After five days of intense competition, Evil Geniuses were crowned the 2018 Call of Duty World League champions on Sunday. While half the team added another world title ring to their collection, it was a first for Justin “SiLLY” Fargo-Palmer and tournament MVP Adam “Assault” Garcia.
They're the latest competitors to capture their first CWL Champs win, effectively joining a fairly-exclusive club that features many of the game's top players.
While their teammates, Patrick "ACHES" Price and Bryan "Apathy" Zhelyazkov, won Champs in 2014 and 2016, respectively, this past weekend's triumph is a moment SiLLY and Assault won't forget.
After their historic title win on Sunday, both players sat down with Dot Esports.
This is obviously your first Champs win. How does it feel?
SiLLY: It feels great. We all kind of had a pretty mediocre year and winning the biggest tournament of the year makes up for that completely, so it felt great.
Were you guys worried at all after losing the first series?
No, we came out super hot in the first best-of-five. The second one, we expected them to come out super hot coming off a reverse sweep, but they just came out flat and we took advantage of it.
Did having players like ACHES and Apathy—who have both won Champs before—help you?
Yes, the veteran leadership of our team definitely helps out me and Adam to play to the best of our ability. And they definitely coach us in-game to get the W.
Out of the four of you guys, did you think Assault deserved MVP the most?
I definitely think it was a toss-up between me and Assault for the MVP. But stat-wise, he definitely deserved it.
Going into Black Ops 4, which teams do you see sticking together?
Most of Team Kaliber, maybe Rise, and we definitely will. I think that's about it.
We talked with you before and you said you'd cry on-stage if you won. Did you end up crying?
Assault: I felt it coming, but I tried to hold it back. I definitely was about to, but I held it back and was just really excited when we won.
Before the event, did you think you guys would even get to the grand finals and that you would become the MVP of the entire tournament?
I definitely thought we could get to the grand finals and win the whole thing because we were playing really good online. We improved a lot in all of our game modes and what not. And then, come pool play, we lost to Elevate, and we were like, "Uh, maybe we can't do this."
But after we 3-0'd OpTic, that gave us momentum to go far in this tournament. Once we won that, everyone was like, "Alright, we're really good. We can do this."
What was going through your head after getting reverse swept in the first grand finals series?
I don't think anyone was really panicking or anything after we lost the first series. Our intensity after we went up 2-0 just kind of plummeted and [Team Kaliber] got all the momentum in the first series. You can't let a team like Team Kaliber do that.
That's just what happened in the first series. And in the second series, we just made sure to keep our intensity up and we ended up winning.
You hadn't won an event before, so how does it feel to not only get your first tournament win, but to have that win be at Champs?
It's nice not being a silver surfer anymore. I had two finals under my belt and got second in both of them. It's amazing being MVP of this event. I wouldn't say I'm fully deserving of the MVP because all my teammates played really good too, but it's just an awesome feeling.
You've been sick this entire event. How did that affect you?
It affected me a lot in scrims because I just knew if I'd go really hard in our scrims and prep before our matches, I'd have no energy in the actual matches. So I kind of laid back in the scrims and just went hard in the actual matches.
Which teams do you think will stick together?
I honestly don't think almost any team will stick. Maybe Red will stick and UNILAD probably—I don't see them making a change. Team Kaliber may not change either since they just got second. Those are the only three teams I really see not changing.
Is the ring heavy?
Eh, it's a good pound.