The secret to Team Kalibers Success

The secret to Team Kaliber’s success

TK All Day

Team Kaliber is defying every metric we have found necessary in the past three years. Yet, they are still making history and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. After CWL Nola, Team Kaliber has joined an illustrious group of teams that have won back to back events, such as OpTic, coL and Impact.

Although Team Kaliber has joined the ranks of the Call of Duty elite, the way they have started this run can’t be compared to any other team. Team Kaliber ended CWL Nola with an overall team K/D of 0.96. Dylan “Theory” McGee finished the event with a 0.78, which is the lowest K/D by a player on a winning team in Call of Duty History. Yet, it gets weirder. Martin “Chino” Chino finished with a 1.05, Kenny “Kenny” Williams finished with a 1.04 and Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi with a 0.99.

The Secrets to Team Kalibers Success

Photo: Dot Esports

Stats Do Lie?

No player on Team Kaliber lit up the stat sheet, but for anyone who watched, they passed the eye test with flying colors. Watching Team Kaliber, and looking at a stat sheet after the event makes you question the overall stats they finished the weekend with. The truth lies in what has been over looked in the jet pack era.

Much of Team Kaliber’s success can be attributed to their roles being very clear for each individual player. In the jet pack era, roles were nearly nonexistent, with players being responsible for a little bit of everything. Call of Duty WWII finds itself going back to set roles for players, not exactly the same, but similar to the golden era of Black Ops 2. What needs clarification is that although roles are back, the specifics of roles are very different from days of old, and this may be where Team Kaliber has the upper hand over the competition.

The Secrets to Team Kalibers Success

Photo: Dexerto

Roles are Back

The terms Slayer and Objective player are still here, but how the roles are played are very different for the boys on Team Kaliber.

One notable change is that the main Objective player for Team Kaliber in Hardpoint is Accuracy, their main AR. What this lets the squad do is push out the hills farther and allow a bigger margin for error. With an AR sitting in hill it allows the SMG players to push farther out for cuts. This forces opposing teams to battle for the hill much farther up the map. Team Kaliber doesn’t allow teams to get from spawn to hill without contest. Slayers’ roles are transformed from roamers to essentially the first players pushed up on lanes.

Due to this you will see K/D’s fall. However, by being so pushed up and in front of the hill, it allows them to spawn back at the hill as the next team is arriving. It’s something very common to what we saw last year in Frost Uplink. Team Kaliber forces two sets of kills before gaining access to the hill.

A notable reason why many other teams don’t seem to use this same tactic is that the gunfights you are taking further up the map are less suitable than one closer to hill. However, the ability for Team Kaliber to have essentially two chances to defend their hill makes the loss of potential gunfights farther up the hill a benefit. If they are forced to defend the hill a second time, they are now in the more advantageous positions. Team Kaliber forces teams to essentially break the hill twice before getting time. Against one of the talented teams in the game so far, just one break would be considered a success.

 

The Champions Mold

Every championship roster in Call of Duty has had a roster that fits into this mold, but does Team Kaliber fit the bill? The mold consists of four specific types of players, no matter the game.

Firstly, you need your team based around top tier AR and SMG Slayers. Although they are easy to find, they tend to be harder to get. This is what causes big organizations in Call of Duty to maintain their success year after year, always keeping the cream of the crop AR and SMG Slayers in house.

The next position you need to fill is your flex, objective role. The guy who may take a backseat from headlines to do what needs to be done (the Kevin Love role). The final player needed is your SnD player. Not only a player who can make plays, but someone who is always consistent, strong under pressure and can be relied on in Call of Duty’s most inconsistent game mode.

 

Top tier AR – Chino, Top tier SMG – Kenny

This is the backbone of the squad. A duo that should be considered the best in the game. There is not one player in either role that you can point to that has performed better than either of these players all year.

Kevin Love – Theory

Theory has had an absolute 180 in his career this year. He sits in what is a very laid back, nice guy squad as the perfect leader. Not the flashiest player, not the best slayer, maybe not even the best leader. But there is no doubt he is the best leader for Team Kaliber. It is easy to say anyone in his position would flourish, and maybe they would. However, it’s hard to imagine the same consistency Team Kaliber brings without having Theory on the squad. He is surrounded by some of the best players in the world currently, but he is the guy who takes the sacrifice for the greater success of the team, and that’s much easier said than done.

