By: James Mattone

The 2018 CWL Anaheim Open, Presented by PlayStation®4, saw Rise Nation beat Red Reserve to capture its third Global Open title of the 2018 CWL season.

Here’s a glimpse of what happened during this exciting weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center:

Division B Edges Division A in CODE CWL All-Star Game

During the CWL Anaheim Open, the Call of Duty™ Endowment CWL All-Star Game gave fans a few laughs and memorable moments while helping the CWL’s official charity.

Division B All-Stars Bradley “wuskin” Marshall, Seth “Scump” Abner, Peirce "Gunless" Hillman, and James “Clayster” Eubanks defeated Division A’s All-Stars in this wild best-of-three series, earning the honor of having $10,000 donated to Call of Duty Endowment in their name.

The eventual event MVP, Gunless, put his days of public match experience on full display throughout this series, giving the crowd and the rest of the all-stars a master class in dominating Shipment 1944.

Open Bracket Survivors Gain Momentum Towards Champs LCQ

In the final Open Bracket of the 2018 CWL season, over 100 teams fought for CWL Pro Points and the right to play in the Championship Bracket.

Elevate, Enigma6 Group, Ghost Gaming and North American pick-up team Conquest Esports all won out of the Open Winners Bracket. Meanwhile, Team Heretics, Brash Esports, Regal Morituri and the Lightning Pandas outlasted the Open Losers to punch their ticket to the Championship Bracket.

Although none of these teams made it past the third round of the Championship Losers Bracket, they all walked out of Anaheim with CWL Pro Points to help them qualify for the upcoming 2018 Call of Duty World League Championship Last Chance Qualifier.

Red and OpTic Sweep, Rise and Echo Fox Win Out of Pool Play

All but one of the CWL Pro League’s top teams placed well in CWL Anaheim Open Pool Play.

Division A leaders Red Reserve cleaned house in Pool A, ending Pool Play with a 4-0 record and walking into the Championship Winners Bracket with runners-up FaZe Clan.

Evil Geniuses, who sit below Red in Division A’s standings, did not have similar success in their pool. They fell to fourth place in Pool C, and ultimately finished top-16 at the event.

Their struggle led to Unilad Esports and Echo Fox escaping into the Championship Bracket, as the two placed first and second in a three-way tiebreaker with Mindfreak.

Division B front-runner Rise Nation tied Luminosity Gaming for first in Pool B, rebounding from an early loss to Team Kaliber to win three straight matches and a better Championship Bracket seed.

OpTic Gaming, currently second in Division B, finished Pool D with the best record in Pool Play, while Splyce followed them into the Championship Bracket by winning a tiebreaker over Team EnVyUs. The Green Wall’s success came despite a challenge from Conquest, who played with the emotions of a packed Anaheim Convention Center crowd during an intense main stage series.

Rise Win Third Global Open Through Atlanta Grand Final Rematch

Rise Nation and Red Reserve both rolled through the Championship Winners Bracket to meet in the Winners Finals, where Rise dealt a close series loss over five games to Red. Technically, the series was six games long, as a game four Hardpoint on Ardennes Forest ended in a draw, a first in the 2018 CWL season.

Red recovered by winning the Losers Finals 3-1 against Luminosity, earning their rematch with Rise in the Grand Finals. It marked the second time these two faced off in a CWL Global Open Grand Final, as three months ago, Rise bested Red at the CWL Atlanta Open.

To the tune of dueling chants from North American and European fans, Red reset the bracket to force a second Grand Finals series.

The second best-of-five series began with Red taking a 250-220 victory on Sainte Marie Du Mont in Hardpoint. Rise Nation answered back, sweeping the next three games with a dramatic victory in game four.

“This was the craziest Grand Finals I’ve ever played,” said Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, who previously won the CWL Seattle Open with Rise and the 2016 CWL World Championship with Team EnVyUs. “The way we won was insane. I didn’t know that we were going to win until the game was over.”

Congratulations to Red Reserve for winning the CWL Anaheim Open and to Peirce “Gunless” Hillman for winning the Open event MVP award for the second time this season. We would also like to thank those who not only attended or competed at the CWL Anaheim Open, but to everyone who participated in any of the 2018 CWL Global Opens.

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