What a difference a day makes.
Most of the group play yesterday in the Call of Duty Championships resulted in fairly clear shutouts. Almost every group sent a 3 – 0 winning team to the round of 16, and more than that, most matches closed up at 2 – 0. Group 4 was an oddly more contentious than the rest…
Regardless, this shows not only that the tournament was well-seeded, but that there’s a clear division of skill even in the top 32 teams in the world.
I’ll try to avoid straight-up spoilers for you guys in case you want to check out the VODs later, but here are some of the breakout stories I loved in the second day of broadcasting.
Carrying an MLG win from Dallas, Fariko Impact entered the round of 16 as a favorite to take the whole tournament. It’s not surprising, then, that the day’s most incredible matches came from them. The first barn-burner of the day hit with Fariko Impact vs. Optic Gaming, a match that could easily have been a tournament final in both quality of play and aggregate skill in the teams. Some of the highlights of this match include a fifteen kill streak from Fariko Karma and a fantastic ace from Optic Scumpii.
The second must-watch match of the day had Fariko Impact square off against Envyus. Until this match, Fariko looked like they’d easily make the finals if not take the whole tournament, but Envyus really stepped up and made it clear that no team is immortal. Again I don’t want to spoil this for you guys, but this match went down to the damn wire. Personally, I don’t think the play was quite as clean as Fariko vs. Optic, but make sure to watch this set if you want a dramatic finish.
Unfortunately, day two brought a swift end to Pain Gaming’s run in the tournament. This was one of the better stories to come out of day 1 — Pain scrapped through their group, pushing it to the very last round and barely working up to the around of 16. However, day 2 sent them quickly to the loser’s bracket with a first-round loss to Optic Gaming, and then out of the tournament with another loss to Epsilon. They may not be walking home with a chunk of the $1 million prize pool, but their names are on the map now.
Championship Sunday is right around the corner, and I have to say, I love that they’ve saved only the semis and the finals for the last day. It’ll make tomorrow short, sweet, and intense, so make sure to tune in.