Overwatch League Expansion Tier List: What cities will we see next?

It was recently reported that the Overwatch League was looking to expand with a price tag of a cool $30 to $60 million. Activision Blizzard also announced that they are now looking to add four or six teams instead of the two they were planning on originally. This adds numerous possibilities, and many different cities will be vying for spots in the league.

With that in mind we are going to look at which cities have the best chance of getting Overwatch League teams and rank them into three tiers.

Rankings will be based on the following questions:

  1. How big is the city?
  2. Has the city had any involvement in esports before? If so, how successful have those events been?
  3. Is there a known investor/franchise that is from that city that would want to put it there?
  4. Are there teams in close proximity to this city already? (i.e. another LA would not be likely)

There will be other factors to keep in mind as well. If they only go with four teams will they just keep the two divisions? If they go six do they split them up? Also, they will want to keep the divisions equal. To do so, there are only so many teams from certain areas that can can be considered.

Not happening this time

There are some cities that will probably be mentioned but, it is very unlikely that they will get a spot for one reason or another.

Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City- While all of these cities have a good amount of traditional sports teams, it is unlikely in this first expansion that they will pick two Midwest cities – especially ones that don’t have a huge connection to esports just yet.

Rome, Barcelona- Both are huge for soccer/futbol. That being said they aren’t necessarily known for esports and while they could eventually get teams there is no chance they beat out most of these other cities.

Tier 3- Unlikely but Possible

Brooklyn-  This was originally going to be a complete no, but looking at a couple factors changed that. To start, the Season 1 playoffs are happening at the Barclays Center. Also, most traditional sports have at least two teams in the big apple. Lastly, Los Angeles already has two teams so why not put two in New York as well? The main reason this is a long shot is that the Overwatch League wants to be a global league and there are areas of the United States and Europe that need teams more. Remember, there can only be two or three teams coming from the Atlantic area.

Overwatch league expansion

Courtesy of: Knights.gg

Beijing- The market in Asia is huge for just about any esport, especially China. Beijing did host the 2017 World Finals for League of Legends in an arena that held 91,000. The real problem is that there are at least two other cities that will be on this list that the OWL will want more for their Asian market. Truthfully, if Shanghai hadn’t come first, it is very likely that Beijing would be a higher priority.

Pittsburgh- This city is the least expected one on this list. That being said there is already an established esports organization that is officially the esports team of the city, the Pittsburgh Knights. With investors already coming in and the city backing them, it would be very easy for the OWL to establish a team in this city. Also Rob “Leonyx” Lee, owner, already has a ton of experience within the world of esports and would be able to help grow the new league.

The major problem is that without the already established team, Pittsburgh would never be considered. They don’t host any big events, it’s one of the smaller cities on this list, and the Philadelphia Fusion are in the same state.

Denver- DreamHack being in Denver put this city on the esports map. It’s in a very good location as there aren’t any teams already established anywhere nearby. That is about all it has going for it when it comes to a potential team, though. Unless a major investor with connections to this area comes forward, it is hard to see the Mile High City getting a team this time around.

Tier 2- Close but just out of reach

Atlanta- There is a lot to like about putting a new team in Atlanta. To start, there are no other teams in the area, so they could hit a whole new demographic. Their newest team in the MLS is bringing more fans to their games than any other team which means that this city receives new teams with enthusiasm. Lastly, Atlanta is a hotbed for hosting esports events such as DreamHack, the CWL, and more. The only thing going against Atlanta is that there are a limited number of spots.

overwatch league expansion

Courtesy of: Dribble.com

Washington D.C.- With a plethora of investors to choose from, a brand new NBA2k league team, and it being the capital of the United States it makes it hard not to at least consider D.C. The city is obviously big enough. The problem is that there are already so many teams in close proximity, such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. If D.C. wants a team and they don’t get one this time around, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one in serious consideration next time.

Cleveland- The Midwest desperately needs an Overwatch League team. The closest ones are either on the East coast or in Dallas. While Cleveland may not have been on the list before, that has changed majorly in the last year and a half. There is clearly investment interest as Cleveland has added two major esports franchises in the Cavs Legion from the NBA2k League and 100 Thieves from League of Legends. Both franchises are expected to perform well as the Cavs Legion have a top team lead by Hood and 100 Thieves recently finished 2nd in the NA LCS.

