With the Call of Duty World League Presented by PlayStation 4 Atlanta Open taking place this weekend, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, Clint “Maven” Evans, Matt “Mr X.” Morello, Chris “Puckett” Puckett, and Phil “Momo” Whitfield took some time to discuss the different Pools entering the tournament:
Jack “CouRage” Dunlop: This is the pool where I definitely give a much better chance than Pool A for a European team to do well. Splyce - this is absolutely one where Splyce could move to the Winners' Bracket / the Championship Bracket. But remember; they're going up against Allegiance who placed fourth at Vegas, they've got Evil Geniuses in this Pool who, speaking to them, are now feeling much more confident in their gameplay. Then just a little team called OpTic Gaming as well in that second spot that you know is going to be important for this event.
Clint “Maven” Evans: All eyes for me are going to be on OpTic Gaming. I know we're curious how the European teams are going to do but, OpTic - in past years if they didn't do well in the Champs, they kind of had the remainder of the game to recover. They'd have an event the next month that they would win. They didn't have that chance to recover with Champs being at the end of the year last year. How long has it been since they won a performance, six months now? They have to do well at this event.
Jack: MLG Orlando?
Clint: That's the last time, right?
Jack: I think August.
Clint: Right. So it's been a long, long time. The pressure keeps going for this OpTic Gaming squad, I think it's like they're ready to explode if they don't perform.
Chris “Puckett” Puckett: I don't think OpTic Gaming has much to prove here or anything to lose. I think you're going up against the Splyce team, that's going to be your real challenger to get out of this group. I think the real pressure is going to be on teams like Allegiance and Evil Geniuses. EG - they had to fight through the open bracket to make their way into pools for this event. This is a squad that is definitely the underdog in every single one of their match ups and if they fail to make it out of groups and get into the Winners' Bracket, I think you'll see them finish outside of the Top 12 and likely see a roster shake up. Allegiance - they had a great Vegas event all around, but if you look at how they got there, they went to game five way too often, they were banking on strong S&D play… I think this is the event where Allegiance shows their weakness in the respawns, and it might be EG who is challenging Splyce for that number two spot in the group.
Matt “Mr. X” Morello: For me this is actually the easiest group to predict. I think OpTic Gaming and Splyce just take this group with ease. Now Allegiance, like Chris said, they go to so many game fives that it's just not a consistent result at Vegas. Evil Geniuses is just a team, quite frankly, I just don't believe in. I think they're all very talented players so I think they all bring a lot to a team, I just don't think they work well together.
Clint: But I WANT to believe in them! I WANT to believe!
Matt: Maven loves the EG roster.
Clint: I want to believe in them. I like the players so much - I love the players. I just don't think they have what it takes to win.
Phil “Momo” Whitfield: For me on Group B, I would say this is where OpTic kind of come in and absolutely smash their group. I have a really strong feeling about predicting the obvious, but I think OpTic will wipe all three of these teams. I think it's really the fight for second, but I completely agree. EG just doesn't seem to work even though, again - super talented individual players. I think Allegiance are really going to struggle. I think they had a very good showing at Vegas. I think that the placement just doesn't justify how they got there, how they played. Again, way too many game fives. I think Splyce will take second in this group, just behind Optic.
Puckett: I think it'll be OpTic and Splyce with EG having the best chance to upset Splyce.
Jack: Who is your player to watch in this group?
Puckett: The player to watch in this pool is going to be Royalty. When Royalty was on point for Allegiance, they won. When he was not on his game, they struggled.
Matt: For me, the player to watch in this group is going to be Bance. I feel like if there's any chance for Splyce to take out OpTic Gaming, it's on the back of Bance. I know he's had very choice words for the North American players so far this year. Really poor performance at Vegas, played very well at Gfinity, they didn't win, needs to show up big here in Atlanta.
Clint: My player to watch is going to be OpTic Gaming’s Scump - I believe in Vegas he had his worst event that I've ever seen since casting Call of Duty from a K/D standpoint. From an attitude standpoint - when you watch him play, you could tell he was frustrated. I think that gets back to my previous point on FaZe, the fact that there hasn't really been a sub-machine gun involved in this meta. Maybe the Erad will help him pick it up, but for me, that's the worst event I’ve ever seen him have. I think he's on a rebound year if OpTic Gaming’s getting back in form.
Phil: For me, exactly what Maven said. I would think that Erad, Scump… Yeah, I've never seen him play so bad before. I think this is the event he really turns it around. So yeah, Scump.
Jack: My player to watch – all of EG. If they do poorly then I think there's a roster change in this EG -
Matt: - So there will be a roster change for EG.
Jack: My magic crystal ball may have said it. (giggles)