The Secrets to Team Kalibers Success

Photo: Dexerto

SnD Star – Accuracy

This term has attracted some heat in recent years, but this is not the same type of SnD Star. We are not talking about the 14 year old with a keyboard and 1000 up/down for internet. We are talking about a player who plays the game one step ahead, and can be relied on for results in the most unexpected situations.

Let me be the first to say, I never would have thought this player could be Accuracy, even after Dallas I was doubtful. After CWL Nola, I bit the bullet, Accuracy is here to stay. He plays with a confidence, a trust in his teammates that you would expect in a previous champ. The thing with Accuracy is he has been a scapegoat for as long as I can remember his name in the scene. Always the player who would be the first dropped or the last to be picked up.

It very well may be that all he needed to make the jump to an elite level player was the support of his teammates. Accuracy walked away from CWL Nola with a 1.43 SnD K/D, the highest on his team. As much as many still doubt him, you can look to Accuracy to be the player grabbing victory out of the jaws of defeat for Team Kaliber all year long.

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Featured Image courtesy of VentureBeat.

Stats courtesy of CodCompStats.

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 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.

 

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Ghost Gaming enters Call of Duty with signing of ex-BitterSweet roster

The only new addition to the Global Pro League (GPL) now has a new name. The roster that earned their spot ahead of CWL Anaheim originally played under the name Supreme Team before signing a contract with BitterSweet, but they were never expected to play under that organization come the GPL. After negotiations, the team consisting of Mike “SpaceLy” Schmale, Chance “Maux” Moncivaez, Andres “Lacefield”, and Devin “LlamaGod” Tran has been signed by Ghost Gaming.

The negotiations between BitterSweet and Ghost Gaming arrived at an agreement: $50k signing bonus (split) and $4k monthly salaries (each). Without other salaries easily obtainable for comparison, it’s difficult to tell how this stacks up with other professional Call of Duty teams, but it surely shows that Call of Duty esports has come a long way. Just a few years ago, salaries were unheard of.

BitterSweet owner Alex Gonzalez confirmed with The Game Haus that his organization will not be taking a cut from the deal with Ghost Gaming, holding true to his previous promise that all money involved would go directly to the players.

Ghost Gaming qualified for the GPL after defeating eRa Eternity and Tainted Minds in the relegation tournament. They will be the only team in Stage Two that did not play in Stage One, taking the spot of European team Millenium.

Ghost Gaming is relatively new to esports and has not previously held a Call of Duty team. However, they also have teams in CS:GO and Gears of War. The CS:GO team is currently participating in the ESL Pro League and the Gears team has placed third at three major events since January.

Team manager Rob Stamey told The Game Haus that the organization had been looking for a Call of Duty team to represent them for some time.

“When I found out SpaceLy was looking for an organization I knew automatically we would go after him as he fits our organizational lifestyle and future vision. He also brings in three players with endless potential all three who have been in the trenches and proven themselves at the highest level,” Stamey said.

In the Call of Duty Global Pro League, Ghost Gaming will make their debut in week two of Stage Two when they take on FaZe Clan, Enigma6, and Elevate. FaZe will be playing without their former captain, James “Clayster” Eubanks, after swapping him for Pierce “Gunless” Hillman, who made a name for himself on eUnited. Ghost Gaming, while playing under the BitterSweet banner, placed 9th-12th at CWL Anaheim, better than both FaZe and Elevate. Without knowing how well the new FaZe roster meshes and Ghost Gaming not previously playing in the Global Pro League, this group may be the most competitive of Stage Two.

Ghost Gaming will be boot camping at their head offices to prepare for the GPL. Let us know how you think they will perform in the comments below!


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Image: Major League Gaming

 

 

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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Str8 Rippin look to tear through the competition at CWL Anaheim

A few days ago, Str8 Rippin made the announcement that they have acquired a Call of Duty team. This was news that shocked many people in the esports world.

