Article:MLG Anaheim Recap

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MLG Anaheim Recap

A look at the 11 teams from the International Playoff and how they performed at the MLG Championship Anaheim this past weekend.

9th-11th Place - $3,000

Logo std.pngdenial
(c) ZooMaa, Legal, VeXeD, and NoXiDe

Coming into the weekend, not much was expected out of the number ten seeded, Denial. Their team performed fairly well in the online environment and Denial were faced with questions of how they will fair against the competition on LAN. The good news for Denial eSports is that they scored an unbelievable upset over Curse Black in the very first round of the MLG Championship Anaheim. After going up 2-0 quickly in the series, Curse Black went on to win two straight against Denial. The Search and Destroy strategies and efforts by Denial eSports put them through to the next round with a 3-2 victory over Curse Black. The momentum for Denial would end there as they were handed back-to-back 3-0 sweeps at the hands of OpTic Gaming and TCM Gaming respectively. Denial walked away from the MLG Championship Anaheim with $3,000 dollars for their efforts, and will remain on board the MLG Pro League for Season Three. Post-Anaheim the Denial roster has slowly withered away.

Team Curselogo std.pngCurse AU
(c)Issei, Chillean, Denz, and Damage

The lone Aussie team to make it into the Championship Bracket at the MLG Championship Anaheim were not able to accomplish much this weekend. Unlike their Call of Duty Championship performance, it seemed as if Curse AU established themselves as a one-dimensional team. Unfortunately this time around, their erratic Search and Destroy strategies did nothing to advance them into legitimacy. The opportunity of replacing Team Immunity materialized into nothing as the number five seeded Aussie’s were sent to losers 3-0 at the hands of FaZe Black, and then eliminated 3-0 by Epsilon eSports. It will be a long flight back home for Curse AU, and they will have a lot to think about whilst assessing their performance.

FaZe Redlogo std.pngFaZe Red

In quite possibly the most heart-breaking performance of the tournament, FaZe Red managed to yet again underperform despite their capabilities. The focus was on Classic coming in due to the fact that it was his duty to fulfil the role that Proofy had left behind when he joined OpTic. Classic managed to play well consistently throughout the tournament, but FaZe Red simply were not in sync. After beginning their weekend by sending the European TCM Gaming to losers, they ran into the wall known as Evil Geniuses. FaZe Red were only able to take one game away from the reigning World Champions before being sent to the loser’s bracket where they would match up against Curse Black. This matchup favored FaZe Red, and it was undoubtedly going their way up until the last few minutes of map three, which was Blitz on Freight. FaZe Red gave up a three-cap lead on the second side after having the series lead 2-0. Curse Black would go on to win game four against FaZe Red to tie the series. After an indecisive tie through ten rounds on Search and Destroy, game five was restarted and Curse Black simply outplayed FaZe Red. This was a crushing end to the MLG Championship Anaheim for FaZe Red, and FaZe has already dropped all four players from the organization moving forward.

7th-8th Place - $3,500

Logo std.pngepsilon
(c) Jurd, Swanny, Tommey, and Joshh

Epsilon was a team that showed promise at the Call of Duty Championship back in March. They demolished OpTic in group play, and gave EnVyUs a run for their money before being eliminated. Needless to say the story of the Euros coming into the MLG Championship Anaheim was; can they actually prove that they can compete with the North Americans? The answer to this question for Epsilon was a resounding no in Anaheim. The team of Jurd, Swanny, Joshh, and Tommey were sent to losers in round one of the winner’s bracket at the hands of Team Kaliber. It was tough first round draw for Epsilon, however they were able to bounce back in the loser’s bracket with a quick 3-0 sweep of their own over the Australians of Curse AU. Next up Epsilon were to face off against Curse Black who had just come off a series comeback over FaZe Red. Epsilon had nothing significant to oppose Curse Black with, and just like that, Epsilon were sent home winning just one series out of three played. Epsilon eSports will surely consider all options if they hope to do well at Gfinity III.

In yet another disappointing performance, Team Kaliber struggled at the MLG Championship Anaheim. Many assumed tK would threaten with another top three performance after taking home the silver medals at the MLG X Games Invitational. Most wanted to assume this was indisputable after tK handed losses to both Evil Geniuses and Team EnVyUs at the X Games. After dispatching of Epsilon in round one, Team Kaliber were to compete in a rematch against Team EnVyUs from the X Games. This time around the story was the exact opposite of what it was just two weeks ago, as Team Kaliber simply could not harness any sort of momentum in the series. Coming out of the EnVyUs matchup, Team Kaliber would find themselves matched up against another European team by the name of TCM Gaming. For the second match in a row, Team Kaliber seemed unlike themselves through all four games against TCM. The final score was 3-1 in favor of TCM Gaming and just like that, the silver medal winners from the X Games tournament were done at MLG Anaheim. Team Kaliber simply did not play well at this event, and Apathy has already been replaced by Theory completing the original tK roster from Black Ops 2.

