We take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the best matches to take place at Champs.
The 2019 CWL Championships marked the end of an era for Call of Duty esports. It would be the final world championships before a new geo-located franchised structure was implemented at the start of 2020. Since 2013, the world championships saw 32 amateur and professional teams from across the world compete for a share of a massive prize pool.
Since the inception of the world championship back in 2013, the flagship tournament has always delivered, whether it’s an amateur team of relative unknowns taking down a championship-winning juggernaut or a roster that dominates the opposition, taking home the rings with ease.
Throughout the years, champs has had a variety of matches that will go down as some of the very best matches that competitive Call of Duty has ever seen. Here we have selected five matches that we think are the very best matches that have taken place at a world championship.
#1 - Fariko Impact v Team Envy (2013 World Championship Grand Final)
For most people, the very first world championship grand final between Fariko Impact and Team Envy is the best game of professional Call of Duty in history. Hot off two championship wins at EGL 9 and MLG Dallas, Fariko Impact were looking to make it three in a row with a win at the million-dollar tournament.
On the other side, Team Envy had finished in a respectable fifth place at MLG Dallas but had managed to defeat Fariko in the winner’s bracket final to book their place in the finals of the first world championship.
This particular match is full of memorable moments that are still highlighted today. Prior to the eleventh and final map, Chris “Parasite” Duarte displayed his slaying prowess on Hijacked Hardpoint, cleaning out the engine room with his trusty shotgun with ease, enabling his team to build an unassailable lead to stay alive in the series.
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Moving onto the final showdown on Meltdown Search & Destroy, Marcus “MiRx” Carter scored a vital 1v2 clutch thanks to a well-placed Semtex onto the bomb before eliminating the second to level the game at two rounds apiece. After ten intense maps between the very best players on the planet, the match went all the way to the tenth round, where Envy player Jordan “Proofy” Cannon came agonisingly close to eliminating Adam “Killa” Sloss to force a round eleven. Killa’s experience shone through, running away from the bombsite, ultimately winning the tournament for him and his team.
#2 - Team Envy v eUnited (2017 World Championship Winners Semi-Final)
The second match is home to one of the greatest comebacks ever seen in a competitive match. Heading into this game as the defending world champions, the 2016 champions of Austin “Slasher” Liddicoat, Johnathon “John” Perez, Jordan “JKap” Kaplan and Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov were looking to make history as the first team to win back-to-back championships.
Eunited were the breakout team of the Infinite Warfare season, immediately taking it to the likes of OpTic in their first few events of the season. The team swapped out Pierce “Gunless” Hillman for North American veteran James “Clayster” Eubanks prior to the tournament and during Precinct Uplink against Envy, eUnited held a convincing 10-0 lead with four minutes left on the clock.
What followed is possibly the greatest comeback ever seen at a world championship. The boys in blue rallied together, displaying incredible teamwork to reduce the gap and level the game with just 40 seconds remaining. Eunited looked to snatch the win with a last-ditch play for the drone but a huge triple kill from John quickly shut down the play and enabled Envy to complete the comeback and secure a 12-10 victory.
The following Hardpoint was just as close. eUnited managed to build a 100-second lead in the early stages of the game before Envy closed the gap and managed to wrap up the game with a 250-240 scoreline.
#3 - OpTic Gaming v Splyce (2017 World Championship Winners Round 2)
The third match on our list is a criminally underrated contest between Stage One champions Splyce and Stage Two champions OpTic Gaming. Widely considered to be the two best teams in their respective regions, Splyce looked to knock down the Green Wall to give Europe its best chance of winning a world championship.
OpTic came out firing on all cylinders, securing the opening Hardpoint before Splyce immediately answered back with a convincing victory in game two to level the series. With the momentum in their favour, Ben “Bance” Bance put on a masterful display in game three, dropping high numbers in the kill column to enable the rest of Splyce to score a number of two-point plays to secure a 2-1 lead and to go within one map of knocking down the Green Wall.
Throughout the duration of Breakout Hardpoint, the lead bounced back and forth between the two sides all the way until the penultimate hill of the second rotation of hills. Splyce managed to establish early control of the hill, needing control to close out the game in the series but a perfectly timed FTL Jump from Matt “Formal” Piper followed by a handful of kills saw the Green Wall retake control and to win the game to force a deciding game five.
Both teams went head to head, trading frags back and forth before OpTic managed to catch a break in round ten to seal the deal and the series. An incredible series that could’ve gone the way of Splyce and changed the course of Call of Duty history.
#4 - Denial Esports v Team Revenge (2015 World Championship Winners Final)
Match number four is the home of another action-packed comeback between Denial, a team comprising of three veterans and breakout talent Dillon “Attach” Price, and Team Revenge, a team of four relative unknowns that swept aside Denial at the North American qualifiers just weeks before the tournament.
Captained by Clayster, the wolfpack kicked off the series with a hard-fought victory, with Clayster dropping 49 kills to give Denial the lead over a solid Team Revenge roster. Game two was a different story. Team Revenge responded with a 6-4 win led by Ulysses “Aqua” Silva scoring 12 kills to tie up the series.
The wolfpack responded in game three, scoring two quick flag captures in the second half of the game to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Detroit Uplink was a must-win game for Revenge to force a game five and to avoid dropping into the loser’s bracket. Denial looked to be in full control of the match, scoring a five-point lead heading into the final two minutes of the game but as we have seen before, anything can happen in competitive Call of Duty and usually does!
Needing a run of five points just to level the game, Revenge had it all to do. Some perfect two-man pushes onto the Uplink portal saw Revenge take a one-point lead with a minute remaining but Denial immediately answered back with a two-point play which looked to have sealed the deal. With several Denial players under the Revenge portal, Aqua was already hovering over the spawn of the drone and quickly whisked it towards the Denial scoring zone. Aqua was eliminated by the last Denial player standing but was quickly traded in order for Brice “Faccento” Faccento to secure the game-winning score for Revenge. Another example of how quickly a Call of Duty game can turn on its head, even at the biggest tournament of the season.
#5 - OpTic Gaming v Cloud 9 (Call of Duty XP 2016 Losers Round 3)
The fifth and final match on our list is the perfect example of competitive Call of Duty coming down to the narrowest of margins. Heading into the match, tournament favourites OpTic Gaming found themselves in the loser’s bracket at the hands of a surprise loss to long-time rivals Team Envy meant the Green Wall had a long road if they were to make it to the finals. Standing in their way was Cloud 9, a solid team complete with OpTic kryptonite Patrick “Aches” Price.
OpTic managed to draw first blood in the opening game of the series much to the delight of the capacity crowd. The Green Wall looked to keep the momentum rolling and managed to take game two to a deciding eleventh round but Andres “Lacefield” Lacefield halts the momentum, scoring an impressive ace to equalise the game at one map apiece.
Seemingly unimpressed by the result of game two, the Green Wall came out swinging, winning game three 13-1 thanks to Formal dropping 39 kills on the way to a 2-1 lead. C9 was down by certainly not out of the series. Aches and co. won game four to take OpTic to an unprecedented fifth map. After a ridiculously close contest between the two sides, the game went down to the wire with Formal needing to take down Adam “Assault” Garcia to win the game. He managed to put one burst into the high-flying Assault, but it wasn’t enough as Assault scored the kill and send OpTic Gaming packing for the second consecutive year.
Images via Call of Duty League and MLG