This past weekend, several UK teams took to Anaheim, California to try and gain their portion of the $200,000 prize pool, Jacob Hale reports.
Starting from our lowest finisher, Cyberstorm were not expected to make it far in the tournament.
Having never played at such a high level, their 41-48th place finish, in a tournament of over 100 teams, was better than many expected. They were only beat by eRa Eternity, who ended up in pool play, and FLARE who just missed out on Championship Bracket play.
Next, Millenium were knocked out shortly after, closing out in 29-32nd place. This is captain MarkyB’s worst ever placement, and the long run of bad results has clearly impacted him more than his teammates.
Lowest placement in my career. This is the worst feeling in the World and I apologise to those that support me. I've let you all down.
— MarkyB (@MarkyB) June 17, 2017
Team Vitality, who have been consistently teetering on the edge of Pro League contention, bowed out at 21-24th, in the same position as last year’s CoD Champs winners and Gfinity Elite Series organisation Team EnVyUs.
The top 16 positions are where most of our teams fell, and this includes the 13-16th placements of Elevate and Fnatic. Both teams have struggled through this year: Elevate have faced several roster changes, but seem to be ready to find their stride in the final couple of months of the Infinite Warfare season.
Fnatic, after some admittedly poor plays by all team members, were eliminated by fellow UK team Red Reserve, who were very unfortunate to find themselves in the Loser’s Bracket in the first place following a string of very close games.
The result was disappointing for all Fnatic players, who likely saw themselves as able to perform much better than they did this weekend.
Never played that bad in my life, lost the team the game. GGwp. Finished pools 1-3.
— Tommey (@Tommey) June 17, 2017
With us qualifying for S2 an that this weekend it just doesn't feel like we're losing. It hurts to see myself lose to teams we shouldn't:(
— wuskin (@wuskinz) June 17, 2017
Moving in to the top eight, we have Red Reserve, including new teammate Rated, who were knocked out by an arguably over-performing Cloud9 team.
Despite playing with a new roster, they proved that with a few fixes and some time to improve chemistry, Red may yet be a force to be reckoned with.
When you're at Disneyland and you remember you lost to C9 pic.twitter.com/HhXJgirlH3
— Kazii ♡ (@RiotKazii) June 18, 2017
Here, though, is where the story gets very interesting, and the reason we continue to champion UK esport teams. We had two UK teams in the top three at CWL Anaheim, something that just a year ago would have never seemed possible.
Splyce and Epsilon faced each other in the Loser’s Bracket final, shortly after Epsilon’s unfortunate loss to Luminosity Gaming.
Epsilon had already beaten both Splyce and Luminosity earlier in the tournament, but unfortunately couldn’t pull through despite impressive performances all round.
The opening Hardpoint was a nail-biter, and saw both Dqvee and Zer0 collect over 40 kills each.
— MLG (@MLG) June 18, 2017
The following Search and Destroy was just as enjoyable, with Splyce once again taking the win thanks to a delightful ace from Bance.
.@Bance with the ACE!
— MLG (@MLG) June 18, 2017
The third map would be the final one, as Splyce wiped out Epsilon in a close 8-4 Uplink win. Although this Epsilon side have consistently had Splyce’s number, they could not pull it out the bag this weekend and finished in third place. Impressive, albeit disappointing for the Epsilon players.
"There was no doubt in anyone’s minds that they were watching the world’s two greatest Infinite Warfare teams battle it out."
Finally, there were two teams left. In a sequel to the Stage 1 Playoff final, Splyce faced Luminosity Gaming in the Grand Final, this time having to win two Best-of-5s themselves to take the win.
The entire series was incredibly closely-contested; there was no doubt in anyone’s minds that they were watching the world’s two greatest Infinite Warfare teams battle it out.
The first map went, just slightly, the way of Splyce, taking a 250-249 win with every single player there putting on an absolutely incredible show for the viewers. To many, this has been the most exciting Call of Duty map played throughout this entire year.
ARE YOU KIDDING US?!?!
— MLG (@MLG) June 19, 2017
Unfortunately, Luminosity bounced back and were able to sweep Splyce from here on out. Splyce faced a close 6-4 loss in the Search and Destroy followed by an 11-5 Uplink loss, a score line that was maybe not reflective of the entire game itself.
The final map, once again a Hardpoint, came very close, with just five points separating the two sides at the end of the match.
— MLG (@MLG) June 19, 2017
The loss is undoubtedly disappointing for Splyce, who have established not only themselves but the entire European region as championship contenders. Despite this, it should be clear now that Splyce are one of if not the best team in the world, and with only two major events left of the year, they are certainly in a fantastic position to bring home more money and more championships.
The Top Eight placements are as follows, including three of our aforementioned British teams.
(Featured image courtesy of MLG)