CWL Pro League 2019: Division A Preview
By James Mattone – CWL Pro League
On February 4, 2019, the CWL Pro League, Presented by PlayStation 4, will begin its fourth year as an intense, single stage competition.
The top four teams from CWL Las Vegas were automatically given entry to this elite stage, while the remaining 12 teams fought in late January gauntlet tournament to prove they were Pro League material.
All 16 Pro League teams were broken up into two divisions according to their placement either at CWL Las Vegas or January’s CWL Pro League Qualifier.
Check out the rosters for each of the CWL Pro League teams here.
The Return of the OpTic Dynasty?
2018 was the year that the Green Wall — AKA OpTic Gaming and its fanbase — seemed to fall apart.
It was the first season since the organization’s founding year that they did not win a major event, notably losing out of the 2018 CWL Championship in the group stage partially because of the proverbial “villain of Call of Duty esports” Patrick “ACHES” Price and the Evil Geniuses.
Now, they enter the 2019 CWL Pro League with the CWL Las Vegas title thanks to two new pickups — eventual-Vegas MVP Brandon “Dashy” Otell and Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly — as well as the return of three-time Call of Duty Championship winner Damon “Karma” Barlow.
As part of the 2019 CWL Pro League rules, each team was required to add a sixth player to its roster as a substitute and OpTic struck gold with ace submachine gunner Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto, on loan from FaZe Clan. OpTic is looking to reforge their dynasty in Call of Duty esports after a disappointing season and work towards getting Karma his fourth CWL Championship ring.
Luminosity and the Geniuses Are Set to Challenge OpTic
Luminosity Gaming (LG) and the Evil Geniuses (EG), much like their rival OpTic Gaming, are two front-running North American teams with strong recent form and proven track records.
With former OpTic superstar Matthew “FormaL” Piper in tow, Luminosity Gaming placed 4th at CWL Las Vegas. While LG is stacked with battle-hardened competitors, they need to show improvement on Control, the “third” game mode used in competition during the 2019 season [Learn more about modes and roles]. At Vegas, LG was an abysmal 2 wins – 7 losses in Control and the team will need to rethink its strategy in order to be a true contender for the CWL Finals this summer.
Evil Geniuses, meanwhile, barely missed the cut by placing 8th in Vegas. They had to fight through Pro League Qualifier, where they beat future-fellow Division A teams UYU and Red Reserve.
As a mix of top veterans from the United States and Canada, the Geniuses, like Luminosity, is another team to consider when talking about this division’s top teams.
Midnight, UYU, and Gen.G: The New Blood
Three North American teams in Division A all have a common theme to their storylines: comprised of borderline Pro League players, these teams fought through Open Brackets and the Pro League Qualifier (PLQ) to successfully challenge the CWL’s status quo.
Midnight Gaming was one of the many surprise stories of the PLQ, going undefeated in one of the toughest groups in the tournament. From that run came the story of Dylan “Envoy” Hannon, who delivered a four-day masterclass in competitive Call of Duty while celebrating his 19th birthday. Needless to say, he’s a young star to watch out for in Division A.
UYU’s main lineup of young talent turned heads at the PLQ as well; they beat Pro League regulars Red Reserve and Mindfreak for second place in Pool D. The team recently added Anthony “Methodz” Zinni to its roster in the substitute role, which gives them another veteran voice with CWL Pro League experience.
Then there is Gen.G, formerly known as Team Space, led by Michael “SpaceLy” Schmale. With this being Gen.G’s first foray into the Call of Duty esports, this squad filled with seasoned talent is ready to pilot the organization’s maiden voyage through the esport’s top level of competition.
Reciprocity and Red: The Return of the Marshall Twin War
As the only two non-North American teams, Red Reserve and Reciprocity will have an uphill battle to give the international competitive community something to cheer about in Division A.
However, in terms of raw storylines, nothing compares to the sibling rivalry between identical twins Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall of Red Reserve and Bradley “wuskin” Marshall of Reciprocity.
While all in good fun, these twins will go off like fireworks during their two planned meetings during the season – the first of which opens the regular season on February 4 – as well as against anyone who tries to one-up their game.
The substitutes on both squads are also interesting asides to the main war. Red Reserve picked up Conrad “Shockz” Rymarek, a Mindfreak organization loyalist for almost half a decade, while Reciprocity signed Dylan “Dylan” Henderson, a young gun from Northern Ireland who has received plenty of positive buzz from European professionals.
Who will win out of Division A? Tune into the CWL Pro League from February 4 to July 5 on the official Call of Duty Twitch channel, as well as on majorleaguegaming.com, to find out. You can also check out the schedule of matches on the official CWL website here.