The esports world converged on Las Vegas this past weekend for multiple major events. Call of Duty kicked off its 2019 World League with the season opener while Madden 19 also held its first major tournament of the season with the Madden Classic. Let’s dive right in.
The inaugural event for both the Call of Duty World League 2019 season and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brought the best players from around the world to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. There they battled it out to compete for their share of the $250,000 prize pool and the chance to call themselves the first champions of the new Call of Duty franchise.
The first event for a brand new game is always exciting. Nobody can be sure exactly what to expect or how the teams will stack up against each other. It is an environment that breeds upsets and chaos and the exciting action in Vegas this past weekend was yet another example.
Fans saw well-known teams dropping matches as early as Pool Play. Evil Geniuses went uncontested through their group until they dropped a match against Heretics KFC, an open bracket team that finished 17th-20th overall. Notables organizations like Team EnVyUs and G2 Esports finished in last place in their groups while FaZe Clan, Red Reserve and 100 Thieves just managed to go even.
Three teams in particular stood out as having the best initial grasp on this iteration of Call of Duty: OpTic Gaming, eUnited and Splyce. Taking the top three spots in the tournament consecutively, these three rosters demonstrated the highest level of play in Black Ops 4.
OpTic Gaming was finally able to reclaim their throne after failing to win a single major tournament throughout the entire WWII competitive cycle. This victory was no fluke either, they dominated the competition all weekend long never dropping a series and only dropping a total of four maps over the course of the entire tournament.
While eUnited and Splyce put up some of the better competition OpTic faced over the course of the weekend they were still no match. eUnited dropped the Winner’s semi final series 3-1 before Splyce put up the best fight against OpTic all weekend long before being taken down 3-2 in the Winner’s Finals.
This set the stage for a third place match between eUnited and Splyce where both were desperately wanted revenge on OpTic. The series was by far one of the best of the weekend and went the full five games but ultimately eUnited was able to claim the victory and their shot at revenge. Unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be as OpTic looked absolutely unstoppable in the final series and swept it 3-0.
There was no doubt OpTic Gaming was the best team this weekend and they walked away with $100,000 for their efforts. The Call of Duty community must once again determine how to break the Green Wall.
The first major Madden 19 event of the season also took place in Las Vegas this past weekend. With $165,000 on the line in this 16 player invite only head to head tournament it was sure to be a great event. At the end of the weekend it was Michael “Skimbo” Skimbo who reigned supreme for his second consecutive victory at the Madden Classic event.
It wasn’t an easy road to victory for Skimbo. He had to take down several highly ranked notable opponents such as Michael “NobleProdigy” Scott, Drini “Drini” Gjoka and Matthew “Mattsergamer” Lee on his path to the finals. His trip to the finals was secured in his match against Mattsergamer, where a late game interception ensured we would be seeing Skimbo in the finals.
In the finals he encountered another notable veteran in Justin “Lilman” Barone and the game came down to the final drive with the score 28-21 in the final quarter. Although Lilman had the ball Skimbo was able to secure a clutch interception eerily reminiscent of his semi final match to guarantee himself the victory.
The next major Madden event of the season is the Club Championship where all 32 NFL teams will be represented by a competitor. The local qualification action is still underway but the main event will be taking place at the end of January.