The College Call of Duty Season One Preseason is back in action after the holidays. Collegiate Esports begins with a bang heading into the new year. The battle for CCL supremacy continued as the two previous winners, Grossmont Community College and Ohio State University, looked to repeat their titles. Several challengers aimed to break this streak with many new teams making their official CCL debuts in the 3rd Preseason 2K.
This event holds the largest viewer-count to date for the CCL. More universities are now getting involved with 6 debutants for Season One participating in the 3rd Preseason 2K. Esport organizations such as Rage Inc. and Utilize Gaming have players who are participating in the College Call of Duty League. This reflects the growth of player-base and the improving quality of players.
Round One: A Gallery of Debuts
Round One included several recognizable teams in the CCL, but most of its participants were making their official CCL Debuts. Grossmont and Ohio State both had a ‘bye round’.
College Call of Duty Newcomers:
- University of Cincinnati
- Grand Canyon University
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Liberty University Navy
- University of Iowa
- Rutgers University
The University of Mississippi: Clearing all Uncertainties
Officially announcing that I’m stepping down as a player for the Ole Miss Esports CoD team and the @CollegeCoD league. Take full responsibility for the roster not working out. Wasn’t a good enough player or captain. New roster announcement tomorrow..
— Sergio (@Sir_G_Oh) December 21, 2018
It was a sad day when CCL veteran Sergio ‘Physix‘ Brack stepped down from the Ole Miss lineup. The veteran was key during Season Zero and was a star player for CCL Red. This was a heavy blow to Mississippi’s lineup. The University of Mississippi entered the 3rd Preseason 2K with confidence, but outsiders were uncertain of how they would do. The first challenge to this new lineup were newcomers the University of Cincinnati.
It was a tough first match for the newcomers. Ole Miss came hungry and swept the match 3-0, dominating all 3 maps.
Round Two: Showmatch after Showmatch
Round Two was intense. This was a spectacle for any neutral fan of the league. The main stream focused on two heavyweights of the CCL who faced off. The University of Toronto and Liberty University Red played a 5-map series with close results all throughout.
A shaky first map by both teams lead to a very close Seaside Hardpoint with Toronto winning 250-234. Several key team kills and rotations lead to Toronto out-maneuvering towards the end of the map. Liberty Red responded by taking map two 6-4 which tied the series heading into Control. Known as the ‘swing-mode’ by many players, Control strategies continue to be developed as the year goes on. Liberty University capitalized with a 3-0 in Control.
Toronto forced game 5 with a win on Frequency Hardpoint. All that separated both teams from the semi-finals was Hacienda Search and Destroy. Liberty University took the SnD convincingly with a 6-2 result. Toronto leaves the tournament with a disappointing result, but this match definitely brought the best out of both teams.
Other Round Two Results
University of Mississippi 3 – 1 Butler University
The new look University of Mississippi team got their revenge against Butler University for the 1st Preseason 2K, where Butler eliminated Ole Miss in the semi-finals. Ole Miss was able to take all respawn game modes, while Butler took the SnD.
Liberty University Navy 2 – 3 Ohio State University
Ohio State University, the number one seed in the CCL, met a tough match against the newcomers Liberty University Navy. The surprise team for the 3rd 2K tournament took the match to 5 maps. Map one ended 250-243 in OSU’s favor. Navy was able to go toe-to-toe in slaying with Ohio State University.
After 11 rounds in map 2, Ohio State lost their SnD undefeated streak. Looking to stop an upset, OSU cruised through Control with a 3-0 result. Liberty Navy had other plans though. A second close Hardpoint lead to a 250-235 finish for Liberty Navy. Navy has stamped their name as a contender heading into Season One. The team’s slaying capability is dangerous.
One more map separated these teams from the semi-finals. Controversy surrounded map five, however. Liberty University Navy lead map five 1-0. With 11 seconds remaining on the clock and a 1vs1, the Liberty player opted to search for the final kill instead of planting the bomb. This decision took the spotlight of the match. With 0.2 seconds remaining in the game clock, the Navy player found the kill, yet the game rewarded each team a round win. The map was now 2-1 in Liberty’s favor, instead of 2-0. The game, for whatever reason, did not calculate the round correctly. This was neither team’s fault, but it could have altered the result of this match. Ohio State University went on to win the SnD with a 6-4 result.
