The Boys in Blue could grab gold.
Team EnVy is arguably the longest standing prominent competitive Call of Duty organisation, but they've definitely had their share of difficulties over the past few years. From rapid roster movements to collective under-performances to losing prized players in the blink of an eye - EnVy have really struggled to field a lineup that can consistently bring home championships whilst providing the stability needed to represent the brand.
That's not to say there haven't been spurts of greatness: back-to-back championship victories at the tail end of the Ghosts season highlighted an otherwise unstable couple of years, with periods of repeated second place finishes and absolute mediocrity in equal measure. Then, the winning roster they had finally attained crumbled as quickly as it had formed, moving on to pastures greener. It's strange really, that every team headlined by EnVy front man Joey "Merk" Deluca often resigned itself to being either in contention for the title of best in the world, or struggling to hold onto any semblance of a respectable placing often with mere weeks between the two. Now Deluca has departed, replaced with newer faces. It seems their luck has turned, and things are finally falling into place once again.
The current Team EnVy lineup consists of Tyler "TeePee" Polchow, Jordan "ProoFy" Cannon, Daniel "Loony" Loza and Renato "Saints" Forza. You'll no doubt recognise TeePee from the infamous Complexity / Evil Geniuses quartet, and more recently from his string of bad luck on OpTic Nation. ProoFy is an ever-present prominent face in Call of Duty, having represented the Boys in Blue previously. Loony is a relative newcomer, departing for the first time from the organisation that gave him his wings in Team Kaliber. The squad is rounded off by Saints, the only remaining member from EnVy's failed 2015 Call of Duty Championship campaign - a skilled player who has thus far been unable to ascend to championship calibre.
After one month together, these four have managed to bring Team EnVy from 11th place to 2nd in the MLG Call of Duty League, highlighted by an impressive 8-0 Week 5 streak.
Four players that look exceptional as individuals, but considerably less impressive when placed beside one another on paper with little to no history of competing alongside one another. In reality it means little, because current results are all the proof of potential required. They are a unit that can clearly vie for the top spot at upcoming tournaments. If this outfit can successfully convert their online performances to LAN events, there's no denying that they can challenge the likes of Denial eSports and OpTic Gaming for the top spot.
UGC Niagara marked the first time that fans would be able to see this potential in action, with three quarters of the outfit in attendance, Joey "Merk" Deluca filling in for the absence of Forza. Their main slayer unable to compete was certain to hamper the team's capability, but the veritable lack of competition at the Canadian venue would certainly prove a positive. Team EnVy ended up placing second, losing out twice to a Team Kaliber led by Chris "Parasite" Duarte. Showings of brilliance in the grand final to steamroll a shocked tK in the first series proved it there and then. Under the right conditions, this band could turn the tides against all-star opponents.
I'm eager to see what damage this new look Team EnVy can cause at their next event, the Gfinity Call of Duty Spring Masters I in London. This is their chance to compete in a truly international show of skill against the top North American talent as well as the best of British, French and German Call of Duty. If things go their way and they perform to the heights we know are possible, we could well see them overthrowing the favourites and walking home as champions, making the organisation back to back Gfinity title holders.
Either way, the next month is absolutely pivotal. Starting with Gfinity's event and culminating in the X-Games Advanced Warfare Season 2 Playoffs, this squad will have a full schedule. They'll be tested to the limit repeatedly by the best of the best, and if they have the staying power to give as good as they get, this quartet will be tempered into a truly fearsome addition to the Call of Duty professional scene. Wouldn't that be exciting?
Team EnVy Call of Duty
Tyler "TeePee" Polchow
Jordan "ProoFy" Cannon
Daniel "Loony" Loza
Renato "Saints" Forza
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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