The Call of Duty Championship NA Regional can be easily described in three simple sentences. A lot of good online teams proved their good on LAN. A lot of average teams proved that when it matters, they can perform. Technicals exist, and Marcus “MiRx” Carter got one.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if that is where the analysis and breakdown ended? This part-time job would be so much simpler! The truth is life isn’t easy. So let’s conjure up some opinions and make some rash judgements, shall we? With no further ado, here is your obligatory “NA Regional Winners and Losers” list. Let’s start with the winners.
Optic Gaming: This one should come to no surprise to anyone. With three of the best slayers in the game, Optic Gaming are able to go up against any opponent and walk away with a win, most likely in dominant fashion. The ability for any one of the three slayers to go off on any map leaves opponents struggling to rework their strategy, and by the time they figure Optic out, another one of Optic’s slayers will begin to dominate. OG even faced one of the more difficult brackets in the tournaments, facing Echo, TK, Envy, Faze, and then Denial. In all those matches they only dropped one map against Faze Red, which was a twelve point loss on Solar Hardpoint. In every major statistic, you can find two of the three slayers in the Top 10, with the exception of “Kills per Respawn Game”, where you can find all three. However, there are four players to a team, and we’ll discuss his performance a little later.
Revenge Gaming: Revenge Gaming have soared to the top in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare after releasing their amateur roster at the beginning of the season. Nagafen and Remy have been the backbone of the new-born organization while newcomers Aqua and Faccento have provided great depth to the roster. The team had everything to prove over the weekend as many critics saw the team as nothing more than online warriors. Revenge was able to silence any skeptics with a phenomenal weekend that included sending Denial to the losers bracket after a round two sweep. Although a close series, Revenge were time and time again able to edge their opponents. Their sixth place finished, although very impressive, could’ve even been higher. Faccento finished the tournament with below average statistics in both slaying, and his usual ability to provide outside of the hill support were unseen for a majority of his Hardpoint games. With a focus on solidifying what his role is on the team, Revenge should have no problem outdoing their Top 8 finish from last year’s COD Championship.
Denial: If you’re thinking that Denial made this list because of their second place finish, than you’re wrong. When Denial sent away Zooma and Saints to Envy in return for Clayster and JKap, many thought that Denial got the snub end of the bargain. Reddit trolls have been preaching the decline of Clayster’s career for months, and humble JKap recently hasn’t really had his name in any headlines. On the other hand, Saints has been regarded as one of the most consistent slayers in the game while Zooma has been a star on the rise since his breakout in Call of Duty: Ghosts, known for his amazing Search and Destroy gameplay. However, Clayster and JKap are obviously fitting in very well to Denial’s system, playing alongside Attach, the definition of a complementary player, and Replays, an extraordinary, yet underrated objective player. The team of four has not only had success online, surging to a second place regular season finish after forming the team, but was also able to take home second place at the LAN playoffs. The team shows no signs of slowing down going into the COD Championship in LA.
3sUP: On January 7th, the organization opened its’ doors; on February 8th, they acquired Strife, Dimi, Vert, & Cali, the same day the roster qualified for the NA Regional. This weekend, 3sUp, the vision of well known ex-coach Hilton, managed to qualify for the COD Championship. Forget about the team for a second, who have shown incredible chemistry, it is very difficult to start an organization and show this much success so early on in the organization’s life-span. The staff have obviously shown that they are fully capable of running a top norther-american organization. The roster they went with has a really solid core of three players who proved they perform above average when everything is on the line. Their fourth however, may have cost them the tournament, and I’ll get into that in a second.
Strictly Business: First of all, they aren’t just a winner because I work for them. This roster has stuck together for a longer period of time than most people probably realize. Even after less than satisfactory placings, this roster has finally realized that it’s a better idea to work out what went wrong after a tournament, rather than split. Although still vying to be considered a Top 12 team, the entire roster had a great weekend. Dedo and Neslo put on some great slaying performances, Phizzurp’s S&D wizardry came in clutch at many points in the tournament, and John was able to win important gun fights in-game to put his team in a better position. Although placing better than last year’s Top 4 performance may be out of the question, the team will definitely be one to watch throughout the COD Championship.
Mexican & Canadian Teams: Although it may have been expected for the American teams to dominate in the bracket, it would’ve been nice to see at least some fight coming from the Mexican and Canadian squads. Only Exertus were able to muster up any signs of an underdog story but even they went on to finish 17th-24th. Although Call of Duty eSports is producing contenders in places like Europe and Australia, it looks as if these two countries have a long way to go.
Vert: 3sUp may have qualified for the COD Championship in LA, but it came with no help from Vert. Vert put on the worst showing by any player whose team qualified. In every major category, he finished below average, which included an atrocious 0.74 K/D & 23 K/R. I feel bad for the rest of the roster that has to play with him at the biggest tournament of the year. Luckily, the team pulled through due to great chemistry i’ve never seen before from such a new team, and an amazing stand out performance from Cali. Vert’s roster spot is on the line if he is unable to step up his performance in LA.
Vexx Gaming: Vexx’s desperate attempt to get there name back into circulation in the Call of Duty eSports scene can only be described as pathetic. Many of the lesser-known teams were acquired by small organizations in an attempt to get their name out there, a great marketing strategy. However, Vexx was the biggest name organization to partake in this, and to see them fall from such a high place in the community is sad to watch, and by sad I mean almost to the point of being pitiful. This is an organization that once held a spot in the MLG Pro League and has had the likes of players such as Slasher, Slacked, and Fears on the roster. With such a big name organization, they really shouldn’t have had that big of a problem acquiring at least a decent roster from any point since the parting of Mutation, Pluto, Silly, and Enzo back in January. In their official statement regarding the roster announcement, they stated that it has “been our goal to support the ‘underdogs’ and help grow players” and “Revenge last year… took home 8th place”. That may be correct, but the scene was not nearly as competitive as what is has grown to be in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Although it may have been a nice gesture to try and support a smaller team, this once prestigious organization has back tracked immensely in their rise to the top.
Nadeshot: Members of the “Nadeshot Brigade” or Greenwall should probably keep scrolling unless you really want to hear the truth about Matt “Nadeshot” Haag’s performance at the NA Regional. Yet again, Nadeshot had alot to prove as most internet trolls and Call of Duty eSports analysts alike began to associate Nadeshot as more of a media star compared to top tier player. With a lot to prove, he unfortunately fell short. Although I could discuss how he wasn’t able to reach the 1.00 K/D goal he sets for himself every tournament, it should be known by now that Nadeshot isn’t known for his slaying. There are plenty of great objective players like Replays and Burnsoff who are both clear examples of successful players who aren’t the best slayers, and Nadeshot is in the same category. But Nadeshot makes the cut for this half of the list because his Search and Destroy game, which he is praised for, was almost non-exsistant. Although he very successfully handled the bomb and called the shots, his inability to win gunfights when they mattered and execute on his play calls brought the team down. His three other teammates all managed to perform above average in the tournament on paper, while Nadeshot struggled. Although other top players from other teams performed worse, Nadeshot is known for his Search and Destroy play, and since he is made quiet by his three dominant slayer teammates in respawn gamemodes, S&D is the place where he truly has to show his worth as a member of the team. Although he is far from the chopping block, look to see if he returns to his dominant fashion come game time.