Update - corrected an earlier misquote attributed to Jack. Quote now reads, "I haven't seen them anywhere - these guys don't even stream."
With the Call of Duty World League Presented by PlayStation 4 Atlanta Open taking place this weekend, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, Clint “Maven” Evans, Matt “Mr X.” Morello, Chris “Puckett” Puckett, and Phil “Momo” Whitfield took some time to discuss the different Pools entering the tournament:
Chris "Puckett" Puckett: Sucks to be Infused.
Matt "Mr X" Morello: I look at Pool A, and I see there's no easy way out for any of these teams. I know Rise Nation, your reigning champions from Vegas, they expect to take that number 1 seed, get an easy draw, and they get the worst draw on the board. I mean, they get FaZe Clan, which is a tough matchup, and Infused Team which looked better-than-expected at Gfinity, and then Enigma6 who looked really good at Vegas. This is by far and away the toughest pool.
Clint "Maven" Evans: I think this is easily the group of death. I guess the most interesting thing for me here is what Enigma 6 could we see - there's been some talk that they have kind of fallen off a little bit since Vegas. Curious to see what they're able to do. If they don't show up and surprise people, it should be clear-cut for Rise Nation and FaZe Clan even though everyone's calling it the pool of death.
Puckett: When you look at Pool A, I think all eyes are going to be on the top 2 teams: Rise Nation and FaZe Clan. But, according to recent online results, the team to be most worried about here is Rise. Enigma6 has finished in the Top 8 of the 2K's multiple times, FaZe has been in the finals 3 times, and Infused, they've been holding their own over in EU. But when you look at all 4 of these squads, Enigma6, they were the only team to crush their group at the last event in Vegas. Infused didn't even make it into the pools. Meanwhile, you saw FaZe and Rise Nation slip up early. So if you see a Friday upset for either of these teams, I wouldn't be shocked to see them headed straight to the losers' bracket.
Matt: Yeah, albeit a lot of the play in-between, obviously, Vegas and Atlanta has been online, I can't remember a team who has free-falled more than Rise Nation after winning an event. You've had some bad performances online, a lot has gone on, but I cannot remember a team that's won an event, and then gets Top-32, at best, online.
Clint: Same thing as last year.
Matt: I think they'll be fine. I think they'll be fine, but I cannot remember a team that's gone from that type of success to just all the way out.
Jack "CouRage" Dunlop: I think what interests me was that Rise Nation had a really rough first event at PSX, then they decided "We're going to grind, get in focus for Vegas, then win it." And since then I have not heard a peep from these guys! I haven't seen them anywhere - these guys don't even stream. They keep to themselves, and I'm wondering what Rise we see. Are they still motivated? Did they let the win get to their head? Because for a lot of these guys, this is the first big win of their career.
Clint: I think FaZe Clan’s gonna assert their dominance and go 3-0.
Jack: Maven just keeps saying random things.
Phil "Momo" Whitfield: Looking at Pool A, I think all North American teams have had their real good moments. Enigma6, obviously in the group play, Vegas. FaZe just kind of constantly through this game, and Rise, of course, taking it. I think this is literally a very, very hard place for Infused. I think it was what Matt actually said there, Rise, you know, they come off such a strong win, how do they top that? What do they do from that? So, again, group of death, but I think you're looking Rise and FaZe. If they turn up, they should be clean-cut through.
Clint: It’s sort of a no brainer. I'm going FaZe / Rise.
Matt: I'm going to go out on a limb here. I'm going to say that Pool A is going to be FaZe and Enigma6 that make it out.
Jack: I agree.
Matt: I feel like Enigma6 is a little bit of a dark horse. Not even really, I think people are just kind of seeing if they can repeat their performance. I think they do.
Clint: I think dark horse is fair.
Matt: Yeah, I think if FaZe gets a good match early, I guess a team like Rise or Infused, they build momentum, they go through number 1 in the group, I think Enigma 6 has what it takes to take out Rise Nation.
Puckett: I think Infused, they will get an upset over Rise Nation, and that will be enough to get them through. Enigma6 -
Jack: WOO! You have Infused in your top two?! Whaaaaaaat?!
Clint: There’s not a single - there’s not a single European team coming out top 2.
Puckett: I know. But I love MarkyB and he has a beard, so someone has to cheer for him.
Clint: (laughs) Look at how scary this is for Europe!
Jack: Oh I know – it’s terrifying. I think E6 also is a team that always performs well against the teams at the top. They've got a long history of incredible moments, arguably best in the game across the last couple COD's. Now they're facing the number one team coming to this event, Rise Nation...
Matt: It's something we talked a bit about in our Enigma6 team piece is that Enigma 6 plays up to their competition, not down to their competition. When they have to take their game to the next level against a top team, they always do it. So with all the best teams in this group, you expect them to put together a really good performance.
Puckett: Are you ready for this one guys? It's gonna be FaZe Clan and Echo Fox who will get the number 1 seed in the open bracket, cause 3 upsets, and power their way through.
Clint: Okay. Okay… Who's the player to watch in this pool?
Phil: Yeah, Faccento.
Puckett: Faccento was the key for Rise Nation in Las Vegas, if he doesn't play up to a similar caliber, Rise Nation will not finish near Top 3.
Jack: My player to watch this pool, Infused Moose. If Moose, with now Synaptic being banned, if Infused wants any chance, he has to put up even better stats than he had at the CWL London event. At that event, he literally was first in every stat lot. That was going up against 3 incredibly strong North American opponents. If the Europeans want any chance this year, it's on Moose.
Jack: At that event, he literally was first in every stat. And that was going up against 3 incredibly strong North American opponents. If the European's want any chance this year, it's on Moose.
Clint: I think I'm actually going to go with… Well, either one - Zooma or Attach. Let's do Attach. Now that the Erad is actually a little more viable and we see SMG play, I'm curious to see how those two pull it out. We really haven't seen the North American teams use them a lot. I assume we'll see that come out over the weekend.
Matt: I'm gonna say that I think General is going to be the player to watch of this group. I feel like if anyone on Enigma6 can kind of cement themselves as like a top-tier player, it would be General. I think with their strong performance, which I think will happen, he's going to be the key to that.
Clint: He owns an airplane!
Matt: And he owns an airplane.