This article is part of our Call of Duty series.
The CWL Pro League playoffs have gathered the best from around the world this weekend for what is sure to be an explosive finale to the season. While every team has a strong chance to take the tournament, OpTic Gaming, eUnited and Splyce seem to be the dominate forces at play. Meanwhile, FaZe Clan, Luminosity Gaming, Team EnVyUs, Enigma6, and Evil Geniuses will all have their teams pushed to the limit.
A lot can be said about OpTic Gaming going into the playoffs. "The Green Wall" has dominated the late-season with the same kind of fierce gameplay that catapulted them to fame in the first place. But questions still surround OpTic Gaming's mindset. With so much hype behind them, the team might become too comfortable with their titanic position, which was near the end of the 2016 season. But Seth "Scump" Abner seemed aware of this leaving Group Green. After the very last game of Group Green, Scump criticized his team performance by saying it, "could've been better." That was after OpTic Gaming secured the first 6-0 in group play.
Interestingly, OpTic Gaming's first match will be against FaZe Clan, the two biggest rivals in the CWL. FaZe Clan have had a very steady performance throughout the season, but their limp games in group play have dampened their outlook. Barely squeaking in past Rise Nation, FaZe Clan's weaknesses were on full display with a weekend full of sloppy plays that relied too heavily on teammates streaking to be consistently successful. This was especially true in tight and stressful situations, where FaZe Clan choked their leads by trickling off of spawn. They will need to prove they have their act together against OpTic Gaming, a team they have consistently lost to in recent tournaments.
Evil Geniuses, on the other hand, have been absolutely dominate compared to FaZe Clan in group play. Alongside eUnited and Enigma6, Evil Geniuses have washed into the CWL as a sort of new-school organization. Evil Geniuses have been able to pull off the miraculous in both group play and at CWL Dallas, much like Cloud9 last season. Their first game will be against the titanic Splyce, the only European team in the bracket, which they seem likely to lose. But Evil Geniuses is one of the few teams that can absolutely run through the loser's bracket and into the semifinals without breaking a sweat.
Splyce, of course, is one of the teams that is most likely to finish in the top three. They have been close to flawless with their only stumbling blocks being CWL Birmingham and CWL group play. In both settings, Splyce failed to close out their weekend on a strong note, losing to Epsilon eSports and Team EnVyUs respectively. While Splyce is the only European team that can compete, and beat, American teams, their gamestyle demands perfection. Anything less and Splyce often stumble.
Team EnVyUs looks like one of the underdogs right now. While a very strong team, Team EnVyUs haven't built upon their 2016 success. This is despite the current meta, a meta focused long-range combat and picks, favors Team EnVyUs' strategies. But if nothing else, Team EnVyUs is brilliant at working as a single cohesive team thanks to a lineup that hasn't changed since last season. However, they will be going against Luminosity Gaming, a slaying heavy team, in their first game.
Then, finally, is Enigma 6 and eUnited, both facing off against each other in their first games. eUnited, predictably, seem like the team to win the match. Enigma6, on the other hand, is a very scrappy team that can counter eUnited's slower style. But with Enigma6 unable to take a game off of OpTic Gaming in group play, it seems unlikely they can take a game from eUnited. Enigma6 will then have to win their loser's bracket game against Evil Geniuses, which will be a must-watch match for any Call of Duty fan.
So expect to see eUnited, OpTic Gaming, Luminosity Gaming and Splyce to all move forward in the winner's bracket. This will lead to Splyce-vs.-eUnited and OpTic Gaming-vs.-Luminosity Gaming, which are both very hard games to predict. In the loser's bracket will be Team EnVyUs, Evil Geniuses, Enigma6 and FaZe Clan. FaZe Clan and Team EnVyUs will be the first match in the loser's bracket. The mindset FaZe Clan enters going into that match will determine if they win or lose against Team EnVyUs, since Team EnVyUs is the far more consistent team. Enigma6 and Evil Geniuses will be the second match, as explained earlier, with Evil Geniuses being the more likely team to advance forward.
Tune in May 26 to MLG.tv or in-game in Call of Duty: Infinite Warefare at 4:00 pm EST to watch the CWL Pro League playoffs. Also make sure to stick to RotoWire for more Call of Duty updates.