Legendary organization OpTIc Gaming are still seeking their first championship of the year. The controversial roster change is yet to pay off, but strong recent performances set them up nicely for a deep run at playoffs.
OpTic Gaming (OG), the biggest team in Call of Duty by both fanbase and trophies, has had a tough year. The “Champs” curse continued (i.e. the world champion roster falls apart soon after glory), as the dynasty line-up split in April, parting ways with Damon “Karma” Barlow and Matthew “FormaL” Piper. Anthony “Methodz” Zinni and Sam “Octane” Larew were announced as replacements, but the new roster has not looked much better.
However, impressive wins against eUnited, Rise Nation and Unilad had OpTic ending the regular season in good spirits. Their bracket play performances have been questionable all year, these $500,000 playoffs will show if things have changed.
OpTic came out on top of a 3-way tie-breaker in Division B to claim first seed. This was thanks in large part to their phenomenal 30-6 Stage 2 Hardpoint record, an unmatched win percent. Pairing Methodz and Octane with Seth “Scump” Abner and Ian “Crimsix” Porter, two of the all-time greats, makes OG almost impossible to out-slay. Top-tier gun-skill and solid rotations all-but-guarantee OpTic will start a series up 1-0. More specifically, they are unbeaten on London Docks Hardpoint since CWL Anaheim (12-0 record). However, one should expect this record to crumble eventually, as teams will either veto the map or heavily study their tendencies.
Unfortunately for the Greenwall, OpTic’s Search and Destroy (SnD) and Capture the Flag (CTF) gameplay has been relatively lackluster, only winning half of these games in Stage 2. Inconsistency has also plagued OG this entire season, both before and after the roster change. They beat Anaheim champions Rise Nation last week, but fell to Division B punchbags Tainted Minds just a week earlier. OpTic have also failed to reach a grand final from the losers’ bracket this year – strong performances from the outset are a must.
Stage 1 Rematch
OpTic will face old foes FaZe Clan in the very first round, a rematch of the Stage 1 grand finals. FaZe came out surprise winners there in a sensational two series, where all ten maps were required. Many considered OpTic as the better team, but they choked away multiple key maps. That 2nd place is OpTic’s best result of the year, and they are hungry for revenge at Stage 2 Playoffs. FaZe finished Division A very strongly to qualify, but will need to fire on all cylinders to dispatch of the new OG lineup. OpTic are theoretically favourites against FaZe, but have suffered with slow starts to bracket play this year.
Scump’s men will play the winner of Unilad and Team Kaliber if they overcome their first hurdle. OpTic comfortably beat Unilad in both Pro League meetings but were eliminated by the UK team at Anaheim. Team Kaliber are yet to contest the new OpTic roster, but OG should be favoured on recent form and placements. The Greenwall made the winners’ bracket run to finals at Stage 1 Playoffs, but failed to convert. A poor result here could be disastrous for morale heading into the World Championship starting August 15th, as OpTic look to retain their crown.
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