Tier 1- Very Likely

Chicago- We will start with the city that most likely will take Cleveland out of the running this time. Chicago is a major sports city and it has hosted numerous major esports events. Most consider Chicago to be the New York of the midwest and for good reason. It is a very cultural city that has incredibly loyal fans and has the biggest population in the Midwest. Did we mention that the Midwest needs a team? Even if there were only two spots available it is likely that Chicago would be highly considered, now with the possibility of three, Chicago had better be ready for an esports team.

Courtesy of: Leagueoflegends.com

Hong Kong- Like Cleveland being overshadowed by Chicago, Beijing won’t be considered because of this city. Hong Kong has been one of the major Asian cities for the last century and is one of the most Westernized cities on the continent. Combine this with the fact that it is likely that the OWL wants to reach more fans in China, and you get a top tier city. With a company like Tencent being in the area it is highly likely that they may want a piece of the OWL pie as well.

Paris- MSI for League of Legends will be happening here in just a few days. Paris has hosted esports events and is one of the major cities in Europe. Lets not forget that the London Spitfire are the only team representing Europe in a global league. If you don’t think Nate Nanzer is thinking about this then you’d be dead wrong. This city makes a ton of sense and like Chicago, even if they were only bringing in two teams overall it is likely Paris would be near or at the top.

Berlin- Almost everything that has been said about Paris can be said about Berlin. Although there is one distinct advantage, League of Legends EULCS is based there. This shows that people will attend games and the esports scene is growing there quickly. That being said, this may also be a reason why the league wont go here. As of right now it seems as though both leagues aren’t exactly on great terms (check out what happened to Immortals), so it is possible that the OWL could look elsewhere for now.

Seattle- Esports are based on the West Coast. It is where most of the studios are and it is where every team currently is based. With connections to Microsoft, many esports events being hosted there, and the general acceptance of esports in this city, it is likely they would be considered. Seattle would continue building the base of esports in the west and thus continue to grow it.

Overwatch League Expansion

Courtesy of: TheVerge.com

Toronto- The fact that there was not a team in Toronto to start was a little surprising. This city has a massive esports culture. It has hosted many events and it has one of the new NBA2k League teams. Canada needs to be represented in this league and Toronto is an obvious choice to make it happen.

Las Vegas- A year ago this may not have been a top choice. But with their new esports arena (used by Ninja for a Fortnite tournament), a new hockey team that is doing extraordinarily well, and a new NFL team, this city is ripe for an OWL team. The stereotype of Las Vegas being the sin city is still there. However, in the last decade or so it has become much more family friendly. With all of the new major venues and teams coming to Vegas, an OWL team just makes sense to join them.

Tokyo- Last but certainly not least is the biggest city in Japan. There is a massive culture built around gaming and esports in this city and country. They even have heroes and a map representating them in game. If a slot buyer comes forward with connections to the city then it would be very hard for the OWL to pass up the opportunity to bring Tokyo into the mix.

What do you think?

These are some of the top cities that could be considered for Overwatch League spots. As of right now there have been no announcements as to the bidding process, who has made a bid, or just about anything other than what we know from that original report. Speculation will increase the hype as the league starts their last stage this week.

What cities do you think will receive teams? Are there any that were missed? Comment below and let us know!

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

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.


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.


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.

New Rosters Looking to Take CWL Nola by Storm

The new rosters looking to take CWL Nola by storm

Rostermania has ended, rosters are locked, it’s Cod WWII fighting time

CWL Nola finds itself in a position to set up the rest of the competitive year. With rosters now locked, teams that make the LAN League will be unable to make changes. CWL Nola will mark the first time we see the newly constructed rosters compete for the highest stakes. For many teams it will be their fight to make the LAN League, for others it will be the first opportunity to see if they have the potential to fight for a title on LAN. Notable new rosters to look out for are Rise, Enigma 6, CompLexity, DooM and Echo Fox.


