CWL Dallas Recap: The Good and The Not So Good

The first major open of WW2 is in the books, with Team Kaliber defeating Splyce to cap off a wild tournament filled with unexpected twists and turns.  Let’s take a look back at the best moments and decide what was good, and what was not so good at CWL.

Good: Team Kaliber on LAN

The biggest question mark heading into CWL Dallas was TK’s LAN performance. Although this wasn’t exactly a squad of newcomers, the TK roster hasn’t played together before and individually they have not performed in the past like they did in the online 2Ks.

The doubters were quickly silenced as TK went 4-0 in pools before taking down powerhouse squads eUnited and OpTic in the Championship bracket. Accuracy lived up to his nickname, shooting lasers all weekend, and Kenny looked like a young Scump. TK did not drop a match all tournament, defeating Splyce in the Grand Final without having to use their winner’s bracket advantage. Teams will adjust to TK’s methodic playstyle, but after that performance on LAN, Team Kaliber should be among the favorites for the rest of the season.

Not So Good: OpTic Cockiness

OpTic Gaming was banished to the loser’s bracket after a being shutout by TK but was still considered a favorite of the tournament. After all, OpTic won Stage 2 and Worlds last year out of Loser’s. OpTic believed their own hype in the Loser’s semis against Splyce, making some questionable decisions in the eventual 1-3 loss.

In their first matchup with Splyce in Winner’s, OpTic was almost on the wrong end of the 200 point club in Ardennes Forest Hardpoint, losing 62-250. They would come back to win the series, however, including a 250-196 win on London Docks Hardpoint. It was especially baffling then, when OpTic once again chose to start the Loser’s final rematch on Ardennes Forest, eventually dropping 186-250. We get that OpTic was very strong on Forest throughout the tournament, but it isn’t exactly revisionist history to suggest that OpTic should have vetoed Forest after getting smoked there by Splyce the first time around.

Good: Champion Chino

Chino has never won a major tournament before, and hasn’t been close in recent years, but that never changed his friendly demeanor at events. Ask anyone involved in the CoD scene to name the nicest players around and Chino will be on that list; one only needs to look at the outpouring of support on Twitter to see his reputation in the community.

This gif of smiling Chino should warm even the coldest of hearts this holiday season.

Not So Good: Splyce’s New Logo

Newer is not always better, and that saying is very clear when looking at Splyce’s new logo. Splyce went from a minimal, two color logo to this abomination seen below:

Is the snake cut in half? Why is the bottom half of the snake brighter than the rest?  Does it have feathers and a tail? Yuck. Splyce will be around in the later stages of most tournaments this year, not sure we can handle seeing this logo on top of scoreboards year-round.

Dear Splyce, please bring this iconic logo back. It is not too late.

Good: The Open Bracket

One of the bigger storylines over the summer was the amount of returning players and rebuilt rosters heading into the WW2 season. These changes were expected to bring about a depth in talent previously unseen in competitive CoD. Although there is only one major tournament in the books, and the first is always unpredictable, the talent pool is living up to expectations.

Every team that made pools through the Open Bracket won at least one match during pool play, with Echo Fox coming out of a stacked Pool A and FaZe making a dream run to top 4. We also saw Next Threat cause problems in the Loser’s bracket before dropping a close match to EnVy, and Lightning Pandas claimed a Ghost Gaming scalp. It is early, but so far WW2 appears to have more talent that can fit into pools, and that is going to make every tournament more exciting.

Not So Good: Luminosity

Luminosity was the second best NA team during the 2K series and fully expected to be a title contender at CWL Dallas. Things did not go according to plan and Luminosity got bounced out of Dallas with a disappointing top 8 after being out slain by Echo Fox. Sure, they did get a rough Championship draw, having to play eUnited in Round 1 and a red-hot EF in losers, but top teams need to beat top teams if they want to win tournaments.

You would think there is too much talent on this roster for them to not make some top 4s or Grand Finals soon, but they will now head into CWL New Orleans having to prove it.

Good: Capture the Flag

Uplink is a tough act to follow, with the high-flying mode being a source of high-level strategy, constant action, and wild comebacks. Fortunately, CTF has picked up where Uplink left off and was the source of heart-pounding moments throughout CWL Dallas. OpTic vs Splyce in the Loser’s final showed the potential of CTF this season, with a last second first half cap from Crimsix and a wild overtime period that featured a magical cap from Splyce to stun the Dallas arena. Capture the Flag, specifically on London Docks, will be a can’t miss affair the rest of the season.

Not So Good: Capture the Flag

As good as the OpTic Splyce was, CTF had plenty of duds as well. Jose Mourinho himself would be proud to see the amount of Call of Duty teams playing with that dreaded sense of pragmatism. The 7.5 second respawn timer kept teams cautious, and leads were frequently locked down by camping in the base areas. Competitive Call of Duty is all about winning, so nobody should fault players for the slower displays we saw this weekend, but it would be nice to see more free-flowing, risky matches in the future.

Undecided: Map Vetoes

Map vetoes have been missing from competitive Call of Duty for a few years now, and pro players rejoiced when Sledgehammer announced they were coming back for WW2. However, what is best for the pros doesn’t always make for the most exciting viewing experience (ie: a few previously mentioned CTF matches).

Although the veto system provided us with a balanced tournament, a few talking points and an additional layer of strategy, WW2 might not have enough competitive maps to support the system. The majority of CWL Dallas played out on only three maps; Ardennes Forest, London Docks, and Saint Marie. A few teams will surely practice the other maps now in an attempt to use the veto system to their advantage, but it is hard to imagine a scenario where a wide variety of maps are played throughout a tournament. This might not be a bad thing as new strategies develop on popular maps, but for now, the map veto system gets a wait and see from us.

About The Author

Vince G
Esports Staff Writer

Vincent is a washed up former college volleyball player who prefers video games now, since they don't hurt his surprisingly old knees. His all time favorite games are Bioshock, Mirror's Edge and Catherine. Vincent is currently playing and covering all things competitive Call of Duty. He is a Diamond in WW2 ranked play, and doesn't care that it was probably a glitch that placed him there.