FaZe Clan have achieved the impossible, winning all their Week 6 games to overhaul a struggling Evil Geniuses (EG) and qualify for Stage 2 Playoffs. Looking to defend their Stage 1 title and earn the lion’s share of the $500,000 prize pool, they mustered an inspired performance.
Division A came to a conclusion this week, with FaZe Clan and Echo Fox (EF) joining Red Reserve and Team Kaliber (tK) in the qualification places. My Final Week predictions were turned on their head as Evil Geniuses and Team EnvyUs (nV) fell out of contention with poor weeks. Envy would have qualified over FaZe Clan if not for a surprise loss to Division A punchbags Epsilon. Meanwhile, EG’s shocking SnD record continued (now 1-16 since CWL Seattle), destroying their playoff hopes.
FaZe Clan capitalized on their rivals’ failings, beating EF, EG, and tK, dropping only two maps in the process. This result was even more impressive as every team they bettered lied in the Top 4 coming into the final week. In a run that reminded one of Stage 1 Playoffs, James “Replays” Crowder came to play when it mattered. The often-underwhelming Assault Rifle player had a smile on his face this week, undefeated in CTF and SnD in their final three matches.
This was the first time since their 11-3 performance in Stage 1 where they looked like a true championship-caliber team. Masterful CTF, Zoomaa’s aggression, Priestahh’s consistency and Attach’s SnD were the key attributes of this victorious FaZe. These factors were on full display this week; an excellent sign for FaZe fans who have suffered a torrid year outside of Stage 1 glory.
Only Harder from Here
Qualification for Playoffs isn’t the be-all-end-all: seeding is highly important for the difficulty of one’s bracket. FaZe were struggling for results before this last week of matches, leaving them with the fourth seed going into Playoffs. This will pit them against the first seed from Division B in the very first round.
On current form, CWL Seattle and Anaheim champions Rise Nation are expected to top the other division. FaZe did get the better of this lineup in Seattle pool play, but SlasheR’s squad have consistently succeeded since then. However, there is no guarantee Rise’s phenomenal standard will not fall off by July 27th. Rise’s roster with Methodz plummeted to Top 8 at Stage 1 Playoffs despite cruising their group, so this rejuvenated FaZe may have a shout.
FaZe also fell at the first hurdle at Stage 1 Playoffs (to Team Kaliber) before winning an unprecedented five game 5 on the road to glory. The clutch factor displayed with their backs against the wall this week will be required in full force once again. With two former world champions in Attach and Replays on the team, resilience in the latter stages is to be expected, if they can get there.
Who Else Will Qualify?
Red, tK, EF and FaZe have locked in their spot, but all could still change in Division B. While we’d expect Rise and OpTic to finish T2, a resurgent Luminosity Gaming performance at CWL Anaheim may upset one of the current Top 4. European fans hope that Unilad can hold on and join Red at Playoffs, with an impressive 5-2 record first time around. Australians will look for one of Mindfreak or Tainted Minds to make a splash as CoD Champs approaches.
All will be determined in the next two weeks of intense action, starting tomorrow Tuesday, July 10th at 2 pm EST.
Tune in at: https://www.twitch.tv/callofduty
Tuesday, July 10th
- 14:00 | Tainted Minds vs CompLexity
- 15:30 | Luminosity Gaming vs Unilad Esports
- 17:00 | Tainted Minds vs Rise Nation
- 18:30 | OpTic Gaming vs Mindfreak
- 20:00 | eUnited vs Rise Nation
Wednesday, July 11th
- 14:00 | Unilad Esports vs eUnited
- 15:30 | OpTic Gaming vs Tainted Minds
- 17:00 | Rise Nation vs CompLexity
- 18:30 | Luminosity Gaming vs Mindfreak
- 20:00 | CompLexity vs OpTic Gaming
Thursday, July 12th
- 14:00 | Mindfreak vs Rise Nation
- 15:30 | Luminosity Gaming vs Tainted Minds
- 17:00 | CompLexity vs Unilad Esports
- 18:30 | eUnited vs OpTic Gaming
Featured image courtesy of: https://www.twitter.com/nlckarts