This is it. Group Green, the last group before Stage 2 playoffs and, like the past weeks, it's a doozy of a weekend. OpTic Gaming, Cloud9, Epsilon eSports and Team EnVyUs are all competing for the final two seeds of Stage 2. Despite being one of the clearer groups for winners, it's ripe for upsets.
First, while OpTic Gaming has yet to win a tournament since CWL Dallas, OpTic Gaming thrives in pools. The Green Wall dominated Stage 1 and became the first team to go 6-0 in pool wins in the CWL. Where OpTic Gaming truly lags is in a tournament setting, something team leader Seth "Scump" Abner is painfully aware of. There's no doubt that OpTic Gaming has the talent to take at least one of the top two seeds. The bigger question is how they will do in playoffs.
Right behind OpTic Gaming is Epsilon eSports. The European team had an outstanding run at CWL Anaheim, coming in third right behind Splyce and Luminosity Gaming. Even with an outstanding finish, they still live in Splyce's shadow as Europe's "runners-up". Epsilon eSports wants to prove everyone wrong. They certainly have the talent and the determination to blast through the weekend, but the competition is no laughing matter. In particular, there's Cloud9.
Cloud9 leader Patrick "Aches" Aches is a long-standing, founding and controversial figure in Call of Duty esports. Infamously, Aches loves playing spoiler. As such, Cloud9 has made a name for themselves as killers in the loser's brackets. At CoD XP 2016, Aches famously beat OpTic Gaming in the loser's bracket. More recently at CWL Anaheim, Cloud9 were able to blast through some high-tier teams such as Red Reserve, FaZe Clan and eUnited all in a row. And Aches' favorite target, OpTic Gaming, is playing the weekend with him.
While unlikely, it's not impossible for Cloud9 to beat OpTic Gaming or Epsilon eSports. Cloud9 can never start a weekend hot, usually only picking up the pace on the second or third day. But with their recent roster swap of Preston "Priestah" Greiner and John "Xotic" Bruno, the team has never looked stronger. Both players are big up-and-comers. Even if they lose, they're sure to play a hell of a game.
Lastly, there's Team EnVyUs. The 2016 World Champions have had an extraordinarily difficult year. To put it bluntly, Team EnVyUs have largely been irrelevant. The team has yet to win a tournament. They haven't even placed in the top-six in the last year. But CWL Anaheim seemed to be their big wake-up call. On top of finishing tied for last place of falling at the Stage 1 playoffs, Team EnVyUs finished 21st-24th at CWL Anaheim. In light of this, they've been scrimmaging at a boot camp. However, intense practice might be a little too late. Every other team has had a year's worth of practice and now Team EnVyUs is forced to play catch up. Only this weekend can answer if their practice has made a difference.
Expect OpTic Gaming to take first seed and Epsilon eSports to take second seed. While Cloud9 and a practiced Team EnVyUs will make things interesting, it's unlikely they'll get enough games to beat OpTic Gaming or Epsilon eSports, two teams who are utterly dominant right now.
Group Green will start June 21st at 4pm EST on Twitch, YouTube and in-game in Call of Duty: Infinite Warefare. Stick to RotoWire for more breaking news.