maniaKK

What does Maniakk’s roster change means for EU SPL and SWC?

What it means for Obey

João ‘maniaKK’ Ferreira with his move to NRG has put a massive spanner in the works for Obey’s SWC hopes. There are two aspects to the way in which it affects Obey. The first is what they lose in maniaKK, who is one of the premier solo lanes in theworld. Since his return to the SPL at the beginning of the season he has been a force to be reckoned with. Of his caliber, he is probably the most aggressive solo laner in the SPL.

This is shown by his revival of Osiris in the solo-lane. Being one of the if not the solo laner who put Osiris back at the top of the solo lane meta. He is also incredibly mechanically gifted. Craig ‘iRaffer’ Rathbone recently gave testament to this in a recent interview. iRaffer spoke about how in scrims being on 1 health was terrifying as maniaKK is pretty much unjukable. maniaKK also brings more in terms of intangibles but more on that later when we talk about what NRG are gaining.

maniaKK

Image courtesy of obeyalliance.com

Possibly what is a bigger problem for Obey is not what they have lost, but what are they going to get? At the moment there are three premier solo laners in Europe, Adrian ‘Deathwalker’ Benko, maniaKK and Harry ‘Variety’ Cumming.

The problem is two of them in the last two splits alone have left Obey, so that leaves Deathwalker as the only premier solo laner who hasn’t recently left Obey. I think I can say without too much contestation that Obey will not be getting Deathwalker any time soon.

This leaves Obey with only three realistic options for a like for like replacement. First of them is James ‘Duck3y’ Heseltine who is currently the solo laner Eanix who has showed a lot of promise in the solo lane. The next would be Ofer ‘N0Numbers’ Rind who is currently playing for Elevate. Similar to Duck3y in terms of potential and maybe it is time to give one of these players a chance at a genuinely top team.

That being said I do think that Eanix could keep pushing into the top echelon through the next split and maybe even break through completely. The other option is to go for Jeroen ‘Xaliea’ Klaver who is currently a free agent. Xaliea has about as much pedigree in the SPL scene as its possible to get. A player who has been around since the very beginning of the pro scene.

However, towards the end of his time in the Pro League he was not the dominating and innovative solo laner he had been before. This is not to say he can’t come back refreshed and even better, I mean maniaKK has to be the perfect example of how that is possible.

Either way whether they get one of these three or somebody else it has hard to see Obey not downgrading in the solo lane. Quite frankly the best players are already somewhere else and they would have to rebuild synergy with whoever the new member is going to be.

This also brings another issue to the forefront. Right now Obey’s biggest challengers for SWC look to be NRG and Dignitas who between them have two of the three best solo laners in Europe if not the world. This could cause serious problems when SWC comes around as Obey have proven they can compete at the highest level in any other role, with recent changes to their solo that will have to be proven there all over again.

What it means for NRG

I have spoken about the in-game aggression and mechanical ability of maniaKK already so now lets talk about something else he brings. His out-of game aggression. By this I mean his incredible confidence and LAN mentality. If you have been watching Smite for a while now you will have heard all about maniaKK screaming at LAN’s and getting as hyped as anyone in the Smite competitive scene has ever been.

An interesting insight interview iRaffer gave was how maniaKK’s trash talk is effective. iRaffer claimed he was one of the best at getting in peoples heads in the league.

Another factor is who maniaKK is replacing. Peter ‘Dimi’ Dimitrov has not been performing to the high level he made us expect from him recently. iRaffer in his interview explained that Dimi has had to prioritize things like school over playing Smite.

Dimi is a great player but it is incredibly hard to stay at the very top end of a professional game. It is also tough to balance school and being a top tier gaming talent.

Lastly this gives NRG a new start. It represents a clean break from the recent disappointments NRG have suffered. iRaffer in his interview spoke about this saying it has helped pick up NRG and reinvigorate them after the disappointment of Dreamhack Valencia.

Top image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us, as well as Jonathan Walmsley on Twitter for more sports and esports articles.

 

Three things the Summer Split taught us about the SPL

The early game meta is here to stay

It looks like Season 4 of Smite will be defined by the early game meta. It has persisted through the first two Splits of the season and with only one more split to go it is not likely to change. However, this should be qualified, by the fact that it is not quite as pronounced as it was in the Spring Split. Games in the SPL are going much longer, something Mike ‘PolarBearMike’ Heiss pointed out in a recent tweet.

There are two reasons it is here to stay. Firstly, the map, it caters itself to this early game aggression. PBM has a great video on his YouTube explaining this from the perspective of an SPL player.

