Stage 2 of the CWL Global Pro League is set to start this weekend with Group Red, consisting of Luminosity Gaming, Evil Geniuses, Mindfreak and Fnatic. At first glance, this seems like a lopsided group in favor of Luminosity Gaming; a far cry from their pooling in Stage 1 Group Yellow when they went up against eUnited and Epsilon eSports. But the same could easily be said of Evil Geniuses, who placed first in Stage 1 Group Blue, a pool that had Fnatic, Rise Nation and FaZe Clan.
Luminosity Gaming will have a smooth weekend to first place considering the caliber of their gameplay in recent months. Taking first at CWL Anaheim and second at CWL Stage 1 Pro League, it feels as if Luminosity Gaming's only competition lies in Splyce. So being in a pool without Splyce, OpTic Gaming, FaZe Clan or eUnited, Group Red will be a cakewalk for them. Mindfreak, the struggling APAC team, poses little threat. Fnatic finished third at CWL Birmingham, losing to both Red Reserve and Epsilon eSports, both teams Luminosity Gaming beat. The only team that can feasibly take a game off of Luminosity Gaming is Evil Geniuses.
Evil Geniuses has been the dark horse of every bracket after Stage 1 Group Blue, darker than even Enigma6. However, the team has continually disproved their doubters. The recent addition of Chris "Parasite" Durate has bumped the team's gameplay to a more consistent level, allowing the team to place sixth at CWL Anaheim. While this is a great finish, it's several seeds behind Luminosity Gaming's first place. The only advantage Evil Geniuses will have in their games against Luminosity Gaming is their underdog stasis. They're set to fall into second place, but if there's one that can pull an upset, it's Evil Geniuses.
This leaves Mindfreak and Fnatic to brutally brawl over third place. Both teams have had an insanely rough time against the top-tier teams of the world, always just on the bubble of breaking into that higher tier. That being I said, Fnatic should be the one to take third. A third place finish at CWL Birmingham showed promise in their gameplay, only for it to suffer to the usual trappings of European Call of Duty. Fnatic would occasionally push too slow, wait for picks and generally be too passive in a fast-paced game. But compared to Mindreak, who suffer the curse of the APAC region, Fnatic are a much more seasoned team. The biggest hurdle for the Europeans will be Mindfreak's faster slaying. If they can pressure Fnatic enough, they may win.
Group Red will begin on June 30th on MLG.tv, in-game in Call of Duty: Infinite Warefare, Twitch and YouTube. Stay update with the latest Call of Duty news by checking in at RotoWire.