Grossmont Community College 3 – 0 University of Iowa
Grossmont was able to sweep the University of Iowa in the final match of round two. The newcomers showed promise, but facing off against the second 2k champions was never going to be easy.
Semifinals: Statements are Made
Grossmont Community College 3 – 2 Liberty University Red
Liberty University Red began the match dominating in Hardpoint. “Monopxlys” from Liberty University gave GCC a clinic. 43 kills and 10 deaths with almost 6,000 total damage. The man was doing it all. Map one ended 250 – 86 in Liberty Red’s favor.
Grossmont CC woke up after round one, treating Liberty to a taste of their own medicine. Map two ended in a 6-0 drubbing of LU Red. In round six, three players remained for Liberty Red after eliminating all of GCC. With only 15 seconds left on the clock to defuse the explosive, Liberty was unable to defuse. A drone squad by “ShrektRekt” was able to clean things up.
Now that both teams had arrived in the match, map three proved to be a stellar Control. Both teams won their attacking rounds making it 2-2. Grossmont got off to a flying start in the final round as they attacked the A zone. Smart use of the trophy system followed by key kills meant that GCC captured the A zone up by 6 lives. They now needed to concentrate on only the B zone with over 2 minutes remaining.
Grossmont took a 22:13 lead in lives as they continued to push the B zone, but in a blink of an eye, it was now tied 10:10 with under 60 seconds remaining. With the obligation to push the zone, Liberty University Red was able to finish off the map and steal round 5.
In Map 4, the final rotation was hectic with both teams trading kill for kill. In the end, GCC managed to take the map 250-249 in the closest Hardpoint map to date. Grossmont had forced map five.
Round 11 in map 5 separated these two teams from a spot in the finals. The round quickly went down to a 2 vs 1 in GCC’s favor. “Monopxlys” was Liberty’s last hope for a chance in their first finals appearance. A risky challenge made it a 1 vs 1, but he was unable to turn a corner and was eliminated. Grossmont reached the finals for a second 2K in a row.
University of Mississippi 3 – 0 Ohio State University
Talk about statement wins. Ole Miss came into the tournament with many uncertainties with their lineup. Their response to this uncertainty was simply to blow past everyone. Ole Miss began with a strong team performance leading to a 250-211 map one win. Map two was a more dominant performance. Up 5-2 in rounds, Ole Miss player “Iizpwner” was left in a 1 vs 4. Amazing trigger discipline followed by SnD knowledge lead him to eliminate the first two OSU players as they attempted a bomb plant. The round was now 1 vs 2. OSU successfully planted in the A site, but stunning map knowledge and movement helped him find the last two players with over 20 seconds remaining. This 1 vs 4 gave Ole Miss a 2-0 lead in the series.
Momentum followed through and Ole Miss Red clinched a spot in the Finals with a victory on Control.
Finals: Shifting Powers in the CCL
University of Mississippi 3 – 0 Grossmont Community College
Ole Miss destroyed any uncertainties the CCL might have had on their lineup. The team went off in the finals of the 3rd preseason 2K.
“Slackey_Slaps” of Ole Miss took over map one with 39 kills and 17 deaths. Another solid team performance carried Ole Miss to a 250-115 victory. A dominant second map gave GCC no chance to recover. Ole Miss was quickly up 2-0 in the Finals.
Ole Miss Red finished off the series in style. In series point, they were down 9:6 in lives, with 38 seconds remaining in their attacking round. After effective trading, the map came down to a 1 vs 1. “Rstrong” from Ole Miss Red waited patiently as he capped the A zone. He correctly predicted his opponent’s location. All he had to do was win the gun-fight. “Retromrzz” from Grossmont peaked into the zone looking the wrong way and was unable to react as “Rstrong” shot at him.
Ole Miss Red won the 3rd College Call of Duty Preseason 2K.
The third College Call of Duty preseason tournament has now ended with new teams stamping their names into the CCL. All series were best of 5 matches following COD World League rule-set. Tune in LIVE at the College COD Twitch.
Featured Image courtesy of Ole Miss Esports