Rise Nation CWL Seattle Champions

Rise Nation sweeps victory in CWL Seattle from long loser’s bracket run

After Rise Nation’s dominating victory in CWL Atlanta, they’ve been having a hard time finding the tempo in their games. In CWL Birmingham, they finished 3rd. In the finals of Stage 1, they finished 7th. It took two times for them to get shut out of first for the team to decide that a roster change was necessary. TJHaly, Gunless and Loony all decided to make the switch from Methodz to Team Envy’s SlasheR and it made all the difference.

Rise Nation’s tough start

In the pool play section of the tournament, Rise Nation was tenderized. They only managed to secure a win over Tainted Minds. This landed them in fourth place and would force them to make a run through the loser’s bracket.

Gunless: CWL Seattle MVP

Image courtesy of Dexerto

In the loser’s bracket run, Rise Nation was unstoppable. They took out Heretics, compLexity, Team Envy(SlasheR’s old team), Luminosity(CWL Birmingham champions), Ghost Gaming, Echo Fox and eUnited. This was an outstanding series of games to watch and it landed them a spot right in front of the unstoppable Evil Geniuses who had just beaten eUnited for their spot in the Grand Finals.

Rise Nation recently made the switch for SlasheR in favor of their old player Methodz. Many players on Twitter speculated that SlasheR was easily one of the best in the business at the moment, and Rise Nation decided to heed that call. Though the start of the series was tough to watch, it was fun, however, to see TJHaly and his squad start to heat up and find their momentum.

Evil Geniuses Vs. Rise Nation

Evil Geniuses started off the series with a lot of bite. They ripped into Rise Nation in the opening match of Hardpoint at Saint Marie Du Monte and won by over 100 points.

However, Rise Nation was not to be sat down so easily. The next series of games was all Rise Nation. On London Docks, playing Search and Destroy, EG started out strong, pulling an early 5-2 lead. Rise Nation shut that down quickly, clutching the win out at 6-5. Flak Tower Capture the Flag was another game that was just barely in favor of Rise Nation. They only managed to secure the win by one point. With the newfound momentum, Rise overtook EG on Valkyrie Hardpoint 250-176, which reset the bracket and forced the second best-of-five series.

The rest of the series was a shut out in favor of Rise. They won the first Hardpoint on Ardennes Forest by 85 points. The next S&D on Valkyrie was an absolutely dominating victory for Rise-EG only won a single round. And to finish off the series, Rise Nation obliterated EG on Flak Tower CTF with a commanding victory of 7-0; this was on the map that, not an hour before, Rise had barely won by just one point. Now, they were walking out with an obvious victory.

Peirce “Gunless” Hillman named ASTRO Gaming MVP

This isn’t the first time that Gunless has walked away from a CWL tournament having been named MVP. In 2017 in CWL Atlanta, he was named MVP when he played with eUnited and defeated OpTic Gaming in the Grand Finals.

This is the second Victory for Rise Nation in the course of two months. With one of the most dominating and successful rosters in the league, it’s exciting to see what they will accomplish next. Stage 2 will, hopefully, turn out more successful than their ending in Stage 1.

 

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Japan CWL

Japan gets a CoD Tournament like the CWL Pro League

Japan is set to get their very own version of a CWL Pro League. Six of Japan’s best teams have been invited to participate in a series of matches that will take place between April and September. These matches will culminate with a playoff series at the end.

The teams will compete for a whopping ¥10,000,000 (~$93,500). Each and every match will be streamed on YouTube and Twitch with the Grand Finals taking place at the Tokyo Game Show 2018 from September 20th-23rd.

The Six Japanese Teams

  • Rush Gaming
  • CYCLOPS Athlete Gaming
  • Detonatio N Gaming
  • Libalent Vertex
  • SCARZ
  • SunSister

These are six of the best Call of Duty teams in Japan right now. For good reason, Rush Gaming are the favorites going into this tournament. They’ve consistently been one of the top performers in Japan and will even be participating in CWL Anaheim after their win at the Tokaigi 2018 tournament. Rush is planning to do a two week bootcamp in South Carolina before their appearance in Anaheim.

The Matches

Each match will be recorded and will be re-watchable on Twitch via VODS or on YouTube following the performances. There will be monthly video recaps and articles released involving the teams participating. This will make it possible for Competitive Call of Duty fans to keep up to date, even in western countries. The dates the matches will take place are as follows:

  • Round One: April 21st, 2018
  • Two: May 19th, 2018
  • Three: June 23rd, 2018
  • Four: July 21st, 2018
  • Five: August 18th, 2018
  • Grand Finals: September 20th-23rd, 2018

Future of Competitive Call of Duty

This is one of the most major additions to the world of Call of Duty. Now, the Esport is making a break into Eastern countries. With countries like Japan and Korea being some of the biggest countries in Esports gaming in the world, it’s super critical to get their addition to the world of Call of Duty. This was one of the downfalls to professional CoD. There were only major tournaments taking place in NA/EU and the vast audiences that exists in Asia weren’t ever allowed to participate. This will, hopefully, begin the full inclusion of Asia and its large number of Esports fans.

Just imagine the crowds that will show up for a Call of Duty World Tournament. One that actually involves all the countries in the world instead of just those that exist in the current Call of Duty World League.

Japan CoD Tournament

Image Courtesy of Rush Gaming

One of Japan’s best teams is making the journey to Anaheim to participate and it’s one of the most major steps forward for the game and its Esport. Avid CWL watchers are expressing vast amounts of interest in the progression of this Esport and what the addition of Japanese crowds could mean for the popularity of Call of Duty on tournament stages. It would mean more places to scrimmage for current pro players which could advance the current series of tactics that we know and even set up possible new metas. Hopefully, this begins the inclusion of teams in Korea and even in China or Russia as well.

Well Deserved

This is one of the most exciting announcements for Call of Duty as an Esport for a while and viewers can’t wait to see what this means for its future. Hopefully more viewers, because the game deserves it. There are some of the best gamers in the business in this Esport and they deserve the attention for their hard work. The inclusion of other countries should only bolster the crowd and bring in a wider world audience.

