The Call of Duty community had barely recovered from the thrills and spills of MLG Atlanta last weekend, before the whole show moved east to Europe for ESWC Paris. There are only a couple of events in Europe across the season, and so each one is special. The favourites going into this one were Atlanta finalists Optic Gaming and EUnited. Faze and EnVyUs were also lurking in the background should either of these sides slip up.
It was a three horse race right from day 1, with Optic, EnVyUs and Faze all looking unplayable, and they were dominating the smaller teams from the off. Just like last week, there were some shocks and surprises from the start. Cloud9 would have been hoping for a better performance than last week in Atlanta, as they were one of the first teams to fall in bracket play. However, it was not to be as they fell at the same hurdle in the French capital. Nobody quite knows what has happened to C9, but they need to pick up their form soon otherwise it’s going to be a long season for them.
In contrast, the European teams performed very well over the whole weekend on their home continent. Fnatic shocked everyone by making it into the further stages of the tournament. However, the biggest surprise was that British team Infused, led by Glaswegian MarkyB, came fourth overall. Couple this with their run last week in Atlanta, and this is looking like a very good season for them indeed.
EUnited failed to replicate their success back home in the USA, and had a disappointing tournament, falling a lot earlier than expected. Rise Nation managed to rediscover the form that won them MLG Vegas, coming in at a solid third place.
In the end, it all came down to a showpiece final between the two big boys, Optic and Faze. Both teams had swept aside the competition over the weekend to reach this stage. It was Optic that had the advantage going in to it, as Faze would have to beat them in two ‘best of fives’, whereas Optic only had to win one. As it turned out, Optic didn’t need two series to beat their opponents, instead they swept Faze 3-0 to claim a third successive ESWC championship. In fact, one of the Optic roster, Crimsix, has now won the event 5 years in a row with three different teams. Watch the final moments here:
It may not go down as one of the greatest tournaments of all time, but it was still a great weekend of Call of Duty action nonetheless. All eyes now turn to MLG Dallas in a few weeks time, which is set up to be a massive battle for success where anyone has the chance of taking home the crown.