It was a thrilling weekend for competitive Call of Duty as the MLG Columbus Open 25k kick-started the season for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Out of a field of more than 140 teams, it was FaZe who would win the tournament and claim the $10,000 first prize.
FaZe had just about the worst start any team could have on Championship Sunday. With news that Patrick "Aches" Price had sustained a hand injury overnight that required stitches, there were questions as to whether the team could perform at its peak. Those concerns seemed validated as FaZe lost their opening series with Prophecy in a 3-0 sweep. But FaZe would go on an impressive Losers Bracket run that saw them eliminate Denial eSports, Team Kaliber, and eventually Prophecy.
In contrast, their Grand Finals opponent OpTic Gaming were having a perfect Sunday. OpTic Gaming didn't drop a single map on their Sunday march toward the Grand Finals, defeating both EnVyUs and Prophecy in 3-0 lopsided affairs.
The Grand Finals looked like it would be a continuation of OpTic's hot run, with the opening Solar/Hardpoint game swinging the way of the "Green Wall." But it was all FaZe from then on, as the team would win S&D/Detroit in the 11th round and take Uplink/Bio Lab in an 8-0 blowout. CTF/Retreat proved to be a much tighter game however, moving into stopwatch overtime after a 3-3 deadlock. OpTic Gaming managed a flag cap in four minutes, but FaZe's Aches would sneak away with a flag in less than two minutes to take both the game and the series.
Because FaZe came from the Losers Bracket, the Grand Finals shifted to a new Best of 5 series. FaZe would strike first on Hardpoint/Detroit, with Doug "Censor" Martin going big in the defense of the final Hardpoint. That led to S&D/Bio Lab, where Aches would win an 11th round 1v1 against OpTic's Matt "Formal" Piper to clinch the victory. Staring at a potential 3-0 sweep, OpTic Gaming would produce second half heroics on both CTF/Ascend and Uplink/Comeback to tie the series 2-2. In the deciding S&D/Recovery, an all-around team effort from FaZe would net them a 6-4 win and seal their championship at MLG Columbus!
Here are the final placings from the MLG Columbus Open 25K:
1st: FaZe ($10,000)
2nd: OpTic Gaming ($6,000)
3rd: Prophecy ($4,000)
4th: Team Kaliber ($2,000)
5th (tied): Denial eSports/EnVyUs ($1,000)
7th (tied): Team JusTus/OpTic Nation ($500)
Four Teams Qualify for MLG Pro League Season 1
Not to be forgotten was the side story in the Losers Bracket, where teams were not only trying to stay alive in the tournament, but also claim the three remaining spots in Season 1 of the MLG Pro League for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Team Kaliber would be the only contending team to survive Losers Round 4 and qualify for the league outright. With their 3-1 series win over Strictly Business, tK will rejoin the league after falling outside of the top eight in Call of Duty: Ghosts Season 3.
That meant the four remaining teams had to compete in play-in matches to decide the two remaining league spots. Automatic Reload clinched their place in the league after taking down amateur squad Dream Team eSports in a 3-1 series. Then it was Aware Gaming who came from a 0-2 deficit to defeat Strictly Business.
Rounding out the newly qualified teams is Prophecy, who had qualified on Saturday due to their performance in the Winners Bracket.
Congratulations again to FaZe on winning the first major tournament in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare!
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