New Rosters Looking to Take CWL Nola by Storm

The new rosters looking to take CWL Nola by storm

Rostermania has ended, rosters are locked, it’s Cod WWII fighting time

CWL Nola finds itself in a position to set up the rest of the competitive year. With rosters now locked, teams that make the LAN League will be unable to make changes. CWL Nola will mark the first time we see the newly constructed rosters compete for the highest stakes. For many teams it will be their fight to make the LAN League, for others it will be the first opportunity to see if they have the potential to fight for a title on LAN. Notable new rosters to look out for are Rise, Enigma 6, CompLexity, DooM and Echo Fox.

Rise

Current Roster

Daniel “Loony” Loza

Tommy “TJHaLy” Haly

Pierce “Gunless” Hillman (acquired from Exho Fox)

Anthony “Methodz” Zinni (acquired from Next Threat)

 

Released Players

Ulysses “Aqua” Silva (picked up by Exho Fox)

Tyler “FeLonY” Johnson (picked up by CompLexity)

 

Rise’s roster has come out with a bang, winning the first online 2000 Series that they competed in. At first look, losing a player like Aqua is a hard pill to swallow. However, the man replacing Aqua in Methodz, has been an absolute star early on and is likely one of only a handful of players that could offer improvement to the performance of Aqua.

For Rise fans, the biggest thing to be excited for is the acquisition of Gunless for FeLonY. Although, at peak performance, both players are of the same caliber. Where Gunless offers value opposed to FeLonY is in consistency.

Together Gunless and Methodz give Rise the slaying they have lacked from teams of old. One thing that may also be beneficial with the squad is that it now places Loony front and center as the leader of the team, giving the squad leadership they have lacked for the past year.

Engima 6

New Rosters Looking to Take CWL Nola by Storm

Photo Courtesy of: Daily Entertainment News

Current Roster

Jordan “General” Holloway

Brandon “Dashy” Otell

Doug “Censor” Martin (acquired from Next Threat)

Rasim “Blazt” Ogresevic (acquired from Ground Zero)

 

Released Players

Casey “Pandur” Romano (picked up by eRa)

Adam “GodRx” Brown (picked up by eRa)

 

First things first, we have to address the gorilla in the room. This is, without a doubt a team formed with only pro-points in mind. The current set of players on this roster does place Engima 6 inside the top 10, but if last year proved anything, just forming a team to make the league will often find itself fall flat once they have reached the league. However, this squad does have the potential for results, although it relies heavily on Censor.

The return of the fan favorite player has gone better then most expected and has shown improvement in each event. The acquisition of Censor should open up the rest of the map for the players on the team, having someone dedicated for the dirty work objective role.

Another positive for this squad is the fact that they have three consistent players and you know what to expect from them event to event. Both General and Dashy can get kills with anyone in the world.

The weight really falls onto the shoulders of Blazt. If he is able to slay with close to that of other top SMG’s in the game, the new Enigma 6 roster should be fighting around the top 8.

 

CompLexity

New Rosters Looking to Take CWL Nola by Storm

Photo Courtesy of: Major League Gaming

Current Roster (Formerly Ground Zero)

Chris “Parasite” Duarte

Jeremy “Study” Astacio

Jared “Nagafen” Harrell (acquired from Next Threat)

Tyler “FeLonY” Johnson (acquired from Rise Nation)

 

Released Players

Rasim “Blazt” Ogresevic (picked up by Enigma 6)

Maurice “Fero” Henriquez (picked up by DooM)

 

This team takes on the personality of the team captain, Parasite. There likely wont be many average placings, but will have amazing results or huge disappointments.

A strength of this new roster is all the roles are very well assigned. You have the team leader and main AR in Parasite. You have your main SMG in Study, as well as your two flex SnD superstars in FeLonY and Nagafen. Although roles are set, question marks still remain. FeLonY and Naga are an old duo from the eLavate Black Ops 3 squad, and they bring the same strengths and weakness to coL as they did with their past squad. Although known for their SnD, the duo finds itself struggling in terms of slaying numbers over the last couple years.

FeLonY still has questions over his head, but Nagafen looks to be in his strongest form ever, boasting the 6th highest Capture the Flag K/D at CWL Dallas. If FeLonY and Parasite can slay consistently and up to their potential, this team can beat absolutely anyone; if not, they can lose to anyone as well.

 

DooM

Current Roster

Richard “Ricky” Stacy (acquired from Next Threat)

Maurice “Fero” Henriquez (acquired from Ground Zero)

Jacob “Decemate” Cato (acquired from Enigma 6)

Embry “Bevils” Bevil (acquired from eRa)

 

DooM is arguably the most interesting new team. It’s a brand new squad, with duo Bevils and Decemate from the CWL Dallas Enigma 6 roster being the only prior teammates.

Ricky finds himself as the solitary leader of this squad, and looking like the player of old. He is surrounded by three young players, who all have been hyped heading into season.

Early days have shown Decemate to be the strongest of the three young players on the squad, with Fero a close second. Bevils has had a tumultuous start to the year, having bounced around teams (Enigma 6, eRa) and seems to be the most unproven player on the current roster. However, there is good news. DooM will be the number one seeded team for open bracket, and gives them (in theory) the easiest path to pools. A good result can easily vault DooM past CompLexity for a league spot, but it’s going to be a long, tough run for this young squad.

 

Exho Fox

Current Roster

Renato “Saints” Forza

Brice “Faccento” Faccento

Adam “Assault” Garcia

Ulysses “Aqua” Silvia (acquired from Rise)

 

Although FaZe made a historic Open Bracket run, right behind them was the likes of Echo Fox. Echo Fox placed 5/6th from open bracket at CWL Dallas. They head into CWL Nola having acquired one of the best slayers of the past three years in Aqua.

The acquisition of Aqua joining Saints and Assault makes this one of the scariest slay heavy squads in the game. If they were ever to have a Faccento in 2017 MLG Vegas MVP form, they would be nearly unbeatable. That’s unlikely, but Faccento has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. If they struggle he will be the first many point at for their disappointing results.

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Cover image from: Call of Duty World League

CWL Over-reactions

The Optic Dynasty will Fall.

