Call of Duty: Black Ops III

CWL New Orleans Group Predictions

The second open event of the Call of Duty: World War II season is taking place next weekend (12-14th January) in New Orleans. The event is the largest Open in console esport history, hosting 272 teams over the weekend all fighting it out to claim their stake in the $200,000 prize pool as well as the crucial Pro Points to qualify for the Pro League.

On Friday January 5, the group draw took place to establish who would be facing who in the opening stages of the event, and we’re making our predictions here.

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Group A

Team Kaliber

FaZe Clan

Unilad

Mindfreak

Group A should be home to some good matchups; these are all teams capable of taking maps off each other. However, it seems the seeding in this group is pretty accurate. CWL Dallas winners Team Kaliber should go 4-0 in this group (including their Open Bracket opposition), though they may face some strong resistance from FaZe Clan, who impressed massively in Dallas by finishing in 4th place out of the Open Bracket.

Unilad and Mindreak had fairly average performances in Dallas, coming 13-16th and 9-12th respectively. Although both are likely achieving their goals of qualifying for the Pro League, they will look to secure a strong placement here in New Orleans so as to ensure they get the best chance to maintaining their spots.

Our predictions:

  1. Team Kaliber
  2. FaZe Clan
  3. Unilad
  4. Mindfreak

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Group B

OpTic Gaming

Team EnVyUs

Team Vitality

Epsilon

In a coincidental mirroring of the groups from CWL Dallas, OpTic and EnVy once again coincide, as do Epsilon and Team Vitality.

OpTic are, as with every tournament, one of the favourites heading in to the weekend, and are certainly the team to beat for any sides looking to reach the top. Despite this, there are some pretty serious doubts whether over any of these sides can do it. EnVy are likely the closest contenders, but even they are unlikely to make a dent on OpTic’s map count next weekend.

As for Vitality and Epsilon, we will likely see Epsilon take the 3rd place spot Despite Vitality showing some strong performances in Dallas, including a series win against Luminosity and taking two maps against Ground Zero. Despite Vitality being seeded above Epsilon, mainland European teams have traditionally performed better online (as evidenced by Vitality finishing bottom of their group in Dallas), and Epsilon will seek to further push this narrative.

Our predictions:

  1. OpTic Gaming
  2. Team EnVyUs
  3. Epsilon
  4. Team Vitality

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Group C

Luminosity Gaming

Red Reserve

Rise Nation

Enigma6

In another repeat of a CWL Dallas matchup, Red Reserve and Rise Nation are drawn together again, this time joined by Enigma6 and Luminosity Gaming. Rise and E6 have both recently undergone roster changes which raises questions about their chemistry going into the weekend. However, both teams are fighting to hold on to their Pro League qualification, so must hope they gel with their teammates in time to put in a good performance in New Orleans.

On the other hand, Luminosity and Red have been teaming since the start of WWII and are both top 3 teams in their respective regions (NA and EU). These two should top the group, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see either take the top spot.

Our predictions:

  1. Red Reserve
  2. Luminosity Gaming
  3. Rise Nation
  4. Enigma6

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Group D

Splyce

EUnited

Echo Fox

Ground Zero

In our final CWL Dallas rematch, Splyce and EUnited once again occupy the top seeded spots in their group. In Dallas, Splyce got the upper hand and went on to place second, just falling short at the final hurdle. In New Orleans, they will look to replicate this and shouldn’t have too much trouble placing top of their group.

Echo Fox and Ground Zero have recently undergone some significant roster changes and will be hoping they pay off; similar to the teams in Group C, both these sides could very easily fall out of the Pro League spots should they underperform, and need to pull off very strong performances to ensure they stay near the top of the pack.

These predictions do not take into consideration the teams that could come through the Open Bracket, where we could see a few surprise runs similar to FaZe’s in Dallas, which could change the entire landscape.

Our predictions:

  1. Splyce
  2. EUnited
  3. Ground Zero
  4. Echo Fox

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Tune in on 12-14th January on www.twitch.tv/MLG to watch the event live, and keep an eye on GINX Esports TV for updates on the event.

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