OpTic Gaming attended the eSports World Cup in Paris last weekend, emerging as the eventual victors after a weekend of intense action. Whilst an impressive feat on its own, what makes this an even bigger achievement is the fact that they beat down the opposition without their full team even being present. Damon "Karma" Barlow was stuck at home in the United States, unable to travel abroad whilst finalising his application to become an American citizen, causing the Green Wall to enlist the services of FaZe Captain Ian "Enable" Wyatt for the weekend.
This same lineup of Scump, Crimsix, Formal and Enable are set to compete together once again at the Gfinity Call of Duty Spring Masters I next weekend at the Gfinity Arena in London. With a much higher level of talent saturation at this venue, will OpTic be able to compete as effectively and once again secure gold?
Last weekend was indicative of what this roster could do; their persistent brilliance occasionally hampered by difficulties meshing between the players due to sheer lack of practise, occasionally costing them games they arguably should have won. In the group stages, the Green Wall lost out in a nail-biting series against British underdogs, Barrage eSports (who will not be attending Gfinity). Then, they immediately went on to regain composure and close out a series against reigning world champions, Denial eSports.
These Pool Play matches set the tone for the entirety of the weekend for OpTic Gaming, their play the majority of the time reminding spectators why this core 3 had lifted three championship trophies in Advanced Warfare before last weekend, with spatterings of questionable mistakes that could have cost them. The sky is the limit for OpTic with Enable, as long as they're able to connect with one another as teammates and bring their gameplay fully in sync. The Grand Finals were a testament to that, Denial eSports unable to make any real kind of impact and subsequently crumbling, taking silver without much contest.
OpTic Gaming still looks to be the strongest roster on paper, just due to the sheer talent of its current players and substitute. Enable is a Halo veteran like both Crimsix and Formal, a player with prestige and intricate knowledge of how to win in intense situations. He hasn't been a prominent Call of Duty player for as long as his peers, but within a short space of time has solidified his position as one of the most capable faces in the pro scene right now. This is certainly one of the best choices OG could possibly make to give them the best chance of winning without their powerhouse, Karma.
Regardless, Gfinity is certain to be a different beast entirely to the eSports World Cup. 6 North American teams will be joining them, alongside another 9 quartets of Europe and Australia's finest. Denial eSports will be returning with fire in their bellies to reclaim their crown and assure us that COD Champs wasn't a fluke. Even OpTic Gaming's sister team, Nation will be in attendance and they certainly won't want another OpTic sandwich situation occuring. European teams will enjoy the advantage of being on home soil. Competition will be tougher, and any mistakes will be severely punished.
I think that the Green Wall could well come out on top, dependant heavily on the group that they pull and how they fare within it, the famous OpTic curse of poor performance in pool play arguably being their biggest trial to overcome. Once they move forward to brackets, though, I can see Scump leading his teammates to dazzling displays of dominance that remind us one one key detail: OpTic Gaming want to secure their Advanced Warfare throne, and they dare you to try and stop them.
The best Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare teams from around the world are set to compete at the Gfinity Spring Masters I, May 8-10th. You can grab tickets to spectate the entire thing live, or read up on additional information here.
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