By: James Mattone
The Call of Duty World League, Presented by PlayStation®4, experienced what could be considered the most memorable transfer period in its history as six of the Pro League’s Stage 2 teams adjusted rosters by the May 7 deadline.
Here’s what went down during the May 2018 edition of what CWL fans call “Rostermania:”
An End of an Era for Optic Gaming
Since November 2014, Green Wall fans cheered on Ian “Crimsix” Porter, Seth “Scump” Abner, Matthew “FormaL” Piper, and Damon “Karma” Barlow at CWL events from Australia to Anaheim. The squad that earned victories in dozens of tournaments, including the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship, and is among the greatest dynasties in CWL history, has officially split.
On May 6, Karma announced his hiatus for the rest of the season and FormaL officially parted ways with the organization.
OpTic reloaded their roster with Samuel “Octane” Larew from Luminosity Gaming and Anthony “Methodz” Zinni from Team Kaliber. Methodz and Octane, two of the CWL’s top-three rifle mains this season. These additions combined with the power of Scump and Crimsix makes OpTic, once again, a formidable opponent.
Stage 2 of the CWL Pro League marks the next chapter for OpTic Gaming and fans hope that this fresh talent can bring the Green Wall to back-to-back CWL Championship victories in August.
Luminosity Brings in FormaL
FormaL, one of OpTic’s cornerstone players and personalities for three and a half years will trade in his green gear for Luminosity blue.
FormaL will bring further flexibility and strong respawn play to an LG squad that has a strong record on Hardpoint and Capture the Flag.
In the CWL, Jordan “JKap” Kaplan, Johnathan “John” Perez, and Josiah “Slacked” Berry have all shown that they can adjust their roles to adapt to maps or situations. With FormaL’s arrival, this team’s overall versatility could lead them to a Stage 2 title or even a CWL Championship.
Team Kaliber Signs Enable
Ian “Enable” Wyatt, last seen in Stage 1 under Evil Geniuses, returns to the Pro League after joining Team Kaliber.
Replacing the CWL Atlanta MVP and overall dominant rifle main Methodz is a tall order for any player to fill. Fortunately, Enable has over a decade of overall esports experience to work with and held his own as the main riflemen for EG and the Lightning Pandaz.
His veteran experience and leadership are perfect for a roster whose average age is around 19-years-old. While Kenny “Kenny” Williams, Maurice “Felo” Henriquez, and Lamar "Accuracy" Abedi all have skill, they could benefit greatly by having one the esport’s longest active competitors as an in-game leader.
Splyce Welcomes Joshh Back Home
In Europe, Splyce sent off Tommey, who found his home in the CWL United Kingdom and Ireland National Circuit squad Team Vitality, and reunited with Joshua-Lee "Joshh" Sheppard.
Joshh was a part of the original Splyce team that took second place in the 2016 CWL Championship. He will look to relive those glory days with old teammate Ben “Bance” Bance, acting as a direct replacement for what Tommey did as a high engagement initiator in respawn game modes.
Skrapz Leaves Brother Wuskin for Red Reserve
Let the sibling rivalry begin.
Twins Matthew “Skrapz” and Bradley “Wuskin” Marshall have separated for the first time since Wuskin broke into the CWL in December 2016, as Skrapz exited Unilad to join Red Reserve.
Skrapz is known as one of the top support submachine gun players in the CWL, posting one of the best K/D ratios in the league during the 2018 season under Unilad Esports.
Unilad Calls Up Zed
After losing Skrapz to Red, Unilad selected CWL United Kingdom and Ireland National Circuit player Zach “Zed” Denyer to fill the void.
Zed earned his opportunity after leading National Circuit team Cyclone to two National Circuit titles – one with an undefeated record – and a top-16 run at the CWL Seattle Open. He will have two extra weeks to get used to his new teammates and practice for Division B, where he will have to prove he belongs in place of Unilad’s best performer during the first half of the 2018 CWL season.
Some Rosters Remain
Not every Pro League team participated in the largest roster shakeup of 2018.
CWL Seattle Open Champions Rise Nation and CWL Pro League Stage 1 Champs FaZe Clan held firm with their winning rosters. Teams Evil Geniuses, Epsilon, Mindfreak, and Tainted Minds are roster-locked after surviving the Stage 2 relegation tournament.
Pro League teams new and old will see how much this transfer period will impact the CWL landscape when CWL Pro League Stage 2 resumes on May 15.
Watch Pro League action every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday beginning at 11:00 AM PDT / 2:00 PM EDT. Streams for the remainder of the season will now be broadcast in 1080p, 60 FPS. Tune in at MLG.com/CallofDuty and Twitch.tv/CallofDuty.