Tag Archives: MLG

The Greatest Series in the History of COD eSports?

The stage was set at MLG Dallas as the world’s two most lethal teams matched up in the grand finals. Optic Gaming had stormed through the winners bracket, sweeping aside top teams including their main rivals Faze Clan. EUnited had lost narrowly to Optic earlier in the tournament, but went on a fantastic losers bracket run where they beat both Faze and EnVyUs to make it to the finals. For EUnited, the MLG Atlanta champions, they had their work cut out if they wanted to lift the trophy. They would have to conquer the Greenwall in not one, but two best of fives.

For Optic, their main man Scump had been on fire all weekend, leading the team with great performances and great leadership. In Gunless, EUnited had the young superstar to thank for making it to the final, thanks to his tremendous slaying ability. So the stage was set, in what would be a repeat of the final in Atlanta.

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The first game was Breakout hardpoint, and Optic took it with conviction. The final score was 250-67 and it looked as though the boys in green were going to wrap this one up early. If the first game was great to watch, the second was even more spectacular. EUnited were 5-1 up in Throwback search and Destroy and needed only 1 more round win to tie the series 1-1. However, Optic had other ideas. A run of 5 straight rounds gave the Greenwall a massive comeback. The crowd were going wild and it seemed to everyone that one more game and Optic would be champions. Their rivals, led by the veteran leadership of Silly, had other ideas however. EUnited seemed to come to lifer and went on a run of 3 straight game wins to win the series and take us to a second best of five.

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The crowd couldn’t believe it, Optic couldn’t believe it, and the hundreds of thousands watching at home certainly couldn’t believe it. This final had already gone on much longer than most people expected it to, and we were only just getting started.

The second best of five was almost a mirror image of the first, Optic went 2-0 up in the series with comfortable wins in Hardpoint and Search and Destroy. And then, just like the first series, EUnited came storming back. They scraped through the Uplink in overtime and dominated in the hardpoint, so it really was anyone’s game. As the deciding game started, the atmosphere was tense. Nobody knew who would come out on top.

In the end, it was actually very anticlimactic. Optic, led by the veteran Karma, claimed victory in the last game with ease, playing their best Call of Duty of the whole tournament to win the Search and Destroy 6-0. And so after 3 hours of the greatest grand final Call of Duty has ever seen, the Greenwall prevailed, and added to their win at ESWC Paris last month.

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EUnited Take It Home: MLG Atlanta Recap

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.

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MLG Atlanta Day 1 in 100 Words

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MLG Atlanta has kicked off with a bang, with plenty of shocks and surprises. Faze and Optic have swept their respective pools, which was expected.

Also unbeaten are EUnited, who could be a shock contender for the title. Also in pool D are reigning champs Envyus, who have performed better than recent months.

The biggest surprise is pool C, where Luminosity are also unbeaten, while MLG Vegas finalists Cloud9 have failed to turn up, losing all of their matches so far. And can the open bracket teams shake things up on day 2? Whatever happens, it’s sure to be a belter!

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MLG Atlanta Pool Play Preview

The pools for the second event of the Call of Duty Infinite Warfare season, MLG Atlanta, have been announced. 16 professional teams and 4 amateur teams will play each other in a round robin format with the top 2 from each pool progressing through to bracket play. The event runs from February 10th to 12th and you can watch at mlg.tv/callofduty.  Here I take a look at the pools and how I think they will play out:

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POOL A

Pool A for Atlanta is what could be described as Call of Duty’s version of a ‘pool of death’. It contains number 1 seed Rise Nation, as well as the extremely talented Faze Clan. The first two tournaments of this season have been won by these teams, with Faze winning the PSX Invitational and Rise Nation winning MLG Vegas. However, while Faze have kept up this solid form in the online COD World League and 2K tournaments, Rise have failed to recapture the form that saw them take home the trophy in Vegas. It is not just these two teams to watch in pool A. Both Infused and Enigma 6 have plenty of star quality in their roster, and so can give any team a run for their money. We saw proof of this at MLG Vegas, when E6 wiped the floor with Optic Gaming in pool play, beating them 3-0 without reply. Infused have a lot of experience in their side, led by Glasgow born MarkyB, and know how to cause an upset if they want to. And don’t count out the open bracket team, some of which have plenty of skill to go toe to toe with the professionals.

