Twelve teams entered the Amway Center sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida on the fourth day of the Call of Duty World League Championship 2017 with one goal in mind:
To make it to Championship Sunday.
With squads teams falling out of the CWL Championship Season Finale, four teams remain in the fight for a legendary end to their season. Here is what happened on Day 4 of CWL Championship competition, where the Championship Bracket excitement continued:
EnVy and eUnited Win First Two Winners Quarterfinals
Fans were riled up for more Call of Duty action, taking their seats around as the show opened to see the 2016 CWL Champions Team EnVyUs fight against a scary Ghost Gaming squad.
Map one saw EnVy pull away on the second rotation of Crusher Hardpoint, as Johnathon “John” Perez and Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat combined for over 50 kills and nearly three minutes of hill time in their 250-226 win. Despite Devin “LlamaGod” Tran holding his own as the last man alive in most rounds, EnVy went on to take the second game on Retaliation Search and Destroy 6-2 and go up 2-0 in the series.
EnVy then closed out the series sweep on Throwback Uplink, where they cashed in the series-winning score in the final seconds.
During that final push, John didn’t even know that his score would be a buzzer-beater.
“I didn’t even realize there was 15 seconds left, to be honest, but Apathy was screaming, ‘Grab the ball’ after I killed two of them. So, I grabbed the ball, my teammates grabbed all of my kills, and from there it was kind of simple. I just had to make sure I made that shot in the portal,” John said.
Sitting right below Ghost and EnVy were eUnited and Team Allegiance, who were locked in for a match that determined who would immediately be guaranteed a top-six placement. Although Team Allegiance were a part of a true Cinderella story, making the CWL Championship through the Last Chance Qualifier and producing several upsets to advance to the Winners Quarterfinals, eUnited could not have cared less about a fairy tale, and swept ALG into the Losers Bracket.
Allegiance’s first heartbreak happened in the first Hardpoint, where despite being seven points away from taking the first game, eUnited rallied back on the last two hills 68-4 to steal game one.
Allegiance then took the first two rounds off eUnited in the following Search and Destroy, but eventually, eUnited ate them up like a pepperoni pizza.
eUnited did lose a Throwback Uplink to the plucky Allegiance, who won 8-3 thanks to the hot hands of Dakota “Nova” Williams as he picked up over 30 kills, but were eventually dropped into the 100-point club on Breakout, and lost the series 3-1. Despite he and his team clinching a top-six spot at CWL Champs, Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson said that nothing else matters except finishing in first.
“It's not about the money anymore,” Arcitys said. “All we want is that trophy."
FaZe and OpTic Lock In a North American Classic for the Winners Semifinals
The Green Wall stood tall against the European Splyce team, as the crowd gave their energy to both squads throughout the anticipated international face-off.
OpTic handily took a 250-159 Hardpoint to begin the series, but fell in the Search and Destroy after Splyce won the first four rounds and didn’t concede their lead.
Ben “Bance” Bance lead Splyce with a 32-22 clip and the game-sealing score in Throwback Uplink, putting OpTic on the ropes with a 9-5 win.
The Green Wall forced a game five though, bringing OpTic Nation to its feet in a dramatic finish to a Breakout Hardpoint.
The drama continued into the final Search and Destroy on Throwback, with OpTic leading Splyce 5-3 entering the ninth round. At that point, Splyce kept themselves alive for one more round thanks to the heroics of Dylan “MadCat” Daly, but Matthew “FormaL” Piper and his team knew exactly what they had to do by reading Splyce throughout the entire game.
“I kept track of what Splyce were doing every round, and they either went four to B or a quick plant at A with one person lurking. So, when I saw a guy jump out to the bus, I knew they were doing a quick plant at A, told Karma that after killing a guy on the bomb, and knew they were going to play safe. It’s Champs, and they were not going to do anything risky because they were on the brink of the Losers Bracket. I told Damon to kill a guy with his Camo, and we’ll push out together. He did exactly that, and we collapsed on them to trap them for the win,” Karma said.
Another North American and European clash took place at the Bravo station during the OpTic and Splyce series, with FaZe Clan fending off an Infused team who upset Rise Nation on Friday.
FaZe won a hard-fought Scorch Hardpoint 250-191 at the start of the series, and followed it up with a 6-4 Retaliation Search and Destroy win. With momentum on their side, FaZe dominated Infused on the lone Uplink, putting on a 13-0 display of pure scoring power to sweep through the European Last Chance Qualifier team.
Ghost Gaming, Rise Nation, Luminosity Gaming and Epsion Secure Top-Eight Placements
The second Losers Round matches began with a Ghost Gaming team coming off a loss against EnVy to face Enigma6 Group on the Main Stage.