 

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CoD WW2 Divisions

Major changes to CoD WW2 divisions and how it will affect the competitive scene

During the Call of Duty season, we usually see small patches come through here and there that buff and nerf smaller elements of the game. Very rarely do we get something that could possibly change the overall playability of it. Sledgehammer has recently announced a couple major division changes alongside with its second DLC that has just released. These changes will allow for a greater flexibility to the players in the competitive scene, and we should be seeing a lot of different play-styles as a result.

There are usually only a couple different divisions that make an appearance in competitive Call of Duty. These changes don’t flesh out any of the ones that aren’t used enough to make them viable to for pro play, but for the rest of us, we’re likely to see them a lot more.

Here are the Patch Notes:

Infantry Division

  1. Additional Primary Attachment
  2. Second Pistol Attachment & swap weapons faster
  3. While aiming down sights, have less idle sway
  4. Move faster while aiming
Infantry division logo

Image courtesy of Reddit

One of the things that made the infantry division so widely used was its damage tied together with reliable fire rate and distance. Now, we see reduced idle sway and ADS-ing faster. This is a monster improvement. In the competitive scene, being slow was the downfall of the player in the AR Slayer role. They just couldn’t match the speed of the Sub-machine gunners. Now, however, we will probably be seeing a lot more people using assault rifles in pro play. Especially with the speed being increased during ADS. There’s a higher chance for winning a gunfight.

Additional Primary Attachment means more adaptability. The game used to allow for three attachments, while every other class was using two. Players using the Infantry division will now be able to equip four attachments to their primary weapon and a second one to their secondary. Currently, the meta is an STG or BAR with the two grips and a sight attached. We can expect to see some of the competitive players start to experiment with some of the other attachments like Rapid Fire, Extended Mag or even FMJ. The possibility of seeing some changes to weapon attachments, like FMJ, are really exciting and could sway the tide of several fights.

Swapping weapons faster will be a major difference when it comes to winning gunfights. We usually see players battle it out and then die when they run out of ammo and can’t switch to their sidearms fast enough. There are going to be a lot more teeth clenching gunfights as a result of this change.

Airborne Division

  1. Fire guns while sprinting and diving
  2. Reload while sprinting
  3. Climb over obstacles faster
  4. Sprinting faster over time
Airborne Division logo

Image courtesy of Reddit

This class is one of the most used in all of Call of Duty. It has the most reliable weapons, and the best sprint/stamina combination. You’re fast, and you’re deadly. That’s all that matters in this game. It’s the most used division in competitive play and for good reason. These changes won’t make that any different.

Firing guns while sprinting and diving will make a major difference, especially when it comes to Hardpoint games. We will probably see a lot more aggression when it comes to overtaking a Hardpoint from opposing teams. Diving in and catching an opponent off guard can make all the difference in a gunfight to capture an objective.

Reloading while sprinting will be a players saving grace when they’ve exhausted their magazines reservoir and they need to dash. Too many times in pro play we’ve seen a player try to engage in a gunfight with only a few rounds left in the magazine because they couldn’t escape without getting shot in the back. This change will allow them to dash away and make a reload at the same time, saving a lot of deaths and unnecessary engagements.

Climbing over obstacles faster and sprinting faster over time will be a change that is like the first. It will make respawn games harder to play because there will be a lot more pressure from Airborne players. We will see players in other divisions get run down more often, and there will be a lot of close calls when it comes to flag caps, as the speed increase will make them faster and the obstacle climbing will allow for better escapes.

Armored Division

  1. Take significantly less explosive & fire damage
  2. Immune to Shell Shock and Tactical Equipment
  3. Increased bullet penetration through surfaces
  4. Greatly reduced flinch when shot
Armored Division logo

Image courtesy of Reddit

These are huge, necessary changes for this division. Armored never really saw the light of day in Competitive play. It just wasn’t as fast as Airborne, and wasn’t as good at range as Infantry. These changes will allow for greater pressure in respawn games and they’re really good. We will still probably only see this division used in amateur play. It still just doesn’t have the one key ingredient that it needs. Speed.

Apart from that, the changes speak for themselves. If you’re an armored player, get ready to have some fun.

Mountain Division

  1. Invisible to enemy Recon Aircraft & controlled streaks
  2. Killed enemy death locations hidden
  3. No name or reticle change when enemies aim at you
  4. Silent movement
Mountain Division Logo

Image courtesy of Reddit

In the competitive scene, we usually see a lot of the Mountain division in Search & Destroy. These changes will only solidify its use because of the increase in player invisibility. You’re no longer going to be visible in any sense unless they can obviously see your character. Killstreaks wont see you. Players wont know if their reticle is over you, unless it’s plainly obvious. Opponents won’t even know where their own teammates are dying from because the death locations are hidden.

Silent movement will be a huge advantage in competitive play. One of the things that made the Mountain class weak was that players could hear their movement and catch them in a close range gunfight. This change will give pro players an advantage when trying to find out new angles to hold during games. This will force some new gunfights and possibly some new strategies that we haven’t seen before.

Expeditionary Division

  1. Double Lethal + Tactical & enhanced equipment use
  2. Munitions replenish from killed enemies & over time
  3. Improved Tacticals & Easier to destroy War buildables
  4. Equipment damage paints enemies on mini-map
Expeditionary division logo

Image courtesy of Reddit

Expeditionary never really saw play time in Pro Play, like Armored. Its increase in tacticals is going to be a huge improvement for amateur players, but its weapons just don’t live up to the same potential that Infantry and Airborne do.

Painting enemies on the minimap is great, but with a shotgun, there aren’t going to be a lot of situations where you aren’t going to one or two shot someone. And munitions replenishing isn’t a big deal for a lot of people. Unless you’re really, really good at surviving. In this particular division, there’s a lot of close range gunfights, and while you’re equipped to win them, you won’t win them all. It’s a riskier playstyle then the other divisions and replenishing equipment usually won’t make a difference to a lot of players.