With boots on the ground back, the reign of OpTic was more than assumed to continue into WWII. The early 2000 Series showed this would be the case but everything changed at LAN. OpTic ended there CWL Dallas event getting 3-0’d by TK and Splyce, marking the first time for this roster to go out in that fashion. It hasn’t gotten better either. After recent rostermania, teams filling the top 8 have improved and look to knock OpTic further down the standings. OpTic, a roster formed around 4 of the 10 best players of all time will always have results but their recent drop in form is due surprisingly to player performance. Matthew “FormaL” Piper and the resurgent Ian “Crimsix” Porter gives hope but the recent “LAN struggles” of Damon “Karma” Barlow, and downturn in form from Seth “Scump” Abner should kick start some worry for the Greenwall. In the end, OpTic’s greatest strength is their roster, and a stronger roster may never be formed. Although Father Time is undefeated and OpTic will eventually fall. We may be looking at the year it does.

Swanny is Actually a God.

With Rhys “Rated” Price unable to compete in the most recent 2k, Red looked to the European legend in Callum “Swanny” Swan to replace him for the time being. The first tournament the team would compete in was the online 2000 Series, in which they would win by 3-0’ing Splyce. Swanny himself has not competed since the end of Black Ops 3, playing on the European god squad of Milenium. The roster of Swanny, Tom “Tommey” Trewen , Dylan “MadCat” Daly, and Jordan “Jurd” Crowley dominated the European scene all year, and now minus Swanny make up ¾ of the current Splyce roster. No one is surprised that Swanny still has it, but to take down a top 3 team in the world with less than one week is nothing short of a miracle, bar aside online play. The only reasonable response is that Swanny is truly a god. The question really becomes if he will find himself on a roster full time this year.

 

Classic is a Jetpacker?

The brand new Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat handpicked EnVyUs roster had the most anticipation of any roster headed into the WWII season. The squad of “Slasher”,Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo, Donovan “Temp” Laroda, and Cuyler “Huke” Garlandhave the talent to rival any roster in the world but early days have shown the roster fall flat. Slasher has shown himself to be one of, if not the best player in WWII, so where does the blame fall? Temp and Huke both have showed potential but their comeback is still early, since turning 18 and being able to compete again. The player left on alone on island is Classic, a veteran, and arguably the backbone of the Rise and LG rosters from the last two years. Before the jet pack era Classsic was a known player but nowhere near rated as high as he is now. Unfortunately, we are back to boots though, and it may be too simple just to call Classic a jetpacker, but movement mechanics do play a role in player performance and it very well may be the cause of a notable decline with Classic.

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Call of Duty Ghosts for dummies: Part two

This is a follow-up to my first article in which I had started discussing some simple setups for Search and Destroy. In this post, I’ll be covering Sovereign and Warhawk and then moving onto some perk choices. If you enjoy the article or think it could be improved please comment.

Sovereign

This map is a different beast in comparison to the two I’ve already covered. Unlike Freight and Octane, there’s no easy way of knowing when the enemy has bomb control.

Sovereign incorporates a three lane system, similar to most Counter-Strike maps. This usually means that the defense is spread thinner to cover all the lanes. However, with the setup I’m going to suggest for beginners, it should make locking it down much easier.

Defence

My strategy focuses on stacking the B bombsite. This is because it is much harder to retake since Remington’s can hold the flank from way back in spawn while the Vector players lock down the control room. Your Remington players have next to no chance of retaking B as they lose gunfights inside the map room 99% of the time. That leaves the round on your sub-machine gunners to win a series of head-on gunfights. It also gives you enough information on where players are if they do take the A bombsite, making the likelihood of you retaking much greater.

Players one and two have the job of holding the actual bomb site. Player one will play in the bomb room killing anyone attempting to plant. Player two will play on the stairs just outside watching B domination. If P1 gets pushed on bomb, it’s on P2 to get a quick trade kill. If the attackers try to grenade him out, P2 should counter-nade. It’s a strong setup because even player one dying can be good since they won’t expect another player so quickly and might hastily try to plant meaning you drop the bomb on spot.

Player three should hold snake and the cupboard. This player doesn’t need to be aggressive at all, he is there to ensure that no one gets on our side of the map through B. With the Remington, he should be able to pick up some free kills if they are daring enough to peek either of the positions.

Click to enlarge.

The linchpin of the setup is player four, who guards the underground and the push into range. This is from a sneaky spot just below blue catwalk. Should the enemy team plant A, this player can kill anyone who tries to cross from A bomb into range. If no one does, it makes the pinch onto the bomb site much easier since you don’t have to worry about that side of the map. Player two should also quickly be able to tell whether they have a player holding B domination or not. With that information, it means that their entire team is likely trapped between servers and zig making it easy pickings for your team.

Attacking

As with most maps you can go for the standard smoke Incog rush plants. On Sovereign, I recommend letting another player smoke the bomb and for the bomber to take Trophy System since grenading the bomb is so easy on this map.

As I mentioned in the defensive setup, it’s easy for defenders to see when attackers cross over to their side of the map. A way you can catch them off guard is to leave a player in snake while the rest of the team goes A. This means that the snake player can flank the catwalk player after he moves towards the A site.

For going B, I like to have one player climb up the ladder and hold the flank into the bomb room. Then I’d have a player on yellow stairs watching over the bomber. This can be the player with the smoke if you go for an Incog rush plant. Finally, have a guy on back catwalk initially watching a snake push so that ladder cannot get flanked then switching to holding the caution and full flank from the stairs opposite ladder.

Warhawk

Defence

Warhawk also uses the three lane system. On this map, it is fairly easy for the attackers to get control of both bomb sites. There are a number of spots that the defenders can use to their advantage to net free kills.

My default setup would be to have player one on the tank just outside the diner. This guy can see if anyone rushes mid or blue tarp. They can also see if any players come from A into the Z connector. This player can also quickly rotate to help back truck or water tower if enemies are spotted.

