Pool Play Previews for $200,000 CWL Anaheim Tournament – Group of Death, Favorites and Dark Horses

Calum Patterson

The top teams from the CWL Pro League make up the four groups for this weekend’s CWL Anaheim, the final major open of the WWII season, and there are some tasty pool play match ups on the cards.

Rise Nation will be most people’s pick for the tournament, following their impressive losers bracket run at CWL Seattle, and sitting atop of Division B with a 6-1 series record.

The other top teams in Pro League standings, OpTic Gaming, Red Reserve and Evil Geniuses have also looked in good form, but have shown signs of weakness, with Red Reserve losing their only match of Division A so far to second placed EG.

OpTic of course lost their two recent matches on the bounce 3-1 and 3-0, and looked well below their normal level.

Despite Rise Nation’s dominance however, they arguably have a much tougher group than EG and OpTic, and any single series loss could mean a losers bracket run again.

Group A

  • Red Reserve – Joee, Rated, Zer0, Skrapz
  • eUnited – Clayster, Prestinni, Arcitys, FeLo
  • FaZe Clan – Attach, ZooMaa, Replays, Priestahh
  • Tainted Minds – Swiftaz0r, Nimble, Damage, Swifty

While Red Reserve are big favorites here, this is a stacked group that really any two teams could come out on top of.

Tainted Minds are obviously the weakest prospect considering they are yet to win a series in the CWL Pro League, but they have shown glimpses of potential and are definitely a team that could cause a one off upset.

If Red Reserve and eUnited can replicated their recent Pro League performances they should take care of FaZe, who have looked nowhere near their level of performance at the Stage One playoffs.

And FaZe have looked consistently poor at the open events this season, placing top 12 at the last three, and this is their final opportunity to turn that open event record around.

Group B

  • Rise Nation – Gunless, SlasheR, Loony, TJHaLy
  • Team Kaliber – Accuracy, Kenny, Enable, Fero
  • Luminosity – JKap, Slacked, John, FormaL
  • Epsilon – Dqvee, Vortex, Hawqeh, Reedy

If you had told us this would be a group a month ago, it would likely be the ultimate group of death, however with the recent dominance of Rise Nation and the poor form of Luminosity, this one looks a lot more straightforward.

Team Kaliber have shown glimpses of something special, but their Search and Destroy is lacking, and the clutch factor that saw them win back to back open events earlier in the season seems to have gone completely since the roster changes.

Epsilon have been poor – very poor – in the CWL Pro League, and it is hard to imagine them taking two maps never mind an entire series win, but crazy things can happen in Anaheim.

Luminosity will need to shake off the recent matches in the Pro League and come in with a fresh mindset, because with a roster this talented, there is no way they should be settling for anything less than top two in this group.

FormaL's struggles on CoD: WWII continue.FormaL’s performance since his move to LG has not been as good as expected

Group C

  • Evil Geniuses – Apathy, ACHES, Assault, SiLLY
  • UNILAD – Wuskin, Seany, Alexx, Zed
  • Echo Fox – Temp, AquA, Faccento, Saints
  • Mindfreak – Shockz, Fighta, BuZZO, Denz

The new look UNILAD roster have surprised in Division B, with big wins over eUnited, Luminosity and CompLexity see them sitting in 3rd place and looking very menacing coming into Anaheim.

Evil Geniuses won’t be too concerned however, as their form will have boosted their confidence with the new roster immeasurably, and coming off 2nd place at Seattle, they should be able to beat all three of these teams.

Echo Fox have shown moments of brilliance, but are painfully inconsistent. However having EG as the top seed in their group will be a bonus, given they have already beaten them in a close 3-2 win at the Pro League. Whether they can replicate that again though is the big question, but they are definitely a dark horse to win this group.

Mindfreak unfortunately look outmatched in this group, and even with their big win over Luminosity in the Pro League, it is difficult to pick them as winners in any of these matchups. However they do have a habit of stealing a respawn and forcing game fives, so they could well cause an upset.

Group D

  • OpTic Gaming – Crimsix, Scump, Octane Methodz
  • Team Envy – Chino, Huke, Decemate, Classic
  • CompLexity – Ricky, Blazt, Censor, Dashy
  • Splyce – Bance, Jurd, MadCat, Joshh

This is probably the hardest group to call, mainly due to the inconsistency of each of these teams. While Splyce have looked very poor in Stage Two so far, it is difficult to count out a roster of this talent, especially now with MarkyB coaching the squad.

The new OpTic looked flawless in their opening Division B matches, but after two brutal defeats at the hands of eUnited and Rise Nation, their confidence may be shaky. The opportunity looks there for the taking if Envy can come in hot and knock the wind out of them on Friday.

Envy themselves have looked incredible in certain matches, usually when Huke is having a good game. When he isn’t however, it is tough to pick out who is going to step up and take over for this roster. The team also still doesn’t look completely comfortable in S&D, the game mode that ultimately cost them back at Seattle.

For CompLexity, it still feels like we haven’t seen this squad at their full potential. Dashy has standout performances, but the general lack of slaying power provided by Ricky, Blazt and Censor may ultimately cost them if Dashy isn’t putting up the big numbers. They recently recruited former coL player StuDyy as a coach, but with Ricky at the helm, it’s unclear what more insight StuDyy will bring to the table.


You can keep up with CWL Anaheim via our official coverage hub, featuring all four live streams, group standings and more

About The Author

Calum is Dexerto's Managing Editor, based in Scotland. Joining Dexerto in 2017, Calum has years of experience covering esports, gaming and online entertainment, and now leads the team to deliver the best coverage in these areas. An expert on all things Twitch and gaming influencers, he's also an expert in popular shooters like Apex Legends, CS2 and Call of Duty. You can contact Calum at calum.patterson@dexerto.com.