Resistance

  1. Mini-map indicator & scrambler of close hostiles
  2. Enemy movements are easier to hear
  3. Kills & assists grant Intel Ping of nearby enemies
  4. Easier to spot targets & increased mini-map coverage
Resistance division logo

Image Courtesy of Reddit

This is another division that will work great for amateurs, but won’t be something used in pro play. Scrambling the minimap is a dead give away of when you’re nearby. Yes, not having a mini map when someone is near is a pain, but it’s also an indication that there’s someone to fight. Just be careful when you go looking for them, because they are more attuned to your footstep sounds.

Getting an Intel Ping of nearby enemies after a kill is pretty huge. This will allow players to adjust their next action based on what they see on the minimap after getting a kill. Listen for footsteps, get the kill and check your now increased minimap for pings of nearby enemies. You’re good at finding people nearby, so be sure to hang out in voice chat to let players know when you find someone else. Especially in comp games.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Activision

Team Kaliber web banner

Team Kaliber makes major changes during Rostermania

After the conclusion of Stage One Finals, Roster Mania ignites within the world of competitive Call of Duty. Every team is in a scramble to make the necessary changes to their roster in an attempt to get ready for Stage 2 and for the next major events. One of the teams surrounding itself in the most drama is Team Kaliber.

They were unable to drop away from the limelight in the recent series of changes because they knocked away two of their most well-known players, Dylan “Theory” McGee and Martin “Chino” Chino.

After Team Kaliber’s astounding success at the CWL New Orleans Open and the Dallas open, they seemed to fall into a bit of a pit where they couldn’t seem to find a rhythm. The team work wasn’t working out for each other, and it seemed none of the players were able to coalesce into something that could help carry them back to the top. They finished 8th in the CWL Atlanta open and then 10th at CWL Birmingham. After these finishes, they decided it was time something happened that could make a difference, whether for better or for worse.

Kosdff

Image courtesy of Dexerto

On Justin “Kosdff” Chandler’s YouTube channel, he released a video explaining most of the recent changes, and why they were made. Following the conclusion of Stage One finals, the team approached the owner and said that they were no longer wanting play as a team. Dylan didn’t want to play with the guys in TK anymore, and the guys in TK weren’t wanting to play with him anymore.

Team Kaliber at Conclusion of Stage One

There just wasn’t great performance. After their blunders at Birmingham and Atlanta, it’s real easy to see why TK might be looking to up their staff, or rearm their players. They needed something to change, and getting fourth at the end of Stage One just wasn’t going to be enough to keep the brand name where they wanted it to be. They decided that some changes needed to happen. The only appropriate changes they could think of was going to be the removal of a couple key players. Or so they hope.

Dropping Dylan “Theory” McGee

This really should not have a come as a surprise, though it sort of did. Theory had some of the worst stats on the team following the conclusion of CWL Birmingham and Stage One finals. As a result of this, Kosdff and Kenny “Kenny” Williams made the decision to drop him in favor of getting a new sub player that could match Kenny’s intensity in the game.

This isn’t to say, however, that the choice was easily done. Kosdff says that he attempted to make a trade with some other teams for three other players in an effort to form a new Team Kaliber around Theory,

Dylan "Theory" McGee

Image courtesy Dexerto gaming

in order to keep him on board. The only problem being that Kosdff believes Theory to be more of a leader. This meaning that Theory is someone you build a team around, not someone you build into a team. Since TK hasn’t been doing so successful at recent events, he decided the only logical thing to do was to remove leadership and fill the roll with someone more adaptable.

This didn’t seem to be enough, however. Kenny and Kosdff decided that the team needed and even bigger change to make it’s success more prominent. Removing Chino was the next best course of action.

Dropping Martin “Chino” Chino

Many regarded Chino as one of the best players on the team, and even one of the better Flex players in Call of Duty. Unfortunately, for these fans of Team Kaliber, Chino was dropped from the team. He wasn’t someone who removed themselves, like Theory. But, rather, he was dropped in an effort to help the team coalesce into something closer to what the brand wants to be. Kenny decided that he and Theory didn’t compliment each other’s play style very well. The team decided that Chino didn’t compliment them well, either. The next step was to drop Chino and try to find two replacements for him and Theory.

Chino tK

Image courtesy of Dexerto

Methodz and FERO

Fortunately, during Rostermania, Rise Nation just decided to ditch Anthony “Methodz” Zinni for Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat. This left him on the Free Agents list, ready to be picked up by the guys in Team Kaliber. This is a huge pickup for Team Kaliber, since Methodz is one of the top AR players right now. He recently received the MVP award at CWL Atlanta in March. Methodz was not a single grab, however. He came with his own recommendations to replace Chino, and that was Maurice “Fero” Henriquez.

Kenny believes that this new addition of Fero will be a great compliment to his more aggressive play style. The goal was to also add a little bit of knowledge to the teams lack of understanding when it comes to Search and Destroy. They were hoping to learn something along with these trades. Which is what makes them one of the most adaptive, and competitive teams in the CWL Pro League.

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Luminosity: CWL Birmingham champions

Splyce upset as Luminosity takes title in CWL Birmingham

Luminosity took home their first title of the CWL WWII season this last weekend. Splyce was unable to hold Luminosity in the two series Grand Final, resulting in an ending of 3-1 in favor of Luminosity.

It was a real battle, though. Luminosity fought hard, but some would say that Splyce fought better. Splyce won their first matchup against Luminosity, during pool play, in a 3-2 win. It seemed the crowd was there to back them up, but Luminosity wasn’t done with them yet.

Losers Bracket

Splyce lost a deafening 0-3 defeat to Rise Nation in the Semi-Finals of the Winners bracket, which knocked them down into the losers bracket. After tearing a 3-0 hole into Reckless, Splyce was back into the finals.

From here, it seemed that Splyce was unstoppable. They rocked their way through the “Scump” backed Optic Gaming roster and finally got their chance at revenge against Rise Nation. The crowd was wildly in favor of their boys in Splyce. They were screaming behind every single play or double kill that Thomas “Tommey” trewren and the others would get. Ultimately, leading Splyce to net a 3-1 taste of victory over the team that would send them on a longer run then should’ve been necessary. Rise Nation.

