2014

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After three days of competition, Evil Geniuses emerged as the champions of MLG Anaheim. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)

 

Championship Sunday arrived at MLG Anaheim, as the top Call of Duty teams competed one last time for the lion's share of the $80,000 prize pool. In the end, it was Evil Geniuses who would find their way back on top to take the $25,000 top prize and the title of 2014 MLG Anaheim Champions!

 

 

tumblr_n7m25wmnBb1rsz1wuo2_1280.jpgMatt "Nadeshot" Haag (right) and Optic Gaming gave Evil Geniuses all they could handle. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)


Evil Geniuses vs. Optic Gaming: Let's Play Three

It was the dream matchup of the weekend: the top 2 teams, rivals in the scene, facing off for the big prize. Championship Sunday would certainly deliver, as fans were treated to three Best of 5 series between Evil Genius and Optic Gaming.

 

Their first meeting came in the Winners Bracket Final, with the contest deciding a spot in the Grand Finals. Evil Geniuses would open with a close victory in Domination, winning by only three points. That seemed to light a fire in the EG boys, as they would ride hot starts in both Search & Destroy and Blitz to a spectacular 3-0 sweep.

 

It was not the result that Optic Gaming were expecting, but they would bounce back immediately. Falling to the Losers Bracket, Optic would sweep TCM Gaming 3-0 and earn a rematch against EG.

 

So the Grand Finals were set. The format of the series was clear: Evil Geniuses only needed to win one Best of 5 series, Optic Gaming (coming from the Losers Bracket) would need to win two.

 

In the initial series, EG would impress with a 5-1 comeback in S&D, a moment reminiscent of the MLG Fall Invitational from last year. But this was Optic's series to take, as they would grab both Dominations on their way to a 3-1 win.

 

That set up a third and deciding series. EG would come out hot, showing great gunskill and rotation to take Domination on Strikezone. They would follow it up with a 6-3 win on S&D. Optic Gaming would not be swept again though, finishing strong in Blitz to bring the series to 2-1.

 

Then came Domination on Octane, a map that Evil Geniuses had dominated in the MLG Call of Duty League. Optic were not deterred though, and would take a double-digit lead into the final minutes of the game. But then EG pulled off an amazing triple cap, amassing points in a hurry while stopping Optic in their tracks. It would prove to be the difference maker, as EG would complete the comeback, close out the series, and become the 2014 MLG Anaheim champions.

 

Here are the final results from the International Playoffs:

1st: Evil Geniuses - $25,000

2nd: Optic Gaming - $10,000

3rd: TCM Gaming - $6,000

4th: Curse Black - $5,000

5th (tied): EnVyUs, FaZe Black - $4,000

7th (tied): Epsilon eSports, Team Kaliber - $3,500

9th (tied): Curse AU, Denial eSports, FaZe Red - $3,000

 

TCM Gaming Make Historic Run In Loser Bracket, Finish 3rd

Not to be overshadowed by the Evil Geniuses/Optic Gaming matchup was the performance put on by TCM Gaming on Sunday. Their 3rd place finish is the best ever by a European team at an MLG event. With wins against Denial eSports, Team Kaliber, FaZe Black, and Curse Black, TCM Gaming is a team that few North Americans will overlook in future international tournaments.

 

 

tumblr_n7m25wmnBb1rsz1wuo1_1280.jpgRichard "Ricky" Stacy (left) and Optic Nation came out on top in the Play In Tournament. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)

 

Optic Nation Win Play In Tournament, Join Three Other Teams In MLG Call of Duty League

While Optic Gaming competed in the Grand Finals of the International Playoffs, Optic Nation were playing in the Grand Finals of the Play In Tournament. Optic Nation would go on to win that tournament and take home the $3,000 top prize.

 

With their top 4 finish, Optic Nation join Rise Nation and eLevate as the new additions to Season 3 of the MLG Call of Duty League. JusTus rounded out the top 4, the lone bubble team from Season 2 to survive the Play In Tournament.

 

Here are the final results from the Play In Tournament:

1st: Optic Nation - $3,000

2nd: Rise Nation - $2,600

3rd: eLevate - $2,300

4th: JusTus - $2,100

 

Congratulations to Evil Geniuses and Optic Nation on their tournament wins! A special thanks as well to all of the competitors at MLG Anaheim for providing another exciting weekend of competitive Call of Duty.

 

Want to keep up with the latest competitive Call of Duty news? Make sure to follow @eSportsCOD on Twitter!

