This week, the 2018 Call of Duty World League season, Presented by PlayStation 4, continues with Division B taking state at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Fierce competition CWL Pro League Stage 1 double round-robin tournament began on January 23.
In Stage 1 of the CWL Pro League, ten North American teams, as well as five squads from Europe and one team from Australia, are competing over nine weeks at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio for a spot in a playoff series and a chance at the $700,000 event prize pool. The teams are split into two divisions of eight, and the top four teams in each division will advance to the Playoff stage, while the bottom two teams in each division will head to a Relegation tournament in April.
Each division will compete in two week blocks at the MLG Arena, offering more games to watch versus the 2017 Global Pro League.
On February 6, Division B takes over the stage. Here’s a look at all eight of the competing teams who will play over the next two weeks of competition, as well as in the final two weeks of Stage 1’s regular season:
The Team: Ben “Bance” Bance, Dylan “MadCat” Daly, Thomas “Tommey” Trewren, Jordan “Jurd” Crowley , Tyler "FeLo" Johnson (Substitute)
At the 2018 CWL Dallas Open, Splyce showed off their new teammate Tommey via a second place performance and went on to place top-12 at the CWL New Orleans Open. Those placements gave Splyce the most CWL Pro Points in the European region, and as such they are currently considered to be the number one team in Europe.
Division B also consists of Unilad and Epsilon, two of Splyce’s regional rivals, as well as Evil Geniuses and eUnited, who handed Splyce losses at the CWL Dallas and CWL New Orleans Open events respectively.
Although every single series will matter for Splyce in Division B, they will certainly look to defeat those four teams in order to prove their dominance over their European peers, and exact revenge on the teams who gave them trouble at the Global Open events.
For at least the first week of competition, Splyce will use a substitute player for Jordan “Jurd” Crowley.
The Team: Matthew "Skrapz" Marshall, Bradley "wuskin" Marshall, Tom "Moose" Handley, Sean "Seany" O'Connor
Unilad Esports struck gold with their CWL debut team, as Moose, Seany and the Marshall twins earned their way into the CWL Pro League.
Two top-16 placements at CWL Global Open Events helped propel Unilad into Division B, as the team proved to be solid Hardpoint competitors in both Dallas and New Orleans.
The two CWL Global Open Events also showed their struggles in Capture the Flag, and their inability to pick up wins over current CWL Pro League teams from North America. Unilad will hope to put those failures behind them, though, and start fresh in Division B with plenty of time to grow into a formidable competitor.
Also, here is a fun Marshall twin fact: Skrapz and Wuskin’s K/D ratio at the CWL New Orleans Open, rounded up to the hundredth digit, was identical.
The Team: David “Dqvee” Davies, Stephen “Vortex” Allen, Billy “Hawqeh” Harris, Nathan “Nathan” Orton
Epsilon skidded into Division B with only one win, a 3-1 victory over the French Division A squad Team Vitality, at the CWL New Orleans Open.
Epsilon’s confidence heading into Stage 1 of the CWL Pro League may not be high, but they can only improve after hitting rock bottom in their last live event performance. In fact, four weeks of competition and scrimmages against international competition may be what Epsilon need to regain their confidence, build their camaraderie and stake their claim in the international CWL picture.
However, the CWL Pro League is not a casual team bonding retreat; it’s a highly competitive, professional Call of Duty environment. If Epsilon can’t pull themselves together and pick up wins in Division B, they may face relegation in April.
The Team: Samuel “Octane” Larew, Josiah “Slacked” Berry, Jordan “JKap” Kaplan, Johnathan “John” Perez
The second place team in the North American Pro Points standings is anything but second-rate.
Luminosity placed within the top-eight teams at the CWL Dallas Open, won the CWL Northern Arena Showdown, and earned second place at the CWL New Orleans Open.
LG only lost to Team Kaliber twice in New Orleans, but beat tK in the event’s first Grand Finals series, and garnered an overall game record of 6-7 against the eventual New Orleans champions. Most of Luminosity’s game wins in New Orleans came from respawn game modes, but LG are just as strong in Search and Destroy.
