Call of Duty Pro League returns this week after CWL London, and we’ve got a quick reminder of how the Division A teams stack up!
A week after CWL London, Division A of the CWL Pro League has returned to action. Halfway through the Pro League, let’s take a quick look at where our Division A teams stand:
The Cream of the Crop: OpTic Gaming and Gen. G
Following their stellar opening to the season, OpTic Gaming have struggled to find their form in the CWL Pro League. Visa issues prevented their early-season superstar Brandon “Dashy” Otell from playing with the team for the first two weeks of the Pro League. From there, chemistry issues steered the team towards mediocrity.
At last week’s CWL London Tournament, however, OpTic proved that they had found their former strength, placing third. Resurgent performances from their Submachine Gun duo, Seth “Scump” Abner and Thomas “TJHaly” Haly provided a much-needed slaying boost for Dashy. Damon “Karma” Barlow has also taken a more slay-heavy role on the team and has played well all season. And while they still have work to do as evidenced by an underwhelming championship-Sunday showing, OpTic look once again to be the class of Division A.
Gen. G also performed extremely well at CWL London. After initially swapping out their veteran leader Michael “Spacely” Schmale for additional slaying power in Dylan “Envoy” Hannon, Gen. G also faced chemistry issues, demonstrated by their top-8 placing at CWL Fort Worth in March. But at CWL London, the team only dropped one map in pool play. They went on to lose a close series against the eventual champions, 100 Thieves, and a streaky Envy team. The team looked much more in-sync this tournament and will be a force to be reckoned with going forward.
Yesterday evening, OpTic and Gen. G played a fun and closely-contested series. OpTic defeated Gen. G with a reverse sweep, winning the final map of Search and Destroy 6-4. The result closed the gap between the two teams atop Division A.
The other contenders: Luminosity, FaZe Clan, and Team Reciprocity
Let’s get one thing clear, Luminosity should easily be in the top category. But after winning CWL Fort Worth, they had a miserable showing at CWL London. After finishing dead last in Pool B, winning only three maps, Luminosity somehow conjured up a top-8 placing. However, LG achieved this placing through their raw talent alone. The team repeatedly made basic mistakes and were not on the same page all tournament long. Luminosity has been a frustrating team through most of the season. Hopefully, they can rely on their slaying power and veteran experience to right the ship once again.
After taking over Red Reserve’s league spot and keeping star slayers Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall and Trei “Zer0” Morris, Faze gave their fans a lot to cheer about. If not for inconsistent individual performances, some expected chemistry issues, and questionable gameplay mechanics, FaZe may have challenged for a top-4 placing at CWL London. Nevertheless, with a young core and exciting playstyle, FaZe has a chance to topple the titans of Division A. FaZe easily swept UYU in a 3-0 fashion yesterday. They will face a true test of their abilities today against OpTic Gaming.
Team Reciprocity has found much more success following the addition of up-and-coming superstar Dylan “Dylan” Henderson. Reciprocity boasts one of the best Submachine Gun duos in the world. While they had a slow start to CWL London in a very tough pool, Reciprocity made a quiet run in the loser’s bracket to finish top-8. They eventually lost, but that game was against the runner-ups, EUnited. The only question Reciprocity have yet to answer is whether or not they can consistently compete with the upper echelon of teams in the CWL Pro League.
We don’t know yet: Midnight, Evil Geniuses, and hopefully UYU
It’s hard to judge Midnight Esports based on their performance in London. While they pushed the runner-ups EUnited to a final map in loser’s bracket, Midnight played with a substitute the whole tournament. They are still a relatively new roster and have shown significant improvement since their debut at CWL Fort Worth. Now, under the veteran leadership of Chris “Parasite” Duarte and coach Brian “Saint” Baroska, Midnight has the chance to create major waves in Division A.
Evil Geniuses are another new roster which has serious potential. Despite placing top-16 (tied for last) at CWL London, EG have the requisite combination of elite experience and young slaying power to become at least a top-6 team moving forward. Only time will tell if they can live up to their potential.
UYU arguably has the bleakest outlook in all of Division A. Nevertheless, with the infusion of new blood with Alex “Zaptius” Bonilla, UYU now has players on their roster that have excelled at the highest level of professional Call of Duty. From a slaying and talent perspective, UYU can knock off any team in the Pro League. To do this, however, they will need to come together to overcome their relative lack of experience. Although the odds of this happening are unlikely, UYU could be a very fun team to watch going forward.
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Images VIA: CWL and Activision