Just a taste of what this Splyce crowd was like.

Winners Bracket

This isn’t a fan favorite, but I’m going to come out and say it. Luminosity had an easier bracket up until their last couple of matches. They were shut out by Splyce at the beginning and were lucky that that wasn’t the match that would’ve sent them into the losers bracket. Fortunately for them, Optic wasn’t having a great tournament. Luminosity managed to knock them aside and proceed towards the power house in Rise and their finals against old foes in Splyce.

The most surprising/impressive moment of Luminosity’s climb to the top was the toppling of the previous champions. They managed a 2-3 victory over Rise Nation and this is no minor feat. Luminosity’s JKap was quoted as saying that Rise Nation is, “the best in the game right now.”

All that was left to do now was battle, again, with Splyce.

Splyce

This team really showed up to play. Not only did they manage to defeat Rise Nation in their second time around, but they also beat Luminosity. Twice. First in pool play, and then again, later, during the first series of the Grand Finals.

If I had my pick, I would’ve given the MVP to either Tommy or Ben “Bance” Bance. Both of these two players were exceptional in every way and showed up to play one of the most impressive games of Hard point in the opening match-up of the Grand finals against Luminosity that there has ever been in Call of Duty history.

Splyce just won gunfights. That’s it. There was only a couple of times where they teetered under the pressure of Luminosity, but this team had fuel. Their crowd kept them going and they were able to pull two wins out from underneath Luminosity. Even though they couldn’t secure the final series, they ended the whole event with a 2-1 record over the Grand Champions.

Luminosity

Though they might’ve only narrowly secured their victory, they are one of the best teams in Call of Duty right now. This became especially evident when they were able to shut the previous CWL Atlanta champions, Rise Nation, out of the Grand Finals spot. Not only that, but they had some of the more impressive team plays.

In every bout of S&D we would see clumps of three players usually rush one bombsite while their fourth would play sentry on the other side of the map. This was such a consistent and perfect tactic, that allowed them to walk away from almost every game of S&D with a win.

The team just worked really well together, once they got the momentum going. It’s hard to really say who the best player was, but the CWL League seems to think that it’s Johnathon “John” Perez. With so many muscle clenching plays coming out of JKap, Octane and SLACKED, it’s hard to really say that there should only be one MVP.

Regardless, here are your battle hardened CWL Birmingham champions: JKap, Slacked, Octane and the MVP John.

Luminosity: CWL Birmingham Champions

Image courtesy of DoT Esports

 

 

 

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CWL Birmingham: Predicting the top five

With CWL Birmingham coming up this weekend, it’s time to take a look at the top contending teams and make early predictions as to who we think will be in the top five. This wasn’t an easy list to make, since some teams aren’t consistently taking wins where you’d expect them to. But I think it’s pretty solid. Taking a look at the performances of each team in their respective Divisions during CWL Pro League play and how they performed at CWL Atlanta, here are my predictions for who I think will take home the top five spots in the CWL Birmingham open on March 30-April 1.

 

5. Optic Gaming

Optic Gaming is holding second place in Division A, just one win over the guys in Red Reserve. This team is an obvious fan favorite, but there’s a lot missing from the roster that they must have if they want to perform better at CWL Birmingham. Right now, they rely on Seth “Scump” Abner a lot. Don’t get me wrong, the other players are good, but they don’t hold up their end as strongly as Scump does.

I think that he will be the saving grace of any high placements that Optic Gaming is able to secure. If they want to see themselves rise higher up on the leaderboard, however, then we will need to see some better plays out of some of the other players.

If Optic can turn out some of their tactics that they’ve pulled out when they play Rise Nation in CWL Division A matchups, then I think we will see some solid results. They’re the only team that’s able to say they don’t have an astoundingly negative record against the guys in Rise, and hopefully they can turn it around. I know the fans of Optic will be hoping for an upset against both Rise and Red Reserve. But until someone else besides Scump decides to show up and play some real COD, then I don’t think we will see them rise up much higher then this.

4. LUMINOSITY GAMING

I originally thought the final battle for CWL Atlanta was going to be between the guys in Luminosity and Rise Nation. These guys are sitting at the #2 spot in terms of Pro Points and but I think they’ll land in the #4 spot at the next CWL open in Birmingham. Luminosity can deliver a lot of high octane performances, but it’s the consistency that will draw them back from winning. They roll out so many great plays, like when Johnathan “John” Perez was able to run a flag all the way back against a full Team Epsilon and score, all without his teammates there to support him. But, they also drop the ball a lot.

At CWL Atlanta we saw Luminosity get 3-0’d in their match up against Red Reserve. In the latest series of Division B matches, they took a 3-0 win over FaZe Clan, which happens to be one of the top teams, but take 2-3 dunking from Evil Geniuses. On top of this, we saw this 6-1 team Luminosity barely take the 3-2 win over the 0-8 Epsilon. Epsilon held on strongly and knocked the boys in Luminosity into a 5th game during their bout of S&D.

That’s not to say, however, that Luminosity doesn’t still win games. They do. You just might be holding on to your seat and begging a higher power that they don’t slip up. I’m hesitant to put them into the number 4 spot, to be perfectly honest, but they show up sometimes. So, if they come ready to win, then here they will be. If not, then they might be a little lower.

3. FaZe Clan

Faze Clan is good. Really good. Visibly the best in Division B. The only thing shutting them out of taking a higher position at the CWL Atlanta open was the unstoppable force existing in Rise Nation’s roster. That, and the 1-3 shutout that came from Red Reserve later the next day. Faze clan is one of the few teams, and the only team in Division B, that’s able to go 2-0 against Luminosity. There’s a lot of talent here, and it comes through. The only thing holding them back is their inability to overcome the color Red.

