If you can believe it, the Call of Duty LAN league begins in less than three months from now.
With the light at the end of the tunnel revealed, the Gfinity and MLG Atlanta events upcoming now become even more important as anticipated, as MLG Dallas will be the final event for teams to gather pro points. And with changes to the pro point ladder in full swing, the next LAN’s will set the tone for the rest of the pre-Stage 1 season.
Here’s a look both at the North American and EU pictures as we head into late January.
That moment when you get knocked out of the Round of 32, and still are the #1 team in the NA Pro League… (image updated Jan. 25).
Thanks to MLG Las Vegas, Rise Nation is still your #1 team in North America, and the top three still has no intention of being shook up at all.
eUnited still threatens OpTic, even after eUnited placed in the top-16 at the last 2k. However the more interesting development is with the teams who sit under the top five.
The Boys in Blue turned around their fortunes with last Sunday’s 2k, finishing first and taking out OpTic, Luminosity and FaZe Clan in succession. Considered to be a borderline pool play team in early January, the former world champs at least have a foot in a pool play spot, with the final 2k of January being the judgement day for nV.
That also rings true for the teams around them, as Enigma6 and Luminosity have under 1,000 points above them, and Evil Geniuses and Team Allegiance are not too far behind nV. Team DraMa however seems to be on the outside looking in, with a win at the next 2k as well as the failure of a few sides above them being their only chance at getting a pool play invite.
Besides Echo Fox, who would only qualify for Atlanta pool play by the small miracle of them winning the next 2k and having several teams place out of the top 64, every other team is basically doomed to play in the open bracket at Atlanta. A good showing at this event could change the fortunes of these sides, however they just could not gain enough ground to physically catch up to any of the other NA sides.
Something to note: Although Epsilon is ranked in the top-ten, they will not be attending Gfinity London, which will, without question, hurt their chances both for MLG Atlanta as well as their general position in the EU pro picture (image updated Jan. 25).
Yesterday’s 2k made it seem that EU is Splyce’s region to lose, as they took down Infused and Elevate once again to remain at the top of the standings. Orbit and Supremacy are still rather comfortable in their positions, while Fnatic finally bit the bullet for EU and owns the 6th place spot in the league.
With the top ten teams in the EU now qualfying for ESWC Paris, Niall’s team still is the big ticket for an organization looking to get a head start in the EU Call of Duty picture, currently placed seventh in the region. There are rather large gaps for Aware and The Imperial, that would only be made up by a catastrophic performance in London, while Epsilon is doomed to lose their ESWC Paris pool play spot.
This spot could be picked up by Black Forest or Cyclone, two teams that are favorited to at least finish within the top-12 and take over Epsilon’s spot. A good placement for FAB, MIllenium, or the two orgless teams also invited for London though would swing that coveted tenth spot into their favor.
The Gfinity London Open will either cement or shake up these standings, and you can follow along with GAMURS as we will plan on providing live coverage for the event.
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James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted on Twitter –@TheJamesMattone.