Feb 13 2017 - 2:29 am

eUnited defeats OpTic Gaming to take home CWL Atlanta in game five

eUnited is your 2017 CWL Atlanta Open champion.
Image via James Mattone
Journalist for GAMURS

eUnited took on the #GreenWall in the CWL Atlanta Grand Final, and despite a 3-0 slip-up, took home a crucial game five to become the new #1 team in North America.

Three straight losses plagued eUnited, including a Search and Destroy match where the team could not close out a large lead. Heading into the next series though, Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson said that his team had to shake off the rust and play their game.

"We talked to each other, and told each other that they've been warmed up and playing for a while now," said Prestinni. "It's not to take anything away from them, but they were warmed up and we just had to get it together."

It was not as simple for eUnited to come back, but the team started strong with a 250-204 win on Throwback Hardpoint. OpTic Gaming were persistent though, coming back from a 4-2 deficit on Precinct Search & Destroy in a similar fashion to their comeback against PNDA Gaming.

With "choke" chants coming in from the packed Georgia World Congress Center, OG took in the Uplink game by scoring six points in the first and not allowing a single score in the second. When it came back to Hardpoint though, eUnited found their stride back, and rode that momentum to a 6-3 Throwback S&D victory.

Justin "SiLLY" Fargo-Palmer told GAMURS earlier on Sunday that he wanted to face OpTic, and a win over them validated his statement.

"Coming from that online tag, it just takes that old tag away. We're not just onliners now," said SiLLY.

Throughout the tournament, Pierce "Gunless" Hillman made clutch plays and had solid streaks in several of the games against OpTic, ending up with a 1.1 K/D for the event. Because of that, he was named the Kontrol Freek MVP of the event, although when asked why he think he won the MVP award, he said that "it wasn't me, it was more my teammates"

One of the co-General Managers of eUnited is Matthew "Burns" Potthoff, a veteran of the Call of Duty competitive scene who could not find a title in his career. With a trophy now in his case, Burns attributes it to putting the right players together to win the title.

"We (himself and co-GM Clerky) have an eye for talent acquisition," said Burns. "We are trying to bring eUnited to the top and all the five games right now."

The so-called "online warriors" proved that they can hang with the best of the best without their routers, and despite heading to Paris as an Open Bracket team, SiLLY has some major confidence for competing over in Europe and beyond.

"Honestly at this rate, we can win Paris as well," said SiLLY. "And I see this team doing really well throughout the year."

Despite coming up short, OpTic Gaming has earned the second spot in NA Pro Points by making an incredible losers bracket run and finishing second, and will have a pool play spot in Paris. They will look to take down eUnited then, should they escape the grueling open bracket grind.

For all of your Call of Duty and other esports updates, make sure you are following us on Twitter, @GAMURScom.

James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.

Feb 18 2017 - 10:36 pm

What's wrong with Cloud9?

What has caused Cloud9's drop in performance over the past two weekends?
Image via CWL
Managing Editor

In the wake of their second place finish at CWL Las Vegas in December, many people, including myself, set high expectations for Cloud9 entering the rest of the Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare season. After consecutive top-20 finishes over the past two weekends, however, several people are left asking: what’s wrong with Cloud9?

Following Evil Geniuses’ reverse sweep of Enigma6 earlier today, the lineup consisting of Patrick "ACHES" Price, Andres "Lacefield" Lacefield, Adam "Assault" Garcia and Richard "Ricky" Stacy will retain their top-nine ranking in the pro point standings, despite their poor performances as of late. Still, back-to-back top-20 finishes at CWL Atlanta and CWL Paris have left the Call of Duty community completely perplexed in terms of where the Cloud9 from Vegas has gone.

One of the most obvious potential reasons why Cloud9 has struggled at the past two events could be the shift in the current Call of Duty meta. Cloud9 was successful in Vegas when the OSA and Synaptic (aka Skinny Bot) combat rig were playable, but they have struggled since those two items were removed from competitive play. In my eyes, however, I don’t think this can be solely to blame.

Call of Duty professionals are some of the most skilled esports players in the world, in terms of having to adjust and adapt to changes. No other esport has a one-year lifespan before switching to a different title; even though it’s still Call of Duty, the same game is only played for a maximum of 12 months. Thus, professional Call of Duty players are constantly playing different versions of a game, each with unique aspects, such as weapons, maps, movement systems and more.

With that in mind, it doesn’t make sense to strictly blame C9’s struggles on a change in the meta; if these players can adapt to different Call of Duty titles on a yearly basis and still compete at the top level, then they should certainly be able to adjust to in-game tweaks throughout that game’s lifespan. While some players might be better with some weapons, in this case the OSA, that gun’s removal from competitive play can’t solely be the reason for a team to go from the grand finals at one event to consecutive top-20 performances.

