MLG at the XGames: Days 1 and 2
Major League Gaming has made its third appearance at the XGames and it's the second time with Call of Duty in Austin, Texas. The top 8 teams from the MLG Pro League are in attendance, as the XGames doubles as the Season 2 playoffs. Last year, Optic Gaming managed to earn themselves the first gold medal awarded to an eSports team and are hoping to do so again this year.
The seeds for the tournament feature Optic Gaming as the #1 seed and Faze as the #2 seed, the two largest professional Call of Duty organizations worldwide. Other contenders include Denial eSports, who are the most recent Call of Duty Champions and the winners of $400,000 in prize money, and TCM Gaming, who travelled from Europe to participate this season.
An updated bracket leading into Championship Sunday:
On day 1, the quarterfinals and semifinals were played out. In those matches, all best-of-seven, three matches were shutouts. In the other three matches, the losing teams won a total of four maps. This is quite an unusual situation because competitive Call of Duty fans are used to many matches going to the last map. Of course, most tournaments are best-of-five. Even so, only three of the matches played through Friday and Saturday would have reached the last map of a BO5 and only one made it to the last of the BO7.
Optic Gaming has been completely dominating, as expected. They won the Season 2 regular season by a large margin and have won the last three major LAN events. Two of those events were played without Karma because he could not travel abroad at the time, but the trio of Crimsix, Formal, and Scumpi are good enough to carry any fourth they are paired up with (though Enable carried his own weight in Karma's absence). With Karma, Optic are practically unstoppable! They made their way to the Grand Final be defeating Team Kaliber, Elevate, and Faze, going 12-2 in total map count. Tomorrow they will play either Faze or Elevate, again, for their second opportunity at an XGames gold medal.
Nadeshot made an appearance at the XGames, but this time he was a guest instead of a star pro player. As custom for large events such as this, a celebrity Pros vs Pros series was put together to include YouTube stars such as Pamaj and TmarTn, and pro extreme sports stars who were at the XGames for other reasons. Opposite Nadeshot was Hecz, the original owner of Optic Gaming. In these matches, Nadeshot carried his team and made it clear that he still has the skill to compete on a high level. Maybe he will return to the scene with the release of Black Ops 3!
Surprising in this tournament was Denial's early departure. In their first match, they defeated Rise Nation with ease, but they were then beat by Faze. Denial went into the XGames as the 3rd seed, but have not placed well at the last few LAN events. Once entering the loser's bracket they were quickly eliminated entirely by Team Kaliber, who have ultimately placed 4th.
Championship Sunday will conclude somewhat early in the afternoon. Only two matches remain: the Loser's Final and the Grand Final, with the Grand Final slated to begin at 1 pm Eastern.
MLG at the XGames has been a great event so far. Who do you expect to win in the matchup between Elevate and Faze? Can anyone take down Optic Gaming? Tune in to find out at MLG.tv!