Welcome back to the Call of Duty World League!
After a short off-season hiatus, the world’s top Call of Duty players have returned to the sticks in Call of Duty: WWII and begun their road to glory as CWL Season Three kicks off. Not only were these players back in action, but were back in greater numbers, as the North American, European, and Australia/New Zealand MLG GameBattles 2K Tournaments had over 1,000 teams combined competing on Sunday.
MLG GameBattles 2K Tournaments are a series of single-elimination tournaments held throughout the CWL season, and reward the top-32 teams with Pro Points. The “2K” stands for 2,000, which is the amount of Pro Points each member of the winning team will receive, along with a cash prize for the whole team. If you are in the North American, European, or Asian-Pacific regions, you can get in on the action by signing up for a GameBattles account, and entering your regional 2K tournament for free.
Here is a look at the first 2K Tournament of Season Three
OpTic Gaming Wins by T.K.O. in the 10th Round
The Call of Duty World League 2017 Champions faced their first test of the season in the form of a North American gauntlet, as they took on nine opponents with only one bye in a tournament that seeded over 550 teams.
After taking their first round bye, OpTic politely welcomed four amateur teams to the new CWL season by sweeping them out of the tournament. OpTic then advanced past the sixth round by defeating a team led by veteran Jonathan "SinfuL" Baez, who played on Team Allegiance and Str8 Rippin’ last season.
The final North American 2K rounds for OpTic Gaming were against three CWL 2017 Championship competitors, starting with a Ghost Gaming squad that has also stuck together since last season. Although Michael "SpaceLy" Schmale and his team had a nail-biting 3-2 win in the previous round, they could not ride their momentum against OpTic, who swept them out of the 2K.
OpTic then faced Team Kaliber in a semifinal that went to four games, with tK picking up a 6-1 Search and Destroy win in game two. Proving to be the better respawn team, OpTic Gaming won the final two games of that series, ending with a 250-108 Hardpoint win on Ardennes Forest where Ian “Crimsix” Porter lead his team with 32 kills and almost two minutes of Hardpoint time.
The North American 2K tournament’s final round was a 2017 CWL Championship Loser’s Bracket rematch between OpTic and Luminosity where, just like in August, OpTic swept LG. Luminosity did put up a strong fight despite the match scoreline, forcing an overtime on Sainte Marie du Mont in game three. Unfortunately, they could not stop Crimsix, who punched the final flag home to give his team a well-deserved 2K tournament win.
While OpTic Gaming sits at the top of the Pro Points table, their 2K opponents Luminosity, Team Kaliber and Ghost Gaming only fall a couple thousand points behind and could easily catch up with a win at the next 2K Tournament on November 19. Among the other top teams is Enigma6, who are led by Jordon “General” General and his brand-new teammates Brandon "Dashy" Otell, Jacob “Decemate” Cato and Embry “Bevils” Bevil, and an underdog in Zodiac. Led by former Pnda Gaming member Zach “GodLike” Goldstein and a strong young duo in Brett "Baker" Baker and Brett "Jump" Hall, Zodiac made waves in the first 2K of 2018 by upsetting FaZe in the sixth round, and earning a top-eight spot by defeating Team Solstice in the seventh.
Meanwhile, some of the professional teams from last season, such as eUnited, FaZe Clan, Team EnVyUs, and Evil Geniuses have fallen outside the top-10, and need to step up in the next two tournaments if they want an invite to CWL Dallas Pool Play.
Splyce and Mindfreak Pick Up Where They Left Off in Europe and APAC
In the other two 2K tournament regions, a Splyce squad with one notable pickup and a returning Mindfreak team won gold and got a head start on their journey across the pond to Dallas Pool Play.
Splyce entered Season Three by saying goodbye to their Season Two Stage 1 MVP Trei “Zer0” Morris, and welcoming Call of Duty Ironman Thomas “Tommey” Trewren into their ranks. The new team wasted no time getting acquainted with each other, rolling through their first four opponents before sending the all-Spanish Movistar Riders out of the tournament with their fifth straight 3-0 sweep.
An all-German dZResurges team then challenged Splyce in the seventh round, as they earned the right to face Spylce by upsetting a Supremacy team who retained most of its 2017 CWL Championship roster. While the Germans looked impressive, Splyce had another sweep in store for the scrappy underdogs and moved on to the semifinals.
Splyce finished up their 2K by defeating Epsilon, who played with its newest acquisition Nathan ‘Insanatised’ Orton, and followed that win with a finals victory over Red Reserve, where their former teammate Zer0 took residence. Red and Epsilon currently sit within the top-five in Pro Points after this first 2K tournament, with a team made up of former 2017 professionals including twins Matthew “Skrapz” and Bradley “wuskin” Marshall also in the hunt for Splyce’s top spot.
Meanwhile in the APAC region, Mindfreak returned to their throne by taking out some familiar foes, including SYF Gaming in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, Cody “Excite” Rugalo and his team dispatched Excite’s former organization Tainted Minds, as his teammate Jayden "Setzyy" Hewitt sealed the series with 26 kills on Gibraltar Hardpoint.
In the finals, Mindfreak sent Excite’s team into the 100-point club in game one on Ardennes Forest Hardpoint, but the series soon drew even to two games apiece. That lead to a game five on Gibraltar Search and Destroy, where Mindfreak won the first APAC 2K with a 6-2 victory.
All of these teams, and many more, will be playing in these 2K tournaments for the right to be invited into the CWL Dallas Open Pool Play stage. The CWL Dallas Open will take place from December 8-10, and will be streamed live over on MLG.tv/callofduty.