Day four of the Call of Duty World League Championship and we are down to four teams, two North American and two European. For North America we have Team EnVyUs and Team eLevate. On the European side we have Splyce and FAB games. Out of thirty-two teams that started on September 1st only four are up for the grand prize of $800,000 and title of Call of Duty Champion.
Two matches went on simultaneously EnVyUs vs. eLevate and Splyce vs. FAB games. The winner of the EnVyUs and eLevate goes to the grand final while the loser plays the winner of the Splyce vs. FAB games match for the second slot in the grand final. On the main stage was the EnVyUs vs. eLevate match. From EnVyUs the players to watch for are Jkap and John. In call of Duty players have specific roles, which change based on map and mode and include the Slayer (kills as many players as possible), Objective (plays the objective), support (assists other players), and anchor (holds down spawns and retains map control). Then there are players like Jkap and Splyce’s Joshh who have a hybrid role and can do anything the team needs him to do. On Splyce, Bance is a slayer as is Aqua on Team eLevate. Slayers are good for Hardpoint as players are focused on one area of the map and need the most kills.
First round of the EnVyUs vs. eLevate was Hardpoint. Hardpoint is a chaotic mode where players secure and hold a hardpoint on the map. On EnVyUs you have John and Apathy as the dominant submachine gunners, and it was a showing by John that lead to an EnVyUs victory for hardpoint.
In these final matches all abilities unless banned where seen but the most used abilities and the ones that won games were heat wave, active camo, overdrive, and psychosis. Heat wave is a specialist ability for firebreak. Activation of this ability sends an orange shock wave stunning enemies and taking out equipment. If you have multiple targets in your vision this will allow you to take them out. Active camo is exclusive to spectre and gives a player temporary invisibility. For a Search and Destroy and Uplink this ability is very useful. In Search and Destroy teams must find and destroy specific targets, with active camo a player can get to the target undetected. All abilities have a short lifespan and use should be limited to necessity. Heat wave is ineffective if there are no enemies present. As a specialist ability for Ruin overdrive gives players a burst of speed, which is good in uplink where a drone carrier needs to get to the uplink site quickly or teammates need to come to their defense. Psychosis is a specialist ability for reaper that generates three clones of reaper to temporarily confuse enemies.
Specialists also get exclusive weapons such as the tempest for prophet. Tempest is a weapon that fires electric bolts that arc to nearby enemies electrocuting them causing damage to multiple opponents simultaneously. The tempest was used during the championship final.
EnVyUs was in the zone during the finals and throughout the whole competition. They may have lost games but their gameplay was focused and controlled. In this match John proved to be a very effective player, disciplined, and went for those killstreaks. EnVyUs also had good defends and assists. Team eLevate did take Search and Destroy where EnVyUs did not have their best showing, Team EnVyUs did diffuse bombs and John and Jkap took control to take out targets but the second half was eLevate’s to take. It was thanks to Nagafen’s hunting skills and Aqua’s use of tempest.
Team eLevate also took Uplink. Here it was the use of active camo and overdrive that allowed players to score the most points. It was Stronghold Capture the Flag that had the most exciting games of the match. EnVyUs was playing or wanting to play a slow game but eLevate got the edge by playing a faster paced game. Here abilities like heat wave were used to get control of the flag. John and Feccento did a heat wave on heat wave allowing John to take the flag. This turned the round from an eLevate round to an EnVyUs round. Use of the hellstorm missile and lightning strike, two killstreaks, were used in this round. This allows players to regain control of the flag. The lightning strike uses an FA38 to drop bombs on selected locations. This round ended in a 4-2 win for EnVyUs. Team EnVyUs takes the match in Search and Destroy. In the final and fifth round of the match eLevate started strong though the opening of the game but an eLevate self-death leads to an EnVyUs lead. Apathy used a drone to stop eLevate from diffusing the bomb, with Apathy dominating this round with John. Felony for eLevate had a strong showing with kill after kill. In the end John took trophies and diffused the bombs to win Search and Destroy. EnVyUs went to take a spot in the grand final, eLevate faced Splyce in the loser’s match for second spot in the grand final and third place.
