Heading into the Call of Duty World League Dallas Open this weekend, Evil Geniuses needed an excellent performance in order to secure a spot in the CWL Global LAN League–and that’s exactly what they accomplished by defeating The Gosu Crew on Sunday morning.
It wasn’t easy by any means, but Anthony “NAMELESS” Wheeler, Jeremy “StuDyy” Astacio, Colt “Havok” McLendon, and Jared “Nagafen” Harrell fought their way through the rigorous losers bracket, culminating in one final match with everything on the line.
Evil Geniuses went on a remarkable losers bracket run prior to this matchup against The Gosu Crew. EG played well into the night on Saturday, taking down the likes of Elevate, Rise Nation, and Millenium. During this run, StuDyy said that his team approached each series with a simple mindset.
“One game at a time,” StuDyy said. “We came to Dallas wanting to do a job, and we felt like we definitely deserved a LAN league spot. Even though we didn’t make it into pool play, we still believed in ourselves that we could do it.”
Mindfreak’s win over Pnda Gaming Saturday night meant that the winner of Evil Geniuses and The Gosu Crew would earn the ninth and final North American spot in the CWL Global LAN League. Each team was in control of their own destiny, and TGC got off to a hot start winning the first map on Scorch Hardpoint.
After losing that first map against The Gosu Crew, NAMELESS echoed StuDyy’s earlier statement and told the team to just take it one map at a time.
“I like to look at it as a scrim,” NAMELESS said. “We moved on to the next map, fixed our problems and played calm, cool, and collected.”
This mindset clearly paid off, as Evil Geniuses won the next three maps in order to take the series victory and secure their spot in the Global LAN League. Havok was almost at a loss for words when trying to describe how it felt immediately following his team’s win over TGC.
“I’ve never had that feeling before,” Havok said. “I went from 100 percent stress to no stress just like that. That was a great feeling and I don’t know how to describe it really. It was just amazing.”
EG’s losers bracket run finally came to an end when they lost 3-1 against Red Reserve in the following round. While all teams attend an event in the hopes of lifting the trophy at the end, EG accomplished its main goal of qualifying for the pro league. Although there were a few bumps along the way, EG clutched up when it mattered most—and Havok summarized this sentiment perfectly.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Havok said. “We were all mad after we didn’t make pool play, but honestly, everything worked out perfectly after that, so I guess it happens for a reason.”
Looking beyond this event, Havok and NAMELESS both have a pretty good idea of what their team needs to work on in preparation for the CWL Global LAN League.
“We have a couple hills on each Hardpoint that we just aren’t too good at,” Havok said. “So we’re going to try to pinpoint all of our weaknesses. I have to work on my listening skills, and we have to work on our small talk and keeping our fire in a match.”
“We have to practice better,” NAMELESS added. “Our practice is lackluster at best, to be honest. So we have to fix that, and get everyone on the same page wanting to learn and win.”
Although nobody likes to lose, Evil Geniuses can now reflect on CWL Dallas knowing that all of their hard work paid off—they’re going to the pro league.