Twenty-eight teams battled it out for 14 spots in the European Call of Duty World Championship Regional Qualifiers on Saturday. One win, was all the teams needed to book themselves a spot at the World Championships in Los Angeles in March - and the action didn’t disappoint.
The first match of the day featured the two teams from the Benelux online qualifier, FabE All-stars and eQuinox eSports, and it was a clean sweep for FabE. The all-star side raced out to an early series lead with a 236-188 win on Detroit Hardpoint, which they followed with a 6-2 victory on Solar Search and Destroy in which FabE LXT dropped 12 kills. A comfortable 19-9 win on Comeback Uplink rounded off a 3-0 victory and ensured that the Netherlands will be represented by the FabE All-stars line-up at the World Championships.
The two Italian teams were next on main stage to face off for a spot in LA and the game was a very close affair. VFL All-stars were the first team to chalk a map up on the board with a close 243-206 victory on BioLab Hardpoint over NXG Rapid, but their joy was short-lived however, with them losing the next three maps and handing over the series win to NXG.
The third match of the day was the much anticipated Aware v Intensity game, which was the first qualifier from the UK & Republic of Ireland sectors. Map one was Solar Hardpoint and it truly was ‘the Aware Watson show’, he dropped 48 kills to help his side to a 250-145 victory. Intensity’s chance to bring themselves back into the contest came in Riot Search and Destroy when their side were 4-2 up, but four rounds in a row saw Aware snatch the map and the momentum away from a dejected Intensity side. An overtime victory on BioLab Uplink sealed Aware’s ticket to the City of Angels and they became the first UK team to book their spot in LA.
The next match on main stage was between the two French teams Pulse and Ascentia. Team Pulse battled to win BioLab Hardpoint 222-198 but that’s where their day peaked. Ascentia clutched up in the Search and Destroy Detroit to win it 6-5 and went on to win the Comeback Uplink 13-6. Ascentia rounded it off with a comfortable 4-2 victory on Retreat Capture the Flag to take the series 3-1 and be the first of two French teams successfully qualify.
When talking about French Call of Duty teams there is one team that sticks out above all others, Vitality, and they made swift work of qualifying for the World finals. An effortless 250-129 BioLab Hardpoint victory was followed by a 6-3 Detroit Search and Destroy win, where the veteran Vitality side were always in control. A 14-7 Comeback Uplink win saw the Vitality side comfortably through and means we’ll be seeing the French big-hitters back on the biggest stage once again.
Another veteran side that made it through to the World Championships in March were FabE Germany. The roster, consisting of Kivi, Kraqz, Bullet and GunElite, used all their experience to breeze past Team NextGen. FabE managed to keep Team NextGen under 100 points in a 250-92 Hardpoint victory on Retreat and rolled them over in the Search and Destroy and Uplink to take the series 3-0.
Spain was the final region to be represented and it was Spirit Gaming and Gamers2 who battled it out for the opportunity to represent their country at the Call of Duty World Championships. The intensity was apparent between the two teams and it came to the boiling point on the last hill of BioLab Hardpoint, culminating in a clutch two piece from Spirit’s Sammy to win his team the map 211-205. The smiles were quickly wiped of the faces of Spirit Gaming however, with the squad losing the next three maps to a well-oiled Gamers2 team that clinched the series 3-1 in convincing fashion.
The final three matches from the UK & Republic of Ireland qualifiers were arguably the main matchups everybody was waiting for. Infused v Millenium were the first big names to lock horns on main stage and the series was the most exciting of the day. A 42-29 performance by MarkyB led the Millenium side to a 236-131 victory on Solar Hardpoint but the series was quickly levelled by Infused, as good strategies and teamwork resulted in them winning the Riot Search and Destroy 6-3. Infused’s momentum carried through to BioLab Uplink and a commanding performance from Dominate guided his side to a 14-7 score line. Millenium managed to scrape the Ascend Capture the Flag to force a game deciding map five on Recovery SnD, however Infused clutched up to take the series 3-2.
TCM Gaming and Barrage were the third qualifiers from the UK & Republic of Ireland regions, and the game went the way that previous records would suggest. A 250-93 victory in the Hardpoint, 6-4 win the Search and Destroy and 11-0 victory in the Uplink saw TCM safely book their spot in Los Angeles.
The final match of the evening saw Epsilon become the last team to grab a ticket for the World Championships. A flawless 6-0 Search and Destroy win was sandwiched between two exceedingly comfortable respawn victories.
These 14 teams will be representing Europe in the 2015 Call of Duty World Championships on March 27th-29th and will be competing for the $1,000,000 prize pool. The chance to play for the biggest prize in Call of Duty isn’t the only reward for these teams however, as the remaining squads will be fighting for a £10,000 prize pot on Sunday.
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