One of the most memorable tournaments in Call of Duty history took place two years ago today.
The 2015 Call of Duty Championship was full of incredible storylines. The event featured the undisputed best team in the world getting upset early on, several veterans climbing their way back to the top, and a few relatively unknown players making a remarkable run to jumpstart their Call of Duty careers.
OpTic Gaming was the heavy favorite. The team had already won UMG Orlando 2015 and the CoD Champs North American Regional Finals. Seth “Scump” Abner, Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, Ian “Crimsix” Porter, and Matthew “Formal” Piper also took home first place finishes in both the regular season and playoffs of Major League Gaming’s Pro League just one month before.
Denial Esports, however, was right on OpTic’s heels following second place finishes in the MLG Pro League Season One Playoffs and the NA Regional Finals. After a top-12 finish at UMG Orlando with Team EnVyUs, James “Clayster” Eubanks and Jordan “JKap” Kaplan joined Dillon “Attach” Price and James “Replays” Crowder—and the squad instantly became a powerhouse in the Call of Duty scene.
OpTic Gaming started with a bang, going 3-0 and only losing one map to secure the top seed in Group A. Denial, however, finished in second place in Group B after a small slip-up against Prophecy. Thanks to the tournament’s format, that meant two of the best teams in the game would face off in the opening round of the winners bracket.
Most Call of Duty fans expected to see OpTic play against Denial in the grand finals, but this first round matchup definitely didn’t disappoint. In what many considered to be an upset, Denial defeated the Green Wall, and OpTic fell down to the losers bracket for the first time in Advanced Warfare.
Denial rode the momentum from this huge win all the way to the winners bracket finals. But their opponent in this matchup was definitely unexpected.
On the other side of the bracket, Revenge was shocking everyone and running the table. Their lineup consisted of Brice “Faccento” Faccento, Ulysses “Aqua” Silva, Jared “Nagafen” Harrell, and Remington “Remy” Ihringer. Call of Duty fans certainly know these names now, but at the time, these little-known newcomers defeated the likes of Plantronics Mindfreak, FaZe Red, and Prophecy to advance to the winners finals against Denial.
Most Call of Duty fans could have predicted one of the teams in the winners finals, but hardly anyone expected the cinderella run from Revenge. Faccento and co. continued to impress, pushing Denial to their limits. But, in the end, Denial took the 3-2 series victory to secure their spot in the grand finals.
In the losers bracket, FaZe Red went on a tremendous run following their loss against Revenge. The lineup consisting of Patrick “ACHES” Price, Chris “Parasite” Duarte, Ian “Enable” Wyatt, and Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat had four consecutive 3-0 sweeps in the losers bracket, starting with a dominant performance against Team EnVyUs.
Next, ACHES dismantled the Green Wall as FaZe Red defeated OpTic Gaming to eliminate the tournament-favorites in seventh place.
Two more sweeps put FaZe Red in the losers bracket finals for a rematch against Revenge. Ironically, there would be no revenge in this match, as the underdogs continued their tournament run by defeating FaZe 3-1.
Revenge moved on to the grand finals for a shot at redemption against Denial, where they gave it everything they had. But the veteran leadership on Denial prevailed as the wolfpack won the match 3-2 to be crowned the 2015 Call of Duty world champions.
Denial took home the grand prize of $400,000, while Revenge settled for second place and $200,000. This was a life-changing tournament for both of these top teams. Attach secured his first career championship, while the guys on Revenge all made a name for themselves, setting themselves up for future success thanks to their performance in this tournament. Clayster was crowned the MVP, and everyone on the Denial roster earned their first CoD Champs ring. Denial only lost one series in this entire event—their pool play match against Prophecy.
This single tournament showcased all of the drama that traditional sports championships crave. OpTic Gaming, the overall favorite entering this event, was upset early on by the second best team in the game. The Green Wall never recovered and dropped out in seventh place. The new kids on the block, Revenge, went on a cinderella run. And, of course, Denial took home the title after defeating OpTic Gaming in the first round of the winners bracket, instead of in the grand finals, where most fans expected them to meet up. The 2015 Call of Duty Championship truly was a great event, and we’ll be lucky to see another tournament like it.