CWL Vegas Recap: OpTic Gaming emerge victorious as UK teams fall short of the mark

CWL Las Vegas, the much-anticipated first open event of the 2018-19 competitive season, has come to an end. A whopping 272 teams from across the world went head-to-head for a prize pool of $250,000.

OpTic Gaming made easy work of the competiton without dropping a series, but how did the top UK teams fare against the opposition? Joe Griffin takes a look.

 

RED RESERVE

After an impressive end to the 2017/18 season, Red Reserve were considered as one of the most dangerous teams in the entire competitive scene. Heading into CWL Las Vegas, they had secured a spot in pool play and were among the favourites to top their group.

Things did not go as planned for the squad however, as they ended up fourth in the group with a 1-3 series count. This saw them drop down to the losers bracket where they needed to win every series if they wanted to keep their dream alive.

A strong start to their losers run saw them send home Mindfreak and Pittsburgh Knights but they fell short to a strong Str8 Rippin team, leaving Red Reserve with an underwhelming 9-12th placing.

Despite their dissapointing start to the season, the squad will have plenty of time to work on their mistakes in their new team house, situated in Las Vegas.

 

LIGHTNING PANDAS

The newly-formed squad of Alexx, Dqvee, Joshh, MadCat and Peatie surprised many at the weekend. They were in Pool C alongside North American giants, Faze Clan, and current world champs, Team Envy, who were the two favourites to top the group.

Lightning Pandas came out hot and managed to top their group with a series count of 3-1, advancing to the winners bracket. There they faced their British counterparts: Team Sween. Suffering a loss in this match-up, Lightning Pandas then played Team Envy in the losers bracket and took the series 3-1.

The squad went on to beat Evil Geniuses 3-0 but lost to finalists eUnited, ending their tournament run and leaving them with a unexpected 5-6th placing and a $10,000 prize.

 

TEAM SWEEN

Team Sween were another shock story from the weekend. They were in Pool A along with eUnited, 100 Thieves, Reciprocity and Mindfreak.

They managed to fight their way into the winners bracket, finishing second in their group. The Brits then faced Lightning Pandas in the quarter-finals and won 3-2 in what was an enthralling series.

Despite their good form, Team Sween fell into the losers bracket and were eventually knocked out by Luminosity. A 5-6th placement shows the great potential of this squad and what they are capable of achieving this year.

 

TEAM RECIPROCITY

A slow start from Reciprocity saw the squad finish 4th in Pool A, with only one win to their name. They needed to make a losers bracket run to remain in the tournament.

After a convincing win over Heretics, Reciprocity knocked out FaZe Clan by reverse-sweeping them in an extremely tight series. This great performance could not be replicated in the next round however, as a stubborn Evil Geniuses sent the boys packing.

A placement of 9-12th is not what they were hoping for, but the squad proved they could hang with the best.

Reciprocity have also moved into a team house in Las Vegas. This may be a move that other European teams will follow in the future as it provides an opportunity to practice against the top NA teams.

 

NOTABLE MENTIONS

Another UK team, The Imperial, fought their way through the gruelling open bracket. The squad consisted of familiar names: Denza, Hawqeh, Moose, Reedy and Vortex. They were eventually stopped in their tracks by G2 in losers round 1, giving them a placement of 21st-24th.

Some more familiar faces in Chain, Defrag, Maple, SunnyB and Cammy represented Fact Revolution. They placed 25-28th, getting knocked out by follow Britons, The Imperial.

Overall, it was a solid start to the season for UK competitive CoD, with a long year ahead.

It must also be said that MLG put on a memorable opening event, bringing in a peak of approximately 200,000 viewers across all streaming platforms.

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