One of the reasons PBM gives for this is that, the core of the map has been around for a very long time. As such, the players have gotten much better at exploiting the map as they have gotten better and due to playing on the same core for so long.

This leads to the other reason why the early game meta is dominating at the moment. Players and teams improved, becoming better at holding onto leads. As such playing compositions which give you a lead early on are more powerful as SPL teams capitalise on leads much better than before. It is far harder to hold out for 40 minutes and have Kali win you the game like a famous game from Thomas ‘Repikas’ Skallebaek. Obviously the easiest way for Hi-Rez to counteract this is still through map changes.

NRG are still not the force they once were

This is one that a lot of people may be confused about, as NRG were not the dominating team seen in previous seasons last Split. NRG’s history of dominance in not just Europe but the entirety of the Smite scene means one split is not enough to say their era of dominance is over, more data is needed.

Last Split Craig ‘iRaffer’ Rathbone spoke about how at least at the start of the season, NRG were taking things a bit easier to avoid burning out. This was often suggested as a reason why NRG were not performing to their usual standards. This is not to say NRG are performing badly or aren’t still a great team. It is just NRG used to be head and shoulders above the rest of the competitive Smite scene, setting records we are unlikely to see matched. This is the visual representation of NRG’s performance in Season 3.

View post on imgur.com

People suggested that taking their foot off the pedal meant they were slow to catch up to meta or maybe even just a bit rusty. Those excuses are no longer viable. This is unless perhaps burn out has occurred within the ranks of NRG, or some players just aren’t enjoying the game right now. This is something iRaffer admitted too, in what has become an infamous Reddit post about Sunder. Maybe with all the success and the recent complaints about the Smite meta, it has been harder to get as motivated. Something which could very much change going into the Fall Split, as that is the Split leading into SWC. If getting the three-peat and another chance for cash doesn’t motivate them, I’d be very surprised.

Another factor is that the competition is far better this year. It is not as if NRG are playing badly but the new-look Obey is an incredibly strong team, while Dignitas is looking stronger than the old Orbit team. Throughout the league, especially in Europe there are a lot of really high quality teams.

However, saying all this, there is still a not so small part of me that expects iRaffer to lift the golden hammer again this year. I don’t know if it’s because my mind now sees it as routine, or i’m just too nostalgic for my own good, but I have a sneaking suspicion the three-peat is on.

The competition is real!

This is something that has featured in other parts of this article, but deserves its own segment. The competition levels in the SPL have just risen and risen throughout Season 4. While at the end of the Spring Split the gulf between NA and Europe was exposed, there is hope that over this Split that gap will shrink. I think it is still likely that Europe are going to dominate, though hopefully not as much.

Within the regions though the competition is fierce. I think one thing that illustrates this point quite nicely is when you look at 6th place in both regions. Team Allegiance and Elevate are not bad teams, in fact they are good teams who are getting better. This season is the only season in Smite where we would have teams of that caliber so far down the standings.

Look at the top of NA as well, last split Luminosity looked definitively like the best team in the region. This split they just squeezed into the final LAN spot, one point ahead of eUnited in 4th and only two points ahead of Noble in 5th. Noble was a team everyone was writing off at the beginning of the split.

In Europe, the region that got an extra spot to Dreamhack, we had 2nd-4th being fought over up until the last day of competition. Things are really heating up heading into World’s next split. I genuinely think in Europe that the top five teams will all be going into next split thinking they have a realistic chance at being SWC champs.

Image courtesy of tentonhammer.com

 

Top Image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us, as well as Jonathan Walmsley on Twitter for more sports and esports articles.

Who is going to DreamHack Valencia?: How the EU standings could end up

Going into the final week there are numerous permutations the EU side of the league can go through. The two major points of contention are going to be fourth spot and second spot in the EU standings. With first spot already wrapped up for Team Dignitas, it is the other spots which will be grabbing most of our attention.

The Battle for Fourth

Fourth place in EU will be hotly contested this weekend. It will be the last spot sending teams to Valencia. The difference between fourth and fifth spot is the difference between a failed Split and a possibly great Split for these teams.

The two teams desperately trying not to be fifth are Eanix and Team Rival. Team Rival have some slight advantages over Eanix towards this end. The biggest advantage is that they are one point ahead in the standings. This point advantage is compounded by the fact that they also took the set against Eanix 2-0. This means that even if they end up on the same amount of points, Eanix are not going to DreamHack Valencia. What this means is that Eanix need to get a 2-0 this weekend while hoping Rival lose both games in their set.

