UMG California was an event held on May 14th-16th in Ontario California. There were two components to the tournament, pool play consisting of the teams with the most pro points and also an open bracket which provided teams that didn’t have enough Pro Points a chance to get into the pools. Top 2 teams of each pool advanced to the winner’s bracket, bottom 3 began in losers. The tournament was thus played on from here.
Day 1 – Friday
Friday was an entire day of nothing but pool play. Almost all teams that had the higher seed going into the tournament won. Notable upsets included Rise Nation with their new additions of Theory and Neslo taking Optic Gaming all the way to a game, however Rise Nation ended up losing the SnD.
After a pretty awful performance at Gfinity, Team Kaliber looked to get some revenge and play well at California. They ended up losing to Justus, with so called “warriors” TCM and Octane going absolutely off in the series itself, proving that they are equally a force on LAN and not just online “warriors”. A fan favourite, Optic Nation, did not win a single game in Pool play. After placing 4th at Gfinity, people expected Nation to make a sort of a comeback into a Top 6 placing, however this expectation was looking dire. Finishing up Friday night, all that was remaining in pool play was for each team to play the open bracket teams.
Day 2 – Saturday
By midday on Saturday, the results of the pools were in. Here are the final results of each group.
Optic Gaming took out front in this group as expected, despite almost losing to Rise Nation. Although Rise played very well against Optic, they seemingly struggled with the rest of the teams in the pool. Eventually, this led to a 3 way tie for 2nd place, which would determine one team to advance into the winner’s bracket with the rest in loser’s. Decided by map count, Vexx Gaming took the 2nd place spot and later made good use of it.
Similar to pool A, the favourite FaZe took first place and only lost one map in the process, setting a precedent for what would be an amazing event for them. The rest of the pool ended up in a 3 way tie, once again. After placing 2nd at Gfinity, Prophecy struggled and was sent immediately to the loser’s bracket. Below Zero played very well in group play securing a 3rd place finish, however this did not put it to too much use in bracket play. The newly formed vVv gaming also played somewhat average, however edged out the others with the best map count. Sinful and Twizz played especially well proving they belong on a team of that calibre.
Group C came as a sort of surprise to many people as many expected Team Kaliber to place first in the group. Justus, meanwhile with new players Octane and TCM came out hot and beat everyone else in the pool. This left a battle between tK and elevate for 2nd place, resulting in an elevate win at game 5. Once again, Team Kaliber did not advance to winner’s bracket a similar scenario compared to their performance at Gfinity. If this continues, a high class organization such as Team Kaliber will likely be forced to make roster changes after X-Games.
Group D was the surprise nobody had ever expected. Fan favourite Optic Nation played quite awful, and didn’t win a single game. Meanwhile, for E6 the first event of this team, they had placed top in their pool which was not an easy pool. Before the event, Clayster of Denial was considered crazy calling out E6 as an amazing team, saying how E6 had knocked them out of 2ks and 5ks several time. Enigma 6 proved Clayster right. Not only did they prove they weren’t warriors, they performed incredibly with their main slayer General leading the way. Also notable, despite a loss to E6, EnvyUs’ new team played very well.
Day 3 – Championship Sunday
Almost all of the important bracket play was done on Sunday. In the first round of winner bracket, the favourite teams won with the exception of Elevate upsetting FaZe, who hadn’t lost previous to that point, and Enigma 6 continuing their amazing run. Meanwhile, big showdowns were going down early in the loser’s bracket, causing many big name teams to ultimately place awful. Due to this, Optic Nation ended up placing top 20, Automatic Reload and Prophecy both placed top16, and Team Kaliber placed top12. All of these teams are currently in the pro league and therefore had bad play comparatively. In the Winner’s Bracket semi-finals, OpTic scored a quick 3-0 on Justus as Enigma 6 continued their run defeating Elevate in a close 3-2 matchup. This left the winner’s bracket finals at an amazing series between Enigma 6 and Optic Gaming, with Optic eventually winning in a 3-1 fashion. However, E6 dominated the SnD and the game 4 capture the flag was one of the closest games of CTF ever as declared by Benson. Here is the final winner’s bracket.
Meanwhile in the loser’s bracket, not so intense matches were going down as FaZe and nV literally swept everyone in their path until reaching each other. Eventually, they played and nV got the hot 3-0 from FaZe as well. This led to FaZe playing Enigma 6. However, since E6 had just lost to Optic they were beginning to run out of energy and were taken by the momentum of FaZe in a 3-0 fashion. Here is the final loser’s bracket.
FaZe and Optic. Two superpowers in Call of Duty eSports facing off once again for the championship. OpTic came out hot and took the hardpoint in the very first game, however FaZe bounced back with a resounding SnD. OpTic bounced back to win game 3, FaZe for game 4, and ultimately a game 5. The game 5 SND was won by FaZe in a comeback fashion as they won 5 rounds straight to take the first series. However, coming from the loser’s bracket, they needed to win twice. Going into the second series, OpTic again took the hardpoint, meaning the SnD was a must win for FaZe. They were ultimately defeated, and then defeated again in a very close uplink game to have OpTic win the series 3-0. So OpTic continues their “reign” over Advanced Warfare with their only losses of the entire game being the first event at Columbus, and Call of Duty Champs. This win also gave Crimsix the additional victory he needed to now become the CoD player with the most championships of all time.
*All Screenshots courtesy of http://cod.esportspedia.com/wiki/UMG_Calif