This North American heavyweight enter Division B as a favorite but will be tested by several European and North American powerhouses.
The Team: Justin “SiLLY” Fargo-Palmer, Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson, Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, James “Clayster” Eubanks
Ever since Clayster joined eUnited on June 23, 2017, the young organization has been a consistent CWL favorite.
eUnited placed within the top six teams at both the CWL Dallas and CWL New Orleans Global Open Events, where they won quality matches against future Division B opponents FaZe, Luminosity and Evil Geniuses.
eUnited are strong in both Capture the Flag and Search and Destroy, winning over 70 percent of those two modes in all of their New Orleans matches. However, they also showed weakness in New Orleans on Hardpoint, where they only won a single game out of seven on London Docks and Sainte Marie Du Mont Hardpoints combined.
If eUnited still struggle on those maps, they will have to use the CWL’s pick/ban phase to their advantage during the CWL Pro League. However, if eUnited have worked on those two weak spots before Division B’s opening week, and stay consistent on all other modes, they will be a deadly opponent that could steal Division B’s first place spot.
The Team: Tommy “ZooMaa” Paparatto, Dillon “Attach” Price, James “Replays” Crowder, Preston “Priestahh” Greiner
FaZe earned the highest placement out of any Open Bracket at the CWL Dallas Open. That run gave FaZe an automatic CWL New Orleans Pool Play bid, where they cruised to a top-eight placement to qualify for the Pro League.
In New Orleans, FaZe pulled out wins over future Division B opponents Unilad and EnVy, but lost to soon-to-be Division B rival Luminosity. FaZe were consistently good at Hardpoint in both pre-Pro League Global Open Events, but went from crushing teams in Dallas at Capture the Flag to losing the majority of those games in New Orleans.
FaZe Clan proved their endurance and skill at the first two 2018 CWL Global Open Events, but can they display their consistency in Division B and qualify for the Stage 1 Playoffs? We’ll find out over their 14 planned Division B matches.
The Team: Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo, Donavan “Temp” Laroda, Cuyler “Huke” Garland
Despite bringing in two highly-touted young guns, Team EnVyUs had a rough road to the CWL Pro League.
EnVy’s troubles came mostly from their nemesis OpTic Gaming, as the Green Wall crushed EnVy in both the CWL Dallas and CWL New Orleans Opens’ Pool Play stages. EnVy also suffered an unexpected loss to Team Vitality in New Orleans, and finished that event with a top-12 placement.
Fortunately for Team EnVyUs, they do not have to worry about OpTic or Vitality in Division B. Instead, they will face teams such as Splyce, LG and eUnited, who all have had solid track records at both Global Open Events.
Four Division B teams will miss the Stage 1 Playoffs, and Team EnVyUs may be one of the squads who gets left out of that dance if they cannot defeat Division B’s stiff competition.
The Team: Patrick “ACHES” Price, Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov, Ian “Enable” Wyatt, Anthony “NAMELESS” Wheeler
Evil Geniuses have a roster that contains some of the esport’s most seasoned veterans, and while they struggled to place well at the CWL Dallas Open, EG earned the North America region’s final Pro League invitation with a top-eight placement at the CWL New Orleans Open.
In New Orleans, the Geniuses went through the Open Bracket and placed into Pool B, where they beat Epsilon, EnVy and Vitality. After losing to eUnited in the first Championship Winners Bracket round, EG decisively won their way into Stage 1 by beating DooM Clan, the soon-to-be eRa Eternity team, 3-1 in the Championship Losers Bracket.
Evil Geniuses may have more experience than any other team in Division B, but CWL matches are not won on experience alone. If the Geniuses want to stay in the Pro League, or even qualify for the Stage 1 Playoffs, then they must prove their skill in Division B against some of the top teams from North America and Europe.
The 2018 CWL Pro League Stage 1, Division B kicks off on February 6 at 1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern with 15 matches over three days, including a Thursday night main event between North American favorites Luminosity and eUnited. You can catch all 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 1 Playoffs, which will be held at the MLG Columbus Arena in Columbus, Ohio on April 6-8, 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 battle for a $500,000 prize pool and bragging rights.