The European region used to stand on equal footing with the dominant American region thanks to its champion Splyce dominating the scene. Splyce even made history by taking second place at the 2016 CWL Championships in a now classic grand finals match against Team EnVyUs. But during the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII seasons, the region lagged behind American teams as Splyce struggled to make top placements. That all seems poised to change at CWL Anaheim this weekend, however. Thanks to recent events, European teams will, more than likely, find top placement at CWL Anaheim.
Titanic American teams like Luminosity Gaming, Team Kaliber, Team EnVyUs, eUnited, and FaZe Clan haven’t dominated Stage 2 like they were speculated to. Instead, American teams are flailing at the moment. In Division A, FaZe Clan, Splyce and Echo Fox are in danger of falling into relegation while Team EnVyUs and Team Kaliber are only ahead of those teams by a single win. Luminosity Gaming and eUnited haven’t fared much better in Division B as both sit on the bubble of falling into relegation. Meanwhile, Red Reserve is sitting at first place in Division A while UNILAD has stolen third place in Division B. Even Splyce, who look like a former shadow of themselves, can still make it into playoffs in Division A thanks to a three way tie.
Europe’s recent successes is thanks to two players: Rhys “Rated” Price from Red Reserve and Bradley “wuskin” Marshall from UNILAD. Both players have taken advantage of a new meta that favors map and spawn control, a classic focus of European competitive Call of Duty, while also outgunning their opponents. Rated has had a massive Stage 2 as he broke records in Search & Destroy. UNILAD’s wuskin, meanwhile, has continually clutched up and stolen maps from his opponents thanks to minor spawn changes.
For American squads, the meta-shift was complicated by a massive Rostermania post-Stage 1. Legendary rosters like OpTic Gaming, Luminosity Gaming, Echo Fox and Team Kaliber were blown apart overnight before having to adjust the changes of Patch 1.13. These seismic shifts left America looking out of practice going into Stage 2. Even teams like FaZe Clan, who made no new changes after being crowned Stage 1 Champions, struggled in the faster paced meta. Only OpTic Gaming and Rise Nation have looked to be in top form.
For Europe, Rostermania hasn’t affected them as radically. The region has a relatively small and close-knit talent pool that makes it hard to upset team chemistry with trades. Everyone in Europe has teamed with each other at some point or another, and the small pool of teams means they all scrim against each other. That kind of player familiarity just isn’t present in America. Even Europe’s Rostermania was smaller. Splyce, Red Reserve and UNILAD all only made one trade after Stage 1, with UNILAD trading Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall to Red Reserve while Red Reserve traded Joshua-Lee “Joshh” Shepard to Splyce.
The continued disarray among the American teams will leave a significant opening for Red Reserve and UNILAD heading into CWL Anaheim. Everything is set in place for them. A new meta has thrown teams off, Rostermania has forced rosters to relearn tactics, and Rated and wuskin are beaming like never before. All they have to do now is prepare for CWL Anaheim to take home a win for Europe.