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A capacity crowd took in the Optic Gaming vs. EnVyUs match at the Anaheim Convention Center. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)

 

It was a thrilling Day 2 at MLG Championship Anaheim, as action picked up in both of the Call of Duty tournaments. In the International Playoffs, some expected favorites moved on, while one big name was eliminated. Meanwhile in the League Play In Tournament, only eight teams remain in the hunt for the four spots in the MLG Call of Duty League.

 

Here are the top stories from Day 2:



tumblr_n7k9376E6y1rsz1wuo2_1280.jpgEvil Geniuses' Ian "Crimsix" Porter had 20 kills in a Search & Destroy game against FaZe Black. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)


Optic Gaming and Evil Geniuses Advance to Winners Final

They were the top two teams in Season 2 of the MLG Call of Duty League. On Day 2, Optic Gaming and Evil Geniuses left no doubt that they are the lead contenders for the MLG Anaheim championship.

 

Picking up where they left off on Day 1, Optic Gaming continued a flawless Anaheim performance with a stunning 3-0 sweep on EnVyUs. The highlight of the series came in the deciding Blitz game, where Optic would turn around a 6-1 deficit with an eight-cap run.

 

Evil Geniuses were next on the main stage, and they would follow it up with an equally impressive 3-0 sweep against FaZe Black. Ian "Crimsix" Porter would produce the performance of the tournament so far, dropping 20 kills in a Search & Destroy game.

 

While they've both secured a top 3 placing, these two teams expect nothing less than to be on top by the end of Sunday. They'll play each other for a spot in the Grand Finals at 2:30 PM/PDT.

 

 

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Bryan "Apathy" Zhelyazkov and Team Kaliber could not replicate their X Games success in Anaheim. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)


Team Kaliber Fall to TCM Gaming, Finish 7th

A strong contender for the championship heading into the tournament, Team Kaliber found themselves out of the competition on Saturday with a 3-1 loss to TCM Gaming in the Losers Bracket. It's a disappointing result for tK, who just weeks before had placed 2nd and won silver medals at the MLG X Games Invitational.

 

TCM Gaming meanwhile have much to be excited about, as the Europeans move on to compete on Championship Sunday. With Curse Australia and Epsilon falling in Saturday's action, they are the lone non-NA team remaining in the International Playoffs.

 

 

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Just a part of the extensive setup for the League Play-In tournament. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)

 

Play In Tournament Update: Eight Teams, Four Spots

Competing past midnight, the field of 192 in the League Play In Tournament was reduced to just eight teams by night's end. With the eliminations of both Strictly Business and Curse Orange, at least two new teams will be joining Season 3 of the MLG Call of Duty League.

 

Here are the remaining eight teams in the Play In Tournament:

- JusTus*

- VexX Gaming*

- eLevate

- Excellence Gaming

- Fuse

- Optic Nation

- Rise Gaming

- Stunner Gaming

(*previously in Season 2 of MLG Call of Duty League)


Which four teams from the Play In Tournament will make it into Season 3 of the MLG Call of Duty League? Who will finish on top in the International Playoffs to claim the $25,000 top prize and the title of 2014 MLG Anaheim Champions? Find out as Championship Sunday action airs on both MLG.tv/CODAlpha and MLG.tv/CODBravo!

 

Keep up with the latest Call of Duty competitive news by following @eSportsCOD and join the conversation with the hashtag #MLGAnaheim. Check back here at www.callofduty.com/eSports for the final recap of the action!

MLG Anaheim crowd

Call of Duty: Ghosts drew a packed house in the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday.


The MLG Championship kicked off competition on Friday from the Anaheim Convention Center. The support for eSports in Southern California has made Anaheim a highlight of the MLG Pro Circuit, and this year is certainly no different. Just before the action started, MLG announced that Call of Duty had set the record for the highest single-game attendance of any game ever operated at an MLG event. Thank you to all of the fans attending MLG Anaheim, as well as the thousands more watching online this weekend!

 

With two separate tournaments, over 200 teams, and a total of $80,000 at stake, there was plenty of action on Day 1. Here are some of the top stories:

 

 

Clayster

James "Clayster" Eubanks and Optic Gaming won their Day 1 matchup "3-0." (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)

 

X Games Medalists Open Strong

Looking to build on their performances at the MLG X Games Invitational, all three of the X Games medal-winning teams came out of Day 1 with a series win.

 

Optic Gaming took care of business against an upstart Denial Gaming squad, with Seth "Scumpii" Abner leading his team to a 3-0 sweep. Team Kaliber would match the result against Epsilon, in a 3-0 series that was much closer than the final score suggests. Evil Geniuses also started strong, opening their campaign back to the top with a 3-1 win over FaZe Red.

