Esports Events

What We Learned From CWL London 2019

Following the end of the cross-divisional phase in the Call of Duty Pro League, the full focus shifted over to CWL London. This was the third open event in the 2018/2019 Black Ops 4 Season, and a perfect opportunity to bet on Call of Duty.

The 16 teams from the pro league arrived at the Copper Box Arena and battled it out for their share of the $325,000 prize pool. Meanwhile, 128 teams attended the open bracket event for a stab at the $75,000 prize pool up for grabs.

Pro Tournament

This was where the best of the best came to play. The 16 teams from the two divisions in the CWL Pro League get shuffled into pools and must play three matches to determine where they fall in the bracket play. It was much easier to pick up more favourable betting odds in this side of the event.

Pro Tournament Format

Pool Play

  • 4 pools of 4 teams
  • Round Robin
  • Best of 5 Series
  • Top 2 teams in each pool were placed in Championship Bracket Winner’s Round 1
  • Bottom 2 teams in each pool were placed in Championship Bracket Loser’s Round 1

Championship Bracket

  • Double Elimination
  • Best of 5 Series

Pool Play

Pool play has become a staple in the Call of Duty scene over the past couple of years. At the start, some fans weren’t overly keen on the format. However, after several adjustments, we believe it offers up the best viewership experience and truly helps to figure out who the better teams are.

Pool play was completed on the first day (Friday) at CWL London events, so we knew what the bracket looked like going into the Saturday. Below you can find a breakdown of how each pool went.

Pool A

  • 100 Thieves
  • OpTic Gaming
  • Enigma 6
  • Team Reciprocity

Coming into CWL London, many deemed it as the pool of death. All eyes were fixed on the growing rivalry between 100 Thieves and OpTic. They recently faced off for the first time on LAN in the Pro League, with 100 Thieves taking the win there.

However, the tables turned at CWL London with OpTic finding success with a 3-1 win. Although it was deemed as possibly the most robust pool, not many expected Reciprocity to fall flat with an 0-3 record as the CWL London betting odds were in their favor.

Pool B

  • Gen.G
  • Splyce
  • Luminosity
  • Denial Esports

A pool consisting of the team that won the last event, a team leading their CWL Pro League Division and a roster filled with explosive talent waiting for their moment to shine. This was an excellent pool for neutral fans.

Gen.G looked incredibly strong through their opening matches, only dropping one map in all three games. Luminosity, who were crowned champions at the last event, against all odds, finished with an 0-3 record and only picked up three maps in total. A shocking start, putting them in a horrible position to repeat the success they seen in Fort Worth.

Pool C

  • eUnited
  • FaZe Clan
  • Team Envy
  • Evil Geniuses

You would have hated trying to predict this pool in the run-up to CWL London. Upon waiting for the storm that was roster mania to unfold, people had no idea who would be on the rosters of these teams, making preparation and esports betting predictions a problematic task.

This was one of the closer pools, but the formidable eUnited roster securing 1st place in the pool with a 2-1 record. They edged it out over the newly formed FaZe Clan due to the head to head record.

Pool D

  • Midnight Esports
  • Team Heretics
  • UYU
  • Elevate

We think it’s fair to say this came across as a slight mix and match pool. However, as it turns out Heretics loved it. They came out of the gates storming, pulling off an impressive 3-0 record with a 9-1 map count.

After that, it was an incredibly close pool. With the other three teams all holding 1-2 records. Midnight and Elevate drew the short straw following the tiebreakers (head to head and map count), dropping them into the loser bracket.

Open Tournament

The good old open tournament or as many players call it, the passion pit. It’s gained this nickname due to how long and tiring days can be grinding through rounds in the open tournaments.

The open tournament used to hold the prize of 4 pool play spots, which is what the 128+ teams would typically be fighting for. What could be better than proving your worth as a player against the pros you’ve watched and admired for years?

However, this year everything got switched up, and many are still not keen on the new format. Teams can no longer progress into the pool play side of things. Instead, the open tournament was strictly its own event. At CWL London, there were 128 teams in the open competition, fighting for the $75,000 prize pool.

How the Open Tournament at CWL London played out

From a player’s perspective, there were many complaints on social media platforms regarding the wait time between games. This has always been an issue that they have failed to combat appropriately. In this case, some teams had to wait up to 8 hours between matches with no chance to stay warmed up.

Mindfreak came out of the passion pit victorious. They faced off against Kairos Esports in the grand final. Mindfreak reached the grand final through the loser bracket, meaning they had to win two best of 5s to win the series. Whereas Kairos only needed to win the one best of 5, due to reaching it through the winner’s bracket but failed to win a single map.

Upsets and new talents

The one good thing about a dedicated tournament for the teams outside the top 16 pro teams is that it helps to discover new talents. For the CWL London we believe the roster of Legion Nation was the most notable, finishing 9th-12th after being labeled as an “online team” by some as well as having all the CWL London betting odds against them. Newcomers Neversity also put in a strong showing with their 13th-16th finish at their first-ever event.

CWL London Pro Tournament Bracket Play

The bracket play provided us with everything we could have asked for. From teams pulling off reverse sweeps and mixing CWL London's odds, the crowd heavily backing teams whilst showing distinct distaste for others and much more. We even witnessed a referee decision after a map being so close, which was confusing to both those at the venue and those watching from home.

We believe it’s fair to say possibly the biggest match of the CWL London event was 100 Thieves against OpTic Gaming in the winner bracket final. After OpTic’s success over 100 Thieves in pool play, the 100T roster got the revenge in a 3-0 victory to reach the grand final.

The Grand Final - 100 Thieves vs. eUnited

100 Thieves vs. eUnited, probably not the grand final many expected to be watching. At the midpoint in the tournament, it was looking set to be an OpTic vs. 100 Thieves final, which would have been an absolute treat.

100 Thieves came out on top with a 3-1 victory. While the Control and Search and Destroy swayed heavy in one teams’ favor, the Hardpoint maps in the series were incredibly close. Both were separated by under 15 points.

CWL London Concludes

What a fantastic event it has been, the crowd was exceptional, and the players certainly didn’t disappoint. Next year we should hope to see more events in Europe, especially the UK because we haven’t got to experience a crowd like that anywhere else.

Congratulations to 100 Thieves who secured their first major championship as an organisation with the victory this weekend.

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