With 16 teams left standing after the day one matches, the sakes were high for the second day at the Call of Duty championships. With North America fielding dominating, it became the USA versus the rest of the world. But not even some of the top dogs at this tournament managed to come out unscathed.
One of the big early matches played was Fariko Impact versus Team Optic, with matches quickly going in the favour of the underdog. Coming back from massive disadvantage against the overpowering Yanks, Optic looked set at one point to dominate, but it was not to be.
Fariko Impact managed to bounce back in the end, in a series of close encounters that saw the two teams sweat it out. A big surprise at the end of the day considering that Team Optic had been the 2011 Call of Duty XP champions, and had been considered favourites to win the event. After the Fariko Impact winning match, Team XtaZ gave us their opinion of what they saw go down.
Another great match was Fear versus VVV Gaming, a competition between the teams of four that was played down to the wire in every single round. It was championship final material, with a final score of 3-2 to Fear at the end of the day.
With the upper bracket was decided, the following teams went through to the Sunday finals:
Which left the following teams to battle it out in the lower bracket:
Quantic had a hard time when they faced off against German heavyweights KillerFish eSports in the lower bracket. After taking a beating from CompLexity earlier that saw them thrashed, they bounced back against Quantic, with some close matches overall. S&D at one point had the Germans leading 5-2, with victory almost in the bag, before Quantic pulled a comeback of Charlie Sheen proportions to level the match 5-5. With a stand-off on the cards, KillerFish fought tooth and nail in 1 vs 1 to take the win with a lsim margin of 6-5.
With North American match-ups ending in victory for the host nation every time, matches were fast and furious, showing just how advanced league play was at this level.
But if we could give a match of the day award to any one encounter, then we’d be smothering Fariko Impact and Envyus with medals right now. This was the biggest match of the day, with a guaranteed $200 000 on the line for the winners. And going in, it looked like Fariko Impact had this one in the bag. Early maps were dominated by the Americans, but then out of nowhere, Envyous started hitting back hard and fast to close the gaps in the Hardpoint intro.
The tension was thick, the anticipation was even more palpable and both teams were dead silent and focused only on the screen in front of them. Fariko Impact came back with a strong showing in Search and Destroy, controlling the action entirely.
Shifting to Capture the Flag, the action once again dipped and swayed on both directions for the two titans, with Envyus finally taking the lead and sealing the deal 2-1 in a closely contested event. Determined to once again Phoenix their way out of that loss, Fariko Impact was on fine form in the second Hardpoint match, tieing the final of that day 2-2.
And so, the two teams had everything on the line, with a final match of Search and Destroy. It wasn’t just prize money on the line, it was bragging rights and the chance to walk home with heads held high in one of the best matches seen thus far.
Envyus dominated this event in the early stages, creating a sizeable lead before Fariko Impact caught up and once again tied the match. Everything or nothing, that was the attitude running through both teams at that point, but in that final tie-breaker, only one of them would actually play as a group.
Fariko Impact went lone wolf in that match to end all matches, a devastating choice that saw them picked off by the coherent squad skills of Envyus, as they wiped the floor with the competition and sealing the deal in record time.
And with that one win, Envyus was through to the grand finals. Which happen to be taking place later today in a few hours at the Hollywood Palladium. The matches are ste, the brackets are ready, and a million dollars are up for grabs to various teams in the third day of Call of Duty Championship.
And if day 3 can be anything like the juggernaut-stopping second day, we could be seeing some final matches that will prove just how intense and incredible esports really is.
Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.