I don’t particularly think it’s the teamwork that pulls Faze Clan forward, though there is a good bit of it. I think it’s the success of each individual player. The players on Faze are phenomenal and can hold themselves to a ridiculous standard, like Dillon “Attach” Price winning a 1v3 playing S&D against the guys in Splyce. If this kind of consistency from each player keeps up, but we see them mesh a little bit better, to take down the strats of teams like Rise or Red Reserve, then we can see Faze become one of the top two, and not just in Division B.

 

2. RED RESERVE

This probably isn’t a fan favorite, and maybe one that others would choose against. I think that Red Reserve is going to take the number #2 spot. Again. Red Reserve knocked Optic Gaming out of the running for the #2 spot at CWL Atlanta by a decisive 3-0 victory. I would say that they deserve the #3 spot, but they showed up to play some serious video games in their last match against Faze Clan and beat them 3-1. Red Reserve can dominate, there’s no doubt, since they did come in second in the CWL Atlanta open, but Red Reserve faces the same issue many other teams face: consistency.

In the CWL Pro League Division A, Red Reserve is sitting in the #3 spot with a record of 9-5. That’s below the #2 Optic at 10-4, but Red Reserve proved at CWL Atlanta that Optic wasn’t a problem. Red Reserve sports an impressive roster with their best player being, arguably, Trei “Zer0” Morris. Zer0 will be, in my opinion, what gives Red Reserve the presence they need to overcome most challenges in their games at CWL Birmingham.

If Zer0 can show up to play, then I’d be willing to bet that the team holds a steady hand against the likes of Optic Gaming again. If not, then we will just have to wait and see where they go. Team Kaliber was their only other real battle in Division A, besides the obvious Rise Nation, but Reserve proved that they could overcome that challenge by taking a 3-1 win over TK on the final day of the CWL Atlanta open.

1. Rise Nation

Rise Nation is easily in the top spot for this upcoming competition. Ending their last week of CWL Pro League play at 13-1 and taking home the title at CWL Atlanta, they sport one of the most impressive track records in the league right now. Though it’s easy to see why. TJHaly, Looney, Methodz and Gunless coalesce to make one of the tightest squadrons in the league. No matter the situation, each player can be relied upon to carry themselves through it.

 

There isn’t a lot that needs to be said, as each player holds one of the best K/D records in the league. Methodz, featured in the clip above, obtained the record of MVP at the tournament. He was one the teams top performers right next to TJHaly who consistently put up positive numbers. Rise Nation has also gone 2-0 against every other team in Division A except for Optic Gaming where they are tied at a 1-1 record. We could see Rise Nation take the top spot in the league, in terms of Pro Points, from the leaders of yesteryear in Team Kaliber.

 

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CWL Atlanta Pool Play Predictions

Here are my predictions for Pool Play at CWL Atlanta. Just remember that all of these pools are predicted without the open bracket team decided, so the predictions will not include them in the discussion. If you would like to watch it, it will be streamed from https://www.twitch.tv/callofduty and http://www.mlg.com .

 

Pool A (The Pool of 3)

CWL Atlanta

Credit: @CODWorldLeague

My Prediction

  1. Rise Nation

  2. Echo Fox

  3. Splyce

  4. Epsilon Esports

Pool A has one team that is on the top of the game, two teams that have had a back and forth year, and one team that has done nothing but struggle. Rise Nation with all the confidence in the world, are coming off an undefeated second half to their division and have been looking stronger every time that they compete. This has a lot to do with their FLEX player, Gunless, and their main AR, Methodz. They have been dominating throughout Stage 1 putting up a combined 1.16 K/D Ratio. I expect them to do well in this division and have no troubles getting the first seed.

Splyce had an extremely hot start this season with an impressive 2nd place finish at CWL Dallas. However, with the STG/BAR meta being in place now it has shown a weakness in their team’s roles. One topic that has come up a lot because of this is that each of the regions play differently in the CWL. From this we see that the Europeans and Australians have been playing slower. Now with the majority of the teams in pool play being North American this has caused issues for Splyce. With this being said expect them to struggle in this pool against both Rise and Echo Fox.

Echo Fox has been a team on the rise as of late. The organization had a rough start at Dallas and at the Northern Arena Showdown, this resulted in a trade with Rise of Aqua in place of Gunless. Normally trades are stronger on one side compared to the other but both teams were able to improve from it. In the second half of their division of pro league they found themselves in a spot where if they win, they’re in and they clutched up. Their recent success and new-found confidence makes me believe that they will be able to make it out of this division.

Epsilon has not had many positives this season. Since CWL Dallas they have been being made to look like an amateur team for the majority of the time. They are a team that is behind the learning curve and they also are short on leadership. During the Pro League they have not won a series and only have a 4-21 map record. I expect following the completion of their division that a roster lock will occur and they will pick up an in-game leader in the place of Nathan or Hawqeh. Also, they are a team with a strong chance at not making into Stage 2 following relegation.

 

Pool B (The Pool of Recovery)

CWL Atlanta

Credit: @CODWorldLeague

My Prediction

  1. Luminosity Gaming

  2. Team Kaliber

  3. Evil Geniuses

  4. Team Vitality

This pool is the most predictable out of all. Luminosity is undoubtedly one of the best if not the best team in the game. The shear slaying potential of this team with the turret of an AR player Octane and the top tier SUB player John has made them one of the more dominant respawn teams. One of the top in respawn, also have a great mindset when it comes to search and destroy, behind the leadership brought on by JKap.

Team Kaliber has been struggling as of late but I feel as the spotlight has been taken off of them they will be able to show some improvements throughout the weekend. Additionally, they have one of the easiest if not the easiest pool to get out of, so they will have plenty of matches to warm up with.

Evil Geniuses is a team with a lot of question marks coming into Atlanta. They have shown some signs of greatness this season but have many bad performances as well. This might be due to leadership conflicts from Aches, Enable, and Nameless all of which are coming out of former leadership roles. Another issue might be a role crisis with the current three sub meta in the game. Going into this season Aches, Enable, and Nameless were running AR’s. Currently they have Enable running an AR full-time which is great, however they also have Nameless running a full-time sub which makes him look very uncomfortable. I think to get more success they need to switch the roles of Aches to the second sub player and put Nameless into the FLEX role.