Player two is the truck player spotting the A push. His primary job is to get information of them pushing the bomb and focus on staying alive as opposed to making kills. Since the attackers can get to this site so quickly, it’s often the brunt of three or four-man pushes. The player can peek the fences from the barrel near veranda (I’ve never heard it called that but hey-ho) with thermal and call how many players he sees. He could also play more passive from the tree and wait for someone to peek back American, or garage as this site calls it.

Player three has the role of locking down the B site. This can be done from either the water tower or tin. I recommend using the thermal scope to spot players pushing into the back building or jumping on the bomb. One sneaky spot that can earn you kills is under the blue tarp at the tower. When the attackers try to plant bomb an assault rifle will often peek from loading bay giving you a free kill. Similarly to player two, the main job is getting the information that enemies are B. Once the enemies are called out you can ask for player two to come and help from tin.

Click to enlarge.

Last but not least we have player four. This guy is free to roam as the rounds develop. If the attackers are seemingly favoring the A bomb site he can sit in American and kill enemies that are trying to kill your truck player. Alternatively, he can rush post office on B and hit the flank fast. This allows for your tower player to quickly rotate to A. There are a number of options he has such as peeking mid more aggressively with a sniper or rushing blue tarp. I would say his role is actively trying to get first blood.

Attacking

Attacking on Warhawk usually ends up being four-man pushing either A or B. The smoke Incog pushes are particularly effective on this map since the thermal hybrid sight is a popular choice due to its long lanes. On Warhawk, I recommend the bomber using Trophy System again since it is easy to get good grenades onto the bomb sites.

The most effective strategy would be to have two people rush into American pre-firing the back door. If there’s a player there then he will either die or get traded by the second player. If no one is there the bomber can rush plant with his trophy system since the truck player will have no chance of killing him. This is effective since it puts pressure on the defense straight from the off since it only leaves them with forty seconds to retake.

When planting B, I think it’s best to wait for first blood before trying to plant. If the defenders spot no one A, they often get restless and flank early, which you can have a guy watching from the blitz portal or antiques. There is a little corner just below water tower where attackers can sit to get easy kills, I recommend trying to get a player there before planting.

Perk Choices

Before rounding out the article I wanted to make a little section on perk choices. This is because recently I’ve seen many players waste slots on unneeded perks. Firstly, you should always have Dead Silence and Focus. The latter is important as it reduces the flinch you get when hit and Dead Silence since almost all players will be using headsets and will be able to pick up on the smallest sounds.

A prime example of wasting slots I’ve encountered multiple times was quickdraw on the Vector. This shouldn’t even need explaining but the sub-machine guns aim down sights fast enough in this game and the difference isn’t great enough to warrant using up three create-a-class slots. You could have two grenades or Incog over that which is much more valuable.

List of all the perks and their cost in Ghosts. [Source: u/plokijuh1229]

Another is Sleight of Hand. In Search and Destroy there is no reason to use this perk, the MTAR and Vector have large enough magazines to confidently pick up three kills. If you’re using the Remington you’re most likely going to be far enough away that you have time to reload anyway. Obviously, it’s a nice perk to have and gives you peace of mind knowing you have a full clip but I’d take it as your first specialist bonus rather than two of your create-a-class points.

My final point will be that you don’t have to take Quickdraw on the Remington either. Although the increase in ADS speed is substantial on the assault rifles if you pre-aim the right places you should be able to get the kills regardless. Take playing truck on Warhawk for example, they can only push you from back American or from the open bomb site. Not having it definitely means you suffer on the retakes but it’s just something to consider. Perhaps you might take both Agility, Marathon and a pistol to fast peek the cross on Freight. It’s your choice.


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Call of Duty Ghosts for Dummies – Part One

With the CoD World League coming to an end with the World Championship there’s not much to do aside from wait for WWII. However, the professionals have turned to Call of Duty Ghosts, the competitive title from 2013-2014 in preparation for boots on the ground. With the rate at which esports are growing it’s needless to say that Call of Duty will have gained many new viewers over the past few years. If you never played Ghosts in its heyday and are interested in picking up a copy, here are a few tips for when you get started.

Weapon Choices

Assault Rifles

Starting with Assault Rifles, in which only one is used consistently, the Remington R5. Its high damage and low recoil make it the go to. The weapon’s only downfall is its low fire rate. Despite this, none of the other rifles can match it’s time to kill with the R5 consistently killing in three bullets.

The FAD assault rifle [Source: CoD Wiki]

At one point the professionals dabbled with the FAD. Due to its high fire rate and low recoil, it was tested as an alternative to the R5 on some of the shorter range maps. It was relatively unsuccessful since the low AR movement speed in Ghosts meant that it couldn’t compete with the Sub-Machine guns at medium range and was bested by the consistency of the R5 at long range. However, it is still an option if you aren’t a fan of the R5.

The most common attachments on Assault Rifles are Red Dot paired with Foregrip. The Red Dot is to free your eyes of the awkward iron sights. Meanwhile, the Foregrip simply improves accuracy slightly. On some of the longer range maps such as Octane, pros have been known to use Muzzle Brake as opposed to the Foregrip in order to keep the damage across longer sight lines.

Another popular attachment is the Thermal Hybrid Scope. It is used for its ability to more easily spot out enemies through heat signatures with the ability to switch back to a normal red dot. Giving you the best of both worlds but beware. Enemies can use the perk Incog so they become immune to thermal scopes making them very hard to spot.

Sub-Machine Guns

The Vector Sub-Machine Gun [Source: CoD Wiki]

By far the best gun in the game, the Vector CRB is the most common gun in CoD Ghosts. It’s high damage and fairly high fire rate means it more often than not kills in two bullets. Paired with a Foregrip and Muzzle Brake the Vector’s damage range is extended. Making it all the more deadly.

However, the Vector only became the best gun about two-thirds into Ghosts’ cycle. Before that, the MTAR-X was the most popular choice. The sub handles like an Assault Rifle with SMG movement speed. It’s fair time to kill means that some professionals stuck with it even after the Vector buff. It remains a good choice on maps like Warhawk and Octane where there are more medium—long range gunfights meaning the MTAR can best the Vector with its AR handling.

