The 2015 Call of Duty World Championship® presented by Xbox, concluded this weekend in Los Angeles. What set this years event apart from the rest, was the fact that an underdog team, known as Team Revenge, found themselves in the Grand Finals for the chance at $400,000 and the World Championship title.
Team Revenge is a North American organization that did attend the World Championship last year. However, they have undergone several roster changes since then. Just two months ago, they weren’t even considered a professional team.
Their roster consisting of Remington “ Remy” Ihringer, Jared “ Nagafen” Harrell, Brice “ Faccento” Faccento, and Ulysses “ AquA” Silva, has come a long way since they formed as a team. They have been placing very high in online tournaments and placed sixth overall at the North American Regional Finals event at the beginning of March.
The squad has been practicing non-stop in preparation for CoD Champs and it certainly showed during the event. As an underdog team and organization, this team-of-four surprised many and proved to the world that they are one of the best Call of Duty teams around.
Pool Play – Day 1
Team Revenge’s tournament started out in pool play on day one. Thirty-two of the world’s best competitive Call of Duty teams were divided up into eight pools, consisting of four teams. Revenge’s group consisted of Aware Gaming (UK), 3sUp Enterprises (US), and Team Infused (UK).
Revenge ended up placing first in their group, sending themselves to the upper portion of a 16-team double elimination bracket. To clarify, a loss within the upper bracket would result in sending a team to the lower bracket. A loss in the lower portion, would result in elimination from the tournament.
Upper Bracket – Day 2
After the championship bracket was drawn, Team Revenge found themselves in a tight situation for the first round, having to face off against Australia’s best, Plantronics.Mindfreak. Starting off in day two, Revenge hit the ground running, having won an intense best-of-five series, 3-2 against PLT.Mindfreak.
After winning their first round, Revenge was pitted in a much harder matchup against FaZe Red (US) within the quarterfinals. Within the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare season, FaZe Red are arguably one of the world’s best teams. Revenge ended up winning a down to the wire matchup, 3-0 against FaZe Red. Each round was won by the skin of their teeth, but they moved on with a full head of steam.
Going into the semifinals of the upper bracket, Revenge had the momentum after taking down the powerhouse team of FaZe Red. They began to turn the heads of many at the event, and those who watched back home. They began trending on Twitter multiple times and acquired many fans looking to cheer on the underdogs.
Next up, Revenge had to face Prophecy, another formidable United States opponent. Prophecy was playing well all day and Team Revenge was not going to let that stop them from securing top three at the event. They won the series 3-1, and advanced to the Winner’s Finals to be played on Day 3.
Team Revenge had concluded their day with three consecutive series wins against some of the world’s best teams. The team had secured a spot in the Championship Upper bracket Finals. PLT.Mindfreak, FaZe Red, and Prophecy were all sent to the lower bracket by a team some people didn’t even know existed.
Upper Bracket – Day 3
After some much needed rest, Revenge had found themselves in another intense matchup in the winner’s bracket finals against Denial eSports (US). Denial has placed second at the last two major tournaments for Call of Duty, making them another talented opponent within bracket play.
This match proved to be the closest one yet, as Denial squeezed out with a 3-2 series win against the guys on Revenge. As tough of a loss this was to the team, Revenge were not of the tournament yet. They would have a rematch against FaZe Red to determine who would advance to play Denial in the Grand Finals.
Lower Bracket – Day 3
Squaring off against FaZe Red again was the last thing Team Revenge wanted to go through to make it to the Grand Finals. But, they wanted their revenge against Denial, and they eliminated FaZe Red by a 3-1 series score in yet another down to the wire matchup. The team had officially earned a spot in the finals to possibly become World Champions.
Denial was able to take the first map decisively, while Revenge replied with a complete shutout in the second game. With this momentum, Revenge was able to win the third map, but Denial tied up the series in the fourth, forcing a tie breaking game five.
Within the final map, Denial was able to start off strong, going up 5-2 in the Search and Destroy game mode that requires a team to win a best-of-11 rounds. Revenge won the next two rounds in a valiant attempt to come back and win the game, but they ended up falling just two rounds short.
Team Revenge ended up concluding the tournament with an impressive second place finish at the 2015 Call of Duty World Championship® and $200,000 in prize money. Not bad for a team-of-four that weren’t even considered pro players just a few months before.
“I’m really happy to be honest, a lot of people didn’t expect it to happen and I honestly had faith in the guys, but I’m still in shock right now,” said Team Revenge CEO and Owner, Rafael “Pittsburgh” Alcantarilla. “They had a chance to play for $400,000, and it’s kind of insane.
With each player becoming $50,000 richer, one could believe that this money would go to good use. And go to good use it did, as Faccento publically announced on the livestream that he can now afford to go to college.
This event proved that an underdog team like Revenge can end up beating some of the world’s best competitive Call of Duty teams. As a matter of fact, Revenge probably won’t be considered an “underdog” or “amateur” team anymore. They looked dominant all weekend and will take that success and grow on it for future events.