Sep 2 2013 - 7:22 pm

ESN Weekly News Recap: Week of August 26, 2013

In a busy week in competitive Call of Duty, an MLG PAX Champion was crowned, OpTic dropped Merk and added JKap, Gfinity announced its final invites, and more.
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Here at ESN, our job, goal and pleasure is to bring all of the news in the world of eSports to you in a quick, accessible way. So today is the start of something new -- a weekly news recap. One article where you can find all of the news stories from the past week, summed up and collected for your enjoyment.

Head out of town for a few days? Did your modem get fried by a hostbooter in League Play and you had no internet? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. Here are all the big news stories for the week starting August 26.

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UNITE GAMING WINS MLG PAX INVITATIONAL

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After three days of round robin play in Seattle at the MLG Turtle Beach PAX Prime Invitational, a champion was crowned in an intense four-team single elimination tourney on Monday, September 2. Eight top teams were invited, but only one stood tall as champions when all was said and done.

Knocking off the kings of Black Ops II, UNiTE Gaming found themselves at the top of the hill on Monday. After coming out on top of Day 1 with a 8-1 record, they struggled mightily in Day 2, going 1-5 to finish the Day 9-6. They won the maps they needed to on Sunday, however, finishing 13-8 overall and punching their ticket to Championship Monday. On Monday they played a hard-fought series with Team Kaliber, going to the very last round of Search and Destroy on Game 5, winning the series 3-2 to earn a spot against CompLexity in the Grand Finals.

In the Grand Finals against coL, UNiTE shocked the world. After losing big-time on Slums Hardpoint, they came back with huge wins in Raid S&D, Slums CTF, an intense Raid Hardpoint that went down to the wire in the final seconds, and then a dominant performance in Express S&D to dethrone coL and prevent them from winning their fourth event in a row.

The addition of Parasite to the UNiTE squad has proven to be a large one, as he combined to join forces with MBoze, Nameless and Ricky to win their first event together as a team in impressive fashion.

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OPTIC GAMING DROPS MERK

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eSports fans and Call of Duty lovers woke up to some interesting tweets on Sunday morning and afternoon. Apparently, OpTic Gaming had dropped Merk.

Surely, this must be a troll, right? These guys all just moved into a house together, didn’t they? Weren’t they supposed to grind Call of Duty 8 hours a day and become the greatest team in the history of team sports and eSports? How could they drop their anchor? It had to be a troll.

It wasn’t a troll.

Not much else was said, other than that the decision was made for a variety of reasons that will be expanded upon at a later date. ESN has reached out to OpTic Gaming to comment on the situation but requests were declined.

As for Merk’s thoughts on the subject…

The news is sketchy, to say the least. What made the team drop Merk, a very good friend of all of them and a formidable, marketable player and personality on the most famous team in the game? No one knows quite yet, but the players on OpTic have plans to release a video or two explaining the whole situation soon enough.

In the wake of this news, OpTic Nation was rattled. The “green wall” seemed to be crumbling at its very foundation. What was next for Call of Duty’s most famous and beloved team? Would the world ever be the same? Luckily, the wait to find out about OpTic’s future was not that long.

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JKAP LEAVES ENVYUS, JOINS OPTIC

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Just hours later, after Team EnVyus was eliminated from the MLG Turtle Beach PAX Prime Invitational, Jordan “JKap415” Kaplan announced that he would be leaving the team and joining OpTic to fill the hole recently vacated by Merk.

Whoa.

With dropping Merk and adding JKap, OpTic promises once again that the Call of Duty grind will commence and they will try their hardest to be the best team they can be in time for Gfinity 2 in London next month. Many questions remain, including how the team will function with JKap not living in the OpTic house, and how much time OpTic will now dedicate to Call of Duty as opposed to their 10,000+ viewer livestreams of Minecraft. Only time will tell just how ‘real’ the grind turns out to be.

Meanwhile, Team EnVyus needs a new fourth. Who will join them on their road to reclaiming past glory? Do you have any guesses? Let us know in the comments below.

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GFINITY 2 CONFIRMS FINAL NINE TEAMS INVITED

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On Tuesday, Gfinity went live on stream to announce and confirm the attendance of three more teams in their 16-team invitational tournament which is set to take place in London in October, with those three teams being compLexity Gaming, Team Kaliber and Millenium. It’s noteworthy to add that tK has added on Stainville as a fill-in for the event, as Goonjar is not old enough to participate. This addition is just for Gfinity 2, however.

As a surprise, Gfinity also announced an four-team qualifier to win a spot in the tournament. Sign-ups began on Thursday and would allow a maximum of 128 teams, all fighting for one spot to play in London.

In another livestream on Thursday, Gfinity announced the inclusion of three more teams. Team Infused, Epsilon eSports and Curse NA were added to the foray in what will surely be an intense and exciting tournament.

In yet another surprise announcement, another spot will be up for grabs on September 8 in a four-team tournament at Gfinity HQ in London, involving four European teams -- Dominance, TEC, Horizon and Expectation. The winner of this tourney will earn themselves an invite to the big show in October.

And finally, in an announcement that surprised nobody, Gfinity announced the final teams invited -- OpTic Gaming, Team EnVyus and UNiTE Gaming. It appears as though G2 will be the first time we will see the brand new squads for OpTic and nV in action. It will definitely be interesting to see if those two teams face off. G2 will be OpTic's first event they have attended since the first Gfinity event in July.

Gfinity tweeted on Monday the final list of teams invited, not including the winners of the two invitationals:

To top it off, spectator tickets for Gfinity 2 are on sale now on their [Web site](http://www.gfinity.net).

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MULTIPLE EUROPEAN TEAM CHANGES

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North America is not the only place for a musical chairs-style of team changes, as the EU scene had its fair share of roster moves as well this week.

Early in the week, it was announced that Madcat would be leaving Team Prophecy, leaving the roster of XLNC and Gunshy as a team of two...that is, until later in the week, when Xanity would join them, just days after being dropped by Epsilon. In the hole left by Xanity, Madcat would then join Epsilon.

Basically, Epsilon and Prophecy made a ‘trade’ of sorts. Madcat for Xanity, straight up.

In other EU team news, TCM lost Monksy due to “education commitments,” but the void was quickly filled by former TEC player Tom “Moose” Handley.

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ESN LATE NIGHT RECRUITING NEW CO-HOST

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ESN Late Night is looking for a new co-host! If you think you have what it takes to join Hype and Creeper on the biggest late night eSports talk show on the internet, then let us know by e-mailing [email protected] or letting us know in the comments below!

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As always, make sure to stay tuned to eSports Nation for all of your eSports needs. This was a big week of news in Call of Duty eSports, and ESN was there every step of the way!

Until next week...

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