It’s Champs time in LA! This was one of the most competitive days of Call Of Duty you’ll see, with all going to Game 5, two going to Round 11, and one reverse sweep. The day went a bit longer than expected as well due to a server issue, but none of us will complain about extra time to earn the CDL rewards right? Check out all of our takeaways below, and stay tuned for Day 2.
London Royal Ravens vs Seattle Surge
Actual: 3-2 Seattle Surge
- Tuscan didn’t look good, but London shut the door in maps 2 and 3. On Desert Siege they didn’t allow Seattle a round until they already had 5, and even then Zero almost came up with a 1v4. On Berlin Control, it started really shaky, but Afro’s spree near the trainyard stairs gave them the opening win. Even so, the first two rounds were close, coming down to 2v1’s in London’s favor, but with seconds left on the clock. The final offense wasn’t nearly as close, with the Royal Ravens taking the final point with over a minute on the clock and a five life lead.
- You won’t see many plays better than Afro’s skating around the B bomb to worldstar Pred. Pred had him dead to rights, but whether it was a call out or Afro spotting him at the last moment, he stopped planting the bomb, perfectly slid around the opposite side of the bomb and a roof pillar, and lined up the shot to get the venue screaming. Besides that, he was instrumental in his team winning the Berlin Control, taking over the B point and giving his team the map control to get the opening offensive win.
- This one stings, because they had a chance to close Seattle out twice. I get positioning yourself for the P1 rotation, but with 236 points and 30 or so seconds left on P5, I feel like you have to make Seattle take you off the hill. Instead, they kept getting blooded as they went to flip spawns, and once it finally did, it was nearly too late. Sure, it was a massive clutch that lost them the Berlin Hardpoint, but they could have made this one end on their terms rather than needing a miracle. Berlin Search and Destroy didn’t look close, with Seattle constantly getting the first blood and making London need to dig deep for a round.
- Pred started Champs in championship fashion. One of the most dominant Tuscan Hardpoints you’ll see, the man was frying in route to a 34/15 stat line. While it may not seem as impressive as the end result, Pred earned a glide bomb… on the opening hill. He was 23/7 at one point, and slowed down a bit as the match finished. Didn’t matter much, with the squad holding a 100 point lead most of the way to the 250-148 victory.
- The first Search and Destroy made you worry for Seattle’s chances, in a 1-6 loss that was never in question with London taking the first five rounds. In the Game 5 on Berlin however, it felt like they were able to play their game and take advantage of a map London struggled on. It felt like Pred was able to play that roaming slayer the way he wanted, and Sib was able to impact the map from his head glitches.
- Speaking of Pred and Sib, once again they have to be the catalysts for this team to win. Even though Pred massively slowed down after his barrage on Tuscan, he and Sib combined for +30 kills and a 1.40 KD. If they can keep that up, they can go far at Champs.
Los Angeles Thieves vs Boston Breach
Actual: 3-2 Los Angeles Thieves
- It wasn’t as easy this time, that’s for sure. After beating the crap out of Boston in two of the quickest series you’ll watch this season, LAT was on the back foot, struggling in the opening S&D and somehow losing three offenses in the Berlin Control. This team is playing much more consistently now compared to how this season has largely played out though, and with somewhat of a freebie on the Berlin Hardpoint, they clutched up in the Game 5 Round 11 to continue the winners bracket run.
- Honestly I’m not sure how Thieves blew the fourth round of Control. They were up tremendously in lives, and glide bombs were raining from the sky. Suddenly, with sixteen seconds left, three Boston players were on the A point, and you know what happens if you get a stack. I don’t think even LAT knew what happened, they seemed surprised by it. The lives didn’t matter at that point, because the spawn trap was set and Boston had the momentum that carried them to a third offensive win to take the map.
- As much as Los Angeles deserves credit for bringing it versus a good Boston S&D team, there were so many moments where it looked like they didn’t want to win. Again we watched as they would have advantages and suddenly lose them, and need to rely on clutches (like Drazah’s incredible play in a 1v2) to take them all the way. When you get to teams that don’t play as hesitant as Boston did in that final map, you might struggle.
- While they couldn’t close it out, the fact that Boston took this the distance should at least be encouraging. LAT has literally thrashed them in the last two, so taking this to a Game 5 Round 11 is a major improvement. Not to mention, they’re up against a Toronto team tomorrow that has struggled and looked somewhat awful despite their own Game 5 Round 11. Boston has a shot, they just have to stop playing so passively when that isn’t their win condition.
- For instance, look at the Control. We’ve already talked a bit about LAT straight up falling apart in the fourth round, but that was because of Boston’s fast push that left the Thieves in shock. That’s what happens when you have players like Vivid and Nero (Vivid went 41/29 in Control). When you stick these guys on smaller maps, you have to let them fly.
