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.
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.