Current Roster

Daniel “Loony” Loza

Tommy “TJHaLy” Haly

Pierce “Gunless” Hillman (acquired from Exho Fox)

Anthony “Methodz” Zinni (acquired from Next Threat)


Released Players

Ulysses “Aqua” Silva (picked up by Exho Fox)

Tyler “FeLonY” Johnson (picked up by CompLexity)


Rise’s roster has come out with a bang, winning the first online 2000 Series that they competed in. At first look, losing a player like Aqua is a hard pill to swallow. However, the man replacing Aqua in Methodz, has been an absolute star early on and is likely one of only a handful of players that could offer improvement to the performance of Aqua.

For Rise fans, the biggest thing to be excited for is the acquisition of Gunless for FeLonY. Although, at peak performance, both players are of the same caliber. Where Gunless offers value opposed to FeLonY is in consistency.

Together Gunless and Methodz give Rise the slaying they have lacked from teams of old. One thing that may also be beneficial with the squad is that it now places Loony front and center as the leader of the team, giving the squad leadership they have lacked for the past year.

Engima 6

New Rosters Looking to Take CWL Nola by Storm

Photo Courtesy of: Daily Entertainment News

Current Roster

Jordan “General” Holloway

Brandon “Dashy” Otell

Doug “Censor” Martin (acquired from Next Threat)

Rasim “Blazt” Ogresevic (acquired from Ground Zero)


Released Players

Casey “Pandur” Romano (picked up by eRa)

Adam “GodRx” Brown (picked up by eRa)


First things first, we have to address the gorilla in the room. This is, without a doubt a team formed with only pro-points in mind. The current set of players on this roster does place Engima 6 inside the top 10, but if last year proved anything, just forming a team to make the league will often find itself fall flat once they have reached the league. However, this squad does have the potential for results, although it relies heavily on Censor.

The return of the fan favorite player has gone better then most expected and has shown improvement in each event. The acquisition of Censor should open up the rest of the map for the players on the team, having someone dedicated for the dirty work objective role.

Another positive for this squad is the fact that they have three consistent players and you know what to expect from them event to event. Both General and Dashy can get kills with anyone in the world.

The weight really falls onto the shoulders of Blazt. If he is able to slay with close to that of other top SMG’s in the game, the new Enigma 6 roster should be fighting around the top 8.



New Rosters Looking to Take CWL Nola by Storm

Photo Courtesy of: Major League Gaming

Current Roster (Formerly Ground Zero)

Chris “Parasite” Duarte

Jeremy “Study” Astacio

Jared “Nagafen” Harrell (acquired from Next Threat)

Tyler “FeLonY” Johnson (acquired from Rise Nation)


Released Players

Rasim “Blazt” Ogresevic (picked up by Enigma 6)

Maurice “Fero” Henriquez (picked up by DooM)


This team takes on the personality of the team captain, Parasite. There likely wont be many average placings, but will have amazing results or huge disappointments.

A strength of this new roster is all the roles are very well assigned. You have the team leader and main AR in Parasite. You have your main SMG in Study, as well as your two flex SnD superstars in FeLonY and Nagafen. Although roles are set, question marks still remain. FeLonY and Naga are an old duo from the eLavate Black Ops 3 squad, and they bring the same strengths and weakness to coL as they did with their past squad. Although known for their SnD, the duo finds itself struggling in terms of slaying numbers over the last couple years.

FeLonY still has questions over his head, but Nagafen looks to be in his strongest form ever, boasting the 6th highest Capture the Flag K/D at CWL Dallas. If FeLonY and Parasite can slay consistently and up to their potential, this team can beat absolutely anyone; if not, they can lose to anyone as well.



Current Roster

Richard “Ricky” Stacy (acquired from Next Threat)

Maurice “Fero” Henriquez (acquired from Ground Zero)

Jacob “Decemate” Cato (acquired from Enigma 6)

Embry “Bevils” Bevil (acquired from eRa)


DooM is arguably the most interesting new team. It’s a brand new squad, with duo Bevils and Decemate from the CWL Dallas Enigma 6 roster being the only prior teammates.

Ricky finds himself as the solitary leader of this squad, and looking like the player of old. He is surrounded by three young players, who all have been hyped heading into season.

