The battlefield is set as 32 teams converge upon Hollywood, California to duke it out for an incredible $1,000,000 prize pool in the Call of Duty Championship. Over the course of the last two months, players from around the world qualified for the tournament online in the Champions Series of League Play and on LAN at the MLG Winter Championship, EGL Championship, and various other regional competitions.
Held at the historic Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Blvd., the Championship opens with an exciting round robin format, and ends in a double elimination bracket where the top eight teams finish in the money. With an exclusive field vying for a $400,000 first place prize, participating in the Championship is a once in a lifetime opportunity and career defining moment for all the teams invited, including compLexity’s Call of Duty squad.
“I love playing in these high stakes tournaments, the feeling you get from a big win is like none other and when the adrenaline starts to kick in you feel like there is nothing that can stop you,” said Tyler “TeePee” Polchow. “Hopefully we can ride the wave of confidence that we have into the championship.”
compLexity’s road to the Championship started in early February through an extensive grind during online league play. There, the team compiled an 800 – 30 (.964) record across 125 hours of game play that included an 120 game winning streak. To cap the season off, compLexity spent the final 48 hours playing without rest and ultimately secured a spot in the Championship.
Following the online qualifiers, compLexity traveled to Dallas Texas and participated in MLG’s Winter Championship, where they had a mildly successful run through the open bracket that ended in an 0-2 loss to EnVyUS, and put on a gutsy performance in the lower bracket that included wins over fellow Championship qualifying teams Quantic and OpTic Gaming. compLexity finished the tournament in fourth place following a 2-3 loss in the semifinals to vVv. Through 12 matches at the Winter Championship, the team amassed a 27-6 map score (10-2 open bracket, 17-4 champ bracket), earned $4,000, and perhaps more importantly, identified several weaknesses in their play.
“Since the Winter Championship we have been focused on fixing our weaker game types like CTF and SND,” said Aaron “TuQuick” Chang. His teammate Ian “Crimsix” Porter added, “I felt like we were so under prepared for Dallas but now it feels like the opposite. I am extremely confident in our game play going into the COD Champs.”
Despite Porter’s confidence, the Championship boasts several factors working against compLexity including a recently released title update from Treyarch that required the team to make a handful of weapon and play style changes. It also doesn’t help that since the release of Call of Duty Black Ops 2, compLexity has yet to play an international opponent; however, none of the players saw that as an issue.
“From past experiences, the European teams play a lot more reckless and aggressive than the North American teams, so we need to make sure to take that into account,” offered Polchow. Chang added, “I feel like the European teams rely mainly on their personal gun skills rather than team work, an area where the North American teams seem to succeed.”
When asked their thoughts on the tournament’s unique format, the players were quick to respond with praise however Porter felt like the competition in the group phase would be more than worthy.
“It is debatable that we have the toughest pool with SoaR, Millennium, and the #2 Southeast Asian team,” suggested Porter.
The Call of Duty Championship looks to be a memorable weekend as players battle for pride and a their stake of the $1,000,000 prize pool. With tournament favorites Fairko.Impact coming off consecutive wins at the MLG Winter Championship and EGL9 a tough uphill battle awaits compLexity if they want to claim top honors.
“I believe we are the only team that can truly match up and counter Fairko.Impact’s play style on the respawn game types, so I am really excited to play them on LAN,” said Polchow. “It should be a fast paced and entertaining game to watch.”
When I asked how the team would spend the money if they were to win the tournament, every player spoke about saving to some degree (including Chang who discussed investing the money) however my favorite response came from Porter who promised to go on a vacation, relocate somewhere in the southern United States, and buy a Ducati.
Stay tuned as we will be providing full Call of Duty coverage over the course of this weekend!