In game one of that series, Ghost ran away with a Throwback Hardpoint, but fell into an early 3-1 hole to start Breakout Search and Destroy. Ghost could not pull themselves out of that game, ultimately falling 6-4 as E6 tied the series at one each.
Then in the battle of the Uplink kings, Ghost Gaming proved their strength with a 10-4 win and set themselves up for the series decider on Retaliation Hardpoint. Michael “SpaceLy” Schmale said that he and his team are looking to just “take it one series at a time” in order to make a run through the Losers Bracket and potentially win it all.
“That Enigma6 win was big for us. It’s always great bouncing back from a loss, especially at a big tournament like this with a lot on the line. That last series we lost against EnVy taught us a lot though. We made a lot of mistakes there. We changed up our energy in the team when it came to communication, and we were not stressing the important things. We fixed that going into the E6 series, and we’ll stick to our usual communication through the rest of the tournament,” SpaceLy said.
Meanwhile, Team Allegiance rebounded from their loss to eUnited with a strong start to their series against Rise Nation, winning a Throwback Hardpoint by 110 points. But right after that win, Rise dealt a crushing blow on Breakout Search and Destroy, not allowing ALG to take a single round as Tyler “Felony” Johnson had nine kills and only a single death.
That victory allowed Rise to double up and roll through Allegiance on Frost Uplink 10-5, and win the series outright on a 250-167 Retaliation Hardpoint win, putting an end to Allegiance’s 2017 CWL season.
The second half of Losers Round matches began with Luminosity vs. Infused, with the two teams splitting the first two games of that series. Luminosity took full control after losing the Search and Destroy, winning 7-2 in Frost Uplink and taking Infused into the 100-point club on Retaliation Hardpoint, and out of the tournament.
Samuel “Octane” Larew said that his team’s journey to Championship Sunday was not over yet, knowing that they have to win two more matches if they want to be in the top-four.
“That win for us was a stepping stone,” Octane said. “Beating Infused was important because we were down on ourselves for a bit, and we play Epsilon or Splyce next. We’ve beaten both those teams before, and we know how they play.”
Although Epsilon almost became Luminosity’s opponent in the third Losers Round, Splyce narrowly won the battle for European supremacy to end the second Losers Round matches on the main stage.
Epsilon and Splyce took games one and two respectively, and in game three, Jordan “Jurd” Crowley gave his team the 2-1 advantage after stopping an Epsilon push in overtime.
With their back against the wall, Epsilon forced the series into a game five after taking Retaliation Hardpoint by over 100 points, and immediately gained momentum in Throwback Search and Destroy when Stephen “Vortex” Allen pulled off an ace.
Despite Splyce having to fight through all 11 rounds of play, they officially became the best-placing European team at the CWL Championship for the second year in a row with Jurd putting up the final two kills.
Rise Nation, Luminosity Gaming Stay Hot in Losers Bracket
The third Losers Round began with Ghost Gaming and Rise Nation fighting to survive in the CWL Championship.
That brought the series to a barn-burning Uplink, with Rise Nation outscoring Ghost 18-10 to put them one map away from elimination. Through the first rotation of Retaliation Hardpoint, Rise and Ghost were nearly locked in a dead heat, however Rise kept their Losers Bracket run alive by holding down the Hotel Hallway hill for the final points.
With Rise fighting through the Losers Bracket ever since they lost their Winners Bracket opener to Infused, Felony said that he and his team were not worried at all with how dangerous their run is, given that a single bad game could mean that they would be out of the tournament.
“When I first teamed with AquA and Faccento, we only won a single Hardpoint at that Anaheim event. So, every single series, we went down 0-1, and now throughout each event, we learned that when we are down, we just need to take it a map at a time. If we do that, we can win any series,” Felony said.
Taking after that match was the next chapter in the recent Luminosity and Splyce rivalry, with LG drawing first blood on a 250-211 Breakout Hardpoint. The two squads then skated out to a tie through eight rounds of Search and Destroy, before LG slammed the door on Splyce with two straight round wins.
Up 2-0 in the series, Luminosity ended the European region’s chapter in the 2017 Call of Duty World League season via a 13-3 rout on Precinct Uplink.
EnVy Rally from 10-0 Down to Win an Uplink, OpTic Crush FaZe
As the rain cooled off Orlando outside the Amway Center, the action inside reached a boiling point with eUnited and Team EnVyUs walking onto the main stage to fight for a spot in the CWL Championship Winners Finals.
In game one on Breakout Hardpoint, Arcitys drew cheers from the crowd with his multikills during a phenomenal 24 kill performance.
