The 2018 CWL Pro League Presented by PlayStation 4 continued Division A play at the MLG Columbus Arena, with all eight Division A teams completing their final matches before their short CWL Pro League break.
Here is what the Division A standings look like at the end of its second week.
Of course, standings do not tell the full story of what happened over the past three days, so let’s take a look at some of the major storylines out of Stage One’s second week:
OpTic Gaming Double Their Division A Win Total
OpTic Gaming (1st, 6-1, 19-9) entered the second week with an undefeated record, and continued to streak through Division A with wins over Team Vitality (7th, 1-6, 4-20), Echo Fox (6th, 2-5, 9-16), and Mindfreak (5th, 2-5, 11-16).
Out of those three matches, OpTic’s series against Echo Fox had its fair share of interesting performances and plays, starting with Ian “Crimsix” Porter reprising his week one role as “Crimbot” and dropping 41 kills on Sainte Marie Du Mont Hardpoint.
Later in the series, Seth “Scump” Abner earned Play of the Game Presented by SCUF Gaming honors for his ability to clutch up during London Docks Capture the Flag against Echo Fox.
Tonight's Play of the Game Presented by @SCUFGaming is @OpTicGaming's back-to-back flag caps on London Docks to take the lead vs. @Echofoxgg.— MLG (@MLG) January 31, 2018
Go to https://t.co/nqOUdeOjdX for all of today's VODs, stats, rosters and schedules. https://t.co/ckzsuFiQZf
That game ended with one of the most unfortunate plays of the 2018 CWL season so far, as Echo Fox were mere inches from forcing overtime on the Green Wall, but lost the game 4-3.
One game later, OpTic Gaming won the series outright, improving their Division A record to 6-0 in matches and 18-6 in individual maps, while Echo Fox continued to have a troubling week in the CWL Pro League.
Mindfreak Prove Themselves in the Pro League with Wins, Close Losses
As the only Asia-Pacific team in the CWL Pro League, Mindfreak was put under a microscope after losing out of week one, and were heavily considered underdogs heading into their week two matches against Team Kaliber (3rd, 5-2, 18-12) and OpTic Gaming.
Despite having to face two of North America’s finest teams, Mindfreak impressed in all four of their week two matches, and earned two wins that could help them avoid relegation later in Stage One.
Those two wins were not against OG and tK, but the Australians still made a statement by taking both of those teams through the full length of each series. One incredible moment out of many in both of those series was in a Sainte Marie Du Mont Hardpoint against OpTic Gaming, where Mindfreak stunned the Green Wall and threw them into the 100-point club.
Between those two games against the North American heavyweights, Mindfreak earned their first Division A series win over Team Vitality, and in Mindfreak’s final series of the week, they swept the struggling Echo Fox squad.
Because of a strategic oversight from Echo Fox in the pick-ban period, Mindfreak found themselves back on Sainte Marie Du Mont Hardpoint for game one, and promptly gave Echo Fox a VIP seat next to OpTic in the 100-point club. The Australians then remained calm, collected and calculated in the next two games and completed the series sweep.
Mindfreak still has seven games left to play in Stage One, however, if they return to Columbus in this form, they have a strong chance of staying out of the relegation zone.
Red Reserve Smash the Green Wall in Penultimate Week Two Contest
In one of the final week two matches, the undefeated OpTic Gaming squared off against a surging Red Reserve (4th, 5-2, 19-9), who won against Echo Fox and eRa Eternity (8th, 1-6, 8-18) earlier in the week.
Red’s series against eRa was defined by several close plays, such as Trei “Zer0” Morris’ near-death kill in the middle of a London Docks Search and Destroy.
Most of the match’s nail-biting moments came in the Hardpoints, as Red Reserve won those games on Gibraltar and Sainte Marie Du Mont by mere seconds.
With a full day to cool off after an intense night of play, Red Reserve opened up their series against OpTic with a 250-212 Sainte Marie Du Mont Hardpoint win. They then won a London Docks Search and Destroy 6-5 and earned the opening grab on London Docks Capture the Flag, but the series seemed to hit a turning point after Matthew “FormaL” Piper raked in a perfectly timed triple kill.
Following that multikill, OpTic Gaming bombarded Red Reserve with five unanswered flag captures, and took game three convincingly.
Even though that CTF was considered a blowout, and OpTic earned multiple streaks in game four on Gibraltar Hardpoint, the Green Wall was no match for Red Reserve’s coordination and communication, and ultimately lost the series to Red Reserve 3-1.
With a win over the Green Wall, Red Reserve are in a solid position to qualify for the Stage One Playoffs, as they enter the break with a three-win lead between themselves and the teams who sit just outside the playoff cut in the standings.
Division A Standing Defining Moments in Stage One, Week Two
A fully loaded 2018 CWL highlight reel earned more material after Stage One’s second week, with some Division A teams gaining some ground in the division standings through notable individual performances.
Team Vitality entered Thursday without a Pro League victory, but found their footing in a Thursday series against eRa Eternity. In the second game on Sainte Marie Du Mont Search and Destroy, Wailers "Wailers" Locart had a nine kill streak to help his team advance to 2-0 in the series.
eRa almost pulled off a reverse sweep on Vitality, but in game five on Ardennes Forest Search and Destroy, eRa Eternity’s Maurice "Fero" Henriquez decided to insult Team Vitality by shooting their downed bodies.
Angered by that gesture, Vitality won four of the next six rounds to win the game, and to earn their first series victory of the 2018 CWL Pro League season.
A blockbuster matchup between Rise Nation (2nd, 6-1, 19-7) and Team Kaliber was another series that had highlight plays which defined the Division A standings, as Rise’s 3-2 win put them into second place spot before the break.
Team Kaliber’s Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi stood out in the series opener on Ardennes Forest Hardpoint with 44 kills, but Rise Nation’s Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly stole the show in another Ardennes Forest game later, as he tallied up 42 kills in a Capture the Flag game that went into overtime.
TJHaLy performed an encore of his slaying symphony in game four on London Docks Hardpoint, earning 46 kills to force a game five on Team Kaliber.
By game five on a Sainte Marie Du Mont Search and Destroy, TJHaLy was nearly unstoppable, earning six kills in the first two rounds. TJHaLy calmed down as the game progressed, and his teammates would later clean up the final rounds to hand Team Kaliber their first game five loss at a CWL live event.
Stage One of the CWL Pro League was full of other memorable moments during its second week, and if you want to see them all, head over to the Major League Gaming website, where you can watch recaps of every single Pro League match so far whenever you want.
While the Division A teams rest before the CWL Pro League Stage One’s second half, the eight Division B squads will begin their quest for the Stage One Playoffs on February 6. You can catch all of the action on mlg.tv/callofduty, where you can also participate in the Scorestreak prediction game and see player statistics updated in real time.
Tickets for the Stage One Playoffs, which will be held at the MLG Columbus Studio in Columbus, Ohio on April 6-8, tickets are on sale now on the MLG website, so be sure to buy your tickets if you want to watch some of the best Call of Duty teams in the world fight for a $500,000 prize pool and bragging rights.