Nicholas “Cruzenjr” Cruz, December 7, 2018 – The start of a new Call of Duty esports season and the release of a new title annually is always exciting. Events, roster changes, new gameplay, all the surprises are wonderful. The first event of the season starts today and runs through Sunday, December 9. Last night, instead of starting in open bracket to fight through a potential gauntlet, 8 teams fought in a double elimination bracket to qualify for 1 pool play spot in each of the 4 pools entering the event today.
Let’s break down how all of this was decided first. The top 12 teams from the 2017-2018 season will be honored with automatic qualifications for the first 12 pool play spots. The final 4 pool play teams will be determined through a tournament among the top 8 teams with the highest amount of combined CWL Pro Points from the 2018 season. The top 4 teams from the tournament will join the 12 other teams in pool play, leaving the others who did not qualify will have a 1-4 seed in the open bracket.
The first team to qualify was Str8 Rippin. This roster consists of Spacely, MajorManiak, Nagafen, Maux, and Havok. They won 2 games and did not lose any. Their first game was a 3-0 against Mindfreak. Their second and qualifying game was an intense ending. Str8 Rippin shuts down UYU in a game 5 Round 11, preventing UYU from completing two straight reverse sweeps. Str8 Rippin lands a spot in Pool C alongside FaZe Clan, Team EnVy, and Lightning Pandas.
The second team to qualify was Pittsburgh Knights. This roster consists of Theory, Pandur, Parasite, GodRx, and Lacefield. They won 2 pretty close games. The first match they played against Team Divine went to a game 5 and resulted in Pittsburgh taking the win, 3-2. The second match was against the Australian side, Tainted Minds, and Pittsburgh pulled it off with a 3-1 series win and qualifying for pool play. They land a spot in Pool D alongside OpTic Gaming, Splyce, and G2 Esports.
The third team to qualify was UYU. This roster consists of Proto, Mayhem, Spoof, Skyz, and Nova. They won 2 games and lost 1. Their first match of the day was against The Imperial. After going down 2-0 in the series, UYU wins 2 in a row to bring a game 5. Going down 2-5 in round count in that game, UYU makes the comeback and takes the win. After losing the close game to Str8 Rippin, they drop to loser bracket round 2. They played against Team Divine and won pretty convincingly with a series score of 3-1. UYU lands a spot in Pool B joining Luminosity, Red Reserve, and Evil Geniuses.
Lastly, the fourth team to qualify was Mindfreak. This roster consists of Buzzo, Shocks, Louqa, Excite, and Fighta. They won 2 games and lost 1. Their first match was against Str8 Rippin which they lost in a quick 0-3. Their next match against The Imperial was a quick 3-0 win. Their third and final match was an Australia/New Zealand region showdown. Mindfreak vs. Tainted Minds, with more to it including mutual or amiable roster changes. Mindfreak won the series in dominant fashion, 3-0. They land a spot in Pool A alongside 100 Thieves, eUnited, and Team Reciprocity.
Be sure to tune in today at 5 PM EST to twitch.tv/callofduty to catch all the rest of the action this weekend and see how these teams go against others in their respective pools.