27 October 2014 - 16:01

We have a new Call of Duty champion

Major League Gaming closed out its Call of Duty: Ghosts season with the $70,000 pro league playoffs this weekend
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Major League Gaming closed out its Call of Duty: Ghosts season with the $70,000 pro league playoffs this weekend.

Team EnVyUs became the last MLG Ghosts champion, winning the MLG Call of Duty: Ghosts Pro League by beating Noble Gaming in the final 3-0 to take home $30,000 at the MLG.tv Arena in Columbus. EnVyUs took home $30,000 in prizes, while Noble earned $15,000.

The top eight teams from the three-month long league descended on Columbus in an event that marked the debut of MLG's new esports arena, which the company launched specifically constructed to host live events. If one team was the favorite, it was likely EnVyUs, but recent results in the league and at the last few live tournaments showed the title was up for grabs. EnVyUs won Gfinity 3 in August, but Denial and FaZe took UMG Dallas and Nashville, respectively—it was anyone’s game.

This weekend, though, EnVyUs was back in top form. No one came close to beating them as their immense slaying power and individual talent ran roughshod over the competition. EnVyUs swept two of their four series, and only dropped a single map in the other two.

Matt “FormaL” Piper was again in MVP form, making a case for being the best Ghosts player as the game’s life cycle comes to a close. Piper posted a 1.34 kills per death in respawns with 30.4 kills per round. In Search and Destroy he was dominant, with 1.61 kills per death. Piper became the first ever player to win both a major Halo and Call of Duty title when his team won Gfinity 3 in August. Now, it’s clear that Call of Duty title was the first of many more to come.

Their toughest challenge didn’t come from Denial, FaZe, or even one of the OpTic gaming teams, all considered contenders heading into the tournament. Two cinderella teams, who established themselves midway through the league season, gave EnVyUs a run for their money.

Noble Vanquish and Most Wanted burst into Season 3 midway through the league, replacing defunct teams with new, young lineups and surprising the league. Most Wanted qualified for the playoffs on the last day the competition, narrowly beating out perennial champions Evil Geniuses to reach the playoffs. Noble purchased an 0-8 team and replaced them with a lineup that went 19-15 to narrowly reach the playoffs.

Now, no one can say their runs were undeserved. Noble Gaming placed second at the tournament while Most Wanted took third, showing that online results perhaps do have more bearing on live placement than many professionals want to admit.

Noble beat Rise Nation, Denial, and Most Wanted to earn two chances against EnVyus, but they fell short both times. Most Wanted had to survive a harrowing tournament bracket to reach third—EnVyUs knocked them to the lower bracket in the first round of the tournament by beating them 3-1, but Most Wanted responded with an amazing run through the bracket.

The team beat FaZe and Denial back-to-back, eliminating the two most recent Ghosts LAN champions. Then they swept fan darlings OpTic Gaming before finally falling to Noble Gaming.

The tournament ends Major League Gaming’s run with Call of Duty: Ghosts, as their next event will be the MLG Columbus tournament on Nov. 28 featuring the next edition of Call of Duty. Advanced Warfare drops on Nov. 3. Teams are already starting to gear up for the all-important tournament: rosters in place at Columbus will decide lineups for the next league season.

But while most of the scene looks towards Advanced Warfare, there’s still one last Ghosts tournament. The Electronic Sports World Cup next weekend will pit the best teams in Europe and some from America, including EnVyUs and Evil Geniuses, in one last hurrah for the tired game. Evil Geniuses enters with the top seed as the defending ESWC champion, but three of their players have already declared free agency after a disappointing MLG season where they failed to reach the playoffs. Team captain Patrick “Aches” Price says the lineup will give it one last go in Europe. But the favorites must be the Piper-led EnVyUs. They won the last major tournament in Europe, Gfinity 3, and look to be in top form after a dominating win in Columbus.

Call of Duty: Ghosts was one of the least popular titles in the storied franchise among competitive gamers, but it’s finally giving way to the next generation—just as the next generation of Call of Duty pros are taking over the scene.

Screengrab via MLGCOD/YouTube

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