 

 

Epsilon

Epsilon and the rest of the international teams all dropped to the Losers Bracket. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)


Tough Start for International Teams

The same could not be said for the teams from overseas, as all three in the International Playoffs would fall in their opening series. Epsilon, TCM Gaming, and Curse AU will need to regroup immediately if they are to make it through Day 2 in the Losers Bracket.

 

 

Optic Nation

Optic Nation advanced to Round 3 of the League Play-In Tournament. (MLG/Enrique Espinoza)

 

Favorites Continue Towards League Placements

There were no major surprises in the League Play In tournament on Day 1, as all of the big names advanced into Round 3. Saturday will be the real test though, as another four rounds of action whittle the Winners Bracket down to six teams.

 

The intensity builds on Day 2, as we see our first eliminations from both tournaments. Which teams will fall out of contention, and which ones will advance to Championship Sunday? Make sure to tune in to Call of Duty action all day on both MLG.tv/CODAlpha and MLG.tv/CODBravo!

 

As always, you can stay up-to-date with the latest Call of Duty competitive news by following @eSportsCOD and join in on the conversation with the hashtag #MLGAnaheim. Check back here at www.callofduty.com/eSports for continued coverage of the action!

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Fresh off of the X Games MLG Invitational, the top teams in competitive Call of Duty will face off again at MLG Championship Anaheim this weekend. Two separate tournaments for Call of Duty: Ghosts will take place from June 20-22, with a total of $80,000 and four spots in the MLG Call of Duty® League Season 3 at stake.

 

 

Proving themselves after months of online competition, 11 qualifying teams will compete for $70,000 in the International League Playoffs. These teams include:

 

 

Top eight teams from MLG Call of Duty League Season 2:

 

Evil Geniuses

OpTic Gaming

EnVyUs

FaZe Black

Curse Black

FaZe Red

Denial eSports

Team Kaliber

 

Top two teams from Gfinity Call of Duty League Season 1:

Epsilon

TCM Gaming

 

Second place team from ACL Brisbane (First place Team Immunity withdrew due to costs):

Curse Australia

 

Also in competition at MLG Championship Anaheim is a 192-team League Play-In Tournament. Curse Orange, JusTus, OpTic Nation, Strictly Business, VexX Gaming, and more will compete for $10,000, 10,000 Pro Points, and four spots in Season 3 of the MLG Call of Duty® League.

 

The action begins Friday, June 20 (2:30pm/PDT) via MLG.tv on the web, or the MLG.tv apps on iOS, Android, and Xbox 360.

 

Want to keep up with the latest Call of Duty competitive news? Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@eSportsCOD and @InfinityWard)!

Gzhhq0uoqdTdmqVZyLgMQ55nKvPHk1g23wHHOMEPh8s,lBi8FSVS7SkS7bOGXcn42fdNASVkYwB-P2Nn2sSVpIE.jpgOptic Gaming pose with their X Games gold medals (MLG/Cambria Harkey)

 

The MLG X Games Invitational came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday, as Optic Gaming came out on top to win X Games Gold!

 

Here is how the competition played out for the final four teams on Championship Sunday:


Semifinals:

Team Kaliber def. EnVyUs (3-1):

The first semifinal match pitted Team Kaliber against EnVyUs. On Domination/Freight, tK's big lead from the first side would be enough to hold back nV's comeback attempt. It seemed like nV had hit their stride on Search and Destroy/Octane, but tK would not let them pull away. In an overtime thriller, tK would win the 11th round to take a 2-0 series lead. nV got on the board with a win on Blitz/Warhawk, but this was tK's match to take. Closing it out on Domination/Sovereign, Team Kaliber guaranteed their spot in the Gold Medal match.

 

 

 

Optic Gaming def. Evil Geniuses (3-1):

It was a story of hot starts for Optic Gaming in their match against Evil Geniuses. Things would not go Optic's way in the first game, as EG took the win on a masterful second half of Domination/Freight. That would be the last one for EG though, as Optic answered back with style on S&D/Sovereign, closing the game with an ace from Jordan "Proofy" Cannon. On Blitz/Warhawk, a 3-0 cap lead was the start that Optic needed to take the victory. Then on Domination/Strikezone, Optic would make a 35-point lead on the first side hold up for the series win.

 

 

 

Bronze Medal Match:

Evil Geniuses def. EnVyUs (3-2):

In what many thought would be the Gold Medal matchup, semifinal losers Evil Geniuses and EnVyUs instead met in the Bronze Medal match. Heading in, EG had won nine straight maps against nV on LAN. But nV would end that streak in this matchup, taking S&D/Warhawk and Domination/Strikezone to send it to a series-deciding game 5. On S&D/Sovereign, it was EG that would ultimately prevail 6-2 and claim the Bronze Medals.

