Last month the Call of Duty World League Stage 2 Finals ended with Team EnvyUs clinching their North American title. Mindfreak took Australia/ New Zealand and Millenium claimed the European division title. This cemented these teams a spot in the biggest overall year-long prize pool in CoD history, CoD XP. This tournament has a remarkable history of bringing out some of the most talented players and clutch moments to ever hit the mainstage. Let’s take a look at the first four brackets Post Draw:
Millenium is the obvious favorite here, having previously bested Splyce in the European division. Both of these teams have significantly consistent top 4 finishes in the past 3 months and the top spot could go either way between these two teams. Revoltables was formed relatively recently and immediately after their qualification were sponsored by Black Forest Games. Livin the dream qualified two weeks ago at the 2016 NA CWL Qualifiers event. There were some surprising plays from their Canadian slayer Andrew ”Ivy” Ivers, so look out for this team to be a surprise underdog in Group A.
Favorite to Win: Millenium
Rise Nation has an extensive competitive history with 11 top 4 finishes in 2016. Netting almost 160k in just prize placements, this team is bringing their A game With a roster that has some of the best chemistry and communication out there I expect to see Rise make a deep run into bracket play. While hyper games has a consistent squad placing in the top 4 as well, this French team hasn’t had the depth against consistent difficult opponents. Apotheon has had an up and down time, being placed in Group A with OpTic, Orbit and E6 Gold in Burbank. They beat E6 but fell hard to OpTic, only securing a spot in the Pro world League after beating Team Orbit. That entire roster left for H2K and did not qualify for CoD XP despite their success. The final spot in Pool B goes to Team Supremacy, another French team that has qualified through the EU CWL qualifiers. Although they have an extensive history in Europe I am unsure of how they will fare in longer games of attrition.
Favorite to Win: Rise Nation
Luminosity Gaming is another major organization to have success across 2016, notching 14 Top 10 placements across the year. They will have their hands full in Pool C with Mindfreak, the winners of the ANZ division. With a 3rd place drop at the Stage 1 Relegation Qualifier Fab Games eSports helps round out this pool alongside Chief eSports club. Truly an international pool, the highlight to this group will be seeing how our international players do in an American LAN event of this size. For two of the teams, travel has been rare and there lacks a depth of team diversity in the ANZ region.
Favorite to Win: Luminosity
Very little is known about Ground Zero, but the same cannot be said for Team Allegiance. With former Lethal Gaming player Mochila on AR, this team has a solid slayer field that kills first and plays the objective later. The team former barely in time to make qualifiers, but ended up taking down H2K and Cloud9 to qualify. The pool is rounded out by Epsilon eSports who have had an extensively well rounded team this year and Pulse Gaming. While the Pulse roster has only been together for about 3 months they have had solid success placing top 20 consistently before they qualified for CoD XP. Their biggest hurdle will be getting over the LAN environment and ensuring their team can focus on stage if they want to make it out of pool play.
Favorite to Win: Allegiance
Final Words and Bracket Predictions
Pool A will be represented by Millenium and Splyce
Pool B will be represented by Rise and Apotheon
Pool C will be represented by Luminosity and Mindfreak
Pool D will be represented by Allegiance and Epsilon Gaming
Underdogs – Ground Zero, Livin the Dream
Jesse “Antifreke” Mayer