The biggest event of the Call of Duty calendar is upon us.
The CWL Championship kicked off on Wednesday August 15, with 32 teams facing off for the most prestigious trophy the game has to offer. It’s the final showdown of the WWII season.
The group stage was full of upsets, and the madness only continued on the first day of the playoffs. With several big names now either in the lower bracket or out of the tournament altogether, this year’s world championship is shaping up as the most surprising to date.
We’ve teamed up with Rivalry.gg to provide daily insight into the CWL Championship for prospective betters. If you’re looking to complement your viewing experience by adding some stakes of your own, we’ll be highlighting worthy favorites and underdogs for every day of the competition.
Play It Safe
Team Kaliber TO WIN vs Elevate
When: Saturday August 18th, 17:30 UTC
Odds: 1.38 vs 2.67
Safety is in short supply in what has been perhaps the most unpredictable CWL Championships to date, and it’s only getting scarcer as the tournament progresses.
In the next round of matches, there’s only really one choice if you’re looking for a “safe” pick. Team Kaliber is the only pre-tournament favorite left in the winner bracket, and in their path is a team that has already outperformed expectations to reach this point.
Elevate certainly shouldn’t be underestimated – in the group stage they beat Evil Geniuses and out-placed OpTic Gaming, and in the first round of the winner bracket they pulled off an insane upset with a 3-0 sweep over Luminosity.
Though Team Kaliber hasn’t been flawless, since losing their first match of the tournament they’ve looked much more like the squad that won the CWL Pro League Stage 2. Upsets aside, these are teams in two different tiers, and Team Kaliber should be comfortable taking on Elevate here.
All that being said, betters beware – several more surprising upsets have already occurred in this very tournament. There is no such thing as a truly safe bet, and never has that been more true than at this year’s CWL Championship.
eUnited TO WIN vs UNILAD
When: Saturday August 18th, 17:30 UTC
Odds: 1.80 vs 1.83
As punishment for being upset in the group stage by Team Sween, eUnited faces one of the toughest routes through the CWL Championship playoffs.
One of their toughest challenges has already been passed, however, as in the first round eUnited swept aside Red Reserve, third-place finishers in Stage 2 of the CWL Pro League and one of the favorites for this event.
In that match, eUnited was a team that looked capable of winning the entire tournament. Every player was dialed in and on point, with particularly notable performances from Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson. More games like that, and eUnited could well lift the trophy on Sunday.
Every step of the way will demand just as much from eUnited, however, and UNILAD is no exception. After a flawless 9-0 map count in the group stage, they dismissed compLexity comfortably in the first round of the winner bracket.
UNILAD hasn’t been tested the way eUnited have, however, and the last time these two teams met, at the Stage 2 playoffs, it was eUnited who were victorious. If you’re willing to accept the risk of betting on a match between two elite teams, eUnited should be favored here.
Lightning Pandas TO WIN vs Evil Geniuses
When: Saturday August 18th, 16:00 UTC
Odds: 2.15 vs 1.58
Lightning Pandas continue to impress at the CWL Championships. Having taken down Team Kaliber in the group stage to steal the top seed for the playoffs, they dispatched Lethal Gaming in the first round of the winner bracket with ease.
Evil Geniuses will be one of the toughest opponents they’ve faced yet. After something of a slow start, EG caught fire in their final match of the group stage, taking down OpTic Gaming 3-0 to eliminate them from the competition. Their own round one match, against Team Vitality, was another dominant sweep.
Unlike Evil Geniuses, Lightning Pandas had to reach the CWL Championship through the Last Chance Qualifier. LP is no squad of rookies, however – this is a team of veterans, all of whom have competed at the highest level and one of whom even has two titles to his name this very season.
EG can certainly hit impressive peaks, but as the group stage itself showed they’re also prone to underwhelming performances at times. The momentum they’ve carried into the playoffs arguably gives them an edge, but Lightning Pandas are certainly capable of defeating them – a result that would come as less of a surprise than the upset the Lightning Pandas themselves pulled off earlier in the tournament.