Rise Nation is not afraid of Optic Gaming coming into the CWL Stage 1 Finals. They are coming out to prove themselves as the best team in North America and the world. The two time defending champs got their wish in meeting up with Optic in the finals but lets look at the rest of the weekend before this historic match up.
Day 1 – Relegation
The bottom four teams from stage 1 have to fight for their chance to compete at the highest level of competitive Call of Duty this summer. Their opponents? The best Challenger teams from that past 3 months of competition. Cloud 9, Team Liquid, C9 Eclipse, and King Papey have all grinded and proved their worth at a shot at Stage 2.
The first match was Dream Team vs Cloud 9 Eclipse.C9 Eclipse looked to take the series easily after a quick 2-0 start, but Adam ‘Killa’ Sloss of Dream Team had other ideas. He was able to rally his team and force a game seven where his team was able to clutch up in round eleven and give themselves a second chance in the league.
Team Liquid was given the best shot at qualifying if you ask anyone expect H2K. A 3-0 start for Liquid looked as if they were set for the win. But H2K proved that they are a CWL team and won the series 4-3 and completing the reverse sweep.
The last two matches, CLG vs Cloud 9 and Team Kaliber vs King Papey, would both go to the Challenger team in a pretty convincing fashion.
Day 2 – Quarterfinals
Where Relegation showed two(three in some eyes) upsets, the semifinals played out as most would have predicted with all four top seeded teams coming out on top.
Faze was able to sweep Complexity 4-0 and Rise took Luminosity down 4-1 to set up a semifinal match up of two teams who want to match up and defeat Optic in the finals.
Elevate took down a struggling and internally broken Envyus lineup 4-2. Optic Gaming would have the toughest first round match(Not a typo). TSM took the number one seed all the way to the last map where Optic was finally able to take the series 4-3. TSM could have won the series if they took the CTF where they looked as if they could take the map and go up 3-1.
Day 3 – Semi/Grand Finals
Rise vs Faze was set up to be a seven game slugfest but Rise Nation had other ideas. After starting Hardpoint 105-5, Rise had so much confidence that they took all four maps and shut down Faze 4-0.
To put it bluntly, Optic Gaming was angry after their 4-3 win against TSM. Unfortunately, Elevate was the poor team that they would unleash their anger upon. A quick 4-0 sent Optic to the Grand Finals to play Rise Nation for it all.
Now for the Finals! Optic vs Rise. The best online team vs the best LAN team. Green vs Red. Legends vs Rising Stars(Pun intended). Optic Gaming continues on their rampage and gets out to an early 2-0 lead. They then took Fringe Uplink which is Rise Nation’s best Uplink map to lead 3-0. Game over right? Not so fast. A very tense CTF goes to Rise Nation 2-1. The next Search and Destroy is also won by Rise to force a game six. Surely Optic can win one more map and take the series? WRONG! Hardpoint goes to Rise Nation and everything goes down to GAME 7 ON INFECTION!
Round 1 goes to Optic. Rise. Optic. Rise. Rise. Optic(3-3). Optic. Optic. Rise. Rise(5-5) ROUND 11!!!! OPTIC GAMING TAKES IN THE LAST TEN SECONDS!!! It couldn’t have ended in any other way. Rise Nation played a fantastic match and they deserved to win but Optic showed up in the end to take the Championship!