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!
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.
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.
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