OpTic Gaming takes first title in Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty's most popular team won their first championship in the game's newest generation this weekend.
OpTic Gaming and the super team they formed during a tumultuous offseason took their first major title at UMG Orlando, surviving a terrible first day of play to sweep the remainder of the tournament and secure the $15,000 top prize.
The favorite may have won the second major Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare live tournament, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t filled with surprising results.
OpTic lost their first two matches, against Revenge and Stunner Gaming, in 3-0 sweeps, heralding a potentially dismal performance. But once Friday was over, they were unstoppable, never dropping more than a single map in a series on their way to the title.
But OpTic’s win was hardly the story of the tournament. While their performance was great, it was also expected in many ways. The team that pulled together perhaps the three most dynamic players in Call of Duty, Ian “Crimsix” Porter, Matt “FormaL” Piper, and Seth “Scump” Abner, is expected to win.
Here’s some of the other stories from the weekend.
Stunner Gaming stuns by placing second
It was a team that isn’t even in the Major League Gaming Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare league.
Stunner Gaming shocked fans with a run through the tournament that included many highlight reel plays, including a stunning finish to their semifinal series against Denial. Of course, the result was hardly shocking if you pay attention to online tournament results—Stunner Gaming has built a reputation as “warriors” thanks to their online play.
Now everyone will take the team of Brian “Prplxd” Ladd, Hamza “VeXeD” Pirzada, Tommy “TJHaLy” Haly, and Cuyler “Huke” Garland seriously.
Garland is emerging as the next Call of Duty superstar. The 15-year-old may not be able to compete at the Call of Duty Championship for the next two years due to his youth, but he’s emerged as one of Advanced Warfare’s best players. At MLG Columbus he posted the best K/D of the tournament at 1.21 as a member of Carnage, and he continued his superb play in Orlando with a 1.1 K/D and ridiculous numbers in respawn games.
Of course his teammate Haly also stole the show. In the semifinal match against Denial, his interception saved the game for Stunner. Haly also finished sixth in the tourney with a 1.11 K/D and 31.15 K/R.
The Warriors Perform
Heading into Orlando, many players questioned the online results in the weeks heading into the event. Online “warriors,” as they are called, players who take advantage of good internet and host, are perceived to dominate online competition. But at UMG Orlando, those very teams are the ones that topped the standings.
OpTic Gaming, Stunner Gaming, and Denial all placed top three at Orlando, a mirror of recent online results. JusTus, ranked third in the MLG online league, took fourth.
Veteran teams like FaZe, OpTic Nation, and EnVyUs—squads that have struggled online but theoretically have the veteran tournament experience to carry them through in the live environment—struggled against the online champions.
It’s high time players start taking online Call of Duty more seriously. Even if host and ping has major influence on results, there’s no substitute for taking the game seriously all the time—even online.
Denial trick referee and get away with it
Against Team Kaliber, Denial’s captain Tommy “ZooMaa” PPaparatto managed to convince the UMG admins that not once, but twice, a glitch prevented his team from scoring two points for dunking in the Uplink game mode. The problem is there’s no evidence such a glitch actually exists, and video from the tournament show that Paparatto actually tossed the ball to score each time, meaning Denial should have only had two points on the scoreboard total. Denial won the map 4-2.
Paparatto later admitted he threw the ball on one of the attempts, but was unapologetic about taking the free point since he believed it didn’t affect the score.