This past weekend, Team Kaliber won against OpTic Gaming to take the trophy at the Call of Duty World League Dallas Open. It was an intense match and a surprising win for many viewers, but I’m glad they came out on top in the 3-day Call of Duty: WWII tournament held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The others to make it to the top four included Teams Splyce and FaZe Clan.
With Team Kaliber winning, they were able to claim a huge portion of the event’s $200,00 prize pool, which is part of the new season’s $4.2 million prize pool. This is the biggest one in the history of Call of Duty esports, and the open bracket featured over 200 teams, all trying to prove themselves as the best Call of Duty players.
Check out the top teams below:
1st – Team Kaliber
2nd – Splyce
3rd – OpTic Gaming
4th – FaZe Clan
5th/6th – Echo Fox / eUnited
7th/8th – Luminosity / Team EnVyUs
Activision invited us out to check out the CWL Dallas Open this past weekend, and this was my first time truly digging deep into the world of esports. After watching the pro players, I had the urge to pick up a controller and battle it out in the video game world. The most important lesson is that communication is king. And hearing Team Kaliber’s philosophy on how each member should be playing is refreshing, which is to play to your strengths and style.
The biggest fan-favorite team was OpTic Gaming, and they were like well-oiled machines. They truly looked unstoppable, with zero losses before their battle against Team Kaliber. And listening to them communicate was magical as they update each other on who’s dead and enemy locations.
The community is very important to MLG and Sledgehammer Games, and they have been adamant about feedback.
“We love feedback,” Raymond Lussier, Sledgehammer Games’ competitive systems designer, tells Nerd Reactor. “We always try to work as close as we could with the community to improve features. We always look to match what they say and try to see what we can and what we can’t do about it.”
“It’s very much an ongoing process,” Kevin Flynn, MLG’s Call of Duty esports director, added. “It’s all about actively listening to the league’s perspective and what we try to do. We’re working very much hand-in-hand with the Sledgehammer Games team, Ray, Michael Condrey and everyone there. We work to get players into the studio and give them a platform to discuss with people like Ray, who is a competitive gamer in the past as well, and a very respected one. It’s easy for me to say that. But actually having that cadence and that dynamic where they can come in and talk to someone who totally gets it has been really useful.”
Different game competitions have different rules, and since this was my first time watching a Call of Duty competition, I was surprised to see that each team consists of only four players. which is different than public matches.
“Competitive Call of Duty’s history and heritage has been attached to 4v4,” Flynn explained. “I think what we’ve found is that it’s allowed us to celebrate stars as they rise and players become more famous and more successful. Having only four on the team certainly is more manageable.”
“If you look at the other esports, every game does something different,” Lussier added. “Console, for the most part, has always been 4 on 4. If you look at Halo back in the days, it’s 4 on 4. It’s easier from a teamwork standpoint. It’s a little easier to watch because there’s less stuff going on and you’re more focused on driven stars and certain plays happening. It’s been that way and we want to keep it that way.”
“We’re just thrilled to see so many teams show up,” said Michael Condrey, Sledgehammer Games’ co-founder and studio head, about the growing number of participants. “It’s the biggest team turnout we had in a long, long time.”
Sledgehammer Games has worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It would seem that the game going back to its WWII roots has something to do with the turnout.
“We’ve seen a huge fan support since we’ve announced the game,” Condrey replied. “It’s the right game at the right time; it’s time to go back to its roots. So for a lot of players here, it might be their first World War II Call of Duty game.”
It’s amusing to see how developers can have all the advantages since they are making the game, but once the shooter is out, they’ll be outmatched by pro players.
“As you see them start to play and develop strategies, master the maps and figure what’s the ideal loadout for their playstyle, it’s remarkable at the speed at which they do that,” Condrey said. “I always find it interesting because we play the game for three years as we’re making it, right? Three years playing this game, and weekend one, the advantage is already over. They caught up and passed. With the CWL and the team support throughout the whole 3-year process, they came in quite a bit. So they gave us a lot of feedback on maps, modes, rulesets, and weapon balance. So it’s been really a strong collaboration the whole way, and it’s led to a solid game here today.”
You can check out highlight videos during the CWL Dallas Open at MLG.com/CallofDuty.
Next up is CWL New Orleans Open, the season’s second open event, which takes place on January 12-14, 23018, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. General admission passes are available for $59.99 each (plus applicable fees and taxes). The premium pass will include the general admission along with event t-shirt and one month of MLG GameBattles Premium for $89.99 (plus applicable fees and taxes). The VIP ticket will go for $299.99 (plus applicable fees and taxes), and you will get an event t-shirt, event jacket, one-hour early entrance to the venue, access to the VIP Lounge and more. You can purchase them at MLG.com/CWLNOLA.