegedly told Royalty that he and Aches wanted a roster comprised of Royalty, Aches, Remy, and Nelson… yes, Nelson. Royalty also told the other two that Nelson hadn’t been dropped/quit (Johnny said that he was dropped, Nelson said he left), he had actually been put on the bench.

— In the third and final major portion, Johnny talked about the apparent lack of leadership from Nade. Stating that they hadn’t signed contracts (first mistake from the young KingPapey team) and had gone in without any legal assurances from Nade. However, Johnny said, “He (Nadeshot) stated that it would be a few weeks until he had salaries, which we were all fine with for the most part.” He would continue and talk about the conversation he and Nade had regarding this situation. Johnny explained that he had bills to pay and that Nade told him he wouldn’t need a part time job to subsidize his bills. Johnny also said that Nade hadn’t even guaranteed them jerseys for the Anaheim LAN. At the end of that “chapter” Johnny said he was now $600 behind on bills and now without a team.

With the story being half completed so far, it doesn’t look good for Nadeshot or 100 Thieves. This is a PR nightmare for fan favorite, Nadeshot. A lot of fans on Reddit have been critical of all parties involved, but especially on Nade.

Some points that we need clarification from Nade are:

  1. Did he and Nelson have some sort of under the table agreement? Were they hiding the fact that Examples and Johnny were ultimately going to be dropped for Remy and Aches?
  2. Did Nade have the money conversations with the players and what was behind the lack of contracts?
  3. What is the roster? At this point we aren’t real sure of what’s going on.
  4. Why did Aches not scrim the first two days and is Nade directly handling team comp without talking to the team?

These questions and maybe a few more will likely be answered sometime on Monday. For continued coverage, stick with The Game Haus as the story continues to develop.