The 2015 Call of Duty Championship is happening over this weekend, 27th – 29th March, with a prize pot of $1M up for grabs. 32 teams from all over the globe will travelling to L.A. to take part and try to win not only first place, but also the prestige of being best CoD team on the planet.
So who are these teams and who do you need to look out for? I’ll take you over the top teams taking part this year and which players are most likely to influence their team’s success.
Well let’s start with the favourite, Optic Gaming. Their consistency coming into the championship has been phenomenal, winning back to backs at UMG Orlando, MLG Season 1 and the US Regional Finals. Confidence is understandably high, epically as they only dropped one game in the last event.
Player to watch: Scumpii. When he’s on form he is an unstoppable killing machine. But what I think sets him above the rest is his ability to take the heat off other players and allow his team mates to play their game.
Next up is Faze Red. I mention these because a) they’re obviously very good, but also b) they were the one team to take a game from OG in the Regional Finals. They won MLG Columbus back in November and are said to have been put together to “stop Optic Gaming”.
Player to watch: SlasheR. He returned to Faze after their disastrous showing at UMG Orlando prompted ACHES to take over as team captain and order a roster reshuffle. Like Scumpii he is a Slayer and is pivotal to Faze’s progression in the tournament.
Thirdly there is Denial. Another strong team from the US they had a great 2014 but have been less successful with Advanced Warfare. That said they have run the competition very close, and although they lost to OG 3-0 in the Regional Finals grand final the match was much closer than the score suggests.
Player to watch: Clayster. He joined Denial in January 2015 and is one of the main reasons for their upturn in form of late. He slays but is also an objective player, which gives Denial greater flexibility with their roster and how they play each game/map.
The last one for now is Team Kalibre. A relatively new team and yet they have performed at an exceptionally high level from the beginning. They beat Optic at a LAN event this year and have been so close to a top place finish it hurts.
Player to watch: Goonjar. It’s not often that a Support player gets a mention. CoD is a finely balanced team game, requiring people to be in the right place at the right time. In this sense Goonjar is Mr Reliable, letting his team mates feel comfortable that he’s got them covered.
Although I have mentioned just a few teams above there were others I felt I could have included. EnvyUS is a big name on the US circuit and were only dropped due to current form. I also wanted to represent Europe and so could have included Epsilon, however I feel that the competition is so much fiercer in America that the winner will most likely come from there.
I also want to stress just how important team play is with competitive CoD gaming. I have named a few players above but in truth it will be the best team that will most likely win, rather than the best players. Optic Gaming have a great balance to them at the moment and their communication during each game is amazing. However their over-confidence has caused them problems in league play and, as has been proven, they can be beaten.
The Call of Duty Championship 2015 will be broadcast on MLG.TV. Make sure you’re watching!!