What a weekend. After three days full of intense Call of Duty action that included the largest open bracket in the history of the CWL, Team Kaliber once again walked away with the title. But while the scrappy champions were certainly the biggest story of the weekend, there was plenty of other major storylines to look at going into Stage 1.
OpTic Gaming finish with lowest placement since 2014
While things haven’t always been rosy for this OpTic Gaming squad, the current iteration of the roster has always at least made it into the top-8. That all changed in New Orleans when OpTic was unceremoniously bounced from the tournament, ending in the 9-12th spot. The last time this team finished that low at a tournament, the game was Call of Duty: Ghosts and the roster was comprised of Will “BigTymeR” Johnson, Matthew “NaDeSHoT” Haag, Richard “Ricky” Stacy, and Seth “Scump” Abner. The team’s current roster has now reached uncharted territory.
Whenever this team loses, many are quick to proclaim that the sky is falling, and that a roster change is necessity. As always, those proclamations are much overblown. This team will eventually figure it out and live up to the Green Wall name. Whatever the reason for the team’s struggles, there is certainly something amiss. As seen in a Dexerto video recording the final moments of OpTic’s tournament, there looks to be plenty of indecision and frustration boiling over. The team will need to get back to the drawing board quickly with Stage 1 starting up next Tuesday.
Teams still adjusting to WWII
OpTic wasn’t the only team who seemed to still be struggling to adjust to the intricacies of the new game.
Epsilon Esports’ David “Dqvee” Davies admitted in a hilarious interview on Dexerto that the team “wasn’t very good at the moment” since they’ve struggled to get much scrimmage time in with the new game. That being said, he assured fans that by the middle of the season, they’ll see a new and improved squad.
Ghost Gaming is a team that many thought could be in Pro League contention coming into the season, but that simply hasn’t been the case. Team leader Michael “SpaceLy” Schmale revealed after their early exit at CWL Dallas that the team has been struggling to find a place in the new meta of WWII. While he vowed to turn things around in New Orleans, that didn’t happen. After being forced to wade through the Open Bracket, the team fizzled out before making it into Pool Play, finishing 41st-48th overall. They’ll need to get back to the drawing board over the next few weeks to turn things around for a ticket to Stage 2 this summer.
Red Reserve does EU proud
While it’s easy to point out OpTic’s failures, very little discussion has centered on the team that knocked them out of CWL New Orleans, Red Reserve. While they were unlikely to overtake Splyce in terms of Pro Points, Red Reserve had plenty to prove during the final Open event before Stage 1. While they made it out of Pool C as the third place seed, their run in the lower bracket on Sunday was one for the ages.
Just look at how it went down for the Europeans: win over Mindfreak 3-0, win over OpTic Gaming 3-1, win over FaZe Clan 3-0, win over eUnited 3-0. Their run came up short against Rise Nation in the lower bracket semifinals, but that didn’t take away from this incredible performance in the least bit. It’s clear Red Reserve have the cajones to challenge North America’s best, but can they do it on a consistent basis? That’s a question for another LAN.
With so many good matches on display last weekend, fans won’t have to wait long for it all to happen again as Stage 1 will kick off in Columbus, Ohio next Tuesday.