A rejuvenated Echo Fox lineup means business at the Stage 2 Pro League Playoffs, as the top 8 teams in the world battle for a share of $500,000. A fantastic turn of form granted them 2nd seed from Division A, an important step with the World Championship looming.
Brice “Faccento” Faccento’s men look to put a difficult year behind them and snatch an unexpected victory at the Stage 2 Playoffs. The squad has failed to breach Top 4 all year (CWL Seattle) and fell to Top 12 most recently at Anaheim. However, a 6-1 demolition in the final two weeks of their division helped establish this squad as a keen contender. Faccento and teammate Uly “Aqua” Silva have teamed for every World Championship and have never finished outside the Top 4. That time of year is approaching again, so there is no surprise that Echo Fox are rearing up.
After a disappointing CWL Anaheim, Echo Fox decided a role swap was necessary for improvement. Faccento, having played all roles this year, was moved to the Main Assault Rifle (AR) player. Aqua adopted the “Flex” role, swapping between an AR or SMG depending on the map in question. With today’s BAR (a strong AR) meta in full force, Aqua can usually keep his preferred AR in play. Faccento is the leader and shot-caller for this squad, so allowing him to play at a slow pace and direct the troops from the back line seems to have helped.
SMG veteran Renato “Saints” Forza and young-blood Donovan “Temp” Laroda round out the line-up. Saints, who recently became a father, is widely considered one of the best players never to win a World Championship. Laroda had success in Advanced Warfare before being sidelined due to age restrictions. He currently boasts a 1.08KD for this season. Aqua and Saints create a devastating SnD duo (averaging a 1.28KD), with Hardpoint currently their weakest game mode. The slaying power of Echo Fox on paper is sufficient to make a deep run at Playoffs, but inconsistency has been their downfall.
The Road Ahead
The role change worked wonders in the final two Pro League weeks, as they charged up to 3rd seed. They will face James “Clayster” Eubanks’ eUnited in the first round, another team in top form. Both teams finished strongly with a 6-1 record in the final fortnight, making this match tough to call. The record between these exact lineups is 0-0, but eUnited are slight favourites given their more recent LAN practice. Echo Fox can lose to almost anyone: Tainted Minds blew them out 3-0 last month at Anaheim.
Faccento’s men find themselves in the more challenging side of the bracket. If Echo Fox best eUnited, they’ll play the winner of Red Reserve and Rise Nation in Winners’ Round 2. Echo Fox will once again be the underdog in this matchup, and will need to be firing on all cylinders to beat either of the Anaheim finalists. Improved Hardpoint and clinical Search and Destroy are the key, if Echo Fox are to win the organization’s first-ever Call of Duty trophy.
Action at the Stage 2 Playoffs kicks off on Friday July 27th! Catch it all on – http://twitch.tv/callofduty
Featured image courtesy of: https://www.twitter.com/nlckarts