In the loser’s match Bance, Rated, and Joshh were the lead players for Splyce. Bance has the slayer role and is a good hardpoint and CTF player as a submachine gunner. Joshh fills a hybrid role with Search and Destroy and CTF as his strongest rounds. Rated as an assault rife slayer is good at hardpoint and is matched with eLevate’s Aqua. With The first round was hardpoint where eLevate began in the lead but with Splyce’s Rated bulldozing through eLevate’s players Splyce moved a head. These were intense as Splyce and eLevate were making kill after kill. Then again hardpoint is about the most kills. Speed and flanking happen more in hardpoint with less runs and jumps. Hardpoint was very close especially with Joshh having tempest and Rated having tempest, players racking up killstreaks. In the end Bance makes the final kill to end the round.
In Search and Destroy eLevate’s Nagafen used hunting and stealth to take out enemy players. Joee was up against felony with Joee taking a round ending kill. Aqua ended up putting eLevate in a 2-1. Aqua tended to take advantage of the water in Hunted to flank enemies stealthily. The second half of SD Splyce returns to lead with Bance to take the final kills and scores. Uplink ended with a 3-0 win for Splyce. Team eLevate went on to take the 3rd place prize. Splyce faced EnVyUs in the grand final.
The grand final was history in the making. This was the first CoD championship to where a European team faced off with a North American team. Splyce had a good showing in their last matches and came in predicted to win the match. With commentators Maven and Mr. X and the team introductions the match got on the way with Fringe Hardpoint.
EnVyUs came out strong dominating over Splyce in the first game of Hardpoint. Splyce tried to catch up in the first half but EnVyUs has John and he was just out there slaying Splyce who was just being destroyed by EnVyUs. With killstreaks John got off a heat wave before being taken down. The first half was brutal for Splyce and then the second round in an incredible comeback Splyce overtook EnVyUs to win Hardpoint. That was incredible play from Splyce and an upset to EnVyUs who fought hard. It really helped to have those slayers on Splyce.
All was not lost for Team EnVyUs with Search and Destroy. Again we see a strong performance by John who was on a streak and took out Splyce’s Rated who was doing a careful play to take out opponents from a distance. Splyce was playing slow this round giving EnVyUS the edge. Rated with the Sheiva, a semi automatic marks man rife capable of taking out the most enemies in two shots, helped Splyce take a point. The round ended with a 2-6 win for EnVyUs. In Uplink Jkap lead for EnVyUs who kept the drone in play for a disciplined game. When they got the drone Splyce caught up with EnVyUs and it became a very close round. With EnVyUs’s control they were able to get the drone for a final win of 13-10.
The final round of the grand final came down to Capture the Flag in the map Breach. Europeans tend to play a slower CTF and could be an advantage to the North Americans. EnVyUs takes the first game dominating Splyce 2-0. A heat wave stops Splyce as Jkap captured the flag for 3-0 then EnVyUs was up 4-0. Splyce didn’t seem to be doing enough to stop EnVyUs until a use of slide gave Splyce the flag for a point then a second point but it came down to the final seconds, Bance was going for the flag but EnVyUs kept him from reaching home to take the final grand prize and crowned Champions of Call of Duty World League 2016. What a match with Team EnVyUs proving they are the top team in Call of Duty Black Ops III.
At the following Team EnVyUs press conference the team told us how they came prepared to win. They tried to make the least amount of mistakes but also didn’t want to underestimate anyone throughout the tournament. It wasn’t the first time they played against Splyce but they did think that it was going to be eLevate in final. EnVyUs played well and had there best games in Search and Destroy and Capture the Flag. John admitted that OpTic Gaming and FaZe Clan were tough teams to beat but because of EnVyUs’s preparedness they prevailed. Once OpTic and FaZe were out everyone thought that EnVyUs were going to make it. But according to John it wasn’t over yet and they still had matches to play and teams to beat especially eLevate. This team takes what they do seriously and make sure that they prepare for anything. This includes watching gameplay from rival teams, though they could spend more time on footage., especially from European teams who are now strong contenders.
One of the questions was where they saw Call of Duty eSports going in the future. Right now it’s growing with more and more people getting involved and invested in the sport. But it’s not quite at the level of Legeaue of Legends or DOTA. With the support from Activision, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Call of Duty is in a good spot to be a serious eSport.