Recap and Day 1
Going into Week 8’s Pro League matches, here were the biggest questions on our minds: will Evil Geniuses continue their successes from Week 7, what will happen to the wavering Luminosity roster, how will Reciprocity play with Denz replacing Tommey, and will FaZe keep up their performance?
In week 7, Evil Geniuses caught everyone off guard going 3-0. They kept that momentum as they secured a 3-1 victory over Midnight. Phantomz seemed to be putting up similar numbers to the previous week while other players also found form. On the other end of the spectrum, we had Luminosity on one of the worst falls we’ve seen in Competitive Call of Duty: going from CWL Fort Worth champions to a weak performance at CWL London to last week’s 0-3 performance. Internal struggles seemed to plague the squad early with rumors of players not showing up to practice. This ensured their 1-3 loss to the new Reciprocity squad.
On Tuesday, Reciprocity kept the ball rolling. After a patented Seaside comeback, they continued to steamroll with a quick 3-0 demolition of Midnight. Seeming to solve their issues, Denz had brought new light to this Rec roster. Evil Geniuses then matched up with their toughest opponent to date: OpTic Gaming. Optic had yet to lose a Pro League match after London. They sent a statement to all other Pro League teams by 3-0ing the hottest team in their division. Tuesday told us a lot about the bottom teams in Division A as well. In the matchup between UYU and Luminosity, both teams were looking for their first win for the week. UYU eventually came out on top, as we saw LG continue to spiral out of control. FaZe vs Gen.G, the final match of the night, had big implications on the standings of the division. Either FaZe was going to ascend into a tier 1 team or Gen.G was going to rebound. As we witnessed, FaZe dominated the match in a quick 3-1 fashion, cementing themselves as a championship contender.
Nothing is better than starting your day with an intense matchup between two of the hottest teams in the 2nd stint: FaZe vs Evil Geniuses. Phantomz and Attach faced off against former teammates Asim, Cellium, and Zoomaa for the 2nd time. This was my favorite match from this week’s league matches. It started out with a quick 2-0 lead for EG after a dominant S&D performance. But if we’ve learned anything from this FaZe roster, they are a top tier respawn team. FaZe was unbeaten in control and wasn’t going to let EG run over them, as they rebounded fast and took us to a Game 5. Back and forth all map, FaZe was able to clutch up and secure the win over rivals, EG. Next up was UYU vs Rec in a surprising crazy series which saw Rec keep up the hot streak with Denz to secure their 3rd win in a row. UYU continued to struggle, with their only win coming over an even bigger struggling team, LG. OpTic continued to dominate as they ran through Midnight cementing themselves as the top team in Division A. Final match of Wednesday was Gen.G vs Luminosity. This was a must win for both squads. As we’ve seen so far in Black Ops 4, teamwork is the most important aspect. Nothing was different in this match, and Gen.G’s team play is nearly unrivaled. They were able to secure the 3-1 victory over Luminosity.
Going into Thursday’s matches, Luminosity hit everyone with a bombshell. They decided to move Gunless to substitute and play their final league match, and most likely their roster for CWL Anaheim, with their coach Ricky. The first match on Thursday was FaZe’s last test of the Pro League: Midnight. As both teams were trending in opposite directions, we saw FaZe handle Midnight easily with a 3-1 victory, dropping only S&D. EG and Rec fought for, in my opinion, the 3rd best team in the Division. OpTic and FaZe had set themselves above everyone, and this match was going to determine the 3rd best. Rec clutched up Game 5, securing a flawless week with the new roster. This change seems to have brought out new life in Denz as he is flourishing in his natural role. To everyone’s surprise, UYU also clutched up in a Game 5 vs Gen.G. This was a bad loss for Gen.G and knocked their seed to 3rd in the division. That 6-1 start they had turned into 11-7. Surprisingly, the final match of the night, OpTic vs Luminosity, was close. LG, playing with Ricky instead of Gunless, lost a nail-biting Hardpoint and Control to lose to OpTic 3-0, but it is the best they’ve looked over the last 2 weeks, and if they can consistently get good practice before Anaheim, anything is possible.
There were a ton of stories to come out of the last two weeks of matches. OpTic is back on top. Other than a Game 5 against the new FaZe Clan roster, OpTic took care of business these last two weeks. Going undefeated, they really showed themselves as a top tier team capable of winning. I’m excited to see them face off against 100Thieves, eUnited, and FaZe Clan again at Anaheim. FaZe is here and they are here to stay. Probably the biggest question mark going into Pro League was FaZe and they showed up and showed up big. Proving themselves with a 6-1 record and taking two respawns off OpTic, if FaZe can fix S&D, they will win a championship this year. Gen.G needs to regain and fast. Gen.G’s grasp as a top tier team is slipping and slipping fast. It seems as if that reverse sweep at London really set this roster back. They need to figure out what is going wrong and stop the bleeding. Finally, Luminosity, what’s next? With Gunless not playing on this team anymore, that opens a lot of possibilities for both Luminosity and Gunless. While LG is most likely to be playing with Ricky at Anaheim, moving forward, what are their plans? There are endless possibilities for this squad. Historically, when Slacked and Classic team they are a top four team. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this roster turn things around, even with losing a top two player like Gunless. And for Gunless, with him possibly available to join other teams, this year is just getting started, and there is so much more CoD to be played.