There is not much to say about Vitality. They struggled through all of this season with very little success. They have had a lot of issues when it comes to slaying throughout the season espeically with Malls. On the bright side for them when he is preforming well they look like a team that can compete at a high level throughout the weekend.

 

Pool C (The Pool of Death)

CWL Atlanta

Credit: @CODWorldLeague

My Predictions

  1. Optic Gaming

  2. Faze Clan

  3. eUnited

  4. ERA Eternity

If I was a team coming out of the open bracket, I would be terrified to be placed against these teams. This division contains both Optic Gaming and eUnited who are some of the few teams that have stuck together from last season. Also Faze Clan is a roster that is full of veterans that will continue to be strong.

Optic Gaming every year around Stage 1 seem to get into a rhythm and are always a favorite going into events. Their time in Division A was a huge confidence boost for them finishing second and be able to take down each of the top teams. One weakness that continues for them is coming in slow when playing the weaker teams. They play down to their opponents in a way. The X factor for their team this weekend is Karma, if he is able to have a strong performance when it comes to the “dirty work” of his objective role for the team.

Faze Clan has been one of the best teams on LAN this season. They have made a strong run this season after needing to come out of the open bracket at Dallas. Faze arguably has the strongest sub duo in the game right now in Attack and Zoomaa. The strong presence that they bring is especially shown in Capture the Flag, where Faze has dominated for the majority of the season.

eUnited has been going through adversity through the last couple weeks. They struggled greatly during their division of the Pro League. One weakness that they have shown repeatedly for the majority of time as a roster is their inability to recover from a loss. For the last three major LAN events they have lost in the winner’s semifinals and then immediately lost in loser’s bracket placing Top 6. Another situation that could affect their placing this weekend is that they may need a sub for Clayster. Clayster announced on Twitter that his dad is currently in the hospital and not doing well. He later went on to tweet that he may miss the event this weekend to be there for his dad and that he is sorry for his teammates and fan. If this occurs, it would be extremely detrimental for their team by losing the leader and their team’s chemistry.

ERA Eternity is a team that has untapped potential. During the second half of their division they were able to win their way out of relegation. These strong performances were led by an impressive upset of Optic Gaming. As expected this team has been exceptional in search and destroy being led by Fero. One weakness that they have shown quite a bit is poor scorestreak usage during respawn game modes. While they have been improving they are still vulnerable in this pool.

 

Pool D (The Pool of Opportunity)

CWL Atlanta

Credit: @CODWorldLeague

My Predictions

  1. Team Envy

  2. Red Reserve

  3. Unilad

  4. Mindfreak

Pool D is another pool that would be attractive for an open bracket team to make a run in. The large international presence in this division causes this pool to be more unpredictable than the others. Envy is a team on the rise. After their slow start to the season, they have a strong performance during the Pro League with their only loss coming to Luminosity. These strong performances were led by Slasher, during this season he has been of the best AR players. The biggest influence however for their team is the rapid improvement from Huke. Since his recent transition from Halo, he seemed to have a slow start to the year but with time he has clearly found his stride.

Red Reserve is currently looking like the best team in Europe. At CWL New Orleans and at Stage 1 they have had many strong performances. They have been beating many top teams such as Optic and Faze, while avoiding losses to the weaker teams that they are competing against. In their recent performances, they have been led by Zer0. As many other dominant players this season he has been the player in the FLEX role. The current meta with the PPSH is allowing him to thrive in mid-range gun fights and allow him to apply more pressure in respawn than with an AR.

Unilad had a difficult start to their division in the Pro League, starting with a 0-3 record. But, they made a team decision to switch Skrapz to a full-time sub and it has shown great results for them. The strong slaying that he has brought them during respawn has moved them from a week team, to a team that may be able to compete with Red for the second spot in their pool.

Mindfreak has been the strongest team in the APAC region for many years. This season they are in a better position than in years past. One major weakness for them is their inability to practice against top caliber teams while not at events. In their break between the halves of their division, they decided that they would not practice keeping their play style closer to the North American Team. Another issue that Mindfreak has had for many events is having a slow Friday. Normally, Mindfreak is placed into the loser bracket before they find their stride and put themselves in no place to make a solid run in a tournament.

 

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What is the player stock of Blazt?

Throughout this season in the CWL, Blazt has been in the spotlight a lot. However, his time has been spent in a negative manner for the majority of this time. At the start of the season he came in as an impressive player in the search and destroy community that was switching over to variant play for the first time.

Immaturity

Going into CWL Dallas, he was on Ground Zero with Parasite, Study and Fero. This team seemed to have issues in a both respawn game modes but were strong in search and destroy as expected with Blazt and Fero. Following this event, Parasite and Study decided that it was time for a team change. When this was announced, Parasite posted on twitter that he felt that teaming was Blazt was difficult due to his negativity and his immaturity.

Untrustworthy

The next team that he went on to join was a group of young SnD stars under Doom Clan. The team was Fero, Decemate, Ricky and Blazt. But this team was shot lived, six days before CWL New Orleans, Blazt announced that he was leaving Doom Clan and joining Enigma 6. This change was very influential on the pro points standings. His move knocked his former team down to the open bracket and moved the new Enigma 6 roster into pool play. Many pro players reacted to this by calling him a snake and saying that he is just chasing a high salary and not good chemistry. During the event Enigma 6 struggled in pool play going 0-4, forcing them into a disappointing top 16 placing. The Doom clan roster ended up placing Top 12, which caused Enigma 6 to miss the Pro League by only 135 pro points.

As expected this roster fell apart after the even due to pro points being less of an influence for the remainder of a season. Blazt ended up joining a roster of Nagafen, Mochila, and Censor under the Most Wanted organization. This roster seemed to be pleasing very early into the life of this team when the won one of the Pro League Challenge. But, the roster has fallen apart quickly. Most Wanted streams most of their scrimmages and tournaments, and during these they are frequently arguing and have multiple communication issues. During a scrimmage last week, Blazt ended up leaving mid-game and said to his stream that he could no longer stay playing with this team. The official announcement came out on Friday just 7 days before CWL Atlanta. Blazt is yet to announce who his team is going into Atlanta. However, there are rumors that Blazt will be replacing Bevils on the ERA Eternity roster.