Str8 Rippin is an esports organization that has been around since as early as 2006. When you think of Str8 Rippin, the main person that comes to mind would be Halo pro Tom “TSquared” Taylor. Even though he was one of their most successful players and is closely associated with the org, he did not create it. He does, however, continue to be a major part in the management of things to this day. Str8 Rippin is currently being managed by Tom with the help of Everett “Small” Coleman, and Lalo aka “Muggsy”. This org has been making noise in the competitive Halo scene for years, and now they are expanding into Call of Duty.

Str8 Rippin’s Call of Duty Roster

The biggest part of this whole deal is the acquisition of Jeremy “StuDyy” Astacio from Evil Geniuses. After the first stage of the Global Pro League, Evil Geniuses made a roster change which caused StuDyy to lose his spot on the team. This meant he was up for grabs by any other org that would be willing to pick him up. Str8 Rippin hopped on it very quickly and acquired him.

Having a veteran like StuDyy on your team is a great way to make your debut into the Call of Duty competitive scene. His competitive resume is quite impressive.

Along with StuDyy comes an impressive roster to back him up. Ricky Stacy aka “Ricky” has played for both OpTiC Gaming and OpTiC Nation as well as Cloud9 and other major orgs. He has numerous top four finishes on his resume. Jonathan “SinfuL” Baez also spent some time on OpTiC Nation as well as teams such as Echo Fox, Strictly Business, and vVv Gaming. Meanwhile, Brandon “Dashy” Otell is one of the hottest up and coming amateur players trying to make his big break.

CWL Anaheim

Over the years, Anaheim has been home to some of the largest Call of Duty events. The crowds come in masses to watch their favorite teams compete.

This event will be an “open” tournament, meaning anyone who pays for a team pass will be able to fight their way through the open tournament brackets for a chance to duke it out with the pros later on in the tournament. Since Str8 Rippin did not qualify for pool play, they will be forced to enter as an amateur team and play their way through the open brackets to make it there. With a strong roster, Str8 Rippin is one team expected to make a big run.

CWL Anaheim takes place this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center with a total prize pool of $200,000. Look for Str8 Rippin to come out and show the world that they are here to tear up the competition. How well do you think they will do this weekend?


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Images courtesy of Str8 Rippin

Bittersweet signs Supreme Team after they qualified for CWL

The day before CWL Anaheim, eight teams were at the venue early for a special event. Four of them had played in Stage One of the Global Pro League and the other four, previously considered amateur teams on the circuit, earned their right to be there after online qualifiers. They were playing in a double elimination relegation tournament, and only half would qualify for to compete in Stage Two and a spot in pool play for CWL Anaheim.

The first round of the bracket paired a Stage One team with a challenger looking to take their place. Cloud9 looked weak in Stage One and were the only North American team to be relegated, but after replacing Andres “Lacefield” and “Ricky” Stacy with Preston “Priest” Greiner and John “Xotic” Bruno, they managed to start strong with a quick 3-0 of European challenger Supremacy. Meeting them in the second round were Tainted Minds, the sole APAC team in the bracket who upset Millenium in the first round. To reclaim their spot in the Global Pro League, Cloud9 defeated Tainted Minds, who were then sent to the loser’s bracket for one last shot.

On the other side of the bracket, Red Reserve, a top European team who were surprisingly relegated in Stage One, faced challengers eRa Eternity. Red Reserve made a roster change several weeks earlier, bringing Rhys “Rated” Price back in place of “Niall” Sunderland. Red managed to requalify for the Global Pro League without dropping a map, defeating both eRa and FNATIC 3-0. FNATIC, another European roster, had defeated Supreme Team in round one.

CWL Stage 2 Relegation Playoffs bracket [CoD World League]

In the end, only one challenger team managed to qualify for Stage Two. The North American roster Supreme Team, now acquired by esports organization Bittersweet, will be making their debut in the CWL Global Pro League fielding a roster consisting of Michael “SpaceLy” Schmale, Chance “Maux” Moncivaez, Andres “Lacefield”, and Devin “LlamaGod” Tran. Of these players, only Lacefield played in Stage One. Both Bittersweet and FNATIC made it through the loser’s bracket to qualify and will also be playing in pool play tomorrow for CWL Anaheim.