Popular attachments for sub-machine guns are Foregrip and Muzzle Brake. This is to extend their damage range whilst improving the already strong accuracy of the MTAR and Vector. Some pros prefer to use a red dot on the Vector. In my opinion, it’s personal preference as the Vector is already so strong you can clear up your vision by using it.

Sniper Rifles and Shotguns

That leaves us with the aforementioned, considering just about everything else is banned. There are two main snipers used which are the USR and L115. The USR has a slightly higher movement speed and handling than the L115 which makes it a good choice if you want to rush for first blood. However, it has lower damage meaning it gets more hit markers than its counterpart. While the L115 still gets hit markers from the knee down, it is a more consistent killing machine making it the more common option. Equipped with your sniper you might like to use the thermal scope to more easily spot out enemies.

The FP6 Shotgun [Source: CoD Wiki]

The most overpowered shotgun, the Bulldog, got banned halfway through Ghosts. More cunning pros tried out the pump-action shotgun, the FP6. While it wasn’t as potent as its predecessor it is still an annoying way to catch your enemies off guard. I find it particularly useful when defending the B bomb site on Sovereign.

Competitive Maps

For the sake of this article, I will just be looking at the maps used in Search and Destroy. Those maps being Octane, Freight, Sovereign and Warhawk.

Octane

I’ll start on the defensive side of Octane, which can be quite a challenge. How I like my team to setup is with two players holding the cross to the defender’s side of the map. You can have a player watching mid from the tank outside diner and one holding bottom broken. This frees up a player to play top pawn where they can repeatedly peek B bomb until they spot someone with the last player being free to roam. The fourth could rush motel or the B domination flag to get more map control. Or he could hold gas station to help the broken player if he gets rushed. If someone is spotted on the bomb from pawn then you can hurl a few grenades at them in an attempt to kill the bomb planter.

The attacking side is much harder since you only really have access to the B bombsite. A lot of players like to run smokes with Incog and try to get a fast plant. This is effective as the Remington players holding the likes of pawn and broken will struggle in motel’s close quarters. Other teams may rather hold to see if a guy rushes into the motel and pick him off before planting or doing everything possible to kill the player top pawn before they plant. This could be through grenades or sniping. There is also an explosive gas pipe which can be shot which can sometimes kill the player.

As aforementioned getting to A is a challenge. Sometimes teams go on an all-out rush to broken from the start of the round. Personally, I like to have a guy try to snipe the player pawn while the rest of the team rushes and tries to kill anyone playing broken. Another way is to play B as normal, kill the pawn player before rotating back and trying to cross again. As you can tell by now the pawn player is very crucial to the round as he has the most vision and can feed information to the rest of his team. With him dead it is much easier to cross to A as the only player that could spot it after that is the broken player, if he’s still there.

Freight

Defending on Freight normally involves heavily stacking towards the A bombsite. Since the attackers can only access B by crossing the train tracks or by breaking the underground gate, which makes a loud noise, it makes sense to focus your efforts on A.

If you catch the enemy crossing onto the bomb then it should be a free kill for someone playing in red. Players one and two should focus on holding red and the area between it and the bomb. Looking at the diagram I believe these are the optimal positions to play. All player one has to do is watch the main entrance to red. Meanwhile, player two can see the jump from the train into red, logs and B domination.

Player three should play in the Owens building and attempt to spot out the attacking assault rifle players. The emphasis should be on getting information for the team as opposed to getting a kill. Staying alive is more important as the Owens player stops players crossing from white to B bomb. Player four is free to roam, however, I believe he is best spent helping watch the cross. He can rush the electric box near the white train to see the entire cross or hold bottom Owens getting information from B domination and storage containers.

If the attackers do try to rush underground the bottom Owens player can watch if anyone pushes front while player three can watch the cross onto bomb from the second floor.

As you can tell attackers have a hard time on Freight. The most successful plays are usually explosive ones such as a double push red where you bait the first guy in to kill the red player. This is a favourable trade for attackers since red is such a pivotal point on the map. Similarly to Octane, you could try the smoke Incog rush onto bomb then your ARs can watch the defuse from Porter or White.

One unique strategy is leaving an assault rifle to get a pick from in base while three of you stack underground. Wait for the AR to hopefully make a kill then explode out of underground. This generates confusion since the AR will kill someone from spawn to A then all of a sudden the gate is broken. The defenders have to worry about being pinched while the main attackers focus on getting the bomb down.

Conclusion

Obviously, take these strategies with a pinch of salt. They are basic and mostly intended for newer players but it’s definitely a good starting point for anyone looking to incorporate more team play. Since this article is getting long, I’ll finish the remainder of the maps in Monday’s article. My paint skills aren’t great but if you find the diagrams helpful then I can make more. If there are other things you think I should bring up don’t hesitate to comment.

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. You can find me on Twitter at @JackWrightIGL. Feature image courtesy of callofduty.wikia, map layouts sourced from unofficialcallofduty.com

 

Songs of praise for 2017’s Call of Duty World League Championship

The culmination of every Call of Duty season is the World League Championship and this year was no different. It’s no secret that Infinite Warfare has been, let’s say, disappointing but I believe this championship to be one of the most memorable of all time in spite of that. In this article, I’ll pick out a few of the things that made this Worlds a pleasure for both competitors and fans alike.

A multitude of teams

Despite OpTic Gaming going into the tournament as favorites, it wasn’t as clear cut as previous years. Due to IW’s erratic nature, any of EnVyUs, eUnited, Splyce or Luminosity could have won the event on their day.

OpTic had to beat Anaheim champions Luminosity to get to the final. [Source: MLG]

When these teams clashed they produced amazing series worth re-watching while we wait for WWII: OpTic narrowly beating Splyce to defeat the seventh place meme, EnVy’s ridiculous comeback against eUnited and EnVy sending OpTic to the lower bracket, to name a few. Any times these teams had to face off against one another you could feel the tension. After EnVy forced OpTic to play against Luminosity, I’m sure Green Wall fans were worried their team would fall short again.

You even had Rise Nation and FaZe Clan making last ditch efforts to save their dismal seasons. At one point I thought a Team Revenge style run was on the cards. It made the majority of series thrilling to watch.