Credit: dexerto.com

What does this mean for the future of his career?

Blazt has not had the strongest start to his career, through three events he has now went through four team changes. Through three of these teams changes they have been due to personality issues between Blazt and his teammates. Many people are seeing him as a toxic player in the community and is deterring many pro and top amateur players from teaming with him in the future.

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Featured image from dotesports.com

 

CWL Pro League

Power Rankings: CWL Pro League Week 6, Rise Nation rises to the top

After the conclusion of Week 6 of the CWL Pro League, Rise Nation is setting themselves up as a front runner for CWL Atlanta. CWL Atlanta will start March 9th and will conclude on March 11th.

CWL Pro League

Credit: https://www.inverse.com

1. Rise Nation

CWL Pro League Record: 13-1

After coming together just ten days before CWL New Orleans, Rise Nation has been nothing short of magnificent. They have been one of few teams that have improving each and every time we see them play and there is no end in sight. Rise has solidified their place on the top of the power rankings due to their 7-0 record in the second set of matches of Division A.  Their continued strong performances have been of the backs of Gunless and TJHaly. Gunless has been filing the FLEX role arguably stronger than any other player in the game and when he is paired with a strong up incoming “SnD star” in TJHaly, they are a near unstoppable duo.

CWL Pro League

Credit: thescoreesports.com

2. Luminosity Gaming

CWL Pro League Record: 6-1

Luminosity Gaming is coming into Atlanta with a chip on their shoulder after the heart-breaking loss to Team Kaliber at CWL New Orleans. Since the loss they have dominated Division B with a 6-1 record. With the return of the STG/BAR meta expect for Octane and JKap to take control of series to come.

CWL Pro League

Credit: thescoreesports.com

3. Team Envy

CWL Pro League Record: 6-1

Team Envy came into the start of the Pro League as a wild card, with untapped potential that could either flourish or fail. But, they came out strong as Huke finally looked comfortable after his transition from Halo. Along with the strong AR presence of Slasher, they have led their team to a strong 6-1 start with their only loss coming to Luminosity.

CWL Pro League

Credit: @OpTicGaming

4. Optic Gaming

CWL Pro League Record: 10-4

Optic Gaming has been a staple in Call of Duty E-sports for over five years and the core roster of Scump, Formal, Karma, and Crimsix have been together for nearly three years. At CWL New Orleans, Optic had their worst performance at a LAN event since this roster has been formed, placing Top 12. But as the Pro League started they showed strength beating the two-time champions Team Kaliber twice and being the only team to beat Rise Nation.

CWL Pro League

Credit: @RedReserve

5. Red Reserve

CWL Pro League Record: 9-5

Red Reserve has taken over as Europe’s leading force after some of the struggles with Splyce’s performance and Red’s incredible run through the loser’s bracket by eliminating Faze, Optic, and eUnited at CWL New Orleans. They were able to get a fourth place there and continued the momentum into the Pro League. In their first set of matches, they exploited Optic’s weakness on St. Marie du Monte Hardpoint and beat them 3-1 for the second time in a row. The trend of strong FLEX players is continuing to have a strong impact with both Zer0 and Joshh.

CWL Pro League

Credit: steamcommunity.com

6. Faze Clan

CWL Pro League Record: 5-2

Faze has stepped up this season after disappointing online performances leading up to CWL Dallas, which put them in the open bracket to start the season. But, through this they got into their stride and placed fourth, which is the highest placing out of any open bracket team ever. At the Pro League they showed off their star power when they were the only team able to beat Luminosity. Throughout the season they have shown dominance on Capture the Flag, due to strong leadership and shot calling from Replays.

CWL Pro League

Credit: splyce.gg

7. Splyce

CWL Pro League Record: 3-4

Splyce has went from having a continent on their back in the finals at CWL Dallas, to struggling at CWL New Orleans. They had a little trouble in the beginning of the Pro League, because Jurd had a visa issue that it stopped him from getting to Columbus for the first week. The team ended up getting another fast-paced Sub Slayer in Felo from Complexity to fill in. They managed to stay in a good standing, finishing 2-2. When they were reunited they seemed to have their timings off, but later in the week they were showing signs of improvement that should continue going into Atlanta.

CWL Pro League

Caption: nerdwide.com

8. Echo Fox

CWL Pro League Record: 6-8

Echo Fox has been a team that has had a roller coaster ride during the Pro League. They finished the first half of Pro League with a 2-5 record and a 1-12 map count during the second week. Once they came back, they were in a position where they needed to take down some top teams to avoid relegation. Over the second half of Pro League they were able to takedown both Team Kaliber and Optic. They ended up playing themselves into a position where their final match against Mindfreak would say who would advance to Stage 2 and who would get relegated. They came out strong on Docks Hardpoint which Mindfreak had been very strong on. Echo Fox was led by strong performances from Assault and Saints. These performances would continue for the rest of the series where they would win 3-1.

CWL Pro League

Credit: teambeyond.net

9. Team Kaliber

CWL Pro League Record: 8-6

Team Kaliber was at the top of everyone’s rankings for the majority of the season but they have been many signs of weakness since the start of Pro League. The two-time defending champions have continued to struggle on Forest Capture the Flag, where they have only a 29 percent win rate this season. The recent removal of the FG42 from the meta,  has resulted in a negative impact on both Chino and Accuracy. This has put them in a positon where one of them now needs to run the third Sub which is an uncomfortable role for each of them. Also, with the addition of Valkyrie to the map set, the fast-paced layout of the map has resulted in many teams using three or even four Subs. This has led to them losing the map each of the three times that they have played it.