Bittersweet team owner Alex Gonzalez told The Game Haus, “Our team felt very confident in qualifying – with the experience of a veteran player like Mike [SpaceLy] leading the team of newer players, I didn’t expect anything else.”

As an organization, Bittersweet has been involved in Call of Duty esports since 2015. They briefly fielded rosters throughout Advanced Warfare and in Black Ops III.

The new Bittersweet roster is their best yet. Each of the four players has had successful competitive careers and are not strangers to the level of competition the Global Pro League has to offer.

“I expect our team to perform well in stage two of the CWL, they’re fresh into the league and obviously want to prove they can compete at the highest level,” said Gonzalez.

Catch Bittersweet and the rest of the action from CWL Anaheim tomorrow on MLG.tv.


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Ones to Watch – CWL Stage 1 Playoffs

The playoffs of Call of Duty’s first ever LAN league are upon us. With only eight teams remaining every matchup has the potential to be a thriller. While some games may be more clear-cut than others, in this article, I’m going to be looking at my players to watch for each match if the underdogs are going to emerge victoriously.

James “Clayster” Eubanks

Call of Duty’s longest standing rivalry goes head to head again in the first match between OpTic and FaZe. It’s a shame this game isn’t deeper in the bracket, making the action that much more intense. While it’s no secret that OpTic Gaming is the world number one right now, Clayster could be the catalyst for a FaZe win.

This FaZe roster has been competing together since Advanced Warfare. [Source: Gfinity]

Although the chances of beating such an incredibly dominant team are slim, if anyone is going to reignite the FaZe of old it has to be their captain. Clayster has won all types of championships ranging from Gold Medals to World Championships. A player like that only stays down for so long. We’ve seen him dust himself off after being dropped from Complexity in favor of now OpTic player Damon “Karma” Barlow, and later being kicked from OpTic themselves. There’s no reason why he can’t do it now.

There is no doubt that FaZe is a talented squad which they have demonstrated in the past; they are just missing that level of coordinated teamwork that OpTic and eUnited have. If Clayster can open up the series well, it could give the rest of the team the confidence they need to win. In OpTic’s YouTube series Vision, Karma stated that FaZe was the easiest matchup they could have gotten. It’s up to Clayster and the rest of FaZe to prove them wrong.

Josiah “Slacked” Berry

The match between Team EnVyUs and Luminosity is somewhat murky. Probably the least predictable of the lot, EnVy looked seemingly stronger in the group stage. However, they played worse opposition in Cloud9 and Mindfreaks. I believe that LG will take this series, but if they are to beat consistent players like Apathy and JKap, then it will be through youngster Slacked.

Slacked showed his potential playing for UNiTE Gaming back in Black Ops 2. Since then he has had a number of top finishes under Most Wanted, Elevate, and Rise Nation.
Since joining the organization Luminosity Gaming, the team has been unable to replicate the results from the previous year. They have flown just under the radar finishing 5th – 6th, 4th and 7th – 8th at the premiere events in Infinite Warfare.

Slacked won two tournaments under Rise Nation [Source: CWL]

However, LG made waves in group stages of the Global Pro League after claiming the second seed and taking a series off of eUnited. Their much-improved Search and Destroy was a reason for their boost in success.

Slacked had the highest KD ratio across all members of his team topping the board in that very game type, whilst competing for the top spot with the likes of Octane and Saints in Hardpoint and Uplink. If that slaying continues into the playoffs, it’s likely they will best rocky reigning World Champions Team EnVyUs.

Jordon “General” General

Since bursting onto the scene in Advanced Warfare, General has been hailed for his deadly Assault Rifle play. If his team Enigma 6 is to overcome giant-killers eUnited, then he will have to be at his best to beat his counterpart Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson.

General created the organization Enigma6. [Source: Dexerto]

Enigma6’s best game type in the group stage was Uplink in which they only lost once to OpTic Gaming. It’s no surprise that General led the fragging in that game type, controlling large portions of the map with his assault rifle.

At CWL Las Vegas, E6 took down OpTic Gaming in the group stage showing that when the pressure is off they can perform. In this quarter-final, they will have to defeat a team of similar caliber with much more on the line if they are to earn that place in the semi-finals.

