A phenomenal grand final at CWL Dallas was the latest matchup in Call of Duty’s newest rivalry. The match was almost an exact replica of CWL Atlanta’s grand final, except that this time OpTic Gaming, instead of eUnited, won out on last map after going to a second series.
The tournament was OpTic’s second win of the year, making them the only team with two major LAN wins under their belt.
OpTic breezed through pool play, going 12-1 in map count. The journey became more difficult in the championship bracket, where both Luminosity and Splyce took OpTic to game five. Their toughest opponent, however, was eUnited, who took them to two game fives after extending the series by winning the first one. Both teams, hungry for their second LAN win, put on a show that attracted over 100k viewers to MLG.tv.
CWL Dallas was stacked, with top teams from every region in attendance. Two European teams, Splyce and Red Reserve, even managed to place in the top six. Before this year, North American teams dominated the competition through and through. Now, more Europeans are seeing the light of Championship Sunday.
OpTic is a team that is no stranger to Championship Sunday. Since Advanced Warfare, they have been at the top of the podium more than any other team in Call of Duty, and all without making roster changes.
Along the way, rivals have risen to meet them, only to fall off. FaZe, who have stuck together just as long as OpTic, were a fierce rival in Advanced Warfare and look to be this year as well. They have only placed below 3rd once so far. On Black Ops III, Rise Nation was seemingly the only team that could stop OpTic. However, their roster this year has had varied performances.
eUnited Rises to the Occasion
With their current roster, eUnited appears to be the only team capable of hanging with OpTic through Championship Sunday. The grind wears teams down, and only those with the experience and skill to make it through reach the grand final. Twice now, eUnited have outlasted everyone else to meet OpTic in the grand final of a CWL event. Twice now, they have kept viewers on the edge of their seats.
Atlanta was where eUnited proved everyone wrong. They were “jetpackers” and “online warriors,” and that was the reason, supposedly, they started the tournament with a high seed. It was then that eUnited showed their worth, as they ran through the teams in their pool and won over several tough opponents on their way to the grand final. There, they met OpTic, who worked their way through the loser’s bracket after losing to Team EnVyUs earlier on. In that grand final, OpTic looked unbeatable. They were on fire, from their loser’s bracket run onward, and eUnited looked to be just hanging on. But despite the 3-0 thrashing they suffered in the first series, eUnited was able to bounce back and take the championship. It was a first for all members of the team.
eUnited’s roster doesn’t consist of superstars, or at least, they aren’t superstars yet. Team captain Justin “SiLLY” Fargo-Palmer is flanked by three players that few had heard of before this year: Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson, Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, and Pierce “Gunless” Hillman. In fact, Arcitys and Prestinni, who happen to be twin brothers, only turned 18 two months before last year’s Call of Duty Championship. They quit their regular jobs to pursue a career in Call of Duty, and it’s paying off.
After Dallas, OpTic’s Damon “Karma” Barlow was impressed. “I wasn’t a believer [two] months ago but that showed how good [eUnited was],” he said.
eUnited is well aware of the rivalry they’ve gotten themselves into, and it reaches further than Call of Duty. Just this week, eUnited faced OpTic in the Gears of War Fight Night.
“Hey @OpTicGaming. We will get a Halo team if you get a League of Legends team. Then we can have a real rivalry. Deal?” eUnited joked on Twitter.
The rivalry between OpTic and eUnited was born in Atlanta but grew up in Dallas. So far, it’s created some of the most exciting Call of Duty in recent memory, and we hope to see more of it next month in Columbus when the Global Pro League begins.
Image: eUnited Twitter.
Josh Billy is a long time Call of Duty fan. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.