Call of Duty Esports

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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Featured image courtesy of Major League Gaming

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