Click here to view the ESS Originals photo gallery from the event!
Competitive Call of Duty players from around North America have descended up the little coastal resort town of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. It’s the off season, so the hotel prices are low, the ocean water is freezing, and the air has a bit more than a nip to it: but the cold is welcome after being inside the tournament venue, which is downright balmy thanks to the mass of gamer bodies inside.
Enough scene setting- let’s get down to the matches. Today was the open bracket competition which is an unforgiving Best of 3 game format, and double elimination. As is the usual with open competitions, last minute teams and squads of ex-pros or social media personalities made up some of the early round teams.
Some well known teams like E6 Gold featuring CoD veteran Dedo, Velocity (a frankenstein of a team featuring Mochila (formerly of Cloud9 and OpTic Nation)), and EZG eSports (the team that came incredibly close to trumping Proofy’s team in the CWL online qualifier and earning a place in the league) are also making their way through the open bracket, but it was the second round match featuring gaming giants Team Liquid and Cloud9 that was on most people’s “must watch” list.
…but it was a long time coming. The match was delayed by a technical issue by about two hours. Apparently teams were having trouble connecting their controllers to the PS4’s on main stage, an issue OpTic Gaming’s Karma says he occasionally has at home due to signal interference from his phone. Team Liquid’s Merk also took to Twitter to try to calm irate fans who blamed organizer UMG for the lengthy delay.
When the match finally got underway, it lived up to the hype: with Cloud9 mounting a CTF comeback to force a game 3 Search and Destroy. Team Liquid came out victorious, and C9 now drop to the loser’s bracket, which will continue on Saturday.
So how did two mammoth teams end up facing each other so early in the competition? The bracket was determined via a random drawing in the absence of pro points or any other factors that have previously decided bracket placement.
What to watch on Saturday:
The competition heats up, with many last-chance loser’s bracket matches to be played early in the day. When the winner’s and loser’s brackets have wrapped up- that’s when the big guns come out. The CWL teams will begin their first LAN tournament in 2016, along with the top four Open Bracket teams. It’s single elimination, so we may see some significant upsets early on. If C9 and TL do play each other for the top spot in the Open Bracket, it should be quite the match.
Click here for stream: UMG Events
Follow @eSports_Source on twitter for live updates from the tournament!