CWL Championship 2018 pool play predictions

Who do you have succeeding in the group stage?

Photo via MLG

The 2018 Call of Duty World League Championship is less than 24 hours away, and when the action kicks off, the best teams in the world will collide in the hopes of becoming world champions.

For the past nine and a half months, teams have been competing in global open events, online national leagues, and the CWL Pro League. Now, it’s all about one final tournament to close out the WWII season.

The CWL Championship brings with it prestige and money. This year’s event will be the sixth annual event in the series and feature a $1.5 million prize pool. The winning foursome will not only become world champions, but they will receive the $600,000 grand prize that comes with that title.

Related: How to watch the 2018 Call of Duty World League Championship

Before that can happen, though, the event kicks off with round-robin pool play tomorrow at 11am CT. There are eight groups of four teams each that will compete to determine the top two teams from each group. Those 16 teams will earn spots in the double-elimination playoff bracket, which will decide who becomes the sixth annual Call of Duty World League world champions.

Dot Esports reporter Justin Binkowski and I laid out our predictions on which teams will advance out of the group stage

Pool A

Justin Binkowski

  1. Team Kaliber
  2. Lightning Pandas

“I think this one is pretty straightforward. Although Lightning Pandas didn’t look great at the LCQ, they should be able to get past Heretics and Epsilon to secure second place.”

Preston Byers

  1. Team Kaliber
  2. Lightning Pandas

“There’s no way Team Kaliber doesn’t finish first after winning Stage Two. The second-place spot is less secure, but I think LP are able to edge out Heretics in the end.”

Pool B

Justin Binkowski

  1. Rise Nation
  2. Lethal Gaming

“I think pretty much any of the three teams can take the second spot in this group, but I’m giving Lethal a slight edge here because I expect they’ll play well in Search and Destroy.”

Preston Byers

  1. Rise Nation
  2. BRASH Esports

“I don’t have as much confidence in Lethal as Bink. I think they finish fourth in this group, leaving it up to BRASH or Tainted Minds to take second. I’m saying BRASH even though this is arguably the toughest pool to call.”

Pool C

Justin Binkowski

  1. Red Reserve
  2. Ghost Gaming

“This groups seems pretty simple too. As long as Ghost show up ready to play, they should be able to handle business against Mindfreak and Zone.”

Preston Byers

  1. Red Reserve
  2. Ghost Gaming

“I was a little hesitant picking Ghost over Mindfreak, but I think MF is just too inconsistent to get through. Ghost is a really good team, and I think they’re a really dangerous lineup for anyone to face.”

Pool D

Justin Binkowski

  1. eUnited
  2. Splyce

“The only problem with this group is that we haven’t really seen much of Splyce since the beginning of July, while we saw EZG stun Lightning Pandas at the LCQ. Splyce should be able to take down EZG, but RobbieB and crew have upset potential.”

Preston Byers

  1. eUnited
  2. Splyce

“eUnited is an easy top pick here. Splyce, on the other hand, is not an easy second-place team. I’m still going to put them in second, though. We’ve seen too little of EZG to really know if they can compete with CWL Pro League teams in this kind of environment.”

Pool E

Justin Binkowski

  1. FaZe Clan
  2. Enigma6 Group

“Sorry, Doug. FaZe’s role changes shouldn’t prevent them from conquering this group. And the last time coL and E6 faced off at CWL Seattle in April, General and crew earned a sweep in pool play. I expect that to be a close match, but E6 have a very slight advantage heading into that matchup.”

Preston Byers

  1. FaZe Clan
  2. compLexity Gaming

“While I don’t have the most confidence in coL, I still give them a slight advantage over E6 and Morituri. There’s no doubt there’s a lot of talent in this group and that makes it especially hard to pick, but since it’s kind of the point of this story, I’ll say FaZe in first and compLexity in second.”

Pool F

Justin Binkowski

  1. UNILAD
  2. Team Envy

“The two CWL Pro League representatives in this group shouldn’t have any issues advancing to the playoff bracket. If stronger LCQ teams made it into this group, we might be worried for nV. But I expect the Boys in Blue to move on along with UNILAD.”

Preston Byers

  1. UNILAD
  2. Team Envy

“No arguments here. This group is really boring to me even though Envy is one of the weaker CWL Pro League teams. There’s just not much competition for UNILAD and Envy from what I see.”

Pool G

Justin Binkowski

  1. Luminosity
  2. Echo Fox

“Luminosity and Echo Fox have both had their ups and downs this year, but I expect that they’ll show up for the biggest tournament of the year. Luminosity have three players with rings, including the defending CoD Champs MVP—so they know what it takes to win this event. But don’t sleep on Tommey and Vitality—they might catch one of these teams off guard after their great performance in the LCQ.”

Preston Byers

  1. Luminosity
  2. Echo Fox

“I don’t know what to really expect out of Luminosity or Echo Fox. They’ve looked great and also horrible at times, but I guess I’ll put them in the top two. I really respect what Tommey has done in CoD and with this roster of rather unproven players, but I don’t think he has enough to overcome LG or Echo Fox.”

Pool H

Justin Binkowski

  1. Evil Geniuses
  2. OpTic Gaming

“ACHES knows how to beat OpTic at CoD Champs. This should be one of the most exciting matches to watch in the group stage of CoD Champs. Whoever can show that they’ve improved the most in Search and Destroy will likely walk away with the top spot in this pool.”

Preston Byers

  1. OpTic Gaming
  2. Evil Geniuses

“Just like the previous group, we’ve seen the highs and lows of the top two teams in this group. That doesn’t mean I think either of them will fail to make it to bracket play, though. They’re both really talented and have a lot of experience, so I think OpTic gets out of Pool H with an undefeated record and EG goes 2-1.”