- Which brings us to the final round of the final map. On the Tuscan S&D it was back and forth constantly. What infuriated me though was that round 11, where Boston again blew it because of their passive play. They kept back and tried to find a pick, conceding map control to LAT, but worse, letting the timer dwindle to thirty seconds without making a move. At that point it was chalked, because you’re forced to rush a bomb site with no information and with the defense in full control. If I lose a round like that, it should be on my terms, and making Vivid and Nero hold up in spawn doesn’t help me, even if they underperformed in that one.
Optic Texas vs Toronto Ultra
Actual: 3-2 Optic Texas
- This was a great win by Optic, even if it was against a Toronto team far from the level they ended in Cold War. You can only play who’s in front of you though, and even though things did get dire after Optic blew the 2-0 lead, they came through in a Game 5 Round 11 offense in a series that could define how far they can go.
- Scump had a throwback map in the opening Hardpoint. He was 37/27, +10 kills, and a 1.37 KD. The way he started had you at least thinking he was going to blow up, but he oddly got smoked in the Control and Hardpoint to finish in the red for the day. He’ll have to be more consistent for Optic to make it to Championship Sunday, along with his duo in Shotzzy.
- Speaking of Shotzzy, it was his aggressive play that gave them the Game 5 Round 11 win. Toronto had man advantage and Dashy was off the map, but the rotation from B to A, along with Shotzzy literally ego challing Ultra on two different occasions, gave Optic not only the man advantage, but also map control they desperately needed to get the bomb down.
- Well, things got a lot tougher for Toronto. A team you’ve had so much success against, and that you largely owned during the Cold War season, has twice managed to take you out in what would be considered your best game mode. I’m not sure what this team is going to do tomorrow versus Boston who probably feels cheated in their loss against the Thieves. If it goes south, you do wonder if major changes may be incoming, especially with two talented Challenger teams under their banner and Hicksy and Scrappy proving their worth filling in this year.
- It was a rough loss, but CleanX wasn’t the problem. The guy didn’t go negative the whole series, and he was influential in the final round of Control. That one was insane, watching the fourth round where Optic trashed them, to CleanX frying them constantly and somehow getting an offensive spawn trap and turning the Gavutu Round 5 into a round of TDM. He finished +21 kills, nearly 14k damage, and a 1.22 KD.
- What was really weird was Ultra dropping two Search and Destroys. This team is generally built to win those, and got beat up 3-6 on Bocage and made some mistakes to drop the 5-6 Berlin in Round 11. It always seemed close, but Toronto always seemed to make the wrong decision or blow a call, and it’s very unlike them to do so.
Atlanta Faze vs New York Subliners
Actual: 3-2 Atlanta Faze
- While all matches went to a Game 5, this is the only reverse sweep we had today, and it was a big one for Atlanta. I kind of chalked it after Faze looked to be losing the Tuscan S&D, only for them to suddenly roar back with fantastic play in the ensuing three maps. The Berlin S&D wasn’t even close, with Faze going up four rounds before New York even got on the board.
- The “miracle” that occurred was Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris suddenly deciding to take what was his. He was playing well throughout the first two maps, even doing well on the Gavutu HP (that they never should have had a chance to win on btw). Mr. Pharris dropped +32 kills on a 115/83 stat line, with almost 13k damage and a 1.39 KD. Those are insane statistics, and if he can stay in that form during the weekend, they’ll have a shot at hoisting the Champs trophy for the second year in a row.
- THEY CAN ROTATE! After watching as this squad refused to rotate around P5 and P1 on Tuscan, getting set up early proved to be the difference in the series. Cellium’s choice to go to P5 in the final rotation with around 15-20 seconds left at P4 gave them some needed time, and Simp’s rotation to P1 provided a big kill mid-map to pave their way to the winning hill time. I’ve been saying it for weeks, rotations pay off. The veteran call by Arcitys for everyone to put Cold Blooded on to help versus Kismet’s glide bomb also helped.
- I almost feel bad for New York. They’ve been riding high since fighting their way into the final spot at Champs, and they were by far the toughest bottom four matchup. The Subliners certainly came out hot, knocking Faze into a 100 point hole on Gavutu before nearly blowing it, and then made some phenomenal plays to take the 2-0 lead. But you can’t let a team with the experience Faze has get a foothold, and after getting thrashed on Tuscan Control they let the following Hardpoint get away from them as well, even with a glide bomb in pocket. The rest is history.
- With how well they played in the Tuscan S&D you expected more out of them on Berlin. It seemed like Faze did their homework, because every time you thought New York had them at the man advantage, or had the flank, or even the map control, Faze broke through them. So far this year New York is 4-4 on Berlin, vetoing it 8 times. Sadly, they may want to play it again tomorrow even after what happened today; London is 3-9 there.
- The big thing this team has to do is not lose hope and make sure Kismet doesn’t let this get in his head. He wasn’t particularly peppy after the loss, and his stats showed that aBeZy was really pushing him around. He finished with -26 kills, the least damage in the lobby, and an unfortunate glide bomb on Tuscan that didn’t hit anything.
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