This is an opinion piece and does not represent the viewpoint of GAMURS.
MLG Atlanta is one week away, and with more star-studded lineups than ever before, it really places an incredible amount of importance on this event for all of the teams in attendance.
Sure, you can say every event has a certain level of significance regarding the top teams and their need to win, but with the pro point system bringing out a plethora of fresh talent, you can’t rule out the underdogs this year. We’ve already seen the young talent make major statements so far, most notably when The Gosu Crew earned a top-12 finish in Vegas, beating FaZe Clan 3-2 along the way.
Another roster determined to make their mark on the scene includes the young guns of eUnited. Consisting of Justin “SiLLY” Fargo-Palmer, Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson and Pierce “Gunless” Hillman, this roster has made waves among the star NA teams, beating the likes of Rise Nation, FaZe and OpTic Gaming on their road to stardom. With the top-level of Call of Duty being such a level playing field this year, places among the A-list are up for grabs, and I fully expect these underdogs to stake their claim for that spot.
Following their unthinkable performance at Call of Duty Championships, Rhys “Rated” Price and Joe “Joee” Pinnington split from duo Joshua-Lee “Joshh” Shephard and Ben “Bance” Bance to kick-start what can only be described as one of the biggest European rostermanias the Call of Duty scene has seen so far, with former FAB Esports, now Epsilon, being the only roster to stick together going into Infinite Warfare. With Europe historically falling short at NA events, only placing top-four a handful of times, the pressure is on for Europe to really showcase their talent in Atlanta. Instead of going through the arduous task that is the open bracket, Europe has been gifted six pool play spots, leveling the playing field and leaving no valid excuses for failure. If Europe wants to prove their worth, this is their event to do just that.
Possibly the biggest shock to come from the last three months is the huge dip in performance from OpTic and Team EnVyUs. Both squads were without a doubt the two best teams during the Black Ops III era, and it was baffling to see these rosters underperform at the start of Infinite Warfare. With both teams struggling to support a consistent run of form online, OpTic and EnVyUs need to aim for a top-three finish at MLG Atlanta to secure a significant chunk of pro points in order to make sure they keep a top-four seed leading up to the LAN league.
Also, FaZe most definitely is a team in need of a LAN victory, and they need it fast. Winning PSX might not count as an official LAN victory for some people, but it certainly shows that they are capable of taking apart the top teams. Going a few months without a LAN win is enough for most rosters to part ways and seek success elsewhere, so for FaZe to go over a year without a win and still keep the same roster clearly shows a high level of patience. However, patience eventually wears thin, and it would only be a matter of time before a change will have to be made if FaZe struggles in Atlanta.
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Image via CWL/MLG.