Welcome to ESTNN's CWL Fort Worth 2019 Day One Recap! With the Call of Duty World League (CWL) transitioning to a franchising model next year, league officials decided to do away with the open bracket competition for pool play spots starting with this event. In fact, this was the first city-based MLG event that has not had an open bracket path to the championship in several years. Instead, the CWL instituted an amateur championship separate from the professional championship.
This meant that pool play was just down to just the 16 professional teams in the CWL Pro League, significantly raising the average level of competition within each pool. Moreover, it meant that all of the pool play to determine the elimination round matchups would take place on Day 1. This created a hectic, unpredictable, and exciting first day at the CWL Fort Worth Tournament.
And after yesterday’s action, here are the final pool play standings:
Without further ado, let’s get into the pools!
There was little surprise or drama in this pool. Gen. G continued their perfect Search and Destroy ways. Behind the stellar play of Michael “MajorManiak” Szymaniak (who posted a ridiculous day one K/D of 1.59) and new pickup Dylan “Envoy” Hannon, Gen. G finished with the best pool and map record in the entire tournament. They were not without some resistance, however, as their first match of the tournament took them to a final map against the strong Spanish Heretics roster before they ultimately pulled out the win.
The most shocking result of Pool A came from Team Heretics themselves. Filled with lofty expectations going into the tournament and after going toe-to-toe with Gen. G, they completely collapsed against both Denial and UYU. They won only one map from both of those matches.
Denial was able to take a pivotal game five against UYU early in the day behind a great Day One from Paul “Breszy” Breszynski and managed to secure a spot in the championship bracket alongside Gen. G.
With Evil Geniuses continuing their poor form from the Pro League, 100 Thieves, Red Reserve, and Enigma 6 were left to fight for the remaining two spots in the championship bracket.
Enigma 6 were able to overcome a slow start from one of their superstars, Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom, and forced a map five search and destroy against all of their opponents. They went 2-1 in those matches. Red Reserve emerged as the class of this group behind the continued dominance of Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall who owns the second highest K/D in the entire tournament after Day One.
Unfortunately, 100 Thieves was unable to continue their recent spell of strong performances (especially in respawn game modes); a 3-1 loss to Red Reserve proved to be their downfall as all three teams finished the day at 2-1, forcing a tie-breaker of head-to-head map count between the three teams (Red Reserve was 6-4, Enigma 6 was 5-5, and 100 Thieves was 4-6).
The good news for 100 Thieves is that bringing in Preston “Priestahh” Greiner as their main Submachine Gun Slayer and moving Kenny “Kenny” Williams to the Flex role seems to be paying dividends for the team. Priestahh has fixed some of their pacing issues in the Hardpoint game mode and Kenny is among the top 5 slayers in the tournament thus far. There are certainly issues to work out as they attempt their Loser’s bracket run, but 100 Thieves fans have to feel much more optimistic about their team going forward.
Prior to CWL Fort Worth, Splyce took part in a LAN scrimmage event with 100 Thieves, Team Heretics, and OpTic Gaming, and there were some rumors flying around that Splyce had fallen off a bit as a team and were struggling in their practice. If that was the case then, that certainly is not the case anymore.
Following a slow start against the newly-reformed Midnight Esports roster (which they were able to close out 3-2), Splyce handily beat both Luminosity and Excelerate Gaming 3-1 to take first place in Pool C with a 9-4 map count.
Fellow group favorites Luminosity also had early trouble but were able to close out a hotly contested match against Excelerate 3-2. They then easily took care of Midnight Esports 3-0. While they lost to pool winners Splyce 3-1, their early 3-2 win over Excelerate pushed them to second place in the pool to qualify for the championship bracket. Excelerate, for their part, had a strong day one, taking maps off of both Splyce and Luminosity. New team additions Carson “Brack” Newberry and Eric “JetLi” Phan seem to be adjusting and performing well, and they are certainly a strong dark horse candidate to make a deep run through the loser’s bracket.
Dubbed the “Pool of Death” by analysts and fans alike, Pool D certainly lived up to that reputation.
The drama began early, where the vaunted Submachine Gun duo of Seth “Scump” Abner and Thomas “TJHaly” Haly was unable to stand up to their counterparts on Team Reciprocity, Zach “Zed” Denyer and Dylan “Dylan” Henderson. This led to Team Reciprocity pulling off a map 5 upset against OpTic. Meanwhile, EUnited’s recent poor form continued against Team EnvyUs as they lost in a swift 3-0 fashion.
The second round of matches saw EUnited bounce back against Team Reciprocity with a closely-contested map 5 victory. In the other match, OpTic went down early to Team EnvyUs 2-0 in map count and was unable to mount the reverse sweep, even as they started to find their form as the match went on. A frenetic finish to the map 4 Hardpoint which Envy won pushed Envy ahead to first in the pool.
OpTic Gaming found their stride in their third match against EUnited as they took the series in a quick 3-0 fashion. However, Team Reciprocity took a back-and-forth series against Team EnvyUs to close out the night, as their dominant map 5 performance won them a spot in the championship bracket, sending OpTic to the loser’s bracket.
With Pool Play complete, bracket play spots are set for Day 2:
Gen. G vs. Luminosity and Enigma 6 vs. Reciprocity will kick off the winner’s bracket with the lower half of the bracket coming up afterward. The first match of the winner’s bracket will prove incredibly important for all teams as the loser will drop down into one dangerous loser’s bracket:
The loser’s bracket will feature the CWL Las Vegas Champions OpTic Gaming along with the top 3 placed teams in Division B of the Pro League thus far: 100 Thieves, EUnited, and Team Heretics.
There is no doubt that day 2 of CWL Fort Worth will be even more entertaining than day 1. All of the action begins at 3 PM EST, and you can watch in on www.twitch.tv/callofduty and their related channels. Happy watching!