Early days have shown Decemate to be the strongest of the three young players on the squad, with Fero a close second. Bevils has had a tumultuous start to the year, having bounced around teams (Enigma 6, eRa) and seems to be the most unproven player on the current roster. However, there is good news. DooM will be the number one seeded team for open bracket, and gives them (in theory) the easiest path to pools. A good result can easily vault DooM past CompLexity for a league spot, but it’s going to be a long, tough run for this young squad.


Exho Fox

Current Roster

Renato “Saints” Forza

Brice “Faccento” Faccento

Adam “Assault” Garcia

Ulysses “Aqua” Silvia (acquired from Rise)


Although FaZe made a historic Open Bracket run, right behind them was the likes of Echo Fox. Echo Fox placed 5/6th from open bracket at CWL Dallas. They head into CWL Nola having acquired one of the best slayers of the past three years in Aqua.

The acquisition of Aqua joining Saints and Assault makes this one of the scariest slay heavy squads in the game. If they were ever to have a Faccento in 2017 MLG Vegas MVP form, they would be nearly unbeatable. That’s unlikely, but Faccento has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. If they struggle he will be the first many point at for their disappointing results.

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Cover image from: Call of Duty World League

CWL Over-reactions

The Optic Dynasty will Fall.

With boots on the ground back, the reign of OpTic was more than assumed to continue into WWII. The early 2000 Series showed this would be the case but everything changed at LAN. OpTic ended there CWL Dallas event getting 3-0’d by TK and Splyce, marking the first time for this roster to go out in that fashion. It hasn’t gotten better either. After recent rostermania, teams filling the top 8 have improved and look to knock OpTic further down the standings. OpTic, a roster formed around 4 of the 10 best players of all time will always have results but their recent drop in form is due surprisingly to player performance. Matthew “FormaL” Piper and the resurgent Ian “Crimsix” Porter gives hope but the recent “LAN struggles” of Damon “Karma” Barlow, and downturn in form from Seth “Scump” Abner should kick start some worry for the Greenwall. In the end, OpTic’s greatest strength is their roster, and a stronger roster may never be formed. Although Father Time is undefeated and OpTic will eventually fall. We may be looking at the year it does.

Swanny is Actually a God.

With Rhys “Rated” Price unable to compete in the most recent 2k, Red looked to the European legend in Callum “Swanny” Swan to replace him for the time being. The first tournament the team would compete in was the online 2000 Series, in which they would win by 3-0’ing Splyce. Swanny himself has not competed since the end of Black Ops 3, playing on the European god squad of Milenium. The roster of Swanny, Tom “Tommey” Trewen , Dylan “MadCat” Daly, and Jordan “Jurd” Crowley dominated the European scene all year, and now minus Swanny make up ¾ of the current Splyce roster. No one is surprised that Swanny still has it, but to take down a top 3 team in the world with less than one week is nothing short of a miracle, bar aside online play. The only reasonable response is that Swanny is truly a god. The question really becomes if he will find himself on a roster full time this year.


Classic is a Jetpacker?

The brand new Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat handpicked EnVyUs roster had the most anticipation of any roster headed into the WWII season. The squad of “Slasher”,Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo, Donovan “Temp” Laroda, and Cuyler “Huke” Garlandhave the talent to rival any roster in the world but early days have shown the roster fall flat. Slasher has shown himself to be one of, if not the best player in WWII, so where does the blame fall? Temp and Huke both have showed potential but their comeback is still early, since turning 18 and being able to compete again. The player left on alone on island is Classic, a veteran, and arguably the backbone of the Rise and LG rosters from the last two years. Before the jet pack era Classsic was a known player but nowhere near rated as high as he is now. Unfortunately, we are back to boots though, and it may be too simple just to call Classic a jetpacker, but movement mechanics do play a role in player performance and it very well may be the cause of a notable decline with Classic.

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Call of Duty Ghosts for Dummies – Part One

With the CoD World League coming to an end with the World Championship there’s not much to do aside from wait for WWII. However, the professionals have turned to Call of Duty Ghosts, the competitive title from 2013-2014 in preparation for boots on the ground. With the rate at which esports are growing it’s needless to say that Call of Duty will have gained many new viewers over the past few years. If you never played Ghosts in its heyday and are interested in picking up a copy, here are a few tips for when you get started.

