The community expected big things from this weekend, but nobody could possibly have predicted just how good this event would be. From start to finish, every moment was exciting, from the very first match in pool play right up until the grand finals.
The tournament started off with pool play on Friday, with 16 teams playing each other to progress further into the weekend. There were some huge crunch matches in the four pools, which were tense and exciting to watch. For example, the match in pool D between EUnited and Envyus was an absolute cracker, and showed the community the talent that lies behind the squads. There were also numerous surprises on the first day, with Luminosity going unbeaten and MLG Vegas runners up Cloud9 losing every match and going home on the first day. EUnited started the tournament as well as they could, going unbeaten in pool play. This quickly shook off their tag as ‘online warriors’, as they had been beating everyone in the online league and 2K tournaments.
One of the biggest surprises of day 1 was just how well the European teams were doing. Splyce, In the run up to Atlanta, there had been some arguments between pro players on Twitter over the qualities of the European Call of Duty scene, and whether they could cut it against the big North American teams. Infused, Elevate and Orbit were all performing their best, and were looking good to progress through the Saturday. Day 1 had been better than the community could have hoped for, and really got everyone excited for the rest of the weekend.
On day 2, the open bracket teams entered the fray, and this really heated up the competition. One open team which really shocked everyone was PNDA (pronounced ‘panda’) who even made it out of their group. The biggest story of the day was that Optic were defeated by EnVyUs, and so would have to make a losers bracket run the next day. Rise nation, winners of MLG Vegas, also disappointed on the Saturday by losing to Luminosity, and so they too were forced into the losers bracket. It was Faze who looked on fire on day 2, easily sweeping aside everyone they came across, and they looked one of the favourites to win the tournament the next day. Friday’s surprise package, EUnited, also continued their form, beating huge opposition in both EnVyUs and Splyce. With so many teams looking towards the crown, Championship Sunday was set up to be one of the greatest ever seen.
There was two main storylines on Championship Sunday of MLG Atlanta. The heroic push of Optic Gaming, and the incredible story of ‘online warriors’ EUnited. At the start of the day, the Greenwall had to win five straight matches to progress to the Grand Finals. Firstly, they swept aside Elevate and came up against open bracket team PNDA yet again. The underdogs really took it to Optic, and really gave them a run for their money. Not only that, they took Optic to a game 5, round 11, and whoever lost would be eliminated from the tournament. It all came down to Karma vs Fastballa, and it was the former who won the gunfight, sending PNDA home. It will go down as one of the biggest moments in competitive COD history. Watch it here:
Optic soon swept aside Luminosity, Faze, and even got revenge for their loss against EnVyUs, who sent them into the losers bracket in the first place. Against all the odds, the Greenwall made it to the grand finals. While this was happening, a fairytale was slowly taking shape. EUnited were in the grand finals. Wins against heavyweights Faze and EnVyUs earlier in the day had got them there, and they awaited Optic in the final.
To win the tournament, Optic needed to win two best of fives against EUnited, while the latter needed to win only one. It all looked so good for Optic as they demolished them 3-0 in the first series. However, after 8 straight hours of Call of Duty, the Optic roster finally faltered and EUnited won the second series 3-2, crowning them MLG Atlanta 2017 champions. Watch the final moments here:
MLG Atlanta was one of the best tournaments for shocks and surprises that we have seen in a long time. It serves to prove that this year, for Infinite Warfare, anyone can surprise us.