Anthony “NAMELESS” Wheeler

NAMELESS proved to be a big threat in the group stages. [Source: CWL]

By now everyone is aware of the shocking feat Evil Geniuses achieved in the group stage. NAMELESS’ KBAR wreaked havoc in the latter half of group blue. However, their opponents, Europe’s final hope, Splyce has seen much more consistent results than their group stage opposition. If Evil Geniuses are to continue the Cinderella story NAMELESS will have to carry his form from the groups over into the playoffs.

Similarly to the other leaders in Clayster and General if NAMELESS can lead the team from the top of the scoreboard it will likely spur the rest of his team on to reach their heights.

An interesting note about EG is that they are a team capable of performing under pressure. This can be seen from how they qualified for the GPL in the first place and from how they bounced back in the group stages.

Splyce will be a formidable opponent with most people pegging them to take the victory. An intriguing stat on the Europeans is that they won 83% of their games despite being out slain in the majority of them. This shows that NAMELESS will need more than just raw skill to take them down, but I’m sure such a storied veteran is up to the task.

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. Feature image courtesy of callofduty.com

Global Pro League Stage One Playoffs Breakdown and Predictions

After four weeks of intense competition at the MLG Arena in Columbus, only half of the regular season teams remain. EnVy, Splyce, Evil Geniuses, FaZe, eUnited, Luminosity, OpTic, and Enigma6 will battle next weekend for their share of a $500,000 prize pool. Yesterday MLG held a live bracket draw to fill out the first round matches of the S1 Playoffs.

This is without a doubt the most stacked bracket we have seen in a tournament thus far in Infinite Warfare. While the top half of the bracket seems to be more stacked than the bottom, there are plenty of chances for upsets.

Stage One Playoff Bracket

OpTic v FaZe

At the very top of the bracket, OpTic and FaZe will meet in the first round. This matchup has always been a classic in Call of Duty esports. At both CWL Paris and Dallas this year, OpTic was able to defeat FaZe with relative ease.

While OpTic went 6-0 in their group in the GPL, FaZe struggled after a strong Friday. They would end up finishing 3-3, mounting an incredible comeback against Rise Nation to secure their spot in the S1 Playoffs.

Prediction: OpTic 3-1

OG and FaZe’s GPL stats

EnVy v Luminosity

Moving down the bracket, the next first round match will be between EnVy and Luminosity. EnVy, the reigning CoD World Champions, has yet to rebound to their dominant form last seen in Black Ops 3. They were able to top their group in Week One, going 5-1 overall, however that was against a shaky Cloud9 and Mindfreak.

Luminosity is another team that many are touting as having not reached their true potential. During their week at the GPL, Luminosity showed their improvement in SnD, a game mode that has haunted them throughout IW. Most notably they were able to defeat eUnited in their last match of the group to clench their Playoff birth.

Prediction: Luminosity 3-2

LG and EnVy’s GPL stats

eUnited v Enigma6

On the other side of the bracket we have eUnited going up against Enigma6. This matchup appears to be the most lopsided game of all the first round matchups.

After an impressive win at CWL Atlanta and a hard fought second place finish at CWL Dallas, both against OpTic, eUnited has become regarded as the second best team in the world. eUnited went 5-1 in their group, only losing 3-2 against Luminosity in their last match.

Enigma6 made waves early in IW at CWL Vegas, but have yet to repeat that success. During their week at the GPL, they went 4-2 overall in series. Both losses came from OpTic, 3-1 and 3-0.

Prediction: eUnited 3-0

eUnited and E6’s GPL stats

Evil Geniuses v Splyce

The last first round matchup will be between Evil Geniuses and the only European team to make it to S1 Playoffs, Splyce. 

EG caused a huge upset during their week at the GPL, finishing in first after a 0-2 start to the weekend.

Splyce would finish second in their group, losing the first place seed to EnVy by one map win. While some may still doubt Europe’s chances against the top-tier NA teams, Splyce have proven they’re no pushovers.

Prediction: Splyce 3-1

EG and Splyce’s GPL stats


Jack Waters is an avid Call of Duty Esports fan and wants to hear from YOU! Comment below. 

Images: MLG.tv

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