A beautiful venue

Last year was the first time Call of Duty had used an arena as a venue. At the time we were all in awe at how CoD could fill such a venue, but, looking back, that stage was nowhere near as beautiful as the Amway Centre.

At Call of Duty XP, the players were in towering booths away from the crowd meaning the fans couldn’t as easily see or hear the players. This, in turn, meant that fans were less likely to get hyped about huge plays and players less likely to feed off of the crowd’s energy. This year we got the open stage we are used to seeing, filled with an array of lights to make sure all eyes stayed focused on the CoD at hand.

From the stream, it also looked like the crowd was more tightly packed in this time. The upper rank and the floor looked pretty close, making it easier for quieter fans to get involved with the chanting when it’s going on all around them.  My final point is that the lesser amount of large venues this year made the fact that it was being held in this huge stadium all the more exciting.

Multi-stream, multi-stage

MLG’s decision to run four streams in the group stage on all of MLG.tv, Twitch and YouTube is something to be proud of. While there may have been a few hiccups with the audio and flickering video, for the most part it was solid.

The schedule was easy enough to follow using the graphic on the World League Twitter and meant that the tournament could be run with the best format with all the players having the same downtime between games. This is something other esports such as Counter-Strike and League of Legends have been ridiculed for. Maybe it’s time they took a leaf out of Call of Duty’s book.

Another surprise was the decision to give the Bravo stream its own stage, directly below the main one. This is the first time I’ve seen this happen in esports and I would say it was successful. Fans could enjoy the juiciest matches’ full screen and then watch the Bravo stream in-between the Alpha games. There were times when the loser of the game on the main stage would play the winner of the team on the lower stage, making it all the more exciting for fans as they could see both games as they were unfolding.

Four teams played simultaneously at the World Championship. [Source: Reddit u/theesportstv]

To the fans

And finally, thanks to the fans for showing up and supporting what they love. All the chanting, funny signs and talking down caster’s microphones only made the stream more entertaining for us stuck at home watching from our bedrooms. It’s amazing that even with such a lackluster title this year everyone made the effort to support the biggest event of the year. Hopefully, it’s a sign of even better things to come when we ditch the jetpacks in November.


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Ones to watch: GPL season two playoffs

Although the teams for the Call of Duty World Championship have just been finalized there is one more battle ready to take place. That battle is the playoffs of Call of Duty’s second LAN pro league. The first round matchups caused controversy within the scene as they were drawn off stream leading some players to believe they were fixed. Although that may be detrimental to some squad’s chances of winning the tournament, there will be some thrilling first matches for fans to tune in to.

This article will pick out some key players their team will need if they are to overcome the rest of the field.

FaZe Clan’s Pierce “Gunless” Hillman

Two of Call of Duty’s biggest brands go head to head in round one. The first, FaZe Clan, is still fresh off of the transfer of Gunless. Meanwhile, Team EnVyUs continue to falter against the top teams.

Call of Duty World Championship

Gunless led eUnited to the trophy at CWL Atlanta. [Source: MLG]

Both sides have struggled massively in Infinite Warfare so I expect this one to be a brawl. If FaZe are to come out on top Gunless needs to be the star he was back on eUnited. The team qualified for the players in the final series of group blue. They had to win the series versus Ghost Gaming without conceding two map losses. They managed to end it convincingly on the fourth map, although, games one and three were nail-biters.

Looking at FaZe’s stats, it seems odd that Gunless had the lowest overall kill death ratio. It could be that with Clayster’s departure Enable can embrace being the main assault rifler. Furthermore, opening up space for Attach to make plays but Gunless is going to have to be on that same level if they are to take down the likes of Splyce or Luminosity.

I’m not hating on Gunless’ performance by any means, the man was still a beast in Search and Destroy. The Canadian had the highest K/D whilst simultaneously having the most bombs planted. It’s just we know that the CWL Atlanta MVP has more to offer in the respawns.

Tom “Tommey” Trewen of Fnatic

Tommey has been at the top of European CoD for as long as I can remember. Even though nowadays Splyce is taking all the glory, the Brit remains a huge figure in the scene leading Fnatic’s foray into Call of Duty.

Call of Duty World Championship

Tommey was perfect for Fnatic’s entrance into CoD. [Source: @fnatic]

When the team was conceived many would have believed Tommey to be its star player, however, he has been overshadowed by adored brothers Skrapz and Wuskin. Much like Gunless, we know that Tommey can bring more to the table.

He has always been a clutch player, particularly in Search and Destroy. If the squad is to knock down the Green Wall, Fnatic is going to need that skill, especially since you could argue OpTic’s best game mode right now is SnD.

Enigma6’s Nicholas “Proto” Maldonado

Call of Duty World Championship

Proto does the dirty work for E6. [Source: enigma6group.com]

The notorious Enigma6 qualified from the same scrappy group as FaZe. They secured their playoff spot due to their head to head record against Ghost Gaming, beating the team both times they played. However, the wins didn’t come any easier.

Latest addition Royalty put his backpack on for the weekend leading the slaying in every single game mode with General usually not far behind. Proto was lacking in that department, finishing the weekend with an overall K/D of 0.90 being sub par in Uplink and SnD in terms of the slaying.

In spite of the stats, Proto holds his place in the team. He was their lead scorer in both Uplink and Hardpoint. However, the lack of fragging will be a problem against the likes of eUnited if the team want to make a deep run. With no guarantees that Royalty will go that nuclear again if Proto can step up and make the difference, they might be able to steal a win. Something Enigma6 is quite known for doing.

Trei “Zer0” Morris of Splyce

At MLG Anaheim, Zero was fighting to be the best player in the world. The man was hitting shots we thought not possible. The second place finish seems to have hit him hard with group yellow being one of his worst events yet.

Call of Duty World Championship

Zer0 pictured left on stage. [Source: MLG]

Similarly to Enigma6, Splyce qualified for the playoffs because of a 2-0 head to head against fellow Europeans Red Reserve. Despite their victories over Red, they were another team that looked unconvincing after being swept by eUnited and even losing to Rise Nation on the final day.