 

 

 

Gold Medal Match:

Optic Gaming def. Team Kaliber (3-2):

So the matchup for X Games Gold was set: Optic Gaming versus Team Kaliber. tK would strike first, pulling away in Domination/Freight. Optic would even the series with a win on S&D/Octane, opening the first two rounds on a 1v2 clutch by Seth "Scumpii" Abner and a round ace from Matt "Nadeshot" Haag. The series shifted to Blitz/Warhawk, where Optic would once again open with a 3-0 start that led to a win. tK responded in Domination/Strikezone, riding an 18-point lead on the first side to stay alive.

 

 

Tied 2-2, the matchup went to a deciding game 5 S&D on Sovereign. Optic would start hot yet again with a quick 2-0 lead. The teams drew on the next four rounds, with two defuses followed by two defends. After a win on round 7 put Optic one round away from victory, tK's Jeremy "Neslo" Olson would come up clutch two rounds in a row to keep his team's hopes alive. But it would not be enough, as Optic Gaming would take the 10th round to win the game 6-4, the series 3-2, and the first-ever X Games Gold in an eSports competition!

 

 

 

Here are the final results from the MLG X Games Invitational:

Gold: Optic Gaming

Silver: Team Kaliber

Bronze: Evil Geniuses

4th: EnVyUs

5th/6th: Curse Orange/Strictly Business

7th/8th: FaZe Red/Optic Nation


Congratulations to the three X Games medal-winning teams, as well as all of the competitors for being a part of Call of Duty, eSports, and X Games history!

 

Want to keep up with the latest Call of Duty competitive news? Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@eSportsCOD and @InfinityWard)!

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The MLG X Games Invitational continued on Saturday, as eight Call of Duty teams resumed the first-ever X Games eSports competition. Day 2's action would eliminate half of the field, as only four teams earned spots in Sunday's Medal Bracket.

 

Group A:

#8 Strictly Business def. #5 Optic Nation (3-1):

Strictly Business and Optic Nation met in the first elimination match of the tournament. After another heartbreaking loss on Domination/Strikezone, sB would catch fire with strong wins on Search & Destroy and Blitz. Strictly Business would finally grab a Domination win on Sovereign, hanging on in a close game to eliminate Optic Nation.

 

 

 

#4 Team Kaliber def. #1 Evil Geniuses (3-1):

Having both won on Day 1, Team Kaliber and Evil Geniuses faced off for the first spot in the Medals Bracket. tK struck first with a 155-152 Domination/Freight win, but EG would bounce back with a decisive 6-2 S&D/Freight win. Then the shocker: tK opening up Blitz/Freight on a 7-0 run, with three caps in the initial 40 seconds. tK would take the game 18-5, setting themselves up for a potential series-winning game on Domination/Strikezone. With a strong second side, Team Kaliber would run away with the game and secure their place in Sunday's action.

 

 

 

#1 Evil Geniuses def. #8 Strictly Business (3-0):

A rematch from Day 1, Evil Geniuses and Strictly Business met this time around in the final elimination match from Group A. With EG jumping out to a 1-0 series lead, all eyes focused on S&D, the one gametype that sB took in their Friday matchup. This time however it was EG that would escape with a 6-5 overtime win. EG cruised to an 18-5 win on Blitz/Freight to complete the series sweep. Despite a letdown against Team Kaliber, Evil Geniuses are still in medal contention.

 

 

 

Group B:

#7 Curse Orange def. #6 FaZe Red (3-0):

After being swept by EnVyUs on Day 1, many seemed to write off Curse Orange in this elimination match against FaZe Red. But in the surprise of the tournament so far, Curse Orange would pull off a stunning 3-0 sweep against the veteran squad. The highlight of the series was S&D/Warhawk, where Dillon "Attach" Price would go 12-0 and lead his team to a flawless 6-0 win. Considered a dark horse to make the top 3, FaZe Red instead finishes the MLG X Games Invitational without a series win.

 

 

 

#3 Optic Gaming def. #2 EnVyUs (3-1):

A classic matchup featuring two of the most popular Call of Duty teams, it was Optic Gaming who would prevail over EnVyUs on this day. Optic looked dominant throughout the series, only surrendering a Blitz game in their 3-1 win. The victory made Optic Gaming the third team to qualify for the Medal Bracket.

 

 

 

#2 EnVyUs def. #7 Curse Orange (3-0):

Another rematch with elimination on the line, the second meeting between EnVyUs and Curse Orange played out exactly like their first. Curse Orange would take nV to the limit in the initial Domination, only to have nV hold on for a close victory. EnVyUs would close it out in the following S&D and Blitz games, sweeping the series to earn the last spot in the Medal Bracket.