This brings us to the second advantage, the teams they have to face this weekend. Rival are facing sixth seed Elevate this weekend. They have only managed to secure one set victory this entire split. Sitting at sixth in the standings only ahead of two brand new teams to the SPL, this is a team that Rival should beat.

Image courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2GcC1FKkXY

Team Eanix have much sterner opposition in the current World Champions, NRG. Having to 2-0 the current World Champions going into the final week of the Split rather speaks for itself. They would have to be the first team all Split to pull off this difficult challenge. When we consider as well that Eanix only secured 2-0’s against The Papis and Burrito Esports, the two SPL newcomers, the chances look even worse. There is also the fact that against the top two teams their results have not been overly impressive. They got 2-0’d by Rival and Dignitas, and unfortunately last week they couldn’t put away Elevate, severely hurting their DreamHack chances. Do not expect NRG to take it easy on them either as this week is important for them too, with many permutations in the standings still possible.

The Battle for Second

NRG or Obey could  end up in a tie-breaker for fourth, but both of them will be focusing on how they can get second. Currently NRG and Obey are on 12 points with a 3-3-0 record. If Rival win and either or both these teams get shutout in their sets, we will be in a tie-breaker position for second place. If these three teams all split against each other, a tiebreaker will have to be played, meaning we could end up in a three way tournament for seeding.

Both these teams have the ability to guarantee top three for themselves. Having only to secure a Split to guarantee third or better in the Summer Split. Of course though there is still the possibility of a tie breaker between these teams for the coveted second position. As I mentioned earlier, they are on the same amount of points and went 1-1 in their set this Split.

They are equal in all regards other than the challenges they have ahead this week. NRG are facing Eanix this weekend, a team who I expect to come fifth. Compare that to Obey who are facing Dignitas, the top ranked team in the league this Split. To put into context how great Dignitas has been, they have only lost one game all Split. It took until the last week in the Summer Split for them to drop a game against NRG.

Predictions

Luckily for me, first place is all wrapped up for Dignitas, but this is where I believe the EU standings will finish.

Dignitas 5-2-0 17

NRG  4-3-0   15

Obey 3-4-0  13

Rival 3-3-1  12

Eanix 2-2-3  8

What I believe is most likely to change is that NRG and Eanix will split, resulting in a playoff for second place between NRG and Obey.

Top Image courtesy of esports.smitegame.com

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us, as well as Jonathan Walmsley on Twitter for more sports and esports articles.

What Splyce is doing for European Call of Duty

It was fitting that at the first ever LAN league for Call of Duty history was made. For the first time ever, a European team won a premier international tournament.

The champions, Splyce, consist of long-time veterans Dylan “MadCat” Daly and Jordan “Jurd” Crowley alongside two young stars in Ben “Bance” Bance and Trei “Zer0” Morris. The core of the team has been knocking on the door for a while. They finished second at the Call of Duty World Championship last year and have had notable matches against the likes of OpTic and Rise Nation. Splyce’s slow but sure rise has done wonders for European Call of Duty, and several factors have contributed to their success.

LIKEABILITY

As aforementioned, the squad contains MadCat and Jurd, who have been at the top of EU CoD for some time. These players have generated many followers over the years – something that has been crucial to Splyce’s popularity.

Their fellow teammates in Bance and Zer0 have added firepower and the ability to make game-changing plays. Players with such ability always draw in fans and with the stable support of such consistent veterans can only help. Bance really took off at the 2016 World Championship and was the catalyst for their losers’ bracket run. His impressive performance led to an influx in popularity.

The combination of both older and newer players makes the team enjoyable for all fans.

Bance was a Tour de Force at last year’s World Championship. [Source: MLG]

Even outside of Call of Duty, Splyce as an organization has a growing following. They field a League of Legends team that made it to the finals of the EU LCS in 2016 as well as pro teams in Halo and Gears of War.

Part of the organization’s popularity comes from the fact that they love a project. For example, picking up a European CoD team as opposed to an American one. They also did this in GoW and LoL, fielding a Mexican line-up and an all Danish LCS roster for some time, respectively.

Having such a popular European team not only makes more casual EU CoD fans want to tune in but also the Americans to see if they can take down the NA giants.

WORLD LEAGUE

Another reason for the growth of European CoD was the introduction of the World League. Back in Black Ops 3, the circuit brought in by Activision allowed fans to watch their favorite game being played on a regular schedule every week.

The various 2K series are a nightmare for fans to watch, even the ones for Europeans. But seeing strong teams such as Millennium, Splyce and Team Infused play in a competitive environment every week steadily increased European viewership. However, Splyce was one of few teams who were able to translate those performances to the international stage. They achieved top placings numerous times, at tournaments like ESWC 2016 and of course the World Championship, further increasing fans’ desire to see them play.

