Talk about a phenomenal opener to Major IV. Day 1 of the qualifiers were certified bangers, especially considering we could have seen a bunch of 3-0’s today, and probably expected more one-sided affairs. All I know is that we’re in for some of the best play possible given the stakes, with so many teams battling for either a spot at Champs or a higher seed. Let’s check out the first day of Major IV, and what we thought after some insane Call Of Duty.
Florida Mutineers vs New York Subliners
Actual: 3-1 New York Subliners
- The opening Hardpoint of Major IV looked pretty promising for Florida. Then, breakdown. With a 100 point lead it seemed over for New York, then Florida started letting them back in the door. Before you knew it, it was almost a Faze situation, with the Mutineers banging their heads against the P1 and getting killed off of it. Florida literally stalled for just long enough, and thankfully for them they were set up for P2. It looked a bit hairy with New York winning an opening gunfight in back church, but Majormaniak dropped two Subliners in a big clutch moment, and Owakening’s two kills in Radio sealed the deal.
- What happened after the Tuscan Hardpoint though… Florida is going to need a short memory. They got owned on the Desert Siege, stinking to the tune of -13 kills. I’m a little surprised they won three rounds to pull it to the 3-6 loss. Then, the Control looked terrible. I know Florida hasn’t looked good on recent Tuscan Controls, but this one, even in a 2-3 loss, wasn’t close. It took miracle holds at the B point down lives for the Mutineers to even stay in it, and you can blame Hydra for not jumping down on the point with PaulEhx for them even losing the offensive round 4. Let’s not even get into the 151-250 Berlin Hardpoint, yeesh.
- While Majormaniak was pretty steady, 2Real has a lot to prove. He wasn’t as bad as Jimbo in that one infamous match, but the 67/103 stat line was atrocious. A .65 KD, 8k damage, and -36 kills won’t cut it. Sure, it’s the first game, and you have to work past the jitters and get team chemistry flowing, but you need every win and every CDL point to make it to Champs. If they can’t get him up to speed, they won’t be in the running.
- Honestly, if you turned off the stream once Florida went up 100 in the opening Hardpoint, you missed a trouncing. After the near comeback, New York decided to choose violence, and the 6-3 S&D, 3-2 Control, and 250-151 Hardpoint wins didn’t ever feel close. On the final two maps I felt like I was constantly seeing glide bombs, meaning the squad was playing tight and trusting their teammates and fundamentals.
- This is how you win, that big PP energy. Paco (Hydra) and PaulEhx had a field day, and it was their contributions that took this home and at least gave them a shot at making it to Champs. Hydra didn’t have a single negative map, and Paul had a phenomenal Control, with a 37/22 explosion that gave them the 2-1 lead in the series. It felt like every time you looked at the screen, Paul was getting a multi-kill and somehow avoiding death.
- There isn’t necessarily a lot to tell about this match, beyond that after a shaky start to the Tuscan Hardpoint, New York dominated from there on. This is where they are now, having to win as much as possible if they want to sneak into Champs. It’s a really tough road, down officially 40 from the eighth seed, but it’s possible. Winning every game in this Stage would go a long way, but with Surge and Optic on schedule it’s not an easy task. They at least have LAG and LAT on the docket as well, both of which should present favorable results and a possible 3-2 record heading into Major IV, where they MUST win a map if they want to not only stop the bleeding but make it to Champs.
Optic Texas vs Boston Breach
Actual: 3-2 Boston Breach
- They went up 2-0 with some absolutely clutch moments, and that somehow wasn’t enough to stave off the 2-3 reverse sweep. I honestly was ready to turn off the stream, because this one felt over, but Optic couldn’t stop the bleeding we saw in the opening two maps. As much as you can say they were up, both the Gavutu Hardpoint and the Bocage S&D felt more like Optic was hanging on rather than making huge plays.
- It didn’t help that this squad was dealing with both a lack of practice and illness. One of them was playing sick, and with iLLeY not being able to make a return, Optic wasn’t able to get a lot of time in with Prolute before the match. I’m not sure you can make that excuse admittedly, because Boston was dealing with a similar situation with Vivid, and Prolute has been on the roster for the entirety of the last Major.
