Tournament favorites Rise Nation have been eliminated from the CWL Championship in the first round of the lower bracket.
Rise Nation go home with a top-16 placement after being eliminated by Luminosity, who pulled off a reverse sweep for a 3-2 victory.
Having claimed two titles and a second-place in the preceding events, Rise Nation were the clear favorites to claim this year’s world championship.
After taking care of business in the group stage, Rise Nation were perhaps unfortunate to come up against Team Kaliber in the group stage, who at the CWL Pro League Stage 2 playoffs had denied Rise a third consecutive trophy. Team Kaliber were victorious once again, sending Rise to the lower bracket.
Luminosity themselves had a dominant group stage, not losing a single map on their way to the playoffs, but in the first round of the winner bracket suffered a stunning 0-3 defeat at the hands of Elevate, featuring LG’s former coach Michael ‘SpaceLy’ Schmale.
It seemed Luminosity’s run would end unceremoniously after they lost the opening two maps to Rise Nation, but a sudden surge in form saw them turn the series around and complete a reverse sweep for the win.
The star of the Luminosity come-back was undoubtedly Johnathon ‘John’ Perez. The 2016 world championship MVP came up clutch on Ardennes Forest with some huge plays to help Luminosity to a 2-0 victory, and continued to impress in an intense London Docks Hardpoint. There Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper also stepped up, displaying form reminiscent of his OpTic glory days.
In the final map, Valkyrie Search and Destroy, it was John again that stood out. Some incredible shots with the sniper rifle consistently opened up the map for Luminosity, although it was Josiah ‘Slacked’ Berry with an ice-cold 1v2 that ultimately completed the reverse sweep.
Despite the big win, Luminosity still has a lot of work to do if they want to lift the CWL Championship trophy. They would have to win seven more series in order to take the title, and the lower bracket is already stacked with dangerous teams in what is shaping up as perhaps the most upset-filled world championship in the game’s history.