Sixteen teams battled in the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, July 27. Each of these teams were made up four of the best Call of Duty players in North America outside of the Global Pro League. Some of the players had tens of thousands of Pro Points due to high placements at Open events throughout the season, and while other players had fewer points, they were picked up due to their incredible skill in Call of Duty.
Why were these teams competing? To earn their final shot at the Call of Duty World League Championship 2017, where some of the best Call of Duty teams from around the world will compete at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida for bragging rights, as well as a $1.5 million prize pool.
The Call of Duty World League Presented by PlayStation 4 North American Last Chance Qualifier saw eight of those top non-GPL teams survive a double-elimination tournament, push themselves ahead of other teams who competed at this event.
As dust from the non-stop action settled, here are the eight teams who will be packing their bags for Orlando, Florida from August 9-13:
Projekt Evil, Echo Fox, Str8 Rippin’ and Team Allegiance Punch the First Four CWL Championship Tickets
In the first round of the event, the two top seeded teams Projekt Evil and Team Allegiance cruised through their opponents with their own respective sweeps. That gave them the immediate opportunity to qualify for the CWL Championship, but in order to earn those spots, Projekt Evil had to face a Rogue team that recently made the CWL Anaheim Group Stage out of the Open Bracket, and Team Allegiance had to defeat another CWL Anaheim Group Stage organization in Lethal Gaming. Echo Fox’s path to the qualification round was similar to that of ALG and Projekt Evil, as they dispatched Fallen Godz in just three games to earn a date with Havok eSports.
As for Str8 Rippin’, they ran into some difficulties during their first match against 11th seeded Amity Esports, and had to play through all five games in order to move on to the Winners Qualification Round.
Str8’s first game saw them edge out Amity on Throwback Hardpoint 250-209, as both of the team’s young guns in Brandon "Dashy" Otell and Donovan "Temp" Laroda dropped 87 kills combined. Str8 and Amity then skated out to a 3-3 tie in the first six rounds on Retaliation Search and Destroy, until some unfortunate circumstances came over Amity’s Sean "Pemby" Pembroke.
Despite pulling a Clayster, Amity came back to win the game in round 11, tying the series score up at one each. The two teams then traded games to keep the series tied, which meant this match could only be settled on a game five Search and Destroy.
All Str8 needed to do to win the series though was to unlock the true power of Dashy on Crusher, who delivered a season record-breaking 17 kills on only three deaths to help his team advance to the next round.
In the following round, Str8 Rippin’ had to take InControl Gaming to a round 11 on Breakout Search and Destroy, but otherwise swept them with ease to become one of the first four teams to qualify for the CWL Championship.
Before Str8 Rippin’ officially punched their tickets to Orlando, Team Allegiance, Projekt Evil, and Echo Fox all made it past their opponents to join Str8 at the CWL Championship. Team Allegiance qualified with ease, sweeping Lethal to end their run at the CWL Championship with six games up and six down.
Projekt Evil and Echo Fox both took four games to qualify past their opponents, with Projekt Evil coming back in the waning moments of Scorch Hardpoint to seal their series.
After those four qualification games finished, only four spots remained in the CWL Championship, and they had to be earned by the teams remaining in the punishing Losers Bracket.
Rogue, 3sUp, Team Kaliber and Lethal Gaming Survive for the Final Four CWL Championship Spots
3sUp and Team Kaliber did not have a strong showing at the start of the North American Last Chance Qualifier, but they made up for their shocking losses in the first round with Losers Bracket runs towards the CWL Championship.
Team Kaliber were the victims of Havok eSports in the Winners Bracket, while 3sUp were upset by InControl Gaming. Both TK and 3sUp advanced past their initial opponents in the first round, and thanks to the bracket structure, Team Kaliber had 3sUp’s first round opponent, and vice versa.
Coming off a loss to Echo Fox, Havok rebounded quickly with a 250-192 Breakout Hardpoint win over 3sUp, but retaliated hard on Throwback Search and Destroy to the tune of a 6-0 sweep.
Havok and 3sUp traded blows in the third and fourth games, leading us to a game five on Breakout Search and Destroy. With 3sUp up 3-2 against Havok, it was the former Team Kaliber mainstay Cole "ColeChan" Chancey who helped 3sUp take home the series, and the CWL Championship spot, thanks to some smooth sniping.
ColeChan’s former team TK also found success in a full five game series, besting InControl Gaming once in each game mode. Team Kaliber started their series with a 250-204 win on Breakout Hardpoint, dropped the next game, and rebounded with an 8-4 Frost Uplink victory.
Forced into a game five by the young InControl squad, Team Kaliber rallied on Breakout Search and Destroy to punch their ticket to the CWL Championship.
With Team Kaliber and 3sUp both having to go the distance in the Losers Bracket for their CWL Championship spots, Rogue and Lethal found theirs after losing out in their first qualification game. Rogue immediately rebounded from their initial loss, facing an upstart 15th seed in Edax Pro and sweeping them out of the tournament for their CWL Championship bid.
Lethal’s journey to the final CWL Championship spot, on the other hand, was a bit of a long one in comparison thanks to a stingy Pnda Gaming
Starting on Breakout Hardpoint, Lethal took the early series lead with a 250-201 win, before falling to Pnda in round 11 of the following Throwback Search and Destroy. Pnda then used that win to fuel their 9-4 Frost Uplink win, but Lethal answered back to force the final game five of the Last Chance Qualifier.
Although Pnda had a 5-2 lead and was one round away from clinching a CWL Championship bid, Lethal Gaming went on to take four rounds in a row from Pnda Gaming, crushing their Championship dreams and locking themselves in as the final CWL Championship squad.
We now have all 32 teams set for the CWL Championship, and after the Stage 2 Playoffs, the final stop in this season is that Championship main event which will take place from Aug. 9 to Aug 13. You can watch the CWL Championship, which will be broadcast live from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, over on mlg.tv/callofduty, on the official MLG Facebook page, on the official MLG Twitch Channel, or on the official MLG YouTube channel. If you rather be in the arena live for the final three days of the Championship, general admission tickets are still on sale over on ticketmaster.com.