The 2018 Call of Duty World League Seattle Open, Presented by PlayStation 4, gave CWL fans perspective on where their favorite teams stand after Rostermania took the league by storm in mid-April.
Rise Nation, who recently swapped out Anthony “Methodz” Zinni for Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat, stole the CWL Seattle Open championship from the Evil Geniuses, beating them in back-to-back Grand Finals series after making an incredible Losers Bracket run.
Here’s what happened over four incredible days of CWL action:
CWL Championship Details Announced
During the CWL Seattle Open, fans learned about when and where the 2018 Call of Duty World League Championship will take place.
From August 15 to August 19, 32 of the best Call of Duty teams from around the world will compete in Columbus, Ohio for a $1.5 million prize pool and the 2018 CWL Championship title.
From August 15 to 16, the 32 teams will play in a non-public group stage that will be streamed live from the MLG Arena. Then, from August 17 to August 19, the remaining teams will compete in the CWL Championship playoff stage at the Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.
Four Teams Earn Stage 2, Seattle Pool Play Invitations
One day before the CWL Seattle Open began, four Stage 1 teams and four challengers fought in the Stage 2 relegation tournament.
Mindfreak, Epsilon eSports and the Evil Geniuses all redeemed themselves after a rough first stage by requalifying for the league through this event. Team Vitality came close to joining their Stage 1 peers in Stage 2, but fell to Epsilon 3-1 in the final Losers Round and were promptly relegated.
Tainted Minds, the lone Asia-Pacific relegation qualifier winner, took Vitality’s place in the Pro League, beating GGEA Orange 3-2 to qualify for Stage 2.
Open Bracket Competitors Complicate Pool Play
Tossing aside newly qualified Stage 2 competitors, Enigma6 Group, Ghost Gaming and the Lightning Pandas all earned Championship Winners Bracket bids after rolling through the CWL Seattle Open Bracket.
A three-team tie between the Pandas, Echo Fox and FaZe Clan defined Pool A’s standings. Due to their 11-8 map record, FaZe lost that tiebreaker and allowed the Foxes and Pandas to run wild into the Championship Winners Bracket. Rise only earned a single win in this pool, dooming them to the second round of the Championship Losers Bracket.
In Pool B, Team EnVyUs earned their place in the Championship Winners Bracket by winning all of their Pool Play matches, a feat no other team could muster in Seattle. Ghost took second in this pool, narrowly beating OpTic Gaming and UNILAD in a tiebreaker for a Championship Winners Bracket spot.
Enigma6 Group won out of Pool C and caused yet another Pool Play tiebreaker situation. eUnited wound up qualifying out of that scenario, as their wins over compLexity and Mindfreak were enough to push them into second place.
Team Kaliber and Evil Geniuses rounded out the Championship Winners Bracket qualifiers by winning three games in Pool D. EZG Blue broke the Open Bracket winners’ trend of succeeding in CWL Seattle Pool Play, dropping to fifth place in the pool and forcing themselves into the Championship Losers Bracket.
Rise Win Nine Straight Matches to Capture Seattle Crown
In the Championship Winners Bracket, both eUnited and EG fought their way through to the Winners Finals. This gave Justin “SiLLY” Fargo a bittersweet reunion with his former eUnited teammates mere weeks after he was replaced with Tyler “FeLonY” Johnson.
After winning the opening Hardpoint on Sainte Marie Du Mont 250-211, the Geniuses were stuck in a 2-5 hole during a Search and Destroy on London Docks. Maintaining their veteran composure, EG came back by winning four straight rounds and took game two 6-5.
The Geniuses then closed out the series with a 7-4 rout in a Capture the Flag on London Docks.
The Championship Losers Bracket was brutal for some of the CWL’s top teams, as it claimed OpTic in the third round and Stage 1 champions FaZe Clan in the fourth. Open Losers Bracket survivors GGEA Orange, Team Heretics, Cyclone and Nordic were also a part of this bracket, but none of them survived past the third Championship Losers Round.
This bracket was also home to Rise’s seven match winning streak through an international gauntlet of teams. Heretics, coL, EnVy, LG, Ghost and Echo Fox all could not stop Rise’s run to the Losers Finals, where they ultimately swept eUnited to earn their shot against EG for the CWL Seattle title.
In the Grand Finals, EG drew first blood on Rise with a 250-144 victory in an HP on Sainte Marie Du Mont.
EG were up 5-2 on Rise in an S&D on London Docks, but lost the next four rounds to drop game two 6-5.
Rise could not be stopped after making that comeback, winning the next two games to reset the bracket and force a second Grand Finals series. In that second best-of-five match, Rise brought out the broomsticks on EG, punctuating their 3-0 victory with a crushing 7-0 win in a CTF on Flak Tower.
Congratulations to Rise Nation for winning the CWL Seattle Open and to Peirce “Gunless” Hillman for winning the Seattle MVP award. We would also like to thank all of the CWL Seattle Open teams who competed at this event, and to everyone who watched these exciting matches.
The CWL will return on May 15 with Stage 2 of the CWL Pro League, where 16 teams will fight for $700,000 and the Stage 2 title over nine weeks at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio. You can catch all of Stage 2 at MLG.com/CallofDuty, where you view the matches in source quality video, engage with fellow fans in the Scorestreak mini-game, and see real-time player statistics.