If Splyce is to beat the number one ranked team Luminosity in the first round, they are going to need their best player back on top form. His K/D in the pro league was at 0.90 while at Anaheim he racked up a deadly 1.17 over 38 maps. If Octane performs the way he did at Anaheim I honestly believe Zero is one of the only players that could possibly shut him down.

If Zero wants to defend Splyce’s title from season one he’ll have to prove that group yellow was an anomaly in an otherwise fantastic year for him. The playoffs start up later today with the first series being eUnited against Enigma6, tune into mlg.tv to see the action unfold.

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. You can find me on Twitter at @JackWrightIGL. Feature image from MLG, Stats courtesy of codcompstats.com

Red Reserve’s recent coming

Red Reserve initially started as a sub-group of the notorious FaZe Clan in order to satisfy fans of their roots in Call of Duty sniping as FaZe began to branch out. However, they made waves in the esports scene earlier this year after Swedish organization Orbit acquired all rights to the Red Reserve brand. It was a smart business move that utilized Red Reserve’s mass following in supporting their various esports teams.

Although the move was finalized many months ago, the organization has recently hit the spotlight following their Counter-Strike and Call of Duty teams results at events across the globe.

For you fans in need of a team to root for, I’m going to give you a couple of reasons as to why this organization is an exciting one to watch.

Counter-Strike and DreamHack Valencia

The team headed into DreamHack Valencia as an unknown – everyone knew they had acquired former major finalist Mikail ‘Maikelele’ Bill but were uncertain on the team’s level as they had not yet played on LAN or faced this type of opposition.

Their group matched the Swedes against fellow countrymen Ninjas in Pyjamas as well as two North American teams in CLG and NRG. My sole reason for tuning into the series was because I was an advocate of Maikelele when he played for the Ninjas and I wanted to see what he saw in this new squad. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

A fragging leader

Hampus had some of the best stats at Dreamhack. [Source: HLTV]

Leading Maikelele and crew was eighteen-year-old Hampus ‘hampus’ Poser. The teenager seemed to be something rarely found: a fragging in-game leader. He was fantastic against Heroic in the semifinal and almost single-handedly took the game to a third map. On the map in question, Overpass, Hampus anchored the B bomb site, earning an array of multi-kills and boasting an ADR of 103.9 and a KAST* of 83.3%. Even in their previous series against CLG, he was only out-fragged by the team’s main AWPer.

A note I made on the strategic side of Red Reserve was that they had a heavy focus on Molotov based executes. As opposed to saving the Molotov’s for post-plant they would use four or five to safely clear the site. This meant that they were taking less 50/50 aim duels. They also seemed to have flashbangs left on players late in the round, making it possible for them to clutch many 2vX situations.

A deadly duo

The man in charge of the AWP was one of Red Reserve’s twins, Joakim ‘Relaxa’ Gustafsson. Unlike most top level AWPers such as KennyS or Fallen, Relaxa isn’t flashy but consistent down range. A trait mostly overlooked nowadays, he never missed shots he was supposed to hit. Similarly to Hampus, Relaxa was also an anchor on their favorite map Mirage. The player was quintessential in their CT side setup playing from CT spawn. Not only did he lock down the A site but also sniped down the tunnel into mid with deadly effect. Below is a clip of him popping off a little bit.

Now everyone loves a set of twins and this time is no different. Tipped by analysts as the next big Swedish player, Relaxa’s brother Fredrik ‘FREDDyFROG’ Gustafsson is a strong well-rounded player who is particularly good in the clutch. Although his performance dropped off as they faced tougher opponents, he was influential in their series against the Americans. If he can start to bring some of those plays to the worlds’ best he’ll definitely catch the eye of the top Swedish teams.

Right-hand men

The final two players to discuss are Alfred ‘RuStY’ Karlsson and Maikelele. These two seemed to be Hampus’ right-hand men. Whatever he needed them to do, they would do. RuStY, in particular, was impressive because of his ability to dedicate himself to entrying when needed. All though it had varied success, I believe one of the hardest things to do in Counter-Strike is fully dedicate yourself to entrying. On the CT side, he would provide utility for his star players to garner opening frags.

Maikelele had a pretty quiet tournament overall. He ran the second AWP when needed, but other than that usually he’d get one kill before being traded out. However having Maikelele for the future is a huge bonus as he is a player that can come alive at any time. When he’s having one of his days with the AWP he is near unstoppable, which he proved back in his days on NiP. His best map was the one which took them to the grand final where he netted 33 kills, demonstrating his tendency to show up when it matters.

CS:GO conclusions

Although it could be argued that Red Reserve should have never made it past CLG after Koosta’s mishap. The team showed great resilience, playing twelve maps in total, especially after their embarrassing opener against the Ninjas in Pyjamas. It did, however, make them all the more exciting to watch because every time it came down to winning they did so. They even gave NiP a run for their money on Mirage in the grand final. I believe Red Reserve has a bright future with Hampus at the helm and the likes of Freddy and Relaxa leading the charge.

Call of Duty and the Global Pro League

After finishing top eight at one of Call of Duty’s biggest events, MLG Anaheim, it seemed unfair that Red Reserve’s Call of Duty team was pitted against season one champions Splyce and a revitalized eUnited in the Global Pro League. Despite narrowly missing out on the playoffs on map count, they proved themselves to be a menacing team heading into the World Championships.

Europeans on the rise

European Call of Duty, in general, is trending at the moment, with Splyce winning the first season of the Global Pro League and Epsilon blossoming. There’s no better time than now to start getting behind another upcoming EU team.

The Red Reserve roster consists of Urban, Seany, Rated and Joe. Rated is the most recent addition to the squad, though he played with them earlier in the year. The change came as a surprise to many when his former team placed above Red Reserve last season but he still opted to make the move. The deciding factor was his chemistry with Joe, as the pair placed second at the World Championships last year and have played alongside each other for the majority of their careers.

Rated left Elevate to join Red Reserve. [Source: MLG]

Having a team you can rely on is essential in any sort of competition and it definitely showed in their play. In Crusher Search and Destroy versus eUnited, they made numerous plays that required full commitment from the team. In one round, instead of defending the bomb after it had been planted, they made a four man push into the base to catch the Americans off guard. And analysts were also full of praise for their judgment to go for straight defuses whilst there are still multiple players alive. This forces the hand of the opposition rather than allowing them to sit back and wait for the retake to come in.