Weapon Choices

Assault Rifles

Starting with Assault Rifles, in which only one is used consistently, the Remington R5. Its high damage and low recoil make it the go to. The weapon’s only downfall is its low fire rate. Despite this, none of the other rifles can match it’s time to kill with the R5 consistently killing in three bullets.

The FAD assault rifle [Source: CoD Wiki]

At one point the professionals dabbled with the FAD. Due to its high fire rate and low recoil, it was tested as an alternative to the R5 on some of the shorter range maps. It was relatively unsuccessful since the low AR movement speed in Ghosts meant that it couldn’t compete with the Sub-Machine guns at medium range and was bested by the consistency of the R5 at long range. However, it is still an option if you aren’t a fan of the R5.

The most common attachments on Assault Rifles are Red Dot paired with Foregrip. The Red Dot is to free your eyes of the awkward iron sights. Meanwhile, the Foregrip simply improves accuracy slightly. On some of the longer range maps such as Octane, pros have been known to use Muzzle Brake as opposed to the Foregrip in order to keep the damage across longer sight lines.

Another popular attachment is the Thermal Hybrid Scope. It is used for its ability to more easily spot out enemies through heat signatures with the ability to switch back to a normal red dot. Giving you the best of both worlds but beware. Enemies can use the perk Incog so they become immune to thermal scopes making them very hard to spot.

Sub-Machine Guns

The Vector Sub-Machine Gun [Source: CoD Wiki]

By far the best gun in the game, the Vector CRB is the most common gun in CoD Ghosts. It’s high damage and fairly high fire rate means it more often than not kills in two bullets. Paired with a Foregrip and Muzzle Brake the Vector’s damage range is extended. Making it all the more deadly.

However, the Vector only became the best gun about two-thirds into Ghosts’ cycle. Before that, the MTAR-X was the most popular choice. The sub handles like an Assault Rifle with SMG movement speed. It’s fair time to kill means that some professionals stuck with it even after the Vector buff. It remains a good choice on maps like Warhawk and Octane where there are more medium—long range gunfights meaning the MTAR can best the Vector with its AR handling.

Popular attachments for sub-machine guns are Foregrip and Muzzle Brake. This is to extend their damage range whilst improving the already strong accuracy of the MTAR and Vector. Some pros prefer to use a red dot on the Vector. In my opinion, it’s personal preference as the Vector is already so strong you can clear up your vision by using it.

Sniper Rifles and Shotguns

That leaves us with the aforementioned, considering just about everything else is banned. There are two main snipers used which are the USR and L115. The USR has a slightly higher movement speed and handling than the L115 which makes it a good choice if you want to rush for first blood. However, it has lower damage meaning it gets more hit markers than its counterpart. While the L115 still gets hit markers from the knee down, it is a more consistent killing machine making it the more common option. Equipped with your sniper you might like to use the thermal scope to more easily spot out enemies.

The FP6 Shotgun [Source: CoD Wiki]

The most overpowered shotgun, the Bulldog, got banned halfway through Ghosts. More cunning pros tried out the pump-action shotgun, the FP6. While it wasn’t as potent as its predecessor it is still an annoying way to catch your enemies off guard. I find it particularly useful when defending the B bomb site on Sovereign.

Competitive Maps

For the sake of this article, I will just be looking at the maps used in Search and Destroy. Those maps being Octane, Freight, Sovereign and Warhawk.


I’ll start on the defensive side of Octane, which can be quite a challenge. How I like my team to setup is with two players holding the cross to the defender’s side of the map. You can have a player watching mid from the tank outside diner and one holding bottom broken. This frees up a player to play top pawn where they can repeatedly peek B bomb until they spot someone with the last player being free to roam. The fourth could rush motel or the B domination flag to get more map control. Or he could hold gas station to help the broken player if he gets rushed. If someone is spotted on the bomb from pawn then you can hurl a few grenades at them in an attempt to kill the bomb planter.

The attacking side is much harder since you only really have access to the B bombsite. A lot of players like to run smokes with Incog and try to get a fast plant. This is effective as the Remington players holding the likes of pawn and broken will struggle in motel’s close quarters. Other teams may rather hold to see if a guy rushes into the motel and pick him off before planting or doing everything possible to kill the player top pawn before they plant. This could be through grenades or sniping. There is also an explosive gas pipe which can be shot which can sometimes kill the player.

