Week One of the Call of Duty Global Pro League Stage One kicks off this weekend at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Week One will feature North American teams EnVyUs and Cloud9, European team Splyce, and the sole team from the Asia-Pacific region Mindfreak.
Each team will face one another in a double round-robin format. The top two placing teams will advance to Playoffs as well as qualify for Stage Two of the Global Pro League, Pool Play at CWL Anaheim, and Call of Duty World Championship later this year. The 3rd place team will also qualify for Stage Two of the Global Pro League, Pool Play at CWL Anaheim, and Call of Duty World Championship. The team that places last will face Relegation in order to qualify for Stage Two.
Team EnVyUs comes into Week One as the reigning Call of Duty World Champions. Currently sitting in 4th place in the NA Pro Point standings, EnUyUs is a favorite to take this group.
Led by veteran CoD pro Jordan “JKap” Kaplan, the Team EnVyUs roster is filled out by Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, Johnathon “John” Peres, and Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov. After winning CoD Champs in Black Ops 3, EnVy suffered a slow start to the Infinite Warfare season. Their recent placing’s included 9th-12th at CWL Vegas, 3rd at CWL Atlanta, 9th-12th at CWL Paris, and 5th-6th at CWL Dallas. Although they have proven to be inconsistent this season, there is no doubting the raw skill each of these players possesses along with their in-game chemistry. With that in mind, EnVy looks poised to place 2nd in Week One at the lowest.
If there was one word to sum up Cloud9 in Infinite Warfare, it would be inconsistent. After knocking out OpTic Gaming at the 2016 CoD Champs, Cloud9 were riding high as they made their IW debut.
At the helm of Cloud9 is veteran CoD villain Patrick “ACHES” Price. Alongside is fellow veteran Richard “Ricky” Stacey, Adam “Assault” Garcia, and Andres “Lacefield” Lacefield.
Having a great start with a 2nd place finish at CWL Vegas, Cloud9 bombed out of the next two events placing 17th-20th at both CWL Atlanta and Paris. Many speculated a roster change would follow after these abysmal placings, but Cloud9 stuck together and managed a more respectable 9th-12th placing at CWL Dallas. Known as a team with weak mental fortitude, perhaps unjustly considering their willingness to stick together, Cloud9 will need to remain levelheaded if they wish for a top two placing this weekend.
Coming off an embarrassing defeat at CWL Birmingham, in which they lost two best-of-five series 3-0 to Epsilon, Splyce is looking forward to proving they are still the best team in Europe.
Splyce, made up of Benjamin “Bance” Bance, Dylan “Madcat” Daly, Jordan “Jurd” Crowley, and Trei “Zer0” Morris, still come into Week One in 1st place in the EU Pro Point standings even after Birmingham.
Before last weekend at CWL Birmingham, Splyce looked to be a clear favorite to take Week One alongside EnVy, however, some have their doubts. After losing the first Hardpoint in the Grand Finals Splyce seemed to roll-over in defeat as Epsilon walked all over them. However, this one event does not sum up Splyce in Infinite Warfare. After a 9th-12th placing at CWL Vegas, Splyce has finished within the top 8 at every international event, and 2nd at both EU-only events, showing they’re more than capable of defeating the other teams in Week One.
The only team from the APAC region in the Global Pro League, Mindfreak carries Australia’s sole hope of success in Stage One. At the beginning of the Infinite Warfare season, Mindfreak made a stunning roster change as Denholm “Denz” Taylor left his teammates of over two years to form a new team under Tainted Minds. Mindfreak now consists of Mitchell “BuZZO” Mader, Conrad “Shockz” Rymarek, Lincoln “Fighta” Ferguson and Denz’s replacement Cody “Excite” Rugolo.
This year, Mindfreak has only competed in two international events, placing 17th-20th at CWL Atlanta and 9th-12th at CWL Dallas. On their home turf, Mindfreak is the clear cut best in their region, winning the APAC-only CWL Sydney with a demoralizing reverse sweep out of the Loser’s Bracket over Denz and Tainted Minds. Coming into Week One as the underdog in the group, Mindfreak can cause an upset, but more than likely will face relegation before Stage Two.
Jack Waters is an avid Call of Duty Esports fan and wants to hear from YOU! Find him on Twitter.