By: James Mattone
The 2018 CWL Anaheim Open, presented by PlayStation®4, marks the last Global Open stop before this year’s Call of Duty World League Championship and gives Call of Duty World League teams from around the world the opportunity to play for a share of the $200,000 event prize pool and CWL Pro Points.
All 16 Stage 2 CWL Pro League Stage 2 teams will start this event in Pool Play, where they will fight for seeding into the Championship Bracket. The rest of the field, including the Stage 3 CWL National Circuit winners, will battle in a double-elimination Open Bracket for the chance to compete in one of these four pools or in the Championship Losers Bracket.
Here’s what you need to know about each CWL Anaheim Open pool, as well as the special event taking place during this action-packed weekend:
The current Division A leaders Red Reserve will defend Europe against FaZe Clan and eUnited in Pool A.
Prior to picking up Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall, Red made back-to-back Championship Losers Bracket runs at the CWL New Orleans and CWL Atlanta opens. In Stage 2, Red have won their last six out of eight Search and Destroy games, a record rivaled by Stage 1 Champions FaZe Clan.
EUnited will bring their strong respawn game to Pool A, with James “Clayster” Eubanks ranked among the most elite riflemen in the Pro League due to his aggressive yet effective Capture the Flag playstyle.
Tainted Minds will round out Pool A’s Pro League competition, entering the pool ready to regain their confidence after a rough start in Division B.
After winning two 2018 CWL Open championships each, Rise Nation and Team Kaliber are both hungry for a third title.
Rise dominated opponents in Hardpoint and Search and Destroy so far in Stage 2, rallying around veteran Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat and 2017 CWL breakout star Peirce "Gunless" Hillman to earn a 17-2 record in those two game modes combined.
Team Kaliber have their own cornerstone players in Kenny “Kenny” Williams and Lamar "Accuracy" Abedi, who both led their team to a 7-4 HP record in Division A.
Luminosity Gaming come into Pool B ready to see Matthew "FormaL" Piper take the reigns as the team’s main rifleman. After adjusting to his new teammates over the past month, FormaL is expected to return to his home state ready to exact revenge on his old team that swept him during Division B play.
Like Tainted Minds, Epsilon will join Pool B looking to turn their season around after a winless seven game stretch in Division A.
Bringing in Justin “SiLLY” Fargo and Adam “Assault” Garcia has worked wonders for Evil Geniuses. In less than two months’ time, EG re-qualified for the CWL Pro League, placed second at the CWL Seattle Open and sit in second place in Division A.
The Geniuses will start their quest for Anaheim gold in a pool that includes two solid S&D teams in Unilad and Echo Fox. Unilad are flourishing after they split the Marshall twins and kept Bradley “Wuskin” Marshall, while Echo Fox looks to build on a top-four CWL Seattle Open placement and reach their first Grand Finals of 2018.
Mindfreak may not have a solid Pro League resume, but they are definitely a team to watch this weekend. In previous CWL Opens, the Australians spiced up Pool Play stages with upsets against squads like Luminosity, Red Reserve, and Unilad.
OpTic Gaming and Team EnVyUs once again headline a CWL Open pool, with the Boys in Blue taking their last battle 3-1 at the CWL Seattle Open.
OpTic still holds the 2018 overall lead 5-1 at all live CWL events against the squad. Plus, with a new roster featuring Anthony “Methodz” Zinni and Samuel “Octane” Larew, the Green Wall has no intention of crumbling to EnVy or any CWL team in Anaheim.
Pool D will also feature compLexity and Splyce, two teams ready to prove themselves after settling towards the middle of their respective Stage 2 divisions.
Splyce are on the hunt for more Global Open hardware after bringing Joshua-Lee “Joshh” Shepard, one of the team’s first Call of Duty professionals, back on board.
CompLexity currently rosters an S&D star in Brandon "Dashy" Otell, who has developed into a well-rounded player throughout the 2018 season.
The CODE CWL All-Star Game
The Anaheim Convention Center will not only host a three-day CWL Open, but also the Call of Duty™ Endowment CWL All-Star Game.
This special ProMod Search and Destroy series pits fan-voted representatives from Divisions A and B against each other to raise awareness for the CWL’s official charity.
Red Reserve’s Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall, Evil Geniuses’s Patrick “ACHES” Price, Team Kaliber’s Kenny “Kenny” Williams and Team EnVyUs’s Martin “Chino” Chino will represent Division A, while Unilad’s Bradley “Wuskin” Marshall, OpTic Gaming’s Seth “Scump” Abner, Rise Nation’s Peirce "Gunless" Hillman and eUnited’s James “Clayster” Eubanks will play on behalf of Division B.