Elevate made its return to Call of Duty esports this past weekend by competing at CWL Anaheim. After announcing a brand new Call of Duty roster last week, consisting of Jared “Nagafen” Harrell, Michael “SpaceLy” Schmale, Steve “Mochila” Canle, and Mike “Blfire” Glushenok, excitement was running high to see this veteran team compete under the Elevate flag for the first time. However, the players would have their work cut out for them. In order to make it into pool play, they would have to work their way through a difficult open bracket, in which they began to play as the 13-seed.
Elevate would kick off open bracket play on Friday with two impressive series victories. The team took on Burger Boys first, immediately showing their readiness for this event with a dominating 250-38 London Docks Hardpoint victory. They carried their dominance over into London Docks Search and Destroy, winning it 6-1. This quick 2-0 series win propelled the team into the second round of the open bracket, where they would take on Saints and Angels. Elevate showed no signs of slowing down, taking London Docks HP 250-196 and USS Texas SnD 6-2 for another 2-0 series win.
Round 3, however, saw Elevate face BitterSweet - a team that would be a bigger challenge than Elevate’s first two opponents. This was evident from the get-go, as BitterSweet kept London Docks HP close throughout, but Elevate prevailed behind an impressive 40-kill performance from Mochila, winning the map by a score of 250-206. Elevate would have all the momentum heading into Ardennes Forest SnD, but BitterSweet proved they were up for the challenge with a 6-2 victory. This would tie the series 1-1, forcing a decisive Ardennes Forest Capture the Flag match. Despite this being Elevate’s first CTF match of the open bracket, the players were clearly ready, which earned them a very close 3-2 victory in overtime to secure a 2-1 series victory.
In their final match on Friday, Elevate would take on Cryptik Gaming. The winner of the series would secure a spot in one of the pool play qualifiers that took place on Saturday, so the two teams would have plenty of motivation to be their very best in this series. However, it would be Elevate that proved to be most ready for this scenario, coming out with a strong 250-126 victory in London Docks HP. Cryptik put up much more of a fight in London Docks SnD, but the Elevate squad kept their cool and held on to win the map 6-4, closing out the series 2-0. This win propelled Elevate into one of the best-of-5 pool play qualifiers, where they would take on their most difficult opponent yet - 5th-seeded Impact Gaming.
Impact would test Elevate’s resolve, as they had been very impressive throughout the open bracket, but Elevate’s roster is comprised of veterans who have been in these high-pressure situations before. This matchup began with Valkyrie HP, and Impact was ready for a fight from the beginning, but Elevate matched their determination. After some impressive scorestreak plays from SpaceLy, the team took the first map 250-217. Impact would answer back quickly, however, by taking London Docks SnD 6-3. The teams would then head into London Docks CTF, with both looking to take the lead in the series. This map proved to be very exciting, with Elevate taking a 5-4 overtime victory to take the 2-1 series lead. They used this momentum in the fourth map, Sainte Marie HP, to hold off Impact for a 250-220 win, giving Elevate a 3-1 series victory, and a spot in pool play along with it!
After making their way through the open bracket, Elevate had earned a spot in Pool C alongside 3rd-seeded Evil Geniuses, 6th-seeded UNILAD, 11th-seeded Echo Fox, and 14th-seeded Mindfreak. While Elevate’s squad was certainly impressive in the open bracket, pool play was going to be a much bigger challenge against quality opponents. Unfortunately, this would prove to be too much of a challenge for Elevate this time around, and they dropped each series in pool play, losing 3-1 to Evil Geniuses, 3-0 to Mindfreak, 3-1 to Echo Fox, and 3-1 to UNILAD. It is important to note, though, that Elevate’s team gave their all in every series, regardless of score or situation. In fact, in their final matchup against UNILAD, they avoided a 3-0 loss in the final minute of Flak Tower CTF with two clutch flag captures, showing that they wouldn’t give up.
These losses sent Elevate into the first round of the lower bracket. After a long weekend that saw them play a total of 9 series across the open bracket and pool play, the team was eliminated from CWL Anaheim after a 3-0 loss to Brash Esports, securing a T24-21 placement. While it would have been fantastic to see the team make a long run in the tournament, we certainly can’t be disappointed with how the team performed in their very first event as a team. A strong run through the open bracket should be counted as a success, and everyone at Elevate is very pleased with the team’s resolve and determination throughout the event.
#ElevateCoD will now move on to the CWL Last Chance Qualifier, where they will attempt to earn a spot at the 2018 CWL Championship that takes place in August. Elevate believes that this team is fully capable of playing their way into this event, giving the #RedRebellion a presence at competitive Call of Duty’s grandest stage! You can find all the information you need about our Call of Duty team on our social media platforms, so make sure you follow all of them to stay up to date!