CWL Pro League

Credit: thetab.com

10. Unilad

CWL Pro League Record: 3-4

Unilad had a slow start to the World War 2 season. Once the pro league started they came in as a wild card team to see if they would avoid relegation. Currently, they are sitting in the final position to avoid being relegated with the completion of Division B following Atlanta. Unilad continued that slow start that they have been having during the first week of the Pro League with a 0-3 record. However, they came to a team decision to take Skrapz out of the second AR role and switch him with Moose to a full time Sub play. This was due to their lack of aggression that is more need while playing North American teams compared to their fellow European teams. Following this change Unilad was able to get a 3-1 record during week, only falling to Evil Geniuses in a heart-breaking Game 5 Round 11 finish. One of these wins was against a strong looking Faze roster, where Skrapz was able to gain a lot of map control for his team due to his strong slaying presence.

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The secret to Team Kalibers Success

The secret to Team Kaliber’s success

TK All Day

Team Kaliber is defying every metric we have found necessary in the past three years. Yet, they are still making history and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. After CWL Nola, Team Kaliber has joined an illustrious group of teams that have won back to back events, such as OpTic, coL and Impact.

Although Team Kaliber has joined the ranks of the Call of Duty elite, the way they have started this run can’t be compared to any other team. Team Kaliber ended CWL Nola with an overall team K/D of 0.96. Dylan “Theory” McGee finished the event with a 0.78, which is the lowest K/D by a player on a winning team in Call of Duty History. Yet, it gets weirder. Martin “Chino” Chino finished with a 1.05, Kenny “Kenny” Williams finished with a 1.04 and Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi with a 0.99.

The Secrets to Team Kalibers Success

Photo: Dot Esports

Stats Do Lie?

No player on Team Kaliber lit up the stat sheet, but for anyone who watched, they passed the eye test with flying colors. Watching Team Kaliber, and looking at a stat sheet after the event makes you question the overall stats they finished the weekend with. The truth lies in what has been over looked in the jet pack era.

Much of Team Kaliber’s success can be attributed to their roles being very clear for each individual player. In the jet pack era, roles were nearly nonexistent, with players being responsible for a little bit of everything. Call of Duty WWII finds itself going back to set roles for players, not exactly the same, but similar to the golden era of Black Ops 2. What needs clarification is that although roles are back, the specifics of roles are very different from days of old, and this may be where Team Kaliber has the upper hand over the competition.

The Secrets to Team Kalibers Success

Photo: Dexerto

Roles are Back

The terms Slayer and Objective player are still here, but how the roles are played are very different for the boys on Team Kaliber.

One notable change is that the main Objective player for Team Kaliber in Hardpoint is Accuracy, their main AR. What this lets the squad do is push out the hills farther and allow a bigger margin for error. With an AR sitting in hill it allows the SMG players to push farther out for cuts. This forces opposing teams to battle for the hill much farther up the map. Team Kaliber doesn’t allow teams to get from spawn to hill without contest. Slayers’ roles are transformed from roamers to essentially the first players pushed up on lanes.

Due to this you will see K/D’s fall. However, by being so pushed up and in front of the hill, it allows them to spawn back at the hill as the next team is arriving. It’s something very common to what we saw last year in Frost Uplink. Team Kaliber forces two sets of kills before gaining access to the hill.

A notable reason why many other teams don’t seem to use this same tactic is that the gunfights you are taking further up the map are less suitable than one closer to hill. However, the ability for Team Kaliber to have essentially two chances to defend their hill makes the loss of potential gunfights farther up the hill a benefit. If they are forced to defend the hill a second time, they are now in the more advantageous positions. Team Kaliber forces teams to essentially break the hill twice before getting time. Against one of the talented teams in the game so far, just one break would be considered a success.

 

The Champions Mold

Every championship roster in Call of Duty has had a roster that fits into this mold, but does Team Kaliber fit the bill? The mold consists of four specific types of players, no matter the game.

Firstly, you need your team based around top tier AR and SMG Slayers. Although they are easy to find, they tend to be harder to get. This is what causes big organizations in Call of Duty to maintain their success year after year, always keeping the cream of the crop AR and SMG Slayers in house.

The next position you need to fill is your flex, objective role. The guy who may take a backseat from headlines to do what needs to be done (the Kevin Love role). The final player needed is your SnD player. Not only a player who can make plays, but someone who is always consistent, strong under pressure and can be relied on in Call of Duty’s most inconsistent game mode.

 

Top tier AR – Chino, Top tier SMG – Kenny

This is the backbone of the squad. A duo that should be considered the best in the game. There is not one player in either role that you can point to that has performed better than either of these players all year.

Kevin Love – Theory

Theory has had an absolute 180 in his career this year. He sits in what is a very laid back, nice guy squad as the perfect leader. Not the flashiest player, not the best slayer, maybe not even the best leader. But there is no doubt he is the best leader for Team Kaliber. It is easy to say anyone in his position would flourish, and maybe they would. However, it’s hard to imagine the same consistency Team Kaliber brings without having Theory on the squad. He is surrounded by some of the best players in the world currently, but he is the guy who takes the sacrifice for the greater success of the team, and that’s much easier said than done.

The Secrets to Team Kalibers Success

Photo: Dexerto

SnD Star – Accuracy

This term has attracted some heat in recent years, but this is not the same type of SnD Star. We are not talking about the 14 year old with a keyboard and 1000 up/down for internet. We are talking about a player who plays the game one step ahead, and can be relied on for results in the most unexpected situations.

Let me be the first to say, I never would have thought this player could be Accuracy, even after Dallas I was doubtful. After CWL Nola, I bit the bullet, Accuracy is here to stay. He plays with a confidence, a trust in his teammates that you would expect in a previous champ. The thing with Accuracy is he has been a scapegoat for as long as I can remember his name in the scene. Always the player who would be the first dropped or the last to be picked up.

It very well may be that all he needed to make the jump to an elite level player was the support of his teammates. Accuracy walked away from CWL Nola with a 1.43 SnD K/D, the highest on his team. As much as many still doubt him, you can look to Accuracy to be the player grabbing victory out of the jaws of defeat for Team Kaliber all year long.

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Featured Image courtesy of VentureBeat.

Stats courtesy of CodCompStats.