A balanced roster

One aspect of Call of Duty that’s always been exciting is the trash talk and the hype some players bring to the table, and Rated is another one of those players. Over the years, players such as Aches, Clayster and Killa have gained recognition for their ability to throw opposing players off their game. Rated has had the same effect, it was only recently a Reddit thread with back and forth between himself and Zero of Splyce came to light. Not only does his fiery personality shine through on social media, it is replicated through his style in-game. The aggressive assault rifler does not let up on his enemies, pressuring them into making split second decisions.

His buddy Joe also has his own unique playstyle. The Brit likes to get behind enemy lines to kill multiple opponents from angles they don’t expect. He does so by anticipating their rotations and by picking the fastest routes to get there. Admittedly it’s harder to pull off against well-drilled opponents but it will easily upset some of the teams attending the World Championship.

Their NV4 player Seany has only recently popped up on my radar. Easily their best player over the course of their GPL weekend, Seany was earning killstreaks map after map with his laser like shot. These killstreaks mean that even if they are beat off of rotation they can be used to resecure the spawns for the upcoming hardpoint. If he can bring the same consistency to the World Championship, Red Reserve can rely on those streaks to break some of the more challenging Hardpoints against the most challenging opponents.

Finally, we have Urban. This guy has spent most of his professional career on Team Infused with MarkyB. They had many first place finishes at European LANs but were unable to replicate the same success overseas. During this time Urban has gained a wealth of experience and has started putting it to use on Red Reserve. For me, he can be the star player of this team if he can elevate his play ever so slightly. He’s a danger with any sort of weapon and can clutch up victories in any of the game types.

Call of Duty Conclusions

For you CoD fans this is an entertaining team to watch because of the variety of play styles on display that’s slowly being matched with strong calling. They are a team that goes against the curve and I think they’ll surprise many at CWL Championship. They may just become the giant killers and knock off teams we expect to place top eight.


You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. You can find me on Twitter at @JackWrightIGL. Feature image courtesy of redreserve.gg

*ADR means average damage per round and KAST stands for Kill, Assist, Survive or Trade percentage.

 

Value of pro player input in Call of Duty WWII

Scrolling through Twitter this morning, I saw a Tweet by Patrick “ACHES” Price stating that he had been working on the upcoming CoD title with Sledgehammer. He went on to hype his followers up by saying he was extremely excited about the future because of it.

Whilst reading through the replies I noticed two people arguing about how Call of Duty is changing. Changing in its efforts to become a top esport and how the developers are forgetting about the more casual fan base by only inviting competitors to test the new game out. This got me thinking about how esports players helping to develop the game not only helps competitive but also the casual fan base. So here I am writing an article about it.

Why esports players and not casual players?

This argument is mostly redundant since the recent E3 gave many casual CoD fans the chance to test the game out and give feedback. Although many of the attendees might have been YouTubers or celebrities and their feedback is useful, they don’t play the game at the level of esports pros or invest the same amount of time into it.

Esports players are more qualified to give their input on the game than the more casual player. Aches, for example, has been competing in Call of Duty since Modern Warfare and probably played long before that. To reach the highest level someone has to dedicate all of their spare time into playing the game. For most professional gamers I would assume that to be anywhere between eight to twelve hours a day.

ACHES is one of the most successful Call of Duty professionals of all time. [Source: MLG]

In my opinion, someone who spends that much time playing Call of Duty probably knows more about the game than any other player or even developer. Why shouldn’t they have the chance to voice their opinions and concerns? Sadly, the more casual player would most likely disagree, but let me explain.

They only use one gun though?

I have seen players use the argument that professional players only use a minute amount of the arsenal available. However, this is another misconception from the casual community on the competitive scene. On the game’s release, competitive players spend hours upon hours grinding the game in an attempt to figure out the best weapons and attachments. It’s only in recent years that we’ve been restricted to few weapons because they are simply a cut above the rest of the options.

For example, back in Call of Duty Ghosts the main assault rifle was the Remington R5. It was almost pin point accurate with a moderate rate of fire and strong time to kill. For those that can remember, if you ever tried to use one of the other options, such as the SC-2010, against a competent player you would lose almost every time. While the SC-2010 was more accurate and had a faster fire rate it’s time to kill was much longer and therefore was never used in professional play.

Infinite Warfare’s NV4 [Source: thejackalgaming.com]

In Infinite Warfare, we are lucky that we have two competitive assault rifles in the NV4 and the KBAR. They are both used in competitive play because the latter allows for more mid-range gun fights with its higher fire rate, meaning it can be used in and around the hardpoints. Furthermore, the NV4 holds its own place even though it has a slightly lower time to kill it is more accurate, meaning it can easily be utilized to lock down favorable spawns. Although, the submachine gun category is not so lucky with just the ERAD being a viable option.

In public matches, the players who want the best kill death ratio or a nuke will also use the best guns. I’m sure any casual player has been repeatedly killed by the KBAR while trying to use the Karma submachine gun. This is where pro players come into the equation – they also want more variation just for a different reason.

By having these players test the weaponry before the game is even out, we are more likely to end up with a balanced choice on release. Players like Aches will be able to tell when a gun is too overpowered in comparison to another and will be able to suggest realistic changes to balance the weapon.

Having balanced weapons leads to a more competitive game as it means players are on a more even battleground and can use what they feel comfortable with to win, whether that be in multiplayer or competitive.

Competitive doesn’t mean esports

This leads onto another point in that competitive and esports are also two separate things that players confuse. I’m sure one idea pro players are pushing is the addition of a rewarding ranked playlist. We haven’t had a competitive playlist that felt both fun and rewarding to play since Black Ops 2 and is something I think has been sorely missed.

The old League Play system provided some of the most fun I’ve had with Call of Duty and it was with a bunch of friends who didn’t care about MLG or Gamebattles because at the heart of any player is the will to win because winning is fun. Whether that be in Team Deathmatch or on the main stage at the World Championship. Quite an extreme example, but you get the point.