5th-6th Place - $4,000

The number four seeded FaZe Black had a performance that no one really expected. This team was projected to contend with the best teams based on their slaying power and how well they played during season two of the Pro League. Similar to Team Kaliber, FaZe Black were unable to live up to the expectations that most people had for them. They had a great start to the tournament by sweeping Curse AU 3-0. FaZe Black then went on to be handily defeated by Evil Geniuses, and it seemed as if at no point did they threaten Evil Geniuses much at all. Heading into Championship Sunday, FaZe Black were set to square off against TCM Gaming. FaZe Black struggled in this series and it came down to the Search and Destroy maps. Censor and company could not adjust to the unpredictable Search and Destroy strategies that were thrown at them. FaZe Black played well in domination, but their blitz and search and destroy numbers were not up to their own standards. Saints has been released post-Anaheim, and Apathy from Team Kaliber has replaced him.

Team Envylogo std.pngTeam Envy

The MLG X Games Invitational was not the best tournament for The Boys in Blue, and it is not typical to see EnVyUs out of the top two. It was expected that EnVyUs would bounce back from an unfortunate finish in Austin, and that they would be right back up top with the likes of Evil Geniuses. EnVyUs had the number two seed and were looking to avenge their losses to both Team Kaliber and OpTic Gaming at the MLG Championship Anaheim. EnVyUs had a strong start to the tournament by dominating Team Kaliber, who had defeated them just a few weeks prior at the X Games. Things were looking up for EnVyUs, and their win over tK set up a rematch for them against OpTic Gaming. The outcome of this series would determine how the rest of MLG Anaheim would play out for EnVyUs. OpTic would prove to have officially turn the tables on EnVyUs by earning a 3-0 victory over their friendly rivals. EnVyUs were now put in a loser’s bracket position and would have to defeat Curse Black if they hoped to continue on in the tournament. The series was intense, and after going down 2-0, EnVyUs rallied back to tie the series at 2-2. A game five Search and Destroy would decide whether EnVyUs would move on, or be sent packing. The latter would take place as EnVyUs lost the series 3-2 to Curse Black and were eliminated far earlier than most predicted. A roster change seems inevitable with the current state of Team EnVyUs because it is not common for them to place out of top three consistently.

4th Place - $5,000


Unbelievable is a word that comes to mind when considering Curse Black’s run at MLG Anaheim, especially when not much was expected out of them. They secured the seventh seed with their finish in season two of the pro league, and this matched them up against Denial eSports in the first round. It was a back-and-forth series between the two underdogs, but ultimately Denial eSports’ Search and Destroy gameplay gave them a 3-2 victory, and Curse Black were going to the loser’s bracket. From there, Curse Black strengthened as the tournament progressed. They moved on to play FaZe Red, and Curse Black went down 2-0 in the series and were losing the third map. What happened next caught viewers completely off guard as Curse Black came back to win game three, and then won then next two games to eliminate FaZe Red from the competition. The momentum for Curse Black was their greatest asset at this point in the tournament. Epsilon was the next draw for Curse Black, and this match went convincingly to the Curse Mob with a final score of 3-1. Curse Black moved on to play against Team EnVyUs, who were undoubtedly a favorite to win the series. For the third series in a row, Curse Black managed to pull a win out of nowhere and sent The Boys in Blue home early. After a miraculous loser’s bracket run, Curse Black’s tournament came to an end at the hands of TCM Gaming – another dark horse team who won the series 3-0. Curse Black made an incredible recovery after losing to Denial eSports early in the tournament and wound up finishing in fourth place. Despite their surprisingly strong performance.

3rd Place - $6,000

Next to Curse Black, the story of the tournament was TCM Gaming out of the United Kingdom. Since the inception of competitive Call of Duty, it has been proven time and time again that the European teams just simply do not have enough to compete with North American teams. Enter TCM Gaming – who found ways to win on several occasions throughout MLG Anaheim. Their tournament began with a matchup against FaZe Red, who sent them to the loser’s bracket 3-0. TCM Gaming’s tournament was shaping up to mirror how European teams typically perform on a monumental stage like MLG Anaheim. For TCM Gaming, it was time to step up, and they did just that with back-to-back victories over Denial eSports, and the heavily favored Team Kaliber. Heads were undoubtedly scratched at this point because no one expected such a lights out performance by TCM Gaming. Captain MarkyB and the rest of TCM moved on to play against yet another favorite in FaZe Black. Despite dropping both domination games, TCM Gaming were able to take the blitz map and outclassed FaZe Black in both search and destroy maps. With that upset, the overwhelming underdogs of the tournament were headed to loser’s semi-finals against fellow dark horses, Curse Black. TCM Gaming turned up the intensity at this point in the competition and were able to put an end to the miraculous run of Curse Black with a 3-0 sweep. Ahead of TCM was undoubtedly their most difficult opponents yet, and they were none other than the gold medal winning OpTic Gaming. The TCM Gaming Cinderella story would come to an end here, as OpTic Gaming won 3-0 over the Euros. A third place finish is nothing to be ashamed of for TCM Gaming. They came in and did what most of the North American teams failed to do. MarkyB, Peatie, Moose, and Gunshy showed resiliency when it mattered most. Expect big things in the future out of TCM Gaming as they will look defend their turf at Gfinity III this summer.

