The CWL Atlanta Open, Presented by PlayStation 4, ended with Rise Nation beating Losers Bracket ironmen Red Reserve 3-1 in the Grand Final, shattering Team Kaliber’s two-time open event championship streak.
Tough Tests for EnVyUs, Luminosity in Quarterfinals Matches
Rise Nation and OpTic Gaming swept their Championship Winners Quarterfinals opponents, while Luminosity Gaming and Team EnVyUs had to work for their guaranteed top-six placement.
EnVy’s first-round opponent was Team Kaliber, and the two-time Global Open champions challenged the Boys in Blue over five games. After the two squads took one game each, tK stole a Capture the Flag on Ardennes Forest with four unanswered flag captures.
EnVy then forced a game five through Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo, who saved the series for his team.
A tense Search and Destroy on Ardennes Forest followed, led by Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat from Team EnVyUs, advancing his team to the Winner’s Semifinals.
Luminosity had a reality check against Pro League-relegated Mindfreak, as the Australians shocked LG with two wins to start the series.
Despite the deficit, LG would reverse sweep the Australian squad, advancing to the Winner’s Semifinals after a game five triumph on London Docks.
Rise Nation and Luminosity Advance to Winners Finals
Luminosity swept OpTic Gaming in their Winners Semifinals match, drawing first blood in a convincing victory in Hardpoint on London Docks.
LG went on to take a game five, round 11 Search and Destroy win on USS Texas before sealing OpTic’s fate with a convincing 7-4 victory in Capture the Flag on London Docks.
On the other side of the bracket, EnVy took on Rise Nation.
With the teams tied at one game heading into game three Capture the Flag on Ardennes Forest, Rise’s Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly locked in Rise’s 2-0 win with a decisive play.
The Boys in Blue answered with a huge comeback in a Hardpoint on Gibraltar, tactically rotating to the Castle Road hill.
EnVy brought Rise to the limit but ultimately fell in game five to move to the Championship Losers Bracket.
Rise Shut Down Luminosity
Rise’s first victory against Luminosity Gaming during the Winner’s Final series came in a Search and Destroy on Ardennes Forest, where Anthony "Methodz" Zinni continued his impressive play.
After a 1-0 victory on Capture the Flag in Ardennes Forest, Rise closed out the series with a 10-point win in Hardpoint on London Docks that featured a frantic scramble for the final hill. With the victory, Rise would move on to the Grand Final.
Red Reserve Produce Blockbuster Sequel to their NOLA Loser’s Run
At the CWL New Orleans Open, Red Reserve made an incredible Losers Bracket run through Mindfreak, OpTic Gaming, FaZe Clan, and eUnited, ultimately earning the fourth place for their efforts.
Although Red set a high bar for improvement, they rebounded from their Pool Play failures in the third Championship Losers Round and advanced to the Grand Finals.
Their path to the CWL Atlanta Open Loser’s Finals included a laundry list of established North American organizations; FaZe, Team Kaliber, OpTic, and Team EnVyUs all fell to Red Reserve, who then went on to sweep Luminosity in the Losers Finals.
The only other team to advance further than Red from the third Championship Losers Round was OpTic Gaming in 2011, who, with current CWL commentator Joe "MerK" DeLuca on its roster, rallied to an MLG Columbus 2011 championship.
Rise Strike Midnight on Red’s Cinderella Story
In a Grand Finals showdown between Division A foes, Rise Nation crushed Red Reserve’s Global Open championship hopes, winning their first CWL Global Open since their 2017 CWL Las Vegas title run.
Eventual CWL Atlanta Open MVP Anthony "Methodz" Zinni continued to dominate during game one.
Red would take game two, a close 6-4 Search and Destroy on Sainte Marie Du Mont.
In game four, Pierce “Gunless” Hillman, who won the 2017 CWL Atlanta Open and the event’s MVP award with eUnited, put on a vintage performance on London Docks, helping Rise Nation to the 2018 CWL Atlanta Open title.
“Methodz, a guy who wasn’t in the spotlight for nearly five years, takes home the MVP with an incredible performance. Loony battled through illness in Atlanta to remain an incredible in-game leader and perform well statistically. Gunless proved he is the best flex player in the game and has now won the past two Majors in Atlanta. TJHaly is consistently a game changer in all game modes. Rise Nation has all of the ingredients to be a dominant team for a long time,” commentator Clint “Maven” Evans said of the CWL Atlanta Open Grand Final winners.
“Rise came into CWL Atlanta as the leaders in CWL Pro League Division A and the favorites to win the event. Not only did they do that, but they also dominated. Rise Nation is the clear-cut best team in the Call of Duty World League.”
Congratulations to Rise Nation for winning the CWL Atlanta Open, and to Methodz for winning the CWL Atlanta MVP award.
We would also like to thank all of the other CWL Atlanta Open participants for competing at this event, and we hope to see you all at the CWL Birmingham Open happening March 30 through April 1!