Climbing League Play’s various ranks made Black Ops 2 a hit. [Source: callofduty.com]

Ranked play is somewhere in the middle where you can head into a game easily but know that everyone is playing to win. The professional players can help develop the mode since it leans towards their area of expertise and can input various ideas of their own and ones they have seen from other esports and suggest what would work best in Call of Duty.

These are just some of my thoughts on the situation you can add to the discussion by letting me know some of your own points.


You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. You can find me on Twitter at @JackWrightIGL. Feature images courtesy of activision.com and MLG.

FaZe Clan and eUnited swap Clayster and Gunless

The pre-Global Pro League Stage Two rostermania was expected to be an entertaining one, but it turned out to be almost uneventful. However, one high-profile roster swap made the anticipation worth it.

FaZe Clan dropped team captain James “Clayster” Eubanks and swapped him out for Pierce “Gunless” Hillman. This was the first roster change for FaZe in over two years, leaving OpTic Gaming as the longest standing roster in competitive Call of Duty. Mindfreak would have that honor, but they played without Denholm “Denz” Taylor for Stage One of the Global Pro League before picking him up again. Clayster took Gunless’ place on eUnited.

In their announcement, FaZe called Gunless “Call of Duty’s fastest rising talent”, which is supported by the fact that Gunless’ resume was not very impressive before Infinite Warfare. This year, though, he managed to win CWL Atlanta with eUnited and was named MVP in that tournament.

Image: FaZe Clan

Gunless’ position with eUnited had been on the bench since the Stage One playoffs when eUnited placed 5th-6th and he decided to explore other options as a result.

“I brought this up to my organization that I had offers on the table and I wanted to explore them and I tried to come to a decision with them peacefully but they wouldn’t budge and wouldn’t allow me to leave for a better team that could benefit my career a lot,” he said in a Twitlonger post.

While he was not yet free to join another team, Gunless chose not to play with his eUnited teammates from that point on and did not play at CWL Anaheim.

Clayster joining eUnited was not entirely a surprise. After Stage One playoffs, where FaZe placed third, Clayster teamed with eUnited and they played under the alternative alias “Billy has no thumbs” for an MLG 2K series, and won. But later at CWL Anaheim, Clayster was still with FaZe and eUnited used Michael “Swarley” Carter as a substitute.

Neither FaZe nor eUnited had the tournament they wanted at CWL Anaheim. FaZe placed 13th-16th while eUnited finished 9th-12th, both severely lower than the teams had done in earlier LAN events. Both teams, however, have been on the brink of being the best in Infinite Warfare throughout the season and one of them may now be able to claim that title.

In a year where no team has consistently been a favorite to win, the roster swap between FaZe and eUnited is an effort to improve team chemistry before the home stretch of the Infinite Warfare season.

Stage Two of the Global Pro League starts on June 30th and concludes with playoffs at the end of July. On August 9th, the CWL Championship begins in Orlando, Florida.

How do you expect FaZe and eUnited to perform with their new rosters? Comment below!


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Image: eUnited Twitter

Luminosity Gaming wins CWL Anaheim

Luminosity destroyed European hopes of back to back championships in a nail-biting Grand Final at CWL Anaheim.

Call of Duty’s most historic event saw a repeat of the Stage One finals between Luminosity and Splyce. However, this time the roles were reversed. Luminosity reached the Grand Final through the winners’ bracket, while, Splyce had a strenuous Sunday after dropping to the losers’ bracket following an early loss to fellow countrymen Epsilon.

After narrowly beating OpTic Gaming in the first round of the bracket, Luminosity would go on to sweep Evil Geniuses and Epsilon to cement their spot in the Grand Final.

Grand Final

As many know, Anaheim is illustrious for creating epic games and this one was no different despite the 3-1 score line.

The Grand Final series opened up with Scorch Hardpoint, where LG jumped out to a lead. Splyce would crawl back into the game on the second rotation of hills. It looked like Sam “Octane” Larew had put the nail in the coffin after going on an insane streak of kills in the hangar Hardpoint. However, with LG needing only one point to win, Splyce contested the hill for around 30 seconds, eventually closing the deficit and snatching the win 250-249. To see the exciting end just watch this clip.

Game two was Search and Destroy on Crusher. The teams traded rounds, although Luminosity was much more consistent throughout the game and looked experts at holding and retaking bomb sites. The scoreline looks close but Luminosity looked in control throughout the map and won it.

Map three was Throwback Uplink, which started out relatively slow with the first half ending at just 5-3. LG was on the attack for the majority of that half but didn’t convert many chances that were until the second half. All of the NA team went on a tear in the second half ending the game 11-5 after rallying the drone multiple times. Throwback was a pleasure to watch with both Octane and Trei “Zer0” Morris showing off their superb accuracy, gunning people down from range with the NV4.

The final map in the series was Retaliation Hardpoint which again went down to the wire. Similarly to game one, Luminosity jumped out to the lead with MVP Octane going on a seven kill streak and earning his bombardment. However, Splyce came back after Octane wasted his streaks allowing Jordan “Jurd” Crowley to get some of his own. The game came down to the bridge hill with all the players piling in like a game of Advanced Warfare. This time Renato “Saints” Forza secured key kills to win the championship for his squad.

Closing Thoughts

Octane earned the MVP award for the event. [Source CWL]

As they did in Counter-Strike, the Luminosity organization has seemingly plucked out another rising team that has won them a championship. Casters, analysts and players have been tipping the team to reach the top for a while now and they have finally succeeded in doing so. Octane earned the MVP award but it was Saints’ revitalisation that truly gave them the power to win.

Although Splyce did not win the Grand Final, they too deserve huge credit. Reaching the final has further merited their win at Stage One after defeating a string of teams in the losers’ bracket and still showing up in the Grand Final. Bance was crazy with the ERAD this event, scoring multi-kill after multi-kill, while Zer0 made a case for being the best player in the world.

This year Anaheim has gifted us a new rivalry and I fully expect to see a rematch between these two titans in Stage Two playoffs of the World League.


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