BRINGING IT HOME

If Splyce can continue their run of good results and exciting games it may bring international tournaments back to Europe. One of my most memorable events was Gfinity 3. Being from the UK, it was a pleasure to see the Copperbox Arena being filled with Call of Duty fans, even though I couldn’t attend.

The Copperbox Arena, London back in Call of Duty: Ghosts. [Source: Eurogamer]

It’s nice to see Activision pumping money into the circuit here, however, it would attract many more fans if we could have the international teams flying out to compete. If Splyce and other European teams such as Epsilon and Elevate keep contesting NA teams, there might be more events available over here in Europe.

Perhaps if a European were to win the World Championship, the tournament could be brought over to Europe the following year. It would be refreshing to see a change of location and there are many smaller venues in the UK that could be filled with Call of Duty fans. Only time will tell. Maybe if Splyce makes another run to the finals we could see it happen. At this point, it’s not unlikely.

The next big LAN is MLG Anaheim on June 16th-18th, where it will be interesting to see if Splyce can reach newer heights. With eUnited and OpTic dropping out early in Stage One playoffs, many critics will say that Splyce had it easy. It will be on the Brits to prove them wrong and continue to fly the European flag.


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

Global Pro League Week Four Takeaways

The final week of the regular season of the Global Pro League is in the books, and there’s much more CWL action to come. This weekend, we saw North American teams OpTic Gaming and Enigma6 clash with European squads Red Reserve and Elevate. Both NA teams moved on to the Season One Playoffs while the EU teams struggled. Below are our takeaways from the weekend.

OpTic is still the best in the world

OpTic opened the weekend as the highest-ranked team worldwide and demonstrated this by being the only team in all of Stage One to go 6-0 in their group. Although their competition played well against them, OpTic only saw one game 5 the entire weekend. Finishing the group with a 78 percent map win rate, 8 percent more than any other team, OpTic went 18-5 overall. 

After their first series of the weekend against Red Reserve, OpTic player Ian “Crimsix” Porter said on Twitter, “Don’t expect a lot of SND wins in these pool play events, still trying out some new stuff ;).”

With so much on the line, OpTic was confident enough in their gameplay to try out new strategies before heading into Playoffs. All signs point to OpTic being a heavy favorite in the Stage One Playoffs later this month.

Crimsix’s tweet regarding SnD

Enigma6 shows up

After a great performance this weekend, E6 may have silenced the concerns surrounding their current roster.

Earlier in the season after E6 had already qualified for the GPL, it was announced that Mike “MRuiz” Ruiz would be retiring from competitive CoD. Rumors circulated that E6 was attempting to bring on Preston “Priest” Greiner as MRuiz’s replacement. However, with a strong showing by the team this weekend and with Priest joining Cloud9, we may see this E6 squad stay together.

Only losing to OpTic in both of their matchups, Enigma6 ended the weekend with a series score of 4-2, and a 59 percent map win rate. They were dominant against their EU opponents and only lost one Uplink the entire weekend, occurring in their last match against OpTic.

Chris Puckett interviewing MRuiz

Elevate performs when needed most

Like Cloud9 and Millennium, Elevate had a rough start to their weekend as they headed into Sunday with a 0-4 series count. Although in the end they would finish just 1-5 with an overall 35 percent map win rate, Elevate played teams close and showed up when it mattered.

During their last match of the weekend, Elevate squared off against Red Reserve: the winner placing 3rd and the loser heading to relegation. In a back and forth series that went to Game 5, Elevate won when it mattered most, out placing Red by one map win.

On Monday, a day after securing their 3rd place finish, it was announced that Rhys “Rated” Price would be leaving the organization. Elevate will now need to find a new 4th before heading to MLG Anaheim in June.

Red Reserve cannot perform in respawn game modes

Red Reserve was plagued all weekend by pitiful performances in Hardpoint and to a greater extent in Uplink. However, their Search and Destroy stats weren’t much better.

After an impressive 5-6th place finish at CWL Dallas, many believed Red could place second in the group. However, with a 36 percent Hardpoint win rate, coupled with a 17 percent win rate in Uplink,  Red struggled to make it to a Game 5 SnD where they could attempt to close a series. Their first and only win this weekend came from a 3-2 win over Elevate on Friday.

Red Reserve at the MLG Arena

We now head into Relegation before Season Two of the GPL. We could see roster changes for Red; if they could pick up another talented slayer to help David “Urban” Marsh in the Respawn game modes, they could easily qualify for Season Two.