- Speaking of Prolute, it was another day where he unfortunately was outmatched. He certainly made several big plays, with an insane read of the situation in a 1v1 with TJHaLy in a swing round on the Bocage S&D, but his play in the Hardpoints was really lackluster, with the need for his teammates to take over in order to win the Gavutu. He finished 72/98, with a .73 KD and -26 kills.
- This roster might just work. I for one wasn’t sure Boston would be anything better than they were after switching out Vivid for Capsidal, but taking down Optic, even this Optic, has to push them up the ladder a little bit. Honestly, if not for several miracle plays by Optic, Boston could have won this one 3-0 or 3-1. They have a little bit to work on given how close the opening two maps were, but the reverse sweep will go a long way in building this squad’s confidence heading into Major IV.
- Vivid did Vivid things and helped influence the win, but Nero had a day at the office he isn’t likely to forget. It wasn’t just timely plays, he just looked so comfortable next to his new teammate which is good news for the Breach. He ended the day 113/95, an insane amount of engagements, for a stupid 13413 in damage, a 1.19 KD, and +18 kills. That includes a ridiculous 49/33 on the Bocage Hardpoint, where he and Vivid barely let Optic score before shutting down a comeback in the final quarter.
- While TJHaLy had two fantastic S&D’s, with 14/7 in the Bocage, I have to rag on him a little bit. The swing round we mentioned earlier featured Prolute playing everything slow, and letting TJ walk into his sights before going for the defuse. That’s the issue I have here. You’re on the offense with bomb down. I don’t like that play at all, they have to defuse the bomb, so set up and make them come to you in that situation instead of searching for them with an Automaton.
Toronto Ultra vs Los Angeles Guerrillas
Actual: 3-2 Toronto Ultra
- Truly, this match felt like winning by the skin of your teeth rather than a fantastic team clutching up. While I feel a lot more strongly about this team than I did a Major ago, today made me reconsider my confidence in them. This is another squad that feels affected by the Vanguard effect, having trouble getting comfortable with this game. They have the talent to play teams tough, but you wonder if they have the grit to make it very far at Champs.
- Part of the reason I say all that is because they won even being outslayed by 25 kills. It seems like they’re having to rely on miracle plays right now to get map wins, and that’s not a formula for success. It’s similar to teams who rely on breaking in Hardpoint, eventually teams figure you out and set up against you. We watched it happen with the Royal Ravens, and it might happen to Toronto Ultra, and at the worst time when you’re trying to get the best seed for Champs.
- A stat that blows you away in a win, CleanX with -26 kills. He hasn’t been the force in respawns we saw in Cold War, and in this match he didn’t have a single positive map. Weirdly he was shredded in Control, finishing 21/31 for a .68 KD. Berlin can be a tough map for SMGs, but I don’t expect it to affect CleanX like this, especially versus a bottom team.
- For all the talk about LAG being a bottom team, they at least performed well, even if they let this one slip away. To be honest, they’ll want this one back, especially since it feels like their hold on the seventh seed for Champs is slipping. This goes double since it was a match you assumed they’d lose 3-0 breaking two players into the rotation.
- I’m still not sure I’d have given up on Asim, but Neptune at least showed his worth in this one. His opening Gavutu was sensational, with a 27/18 score that made you wonder if he shouldn’t run the Automaton permanently. That being said, his play also seemed to elevate Huke, who finished that one 26/15. The entire team had positive KDs, and even in a loss there’s something to build on, which we didn’t think was the case at all before this match.
- We definitely can’t leave these takeaways without talking about Spart’s amazing snipes on Desert Siege. With a lot on the line and in a 1v2, Spart headed towards the A bomb, catching Cammy on top of the train. He spotted Bance, and maneuvered to cliffside in order to catch him. Even with Bance hitting him several times, he managed to beam him with a ridiculous shot, clutching the round and setting up match point. It took two more rounds after that, but there was an even more impressive second one onto Bance, this time with Bance seemingly “catching him with his pants down” staring down a lane. Spart somehow no-scoped him, in a play that arguably decided the round and gave LAG a man advantage to close it out.
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