That slaying ability helped eUnited send the former CWL Champions into the 100-point club, however Team EnVyUs retaliated on Throwback Search and Destroy, stopping a comeback effort from eUnited and tying the series with a 6-4 victory. Game three almost saw complete domination from eUnited, as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead with four minutes left to play in Precinct Uplink.
But then, what only could be described as the most incredible comeback of the season, and quite possibly of all-time, took place.
When asked about how he and his team produced the seemingly impossible rally in that game, Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov said that it all came down to CWL Champs experience.
“Honestly, it was pretty hard to stay composed at that point, but we all are veterans and have been down before. So, we just started out the second half and told each other, ‘Guys, we can do this. We can get a spawn trap. It’s not going to be easy, honestly, but we can do this.’ Then we just started to get our kills, play a little better, and the next thing we know, we get the spawn trap, get streaks, and allow us to make the comeback,” Apathy said.
With the Orlando crowd still on the edge of their seats after that legendary moment, eUnited almost seemed to be back in the series, leading after the first three hills by 100 points. However, Team EnVyUs showed their World Championship composure once again to win game four by a score of 250-242 on Retaliation Hardpoint.
Needless to say, that four game series was a tough act to follow, but somehow, FaZe and OpTic nearly brought the house down before the series even started.
To the roar of the CWL Championship crowd, OpTic and FaZe began their series on Breakout Hardpoint. There, OpTic Gaming welcomed FaZe Clan into the 100-point club, outscoring FaZe on the Graveyard hill 91-1.
In game two on Throwback Search and Destroy, Damon “Karma” Barlow went 8-0 in the first three rounds, and 10-0 overall to keep OpTic’s foot on the gas pedal in their 6-0 win.
FaZe then showed a sign of life in Precinct Uplink, pulling themselves together after two hard losses to go up 4-1 at the half. But in the second half, OpTic scored seven unanswered points to sweep FaZe Clan into the Losers Bracket.
Karma said that he and his team went into that series “with a feeling that we were going to play really well,” and sure enough, OpTic were firing on all cylinders throughout.
“Everybody was lights out that series, and if we bring that same skill into tomorrow, it’s going to be a really good day,” Karma said.
eUnited and FaZe Fail to Bounce Back Against Losers Bracket Grinders
After their loss to Team EnVyUs, eUnited only had a few minutes to compose themselves before having to fight for the right to stay in the CWL Championship against Luminosity.
Unfortunately for them, LG were ready to serve their revenge against the very team that put them into the Losers Bracket, holding down the first rotation on Retaliation Hardpoint 122-68 and eventually taking game one 250-213.
Luminosity then rolled over eUnited on Crusher Search and Destroy, as Josiah “Slacked” Berry was good enough for nine kills and a 3.0 K/D in six rounds.
eUnited had the opportunity to get a reverse sweep bid on Throwback Uplink, leading early in the first half, but LG soon tied the game at halftime, and there was no clear winner after ten minutes of play. That sent game three into overtime, where Luminosity scored a dunk in 42 seconds, and stopped eUnited’s final push of the tournament to move on to the Losers Semifinals.
Slacked was confident that he and his team are still at the top of the Call of Duty World League, and they only needed to get back into their groove like they did in the Losers Bracket to show that.
“Our team is one of the best in the world. I still believe that. Going into today, I knew that if we could get our rhythm back that we have had in the past month and a half, we would be fine. Today, we did just that. We finally started playing like we used to, and when we are playing at our best, nobody beats us. If we can continue to play like the way we did tomorrow, we don’t see anyone beating us,” Slacked said.
FaZe Clan also had to quickly rebound from their tough loss in the Winners Finals, as they had a date with Rise Nation in the Losers Bracket in order to make it to Championship Sunday.
At first, FaZe seemed to be back to their usual selves against Rise, beating them 250-114 on Retaliation Hardpoint, but they soon lost their footing in back-to-back defeats to land on the brink of elimination.
FaZe then forced a game five through a convincing win on Scorch Hardpoint, a game where FaZe were only two points away from pushing Rise into the 100-point club.
While their win on Hardpoint showed FaZe’s strength, Rise Nation could not be beaten on Search and Destroy, setting themselves up with a Losers Semifinals match against Luminosity on the final day of the CWL Championship.
Four teams now remain, and on Championship Sunday a legend will be forged in a day set to be chock full of blistering action. You can watch the final games of the CWL Championship starting at 7am Pacific / 10am Eastern over on mlg.tv/callofduty, on the official MLG Facebook page, on the official MLG Twitch Channel, and on the official MLG YouTube channel.