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.
#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 a6-1 round win and 3-2 series win.
#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!