As aforementioned getting to A is a challenge. Sometimes teams go on an all-out rush to broken from the start of the round. Personally, I like to have a guy try to snipe the player pawn while the rest of the team rushes and tries to kill anyone playing broken. Another way is to play B as normal, kill the pawn player before rotating back and trying to cross again. As you can tell by now the pawn player is very crucial to the round as he has the most vision and can feed information to the rest of his team. With him dead it is much easier to cross to A as the only player that could spot it after that is the broken player, if he’s still there.


Defending on Freight normally involves heavily stacking towards the A bombsite. Since the attackers can only access B by crossing the train tracks or by breaking the underground gate, which makes a loud noise, it makes sense to focus your efforts on A.

If you catch the enemy crossing onto the bomb then it should be a free kill for someone playing in red. Players one and two should focus on holding red and the area between it and the bomb. Looking at the diagram I believe these are the optimal positions to play. All player one has to do is watch the main entrance to red. Meanwhile, player two can see the jump from the train into red, logs and B domination.

Player three should play in the Owens building and attempt to spot out the attacking assault rifle players. The emphasis should be on getting information for the team as opposed to getting a kill. Staying alive is more important as the Owens player stops players crossing from white to B bomb. Player four is free to roam, however, I believe he is best spent helping watch the cross. He can rush the electric box near the white train to see the entire cross or hold bottom Owens getting information from B domination and storage containers.

If the attackers do try to rush underground the bottom Owens player can watch if anyone pushes front while player three can watch the cross onto bomb from the second floor.

As you can tell attackers have a hard time on Freight. The most successful plays are usually explosive ones such as a double push red where you bait the first guy in to kill the red player. This is a favourable trade for attackers since red is such a pivotal point on the map. Similarly to Octane, you could try the smoke Incog rush onto bomb then your ARs can watch the defuse from Porter or White.

One unique strategy is leaving an assault rifle to get a pick from in base while three of you stack underground. Wait for the AR to hopefully make a kill then explode out of underground. This generates confusion since the AR will kill someone from spawn to A then all of a sudden the gate is broken. The defenders have to worry about being pinched while the main attackers focus on getting the bomb down.


Obviously, take these strategies with a pinch of salt. They are basic and mostly intended for newer players but it’s definitely a good starting point for anyone looking to incorporate more team play. Since this article is getting long, I’ll finish the remainder of the maps in Monday’s article. My paint skills aren’t great but if you find the diagrams helpful then I can make more. If there are other things you think I should bring up don’t hesitate to comment.


You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. You can find me on Twitter at @JackWrightIGL. Feature image courtesy of callofduty.wikia, map layouts sourced from unofficialcallofduty.com


Ghost Gaming enters Call of Duty with signing of ex-BitterSweet roster

The only new addition to the Global Pro League (GPL) now has a new name. The roster that earned their spot ahead of CWL Anaheim originally played under the name Supreme Team before signing a contract with BitterSweet, but they were never expected to play under that organization come the GPL. After negotiations, the team consisting of Mike “SpaceLy” Schmale, Chance “Maux” Moncivaez, Andres “Lacefield”, and Devin “LlamaGod” Tran has been signed by Ghost Gaming.

The negotiations between BitterSweet and Ghost Gaming arrived at an agreement: $50k signing bonus (split) and $4k monthly salaries (each). Without other salaries easily obtainable for comparison, it’s difficult to tell how this stacks up with other professional Call of Duty teams, but it surely shows that Call of Duty esports has come a long way. Just a few years ago, salaries were unheard of.

BitterSweet owner Alex Gonzalez confirmed with The Game Haus that his organization will not be taking a cut from the deal with Ghost Gaming, holding true to his previous promise that all money involved would go directly to the players.

Ghost Gaming qualified for the GPL after defeating eRa Eternity and Tainted Minds in the relegation tournament. They will be the only team in Stage Two that did not play in Stage One, taking the spot of European team Millenium.

Ghost Gaming is relatively new to esports and has not previously held a Call of Duty team. However, they also have teams in CS:GO and Gears of War. The CS:GO team is currently participating in the ESL Pro League and the Gears team has placed third at three major events since January.

