9th – 12th is just the latest in a run of poor results that have seen questions asked of what is clearly a talented roster.
With a likely mass roster shuffle ensuing post-Anaheim, there will no doubt be temptation for Rise to roll the dice and make changes ahead of Stage Two and more crucially, Champs.
Last year, Elevate suffered a mostly modest year, saving their best performance for the Call of Duty Championship where they eventually snatched 3rd place.
This year the mostly unchanged roster has the potential to repeat the same feat, but poorer results in the run up to the season’s pinnacle may raise more questions than ever before.
Top 12 represents an improvement on their 17th – 20th place finish in Dallas, but is still way below the standards that Rise will no doubt set of themselves.
In Anaheim there’s certainly been a dose of bad luck though. After defeating Stage One winners, Splyce, it looked like Rise were on course for a spot in the Winner Bracket and would top their Pool.
Enigma6 played party pooper, though, and a stunning 3-1 victory over Rise threw Pool A into a three-way tie, with Rise on the back foot with the weakest map difference.
Now Rise were reliant on Open Bracket graduates, Lethal Gaming to do them a favor if they were to earn a place in the Championship Winner Bracket.
Needless to say, both Enigma6 and Rise ran Lethal over and with flawless 3-0 records, left Rise Nation lumbered with third place and a spot in the Championship Loser Bracket, despite sharing an identical win record.
So while Splyce and Enigma6 would head into the Winner Bracket, Rise Nation would now kick things off in the Loser Bracket.
A favorable first game against the struggling Elevate saw Rise through to the top 12, but an upset in the main bracket meant their next round opponents would be defending champions, OpTic Gaming.
From tying the record with their pool leaders to battling OpTic Gaming for a place in the top 8, Rise Nation simply could not buy a break.
If you compare that to the fortunes of the other third place finishers, you see that Rise unquestionably had the hardest route to a higher placement.
FaZe and Fury were both eliminated for top 16 but that was more of a reflection of their inferiority, rather than the quality of their opposition. Had Rise found themselves in the same position, you’d back them to have done better and would probably be mixing it up in the final 8.
And with that, Rise bowed out top 12. They were little match for OpTic Gaming as the fan favorites swept them 3-0.
Anaheim is the third CWL Major of the year where Rise have placed top 12 or worse. That is in stark contrast to Vegas and Paris where they finished 1st and 3rd respectively.
Rise are still one of only four teams to have won a Major tournament this year, but you must wonder how many more disappointing placements will be tolerated, luck or not.