2nd Place - $10,000

The Green Wall came to play, and this is a fact that cannot be disputed. The gold medal finish at the MLG X Games Invitational was the proverbial fuel to their competitive fire. OpTic Gaming wanted more, and were prepared to win more for their fans around the world. OpTic came into MLG Anaheim with number two seed, and this set up their first matchup against Denial eSports. Right out of the gate OpTic started off strong by decimating Denial and sending them to the loser’s bracket with a 3-0 victory. With that victory, OpTic were set for a rematch with EnVyUs with a lot at stake. The winner would advance to the winner’s finals, and the loser would be that much closer to elimination. Similar to their last meeting at the X Games, OpTic went to work on nV and did not allow them any room to breathe. The final score of the series was 3-0 for OpTic Gaming, and they were headed to winner’s finals where they would meet up with Evil Geniuses yet again. The success found last time against Evil Geniuses was nonexistent in winner’s finals for OpTic Gaming. The foundation was laid out for the Green Wall, and another win over Evil Geniuses could have elevated them to new heights in competitive Call of Duty. OpTic Gaming could not find a rhythm, and before they knew it, Evil Geniuses hit them with a 3-0 loss and a trip to loser’s finals. It was the hype killer of the tournament seeing as OpTic outclassed EG the last time out. With winner’s finals in the books, OpTic would move on to play the dark horses from Europe, TCM Gaming. It was a well-fought series by TCM, but OpTic were simply too much for the Euros to handle. Led by Scumpii’s slaying power, OpTic handed TCM a 3-0 loss and were to have another rematch with Evil Geniuses in grand finals. OpTic would end up finishing in second place, and are continuing to prove that they are still one of the best teams in the world of competitive Call of Duty.

1st Place - $25,000

It was quite the redemption from a bronze medal performance at the MLG X Games Invitational for Evil Geniuses. After losing to OpTic and Team Kaliber in Austin, Evil Geniuses worked and practiced extremely hard to ensure that they would walk away with first place at MLG Anaheim. The stars were aligned as they came into MLG Anaheim with the number one seed, and were as confident as they have ever been at a competition. Evil Geniuses began their weekend with a quick 3-1 victory over FaZe Red. Aches and company were looking good as they moved on to play FaZe Black in winner’s semi-finals. Once again Evil Geniuses swarmed FaZe Black and did not allow them any chance to seem relevant in the series. After that 3-0 win, Evil Geniuses were able to avenge their loss to OpTic Gaming from the X Games with their second straight 3-0 sweep. It appeared as if the hard work put in by Evil Geniuses after the X Games was paying off as they sat in the grand finals position awaiting winner of OpTic and TCM. OpTic Gaming would prevail over TCM Gaming, and the battle between Evil Geniuses and OpTic would take place again in the grand finals of the MLG Championship Anaheim. Evil Geniuses had rough start only taking one map over OpTic Gaming in their first series. It seemed as if all was falling apart for EG as OpTic were able to reset the bracket, and begin the final best-of-five series of the tournament. Fortunately for Evil Geniuses, they proved exactly why they are considered the best Call of Duty team in the world. The series was at 2-1 in favor of Evil Geniuses as were able to take games one and two over OpTic. The Green Wall were in the driver’s seat in game four, but Evil Geniuses were not willing to let the series go to a game five. The EG slaying power was in full effect as Aches, TeePee, Crimsix, and Karma held a three-cap on Octane Domination to put the hopes and dream of OpTic’s fans to rest. Evil Geniuses came out on top just when it looked like OpTic was beginning to shift the momentum in their favor. Like true champions, Evil Geniuses held on to win and walked away with first place at MLG Anaheim. Moving forward Evil Geniuses remain the best team in the world, and will do so until a team proves that their skill and slaying power can overcome the dominance of EG.

Published on 25. Jun 2014
Written by Matt "CRUM" Pryor - @TPC_CRUM

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