The groups have recently been announced for Gfinity's first Spring Masters Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare event! 16 teams are congregating on London from all corners of the globe, to battle it out with one another in the hopes of attaining the title of Gfinity Champions as well as a slice of the $25,000 prize pool on offer. Tickets are available now to catch the event live this weekend in London, at Gfinity's own arena.
The top two teams from each of the four groups at the end of pool play will progress onwards to the bracket. Group A is arguably the infamous group of death at this event, containing four-time Advanced Warfare champions in OpTic Gaming and three additional rosters of congruent skill that could all easily cause an upset against one another - or even OpTic - if they perform to the best of their abilities on the day. Let's take a look at the teams.
Scump - Formal - Crimsix - Enable
OpTic Gaming are entering this event on a high, having claimed victory over Call of Duty World Champions in Denial eSports just last weekend. Scump, Formal and Crimsix are undoubtedly three of the most individually talented players to compete in Call of Duty history, their months of training alongside one another creating a well-oiled machine for Enable to easily slot into. Utilising a substitute for this event doesn't look like it will hamper them in the slightest if their ESWC performance is anything to go by, making them the team to beat at the Gfinity CoD Spring Masters I.
PHiZZURP - John - TwiZz - SinfuL
Strictly Business are an interesting team, to be sure. Having recently placed Top 12 at the Call of Duty Championships, they then parted ways with half of their roster and found solace in the arms of long-term teammates TwiZz and SinfuL. This team doesn't have the same level of explosive play as, say, Scump or MadCat are likely to display in matches, but they do have enough chemistry to make up for it. If everything goes as planned, Strictly Business could be one to watch.
Swanny - MadCat - Faccento - Remyy
Epsilon have long stood at the pinnacle of European Call of Duty, maintaining a duopoly with ex-rivals TCM Gaming and winning practically every title in the region for the past 2 years. Recent roster changes have turned the Epsilon of today into a different beast entirely, though. Loyalists in MadCat and Swanny are joined by two members of breakout CoD Champs roster, Team Revenge, who were unable to secure new organisations following their split. Swanny and MadCat have buckets of experience competing on international stages. That, in combination with the sheer talent and dedication of Faccento and Remyy could prove a force to be reckoned with.
Tojor - MethodZ - Lgnd - JK7
Most would discount Gamers2 immediately for not being as prominent a team against world-class competition as their Group A peers, but that would be a disservice to their ability. The team is a Spanish god squad, collecting the best talent from the region under one organisation in an attempt to make a name for themselves against the best of the best. They almost did it, too. At the recent Call of Duty Championships, the quartet finished 13-16th, defeating both SSOF and Exile5 in groups before succumbing in a nail-biting Game 5 finale to Team Immunity during their bracket run. An upset is certainly not off the table when it comes to these four.
With only two coveted spaces available providing access to the bracket play stages, teams will need to perform at their very best from the outset. OpTic Gaming are no doubt the favourites to win the entire tournament, having taken gold in the majority of Advanced Warfare events thus far with merciless displays of superiority. They will be hampered though, by both a lack of co-ordination with their pickup Enable, and by their apparent inability to perform at 100% during the early stages of tournaments. Their Gfinity campaign will rely on whether the Green Wall is able to come out firing on all cylinders, as a silly loss in Pool Play could cost them much more than just a tougher run.
Despite this, I think that if they perform, OpTic will have no trouble taking first in Group A. Anything else would be an upset. The other three teams will be competing for second place.
Epsilon eSports are the real wild card here, in my opinion. Their ability to compete at this event will depend solely on how well these four players mesh together, whether they're able to put differing mindsets and styles to one side. Swanny, MadCat, Faccento and Remyy is a scary thought on paper if they execute as we know they potentially can. This team could go very far. If everything does click, I see no reason as to why they won't be the second team to stroll through the doors to Championship Sunday.
If Epsilon ends up collapsing on the spot, Strictly Business and Gamers2 will be in contention for the ability to proceed. While Gamers2 is a genuinely formidable roster at times, able to take lineups like Team Immunity on as equals, they don't have the same amount of major tournament experience as Strictly Business, nor do they have the same calibre of regular practise. I see Strictly Business being the victor here, if it comes down to the two.
OpTic Gaming | 1st
Epsilon eSports | 2nd
Strictly Business | 3rd
Gamers2 | 4th
If Epsilon don't come out of the gates on fire, it's likely that they'll crash and burn. We could very easily see Strictly Business and Epsilon eSports swap places on the day.
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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