Jack Waters is an avid Call of Duty Esports fan and wants to hear from YOU! Find him on Twitter.

Images: Crimsix’ Twitter, Jack Waters

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers.

Call of Duty Global Pro League Week Four Preview

This upcoming weekend marks the last week of Stage One of the CWL Global Pro League. Week four will commence with American teams OpTic Gaming and Enigma6 facing off against European teams Red Reserve and Elevate. The teams will clash at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

As with weeks prior, each team will face one another in a double round-robin format. The top two placing teams will advance to Playoffs as well as qualify for Stage Two of the Global Pro League, Pool Play at CWL Anaheim, and Call of Duty World Championship later this year. The 3rd place team will also qualify for Stage Two of the Global Pro League, Pool Play at CWL Anaheim, and Call of Duty World Championship. The team that places last will face Relegation in order to qualify for Stage Two.

OpTic Gaming is most likely poised to take first place in the group while the other teams will be battling it out for the ever important second place. With no other teams available to scrim in the EU region, Elevate and Red Reserve have not been able to get in good practice since April.

OpTic Gaming

OpTic comes into this weekend, regarded by analysts and players alike, as the best team in the world. The combined talents of Seth “Scump” Abner, Ian “Crimsix” Porter, Damon “Karma” Barlow, and Matt “Formal” Piper have been playing together longer than any other team in competitive CoD.

After a slow start to the Infinite Warfare season, OpTic won back-to-back International LANs: CWL Paris and CWL Dallas. Having lost to eUnited in the Grand Finals of CWL Atlanta after a miraculous Loser’s Bracket run, a new fire was lit under the team. With Formal now acting as their “In Game Leader” the newly invigorated OpTic looks to place first this weekend.

OpTic has been teaming together since April 2015

Enigma6 Group

Enigma6 were unable to complete during the 2016 Black Ops III season due to the age restriction of the CoD World League. Now with a team able to compete, E6 have experienced moderate success so far this season. At the first LAN of IW, E6 came out of the Open Bracket to eventually place 7-8th. So far they have not been able to repeat this performance, with their most recent placing a 9-12th finish at CWL Dallas.

After CWL Dallas, rumors swirled that Mike “MRuiz” Ruiz would retire and Preston “Priest” Greiner would take his place. Controversy ensued due to the rules surrounding CWL roster locks leading into the GPL. However, MRuiz stayed on the team as they hope to secure a spot in the Stage One Playoffs.

Enigma6’s 2017 CoD Roster

Red Reserve

Having lost half their original roster during the EU rostermania following CWL Paris, Red picked up Niall “Niall” Sunderland and Sean “Seany” O’Connor. Since then, Red has been on a hot streak. In their first MLG GameBattles 2K series, the newly formed team placed second and won the next 2K.

Red would go on to put on an incredible performance in the Loser’s Bracket at CWL Dallas. They would eventually finish 5-6th. At the next LAN CWL Birmingham, Red again placed 5-6th, showing that this newly formed squad can hang with the best. Red is poised to make a serious run at the second place spot this weekend.

 

David “Urban” Marsh of Red Reserve

Elevate

At their first LAN after adding Rhys “Rated” Price in place of Seany, Elevate had an abysmal performance placing 21-24th after starting in Pool Play. After their poor performance in the US, Elevate seemed to bounce back with a 5-6th placing at CWL Birmingham.

Like the other EU team in the group Red, the biggest issue for Elevate heading into the GPL is their lack of practice. With other EU teams leaving early to boot camp in the US, Elevate has not scrimmed since April, according to players on the team. Looked at as the weakest team to qualify for Stage One of the GPL, Elevate has a lot to prove this weekend.

Jordan “Reedy” Reed and Josh “Watson” Watson at CWL Birmingham

Predictions

  1. OpTic Gaming
  2. Red Reserve
  3. Enigma6
  4. Elevate

Jack Waters is an avid Call of Duty Esports fan and wants to hear from YOU! Find him on Twitter.

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers.

CWL Preview Heading Into Final Two Weeks of Stage Two

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

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

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

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

The Race For The Top

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

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

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

Rising, Falling; Deflated, Elevated

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

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

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

Fighting To Get In

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom Feeding

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

Who Makes The Final Eight?

My final eight will be as follows:

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

 

What are your predictions for final standings?

 

Did you like this article? Be sure to follow TGH on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe to the website to get updates as they happen and stay up-to-date on the latest Call of Duty and eSports news from around the world!

CoD World League: Week Six

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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