Spain's team Pain demolished the United States' LFN 3-0 in their first round contest, securing a pass to the second round and a clash with the U.K.'s infused, who also kneecapped their opposing squad The Randys in a swift, 3-0 matchup.
National pride was on the line once again in the featured match, pitting Germany's team eVo against Italy's team Flash. Flash was firmly in control in Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag; eVo battled back in what has proven to be one of Modern Warfare 3's most popular new features, the highly strategic Kill Confirmed multiplayer mode. Flash, who need to work harder to rep their team name, took the match 3-1 in Domination with little fanfare and advanced to round two.
While the cameras and shoutcasters hovered around the Germans and Italians, a prolonged battle was quietly unfolding in a corner of the Tournament stage, where U.K. teams Flame Retardant and Apex were 2-2 after Domination, and so the first teams in the tournament to meet on the fifth map, ARKADEN, for Search and Destroy.
The first team to win four 2.5 minute rounds would take the match and earn a berth in round two. Apex team member riddlez scored two critical kills to win the first two rounds for his team. That's when the cameras and the crowds found him, and a cheering section for the young Brits spontaneously filled the grandstand. Flame Retardant returned the favor in round three, but was unable to close; after Apex eliminated the bomb carrier and defused the explosive in the waning seconds of the fifth round, they took Search and Destroy 4-1 and the overall 3-2. With only four contests left to play, the $1 Million tournament presented by Xbox 360 may have seen its longest first round firefight.
Apex will have to prove their mettle against the quiet and calculating Italians on team Flash if they hope to be in the money.