London was calling the Call of Duty World League to it, and did the CWL deliver on the first day! Some significant technical issues delayed the festivities, but the fans and players alike made the best of that situation to hilarious results. And the Pool Play didn’t disappoint either, especially with teams like OpTic Gaming redeeming themselves in dominating fashion at the event.
OpTic Gaming had the hype train going for them at CWL Vegas last year, but that hype train slowed down after mediocre performance during the Pro League and CWL Fort Worth. Consider that hype train rolling again, however, because OpTic Gaming won all three of their Pool Play matches today, most notably against rivals 100 Thieves, a team run by former OpTic Gaming player Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag. Team Reciprocity ended up being the punching bag of Pool A as they lost all three of their games. Meanwhile, 100 Thieves placed second in Pool A, with Enigma6 Group narrowly missing out on the Winners Bracket by placing third.
Gen.G Esports turned out to be the surprise smash in Pool B. They too were a hyped-up team that was dominating in the Pro League, but a disappointing Top 8 finish at CWL Fort Worth diminished their luster for a little while. Today, however, they’re looking hot once again, winning all three of their Pool Play matches and finding themselves in the Winners Bracket. Meanwhile, Splyce placed second in their pool, losing only to Gen.G Esports. Denial Esports placed third, meaning the last place finisher in Pool B is a team that’s had issues with cohesion and teamwork during the Black Ops 4 season, Luminosity Gaming. LG has had stunning moments during the Black Ops 4 season, especially at CWL Vegas and CWL Fort Worth, but if they hope to reclaim their former glory, they’re going to have to step it up.
This pool was a dicey one. The battles were close and bitter, with many matches going to a game 5. In the end, however, EUnited emerged triumphant thanks to two matches they won 3-1 as opposed to 3-2. That left second place to be occupied by the new FaZe Clan, featuring some hometown (or home nation, rather) heroes for the London crowd such as Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall and Trei “Zer0” Morris. Evil Geniuses claim third, while Team Envy is probably bitter with the fact that they missed third by proverbial inches, landing in fourth.
This was the proverbial rookie pool, with two teams being relative newcomers to the Call of Duty professional scene: Midnight Esports and Excelerate Gaming. Also playing in this pool were Spanish upstarts Team Heretics, and Elevate, who has returned to competitive Call of Duty after skipping the WWII season. Team Heretics ran away with the first place position in their pool, only skipping a beat against Midnight Esports, against whom they lost only one map. UYU barely scraped themselves into second place over Elevate by a margin of one map loss, and Midnight is struggling once again, having placed last in their pool.
Day 1 didn’t go off without a hitch, and the hitch that presented itself took the form of a network outage that delayed the event from being streamed live on schedule. This didn’t stop players and fans alike from having fun, however. Hector “H3cz” Rodriguez of OpTic Gaming was the judge of a push-up contest between a couple of players while the technical difficulties were getting sorted out. Meanwhile, ex-Enigma6 Group player Martin “Chino” Chino was hosting a viewing party on his Twitch stream, and due to the delay, things got…interesting on his stream.
Check back tomorrow for our coverage of CWL London Day 2! Be sure to catch the action live (provided no further technical delays happen) on twitch.tv/callofduty or right here on ESTNN.