Anaheim Recap Day 1: FaZe Have a Shaky Start in the Group of Death
The first MLG event of the year, the coveted MLG Anaheim Open, started off with only slight delays due to controller issues. But once the games began, they were rolling.
MLG Anaheim is perhaps the most highly anticipated event on Black Ops 3 so far. A large open bracket with 96 teams, including several European Pro Division teams, attracted fans from all over to play. The streamed matches, however, featured the North American Pro Division teams who were automatically placed in group play. With four groups and three streams running at the same time, day 1 at Anaheim was action packed! The results of the series played can be found below.
Off-stream: Cloud9 3-1 Team SoloMid (Group A)
H2k vs. Rise Nation (Group B)
Rise win Stronghold Hardpoint 250-247
Rise win Hunted SnD 6-2
Rise win Breach Uplink 14-5
The Hardpoint was a nail biter but the following games were not. Rise Nation has performed well on LAN all year and this tournament is no exception.
Luminosity vs. Team eLevate (Group C)
Luminosity win Evac Hardpoint 250-162
Elevate win Fringe SnD 6-3
Elevate win Infection Uplink 9-5
Elevate win Stronghold CTF 5-0
This hotly contested matchup was expected. Both Luminosity and eLevate have performed similarly well leading up to the event, so this match may very well determine which of the two will be advancing out of the group. However, eLevate pulled away with a dominating 5-0 CTF victory to take the series.
Team EnVyUs vs. compLexity (Group D)
EnVy win Fringe Hardpoint 250-194
EnVy win Redwood SnD 6-0
EnVy win Evac Uplink 10-9
EnVy’s form as of late has been phenomenal. They have managed to find themselves in second place in the Call of Duty World League standings, even beating OpTic days before Anaheim to get there. Favored to advance to the winner’s bracket out of groups, they have not disappointed so far.
OpTic vs Cloud9 (Group A)
OpTic win Stronghold Hardpoint 250-224
OpTic win Hunted SnD 6-5
OpTic win Breach Uplink 14-3
OpTic were not expecting a close one versus Cloud9, so they were surprised on the first map. The surprises continued on Search and Destroy, where Cloud9 took a 4 round lead, but OpTic mounted a comeback. Highly favored to win the group as well as the entire event, OpTic is not one to be down for long and they earned a shutout.
H2k vs 100 Thieves (Group B)
H2k win Evac Hardpoint 250-208
H2k win Fringe Snd 6-2
H2k win Infection Uplink 13-3
Hardpoint has been 100 Thieves strongest game mode when playing online in the Call of Duty World League. After taking a loss to H2k, the rest of the series was not looking good for them. The addition of Aches and Remy did little to aid their Search and Destroy game, so H2k were able to breeze through this series relatively easily once they were up 2-0 because Uplink is certainly never in 100 Thieves favor.
FaZe Clan vs. Luminosity (Group C)
FaZe win Fringe Hardpoint 250-246
FaZe win Redwood SnD 6-3
Luminosity win Evac Uplink 9-5
Luminosity win Breach CTF 3-1
Luminosity win Stronghold SnD 6-2
FaZe is the top ranked team in the group but their performance on LAN has been less than impressive so far this year. Ahead of Stage 2 many were calling for roster changes, but they have managed to stick it out (for over a year) and it’s worked out reasonably well. The first map, however, looked to be going in Luminosity’s favor until Train hill, where FaZe managed to prevent Luminosity from scoring 5 crucial points. FaZe rotated early to Middle Street and continued to hold off Luminosity, turning a 50+ point deficit into a win. The series continued to be a close one, going the distance with Luminosity earning a reverse sweep thanks to the slaying power of StuDyy. This type of competitiveness was predicted before the event began, and it is safe to say Group C is the ‘group of death’.
Off-stream: Dream Team 3-1 compLexity (Group D)
OpTic Gaming vs Team SoloMid (Group A)
OpTic win Fringe Hardpoint 250-113
OpTic win Redwood SnD 6-1
OpTic win Evac Uplink 17-2
Team SoloMid is the weakest team in the group, at least in terms of recent form. They lost their off-stream match versus Cloud9 coming into this one, so a win against OpTic would have been the biggest upset imaginable. However, the last time these two teams met was at the Stage 1 Finals and TSM nearly took it. This time OpTic showed no weakness and dominated in the most lopsided series of the tournament so far.
Off-stream: Rise Nation 3-0 100 Thieves (Group B)
FaZe Clan vs Team eLevate (Group C)
FaZe win Stronghold Hardpoint 250-191
Elevate win Hunted SnD 6-2
FaZe win Breach Uplink 13-1
Elevate win Fringe CTF 4-3 (OT)
Elevate win Infection SnD 6-1
This match started out as a complete toss-up. FaZe was still reeling from their loss to Luminosity, which likely gave eLevate more confidence coming in because they just beat Luminosity. But here in the group of death, anything can happen. Elevate kept the series alive by winning Capture the Flag in overtime to send it to game five where eLevate showed off their impressive Search and Destroy skills once again win a devastating win. FaZe now sits at 0-2 in group play and their poor LAN performance continues.
Team EnVyUs vs Dream Team (Group D)
EnVy win Stronghold Hardpoint 250-149
Dream Team win Hunted SnD 6-3
EnVy win Breach Uplink 10-5
Dream Team win Fringe CTF 3-2 (OT)
EnVy win Infection SnD 6-3
Dream Team came into this one with high hopes. In an off-stream match, they defeated compLexity 3-1, making this match much more important in the group standings. Their drive kept this series versus EnVy close, going to game five. Midway through game five, controllers issues caused delays. EnVy was up 3-2 at the time, so neither team had any momentum but they did lose crucial specialist abilities. After the break, EnVy played a few smart rounds to take the map and series.
In the open bracket, the top teams have made it through unscathed so far. European Pro Division teams Splyce, Infused, and Millenium are distributed throughout the bracket and all have a chance at making it to group play, but a few top North American amateur teams stand in their way, including Team Kaliber, Echo Fox, Cloud9 Eclipse, and Lethal Gaming (among others).