Team manager Rob Stamey told The Game Haus that the organization had been looking for a Call of Duty team to represent them for some time.

“When I found out SpaceLy was looking for an organization I knew automatically we would go after him as he fits our organizational lifestyle and future vision. He also brings in three players with endless potential all three who have been in the trenches and proven themselves at the highest level,” Stamey said.

In the Call of Duty Global Pro League, Ghost Gaming will make their debut in week two of Stage Two when they take on FaZe Clan, Enigma6, and Elevate. FaZe will be playing without their former captain, James “Clayster” Eubanks, after swapping him for Pierce “Gunless” Hillman, who made a name for himself on eUnited. Ghost Gaming, while playing under the BitterSweet banner, placed 9th-12th at CWL Anaheim, better than both FaZe and Elevate. Without knowing how well the new FaZe roster meshes and Ghost Gaming not previously playing in the Global Pro League, this group may be the most competitive of Stage Two.

Ghost Gaming will be boot camping at their head offices to prepare for the GPL. Let us know how you think they will perform in the comments below!

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Image: Major League Gaming



Luminosity Gaming wins CWL Anaheim

Luminosity destroyed European hopes of back to back championships in a nail-biting Grand Final at CWL Anaheim.

Call of Duty’s most historic event saw a repeat of the Stage One finals between Luminosity and Splyce. However, this time the roles were reversed. Luminosity reached the Grand Final through the winners’ bracket, while, Splyce had a strenuous Sunday after dropping to the losers’ bracket following an early loss to fellow countrymen Epsilon.

After narrowly beating OpTic Gaming in the first round of the bracket, Luminosity would go on to sweep Evil Geniuses and Epsilon to cement their spot in the Grand Final.

Grand Final

As many know, Anaheim is illustrious for creating epic games and this one was no different despite the 3-1 score line.

The Grand Final series opened up with Scorch Hardpoint, where LG jumped out to a lead. Splyce would crawl back into the game on the second rotation of hills. It looked like Sam “Octane” Larew had put the nail in the coffin after going on an insane streak of kills in the hangar Hardpoint. However, with LG needing only one point to win, Splyce contested the hill for around 30 seconds, eventually closing the deficit and snatching the win 250-249. To see the exciting end just watch this clip.

Game two was Search and Destroy on Crusher. The teams traded rounds, although Luminosity was much more consistent throughout the game and looked experts at holding and retaking bomb sites. The scoreline looks close but Luminosity looked in control throughout the map and won it.

Map three was Throwback Uplink, which started out relatively slow with the first half ending at just 5-3. LG was on the attack for the majority of that half but didn’t convert many chances that were until the second half. All of the NA team went on a tear in the second half ending the game 11-5 after rallying the drone multiple times. Throwback was a pleasure to watch with both Octane and Trei “Zer0” Morris showing off their superb accuracy, gunning people down from range with the NV4.

The final map in the series was Retaliation Hardpoint which again went down to the wire. Similarly to game one, Luminosity jumped out to the lead with MVP Octane going on a seven kill streak and earning his bombardment. However, Splyce came back after Octane wasted his streaks allowing Jordan “Jurd” Crowley to get some of his own. The game came down to the bridge hill with all the players piling in like a game of Advanced Warfare. This time Renato “Saints” Forza secured key kills to win the championship for his squad.

Closing Thoughts

Octane earned the MVP award for the event. [Source CWL]

As they did in Counter-Strike, the Luminosity organization has seemingly plucked out another rising team that has won them a championship. Casters, analysts and players have been tipping the team to reach the top for a while now and they have finally succeeded in doing so. Octane earned the MVP award but it was Saints’ revitalisation that truly gave them the power to win.

Although Splyce did not win the Grand Final, they too deserve huge credit. Reaching the final has further merited their win at Stage One after defeating a string of teams in the losers’ bracket and still showing up in the Grand Final. Bance was crazy with the ERAD this event, scoring multi-kill after multi-kill, while Zer0 made a case for being the best player in the world.

This year Anaheim has gifted us a new rivalry and I fully expect to see a rematch between these two titans in Stage Two playoffs of the World League.

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