Wrapping up our Call of Duty XP Pool Play analysis will be groups F, G and H where we will see the two favorites to win it all.
Team Infused: MarkyB, Peatie, Zer0, Urban
Team Kaliber: Theory, Goonjar, ColeChan, Happy
Lethal Gaming: JuJu, Beehzy, Spoof, Hate
Tainted Minds: Killerpie, Guydra, Excite, Eminence
The top team in this Pool is the EU-based Team Infused. Infused has had a solid year so far, with a few poor performances mixed in. Their biggest positive is their roster though with four very good EU players. The Infused roster hold names that NA fans who may not watch much EU CoD will recognize. It also helps that the rest of this Pool is relatively weak, so Infused should have no problems escaping.
Team Kaliber is back at it and it’s good to see. After failing to qualify for Stage 2, it looked as if TK’s days in Competitive Call of Duty could be numbered. Nevertheless, they are back with some very familiar faces and ready to give it another go at CoD XP. Can Goonjar’s veteran presence and ColeChan’s unbelievable shot help lead this team to bracket play? We’ll see.
The former Most Wanted roster, now belonging to Lethal Gaming, had an underwhelming performance at MLG Orlando with a 16th-20th finish. I’m sure every team realizes the stage they are on and Lethal Gaming can surely take advantage of any momentum to steal some wins. With that 2nd seed up for grabs, I can see Lethal being a dark horse in Pool F.
Lastly, we have the ANZ squad of Tainted Minds. Bringing in three former members of Team Immunity to join the Captain, Eminence, gives Pool F a nice sleeper team. Killerpie, Excite and Guydra have all had good years in Black Ops 3 and I wouldn’t doubt if they take at least one match in pool play.
Pool F Predictions:
In my eyes, Team Infused is an easy choice to move on to Bracket play. The big question is for that second spot. Knowing the NA scene more than the overseas scene, I’d like to trust TK can knock off LG and Tainted Minds, but based on their overall play in BO3, it will be hard to say. I think I’m going to go with the upset pick and choose Tainted Minds to move on to Bracket play.
EnVyUs: Slasher, JKap, Apathy, John
Team Orbit ANZ: Nimble, Zeuss, Bacabec, Swiftaz0r
Cloud9: Assault, Ricky, Lacefield, ACHES
Team Vitality: Wailers, Momentus, Carbines, Colgate
Ever since EnVyUs swept Stage 2 winning the Regular Season and Playoffs title, the only question around has been: Who is better? OpTic or EnVy? We’ve seen scrims posted online from both sides of dominating wins over one another, and we’ve seen great matches between the teams on LAN and online. While OpTic did beat EnVy in the MLG Orlando finals, the boys in blue were able to take OpTic to a second Best of 5 series. Since this team formed three months ago, they have been getting better and better every day. Look for EnVy to be a serious contender to win it all.
The second of three very strong teams in this pool is ANZ’s Team Orbit. After winning the Stage 2 regular season and placing 2nd in Playoffs, Team Orbit looks like one of the top ANZ teams in this tournament and will put on some great matches against the NA teams. I can’t say I know everything about their players and who to watch, but as a team, they will certainly contend for the second transfer spot.
After a plethora of roster moves, we finally ended up with the Cloud 9 roster that qualified for Champs. Lead by a Call of Duty legend, Patrick “Aches” Price, C9 will have some serious competition right out of the gate. Having to face arguably the best teams in both NA and ANZ in Pool Play isn’t what you would want, but I have faith this C9 team can contend. After all, they’ve got Dick Stacy.
The final pool in Pool G is Team Vitality. I haven’t given them all too much credit in the previous team breakdowns in this pool but there is reason. The former team, which current member Wailers was a part of, finished 1-17 during Stage 2 in the EU league. Not too good. While they have added three new faces to the team, I don’t think it will be enough to finish ahead of nV, Orbit or C9.
Pool G Predictions:
I’ll easily take EnVyUs to advance from this Pool. It will take a massive choke for them not to move on to bracket play simply because of the pure talent they have on their team. For the second spot, despite the potential strength in Team Orbit, I’ll be breaking out my NA bias and give the nod to Cloud 9. ACHES is still a very good player and I think seeing two of his former teammates in Crimsix and Karma being favorites to win it all, he’ll have a “win at all costs” mindset going into the weekend.
OpTic Gaming: Scump, Crimsix, FormaL, Karma
Complexity Gaming: Parasite, Swarley, Havok, Llama
Pnda Gaming: Nelson, Priest, TuQuick, FA5TBALLA
Team-LDLC: Shane, Watson, Zerg, Niall
Well, we finally got to them. Since their formation at the beginning of Advanced Warfare, OpTic Gaming has been the most dominant team in all of Call of Duty. Winning an unprecedented 13 tournaments since last November, the Greenwall has finally arrived at the tournament they’ve been preparing for. With the 2-time world champion, Karma, the insane shot of FormaL, the man who holds the most championships in Call of Duty, Crimsix, and arguably the best Call of Duty player of all-time in Scump, they seem to be more than ready for the big tournament. The one thing that escapes both Scump and Formal is a win in the year’s biggest tournament, so look for them to be firing on all cylinders this weekend.
After considering retirement, Parasite has returned to coL to lead a new era. Formerly the most dominant Call of Duty team throughout Black Ops 2, Complexity is looking to return to that level of play. Picking up some great young talent in Swarley, Havok and Llama, coL should raise a few eyebrows this weekend. While first place in the pool is seemingly out of reach, they should certainly be the favorite for second.
Making up Pnda Gaming are four solid players who are often found as mainstays on the “lower tier” teams. While low-tier doesn’t describe their skill level, these players have a lot of work to do to get out of this pool. Solely because coL has a relatively new lineup, we could see Pnda make an impact in their matchup.
Rounding out the pool is the EU Team-LDLC. With the core of Niall, Shane and Watson being together for the last 3 or so month, LDLC has the advantage of familiarity between teammates. Adding Zerg to their roster for XP, it will be a tough time for LDLC in this pool, but at a tournament like this, anything can happen.
Pool H Predictions:
I can’t say I’ll turn any heads with these choices. The runaway number one seed will be OpTic Gaming. They’re just too good and even if they’re only 50% as good as they should be, they can still take 1st in this Pool. As for the second seed, I’ll take Complexity. It should be a good battle between the bottom 3 teams, but the familiar faces on the coL roster should be able to lead the team to bracket play.