Aside from these in-game changes, I personally believe that Cloud9 is just not playing well as a team. Some people might say that this is an extremely vague point, but when a team goes 1-8 in best-of-five series over two weekends, that’s generally an indication of poor play. It’s difficult for me to condone blaming a gun or a specialist character for a team’s inability to win more than one series in two events.

When we dissect the numbers even further, we can see that one of the main reasons for Cloud9’s recent struggles is their inability to win Search and Destroy maps. In Vegas, Search and Destroy was C9’s “bread and butter”; C9 was able to progress so far in that tournament because they were able to clutch up in game fives, aside from their series against Team Kaliber and Rise Nation (in the grand finals). The old adage of “Search and Destroy wins championships” was proven to be right once again, but in this case, Rise Nation was just the better Search and Destroy team in Vegas.

In Atlanta, Cloud9 had an overall map count of 5-12. Of those five map victories, only one was in Search and Destroy. Cloud9 was swept by Elevate and Team 3G, lost 3-1 to Luminosity Gaming - only winning game one Retaliation Hardpoint - then they swept Imperial, but lost 3-1 to The Gosu Crew Blue, against whom they also only won the first map.

Thus, Cloud9 won three Hardpoints, one Search and Destroy and one Uplink en route to a top-20 placing in Atlanta. Looking at the numbers even more closely, C9 ended their time at the Georgia World Congress Center with a 1-4 record in Search and Destroy.

Unfortunately for Cloud9, this trend continued this weekend at the CWL Paris Open. Cloud9 did not win a single series at this event, going 0-4 with a map count of 4-12. Continuing on the aforementioned topic, Cloud9 did not win a single Search and Destroy map at this event either. C9’s four map victories included two Hardpoint wins and two Uplink victories.

Cloud9 shockingly lost 3-1 against Fnatic to begin their tournament run, only winning the Uplink. This was followed by a 3-2 series loss against Elevate, in which Cloud9 won games three and four, but lost both SnDs. Then, C9 ended pool play with a 0-3 record after Enigma6 defeated them 3-1, with Cloud9 winning the initial Hardpoint in that series. Finally, the loss that in my opinion shows how out-of-form Cloud9 is currently, was when SetToDestroyX swept C9 to eliminate them from Paris.

With that loss to StDx, Cloud9’s time in Paris came to a close with a 0-5 record in Search and Destroy, bringing their combined SnD record in Atlanta and Paris to an abysmal total of 1-9; scarily similar to their overall series record for the last two events. For a team who played so well in Search and Destroy at Vegas, this has to be considered the main reason why they have seen a drop in performance over the past two weeks.

Cloud9 did not play up to their potential over the past two events; there’s no other way to say that. But, in my opinion, this team has the right combination of veteran leadership and talent to bounce back from these subpar performances. If anything, ACHES and company should use these past two events as a wake-up call to motivate them even more heading into CWL Dallas next month.

Most Cloud9 fans will probably be worried about this team moving forward, however, I don’t think there is any reason why they still won’t qualify for the CWL come April. Barring a crazy losers bracket run by Evil Geniuses to win the event tomorrow, Cloud9 should still be in seventh place on the pro point standings. So, as long as they keep grinding scrims and GameBattles matches, fix their Search and Destroy issues and earn some good placings in the online 2K tournaments, ACHES and company should definitely be able to bounce back to their Vegas form over the next few weeks.

What do you think Cloud9 needs to work on in preparation for CWL Dallas? Let us know by tweeting us @GAMURScom.

Justin Binkowski is the Managing Editor for GAMURS and he can be contacted by email at justin.b@gamurs.com or on Twitter @JBinkk.

Feb 20 2017 - 4:55 am

Cloud9 captain ACHES says the team will not be making changes

After poor showings in two consecutive weekends, Cloud9 will recoup instead of making roster changes.
Image: Blake Cissel
Contributing Writer

After another poor showing at CWL Paris, Cloud9 captain Patrick “ACHES” Price confirmed that the team will not be making any changes.

The current Cloud9 roster has been teaming together since the 2016 Call of Duty World League Championship, where they placed top-six after knocking fan-favorites OpTic Gaming out of the tournament. The team then started the Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare season with confidence, placing in second at CWL Vegas, their first LAN event. However, Cloud9 has struggled the past two weekends.

At CWL Atlanta, Cloud9 went 1-3 in pool play and then lost their first championship bracket match, placing 17th/20th overall. In a state of heightened emotion, Adam "Assault" Garcia shoved Anthony "DraMa" Padilla of GosuCrew Blue after losing to them, an offense he was later penalized for. This past weekend, the team saw no improvement. In fact, Cloud9 failed to secure a single series victory at ESWC Paris.

GAMURS recently analyzed Cloud9’s current struggle.

Though many fans believed Cloud9 would consider making a roster change as a result of recent placings, it looks like the team will be sticking together.

How do you think Cloud9 will do at CWL Dallas? Let us know by tweeting us @GAMURScom.

Josh Billy can be contacted via email (josh@gamurs.com) or on Twitter.