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Call of Duty Esports

CWL Champs 2018: Day 1 Recap & Analysis

CoD Champs

The $1.5mn Call of Duty World Championship is well underway; 50% of Group Play matches have already been played. The first day harboured more than its fair share of excitement, upsets and memorable moments. Four teams are already out of contention, and tomorrow will claim a further twelve victims. Teams in Group A – D played 2 matches each, with Group E – H teams playing only 1. The roles are reversed tomorrow as CoD Champs Pool Play reaches the business end.

CoD Champs
Pools after Day 1 | 2/2
CoD Champs
Pools after Day 1 | 1/2








They say to expect the unexpected, but I’m not sure anyone predicted some of these. It wouldn’t be CoD Champs without unforeseen upsets in groups. Here are the picks of the bunch:

Team Kaliber 2 – 3 Lightning Pandas

Saying our Stage 2 Champions had a rocky start would be an understatement. TK struggled in all five maps against the Canadian Lightning Pandas troop who didn’t even make the Pro League. Dylan “Theory” McGee got revenge on his former line-up, crushing them in both Search and Destroys (SnDs) to win the series. TK narrowly avoided elimination later in the day against Spain’s Heretics, winning a crucial Game 5, but their progression is still far from confirmed.

CoD Champs
Shea “QwiKer” Sweeney //
Splyce 1 – 3 Team Sween

Britain’s Team Sween were not picked up by any organisation leading into Champs, electing to use part of captain Shea “QwiKer” Sweeney’s surname. However, their play was far from inconclusive, starting with a close-fought win over European veterans Splyce. Team Sween were blown out of the park in Map 1, but showed great composure to turn the screw in 2, 3 and 4. QwiKer’s men shocked the juggernauts to leave them in a precarious position.

eUnited 2 – 3 Team Sween

Team Sween hadn’t finished there. In the last match of the day, they overpowered James “Clayster” Eubanks’ eUnited squad in Game 5 fashion. The series of the day, Sween and eUnited went back and forth, trading maps and rounds, until Thomas “Moose” Handley aced Round 10 to secure the victory. That victory cemented Team Sween as Pool D’s #1 Seed, leaving eUnited and Splyce with only one spot to play for tomorrow.

The Blockbusters

Group E and G boasted two very strong highest seeds, who all faced off in a star-studded Day 1. The theoretical matches of the day:

FaZe Clan 3 – 1 CompLexity

Approaching CoD Champs, most considered Group E the “Pool of Death”, with four more-than-competent squads. FaZe vs CompLexity started the pool off, the battle of two big-name Pro League teams. FaZe had enacted a role change pre-Champs to improve their Hardpoint and it seemed to work wonders. CompLexity couldn’t compete with the aggression of Tommy “ZooMaa” Paparatto, and could only win the Capture the Flag. James “Replays” Crowder put on a clinical SnD display to lock up map 2; FaZe start as they mean to continue.

Luminosity 3 – 0 Echo Fox
CoD Champs
Luminosity Captain JKap //

Arguably the most anticipated match of the day; Luminosity dismantled a disappointing Echo Fox performance. Captain Jordan “JKap” Kaplan has competed in four of the five World Championship grand finals, winning two. His pedigree was on display once again, as LG took apart their opposition. Brice “Faccento” Faccento’s men never got close to their fellow Americans and will require victory over Vitality and HavoK Esports to guarantee their progression.


Best of the Day

COMEBACK: European hopefuls Red Reserve put paid to a sprightly Ghost Gaming in the first map of an all-important series. Trailing Valkyrie roughly 210-130, Red Reserve showed great resilience to mount the comeback. In a monumentally tense finish, Red closed the map 250-247 on their way to a 3-1 series win.

PLAY: Red Reserve’s Trei “Zer0” Morris caught the perfect timing to bring home a phenomenal clutch against Australian squad Mindfreak. Sneaking through Top Red, Zer0 brought it down to a 1v1 before winning a highly unfavourable final gunfight.

The Fallen

Underdogs ZoneGG and EZG Esports have been eliminated from contention after failing to win a map on Day 1. Group B was the only pool to feature a 2-0, 2-0, 0-2, 0-2 split: eliminating European squad BRASH and a Tainted Minds team that made Stage 2 of the Pro League.

The next stage of the $1,500,000 championship begins today, Thursday 16th at 12 pm Eastern Time. Tune in LIVE and FREE @

See here for tomorrow’s 24-match schedule and rosters.

Featured image courtesy of:

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