In Australia, Mindfreak has been the team to beat for years. They are one of two APAC teams to ever place top eight at the Call of Duty Championship, and now they are the lone APAC team in the Call of Duty Global Pro League, a spot they earned over closest rival, Tainted Minds.
With the Call of Duty World League restructuring this year to focus on international competition, Mindfreak restructured themselves as well when Denholm “Denz” Taylor left to join Tainted Minds, and Cody “Excite” Rugolo took his place. The move helped create two premier teams in the APAC region, with both Mindfreak and Tainted Minds traveling to North America for CWL Atlanta and CWL Dallas. At both events, Mindfreak placed better than Tainted Minds, and even won CWL Sydney over them, ultimately earning themselves the spot in the Global Pro League. Now, after placing third in Group Red, Mindfreak has paved the way for more of their countrymen, and others in the APAC region, to qualify for the Call of Duty Championship.
APAC could have had as few as two teams qualify for the 2017 Call of Duty Championship, but now they could have as many as four.
With their recent placement, Mindfreak has already secured their trip to the year-end tournament. They also qualified for Stage Two of the Global Pro League, and a pool play spot at CWL Anaheim, encouraging other APAC teams to push for the same level of success.
At the end of Stage One, the lowest placing team in each group will fight for their spot in Stage Two via a Relegation tournament. Two new North American teams, one European team, and one APAC team have a shot at qualifying for Stage Two through this process, and Tainted Minds look to be the most likely APAC team to do so. If Tainted Minds do manage to make it into Stage Two, they automatically qualify for the Call of Duty Championship. Two other APAC teams will later qualify through the APAC Last Chance Qualifier, potentially bringing the total to four teams at Champs.
At the 2016 Call of Duty Championship, APAC was represented by four teams as well. Unfortunately, none of them made it out of pool play, a testament to stacked North American and European rosters at the tournament. Mindfreak beating out a North American team in the Global Pro League, however, proves that they deserve to be mentioned among the world’s top teams.
What does Mindfreak do now?
There is a lot of time between now and Stage Two of the Global Pro League, which starts in late June. While Mindfreak would gain a lot of useful experience in North America scrimming against the likes of OpTic Gaming and FaZe, they are needed back on home turf.
According to Mindfreak owner Albert “Naked” Nassif, the team will be heading back to Australia to prepare for the next CWL Sydney event, taking place May 12-14.
“The plan is to get them back [to North America] for S2 and Champs,” Naked said on Twitter.
Mindfreak will also be attending CWL Anaheim in June, as they are already qualified for pool play.
Naked was happy with his team’s performance in the Global Pro League, telling Game Haus, “Disappointing result, [but] performance was good. Map count of 10-15 isn’t bad [against] Splyce and nV twice.”
Mindfreak does not plan to settle for anything less than first. The rest of APAC, however, was content with Mindfreak’s placing because of the opportunities it created for other teams in the region.
Australian Call of Duty personality BioAcid told Mindfreak, “You guys did your org, your fans and your region proud this weekend. Keen to see you in S2.”
Other players also offered their congratulations to Mindfreak after their performance.
Mindfreak now looks forward as they have a busy few months ahead of them. They will prepare for CWL Sydney, CWL Anaheim, and another shot at making the playoffs in Stage Two of the Global Pro League.