 

 

 

Only four teams remain: Evil Geniuses, EnVyUs, Optic Gaming, and Team Kaliber. Which team will walk away with X Games Gold? Find out as Sunday action begins 11am CDT on MLG.tv!

 

As always, you can stay up-to-date with the latest Call of Duty competitive news by following us on Twitter (@eSportsCOD and @InfinityWard) and join in on the conversation with the hashtag #MLGXGames. Check back here at www.callofduty.com/eSports for the final recap of the action!

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The MLG X Games Invitational kicked off on Friday from Austin, Texas, as eight Call of Duty teams began competing for the first-ever eSports X Games medals. Day 1 saw the first four matches in Group Play, which put two teams a win away from the semifinals, while dropping two other teams a loss away from elimination.


Group A:

#1 Evil Geniuses def. #8 Strictly Business (3-1):

The #1 vs. #8 matchup was tightly-contested early on, with Evil Geniuses hanging on to a one-point win on Domination/Strikezone. Led by their fill-in Phillip "Phizzurp" Klemenov, Strictly Business would even up the series 1-1 with a win on Search & Destroy/Warhawk. But the 2014 World Champions showed their unmatched strength on respawn game modes, as EG took the following Blitz and Domination games in convincing fashion.

 

 

 

#4 Team Kaliber def. #5 Optic Nation (3-2):

True to their close seeding, Team Kaliber and Optic Nation would battle to the first game 5 of the tournament. The two teams exchanged wins throughout the series; tK taking the initial Domination and Blitz, Optic Nation winning on S&D and the second Domination. In the deciding S&D/Sovereign, tK's hot 3-0 start propelled the team to a 6-1 round win and 3-2 series win.

 

 

 

Group B:

#3 Optic Gaming def. #6 FaZe Red (3-1):

Optic Gaming set the tone early against FaZe Red with a commanding win on Domination/Freight. Optic would make it a 2-0 series lead after fending off a four-round rally on S&D/Warhawk. While FaZe Red avoided a series sweep with a win on Blitz/Freight, Optic would close out the series 3-1 with a strong slaying performance on Domination/Strikezone.

 

 

 

#2 EnVyUs def. #7 Curse Orange (3-0):

While they did not have any one-sided victories, EnVyUs' solid overall play would give them the only 3-0 sweep in Friday's action. Curse Orange came out ready to play in the opening Domination game, making nV fight until the very end for the win. That seemed to be the wake-up call that nV needed, as the "Boys in Blue" would follow it up with wins in both the S&D and Blitz games.

 

 

 

Saturday will ramp up the pressure on all of the teams, as we see the field of eight reduced to four. Which teams will survive and play for an X Games medal on Sunday? Find out as the action begins 11am CDT on MLG.tv!

 

As always, you can stay up-to-date with the latest Call of Duty competitive news by following us on Twitter (@eSportsCOD and @InfinityWard) and join in on the conversation with the hashtag #MLGXGames. Check back here at www.callofduty.com/eSports for continued coverage of the action!

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A first in X Games history,  eight of the top Call of Duty competitive teams will be competing at X Games Austin from June 6-8 in the MLG X Games Invitational. The top three teams will win something that has never before been awarded: the first-ever X Games medals for an eSports competition!

 

The eight teams that qualified for this event include the top three finishers from this year's Call of Duty® Championship, presented by Xbox:

#1: Evil Geniuses (formerly CompLexity)

#2: EnVyUs

#3: OpTic Gaming

 

Joining them are the top five remaining teams according to MLG Pro Points:

#4: OpTic Nation

#5: Team KaLiBeR

#6: FaZe Red

#7: Curse Orange

#8: Strictly Business

 

The teams have been separated into two groups according to their seeding:

 

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The two teams from each group to win two Group Play matches will advance to the semifinals. The losers from the semifinals will face off in the Bronze Medal match, while the two winning teams will compete in the finals for X Games Gold!

 

Fans can watch the competition beginning Friday, June 6 (12pm/CDT) via MLG.tv on the web, or the MLG.tv apps on iOS, Android, and Xbox 360. Highlights from the competition will also air during X Games telecasts on ESPN, ABC, and on X Games digital and social platforms. Check out the full schedule here.

 

As always, you can stay up-to-date with the latest Call of Duty competitive news by following us on Twitter (@eSportsCOD and @InfinityWard) and join in on the conversation with the hashtag #MLGXGames. Check back here at www.callofduty.com/eSports as well for daily recaps of the action!