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 has concluded, and half of the original 32 teams have been eliminated. This is where the real tournament starts, where tournament favorites will clash and every win is a step closer to that coveted trophy.
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
Unilad TO WIN vs compLexity Gaming
When: Friday August 17th, 19:00 UTC
Odds: 1.35 vs 2.79
If the group stage of this event has shown anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as a truly safe pick at this tournament. In the playoff stage, there aren’t any series so mismatched that an upset would be more surprising than some of the results that have already occurred.
That being said, Unilad looks to be as safe a favorite as you could ask for at this stage in the competition. The squad has been consistently impressive in the final stretch of the WWII season, and they took care of business with a flawless 9-0 run to top their group here.
Facing them in the first round is a compLexity that, while solid, hasn’t been spectacular so far, playing almost exactly to their seeding. They dispatched both of the Last Chance Qualifier teams in their group, but fell to the higher-seeded FaZe Clan.
With both Unilad and compLexity so far performing as expected, this should be a fairly clear-cut match. Unilad at this point must be considered a legitimately elite team that hasn’t been prone to being upset, and this looks like a fairly safe match to kick off their playoff run.
Team Kaliber TO WIN vs Rise Nation
When: Friday August 17th, 20:30 UTC
Odds: 2.27 vs 1.51
It’s not uncommon to see semi-final matches that would be worthy of grand finals, but in the very first round of this year’s CWL Championship is a match-up not only worthy, but that literally was the grand final of the previous event.
Team Kaliber and Rise Nation clashed in both the winner bracket final and the grand final of the CWL Pro League Stage 2 playoffs, but here one of them will be heading to the lower bracket in the first round. According to the odds, that team is more likely to be Team Kaliber.
A match like this could very much go either way, however. Team Kaliber’s slow start to the event cost them the top seed that would have avoided this match altogether, and that likely accounts for their underdog status. A single misstep, in their very first match at that, isn’t necessarily an indictment of tK’s form though.
In the head-to-head between these two teams at the CWL Pro League, Team Kaliber came out on top two times out of three. This certainly isn’t a clear-cut match on either side, and Rise has been the more successful team more broadly in the later stages of the season, but Team Kaliber has proven capable of defeating them when it matters most and might arguably be the biggest threat to Rise in this tournament.
Ghost Gaming TO WIN vs Team Sween
When: Friday August 17th, 16:00 UTC
Odds: 2.30 vs 1.50
Team Sween was one of the big surprises of the group stage. Put together solely for this event and even without an organization backing them, this collection of UK left-overs swept through a group featuring Splyce and eUnited in order to take a top seed into the bracket.
The danger with miracle runs from unproven teams, however, is that it’s never certain when the magic will run out. Truly world-class teams appearing from nowhere are extremely rare – in most cases, underdogs pulling off big upsets prove to be more of a flash in the pan than the ascension of a new elite.
As in all such cases, where Team Sween falls will only be identifiable in hindsight. So far, there isn’t much data with which to identify what kind of performances they’re capable of replicating consistently.
Their next test will be a Ghost Gaming that is a little more quantifiable. This is a squad that likely won’t match the heights of some of the tournament favorites, but that isn’t going to capitulate to anything less than a tier-one performance.
If Team Sween can replicate the form with which they took down the likes of eUnited, they are certainly capable of defeating Ghost Gaming. Ghost is absolutely a team that will take advantage of any dip in performance, however, so if you’re willing to accept some risk for a bigger potential reward this might be the team for you.