PREDICTION: Rise Nation and Faze advance

POOL B

Although pool B is not necessarily as competitive as pool A, there is still huge competition for the two places to progress. Pool B contains what most would consider the most skilled team in North America, as well as the top team in Europe. Both Optic Gaming and Splyce have had some great successes in competitive COD in recent years, and will be hoping to pick up their first tournament win of Infinite Warfare. Optic have a point to prove after disappointing in Vegas, with a placing far below what they are capable of. Also in this group are Allegiance, led by veteran player Mochilla. Allegiance placed 4th in Vegas and so will be looking to build on this form in Atlanta. Making up the professional teams in this pool are Evil Geniuses. This team have been disappointing in the last few years, and will be looking to kick-start their season with a good placing.

PREDICTION: Splyce and Optic advance

POOL C

Cloud 9 will be ecstatic with the draw that they have been given for pool play. It is probably the easiest draw that they could have got, and will feel confident about progressing into bracket play. The runners up from Vegas have been looking unstoppable online and will be a good shout for a top three placing in Atlanta. The favourite for runner up in this pool is very hard to call, but it should be between Elevate and Luminosity Gaming. This Luminosity roster were predicted to achieve great thinks this year, but it has not been the case so far. The foursome of ‘Classic’, ‘Octane’, ‘Slacked’ and ‘Saints’ had performed brilliantly online at the tail end of last year, but have failed to find that same form on LAN thus yet. Elevate meanwhile are considered one of Europe’s best teams, and will be looking to upset some of America’s biggest teams in this pool. The last remaining pro team in this pool are Team 3G, a group of veteran players who are not yet signed to a major organisation, but will be looking to cause a major upset regardless.

PREDICTION: Cloud 9 and Elevate advance

POOL D

This is certainly the most interesting pool at MLG Atlanta. It is a three-way battle for the top spot, and any one of the four pro teams could clinch that second spot. Seeded highest in the group are Orbit, a European team with a lot to prove on the big stage. The team have been talking up themselves and the other European teams on Twitter recently, and so need to ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’. Orbit come in to this having just won a European only tournament in London, and so will be looking to keep their fine form rolling. Next up in this pool are EUnited, who have been one of the top teams online so far this year. But will this good form transfer over to LAN? We’ll just have to wait and see. Team Envyus were last season’s Call of Duty Champions, but have really struggled to get to grips with Infinite Warfare. They will be hoping to show their championship winning credentials here. Last up in this pool are Fnatic, a team who are known more for their Counter Strike than Call of Duty. However, we’ll just have to see if they have the potential to become a top COD team of the future.

PREDICTION: Orbit and Envyus advance

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The Beginning of Infinate Warfare: MLG Vegas Review

16-18 December saw the first major event of the new competitive Call of Duty season, MLG Vegas.

MLG Vegas Main Site: http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/mlgvegas

This was really the first time that audiences got to see the game being played to a high level, and it certainly lived up to all the pre-event hype. With $40,000 on the line for the winning team, the weekend was no joke for everyone involved. 

The tournament format was modified from the format that it was in last season, and it gave smaller teams a greater chance of success. Teams were placed in pools based on their rankings in the COD World League (CWL). These teams would competed against each other as well as the best amateur teams, who would play each other in an attempt to face off against the big boys. This made each match very exciting as it gave unknown players and teams a chance to shine on the big stage.

Throughout the whole weekend, every match was thrilling to watch, from the first match between Cloud 9 and Team Kaliber, all the way through to the Grand Final between the former and the eventual winners, Rise Nation (Logo Below).

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The viewing experience online of the event was better than ever before, with viewer interaction a key focus between the tournament livestream and social media. All in all, the non-stop action and viewer enticing stream left me captivated for the entire weekend. To be honest, I didn’t do much else but watch Call of Duty for three straight days.

Below is a clip of just a fraction of the action from the weekend, and you can see for yourself what makes this community so popular.

 

Even though this was only the first event of  the new Infinite Warfare season, it showed huge potential for the year as a whole, and it has left competitive Call of Duty fans hungry for more.