The CWL Global Pro League finally begins this weekend. The next four weeks will see four double round robin groups in which the top two teams will emerge from each group to head straight into the global playoffs. The league kicks off with Group Red which consists of Splyce, Team EnVyUs, MindFreak and Cloud9. This is a fantastic group that is primed for upsets.
After CWL Birmingham, the bracket has become a lot harder to puzzle out. Splyce's stunning loss in the grand finals to Epsilon eSports may have shaken Splyce's confidence coming into the Group Red. Splyce will also be going up against Team EnVyUs, the team that beat them in the grand finals at Call of Duty World Championship. While the roster has completely turned over from the epic Champs defeat, save for Ben "Bance" Bance, there certainly appears to be a rivalry brewing between the two teams. However, Splyce are still primed to come out in first place, or at the very least the top two thanks to Splyce's strong lineup. Second place will likely be a toss-up between Team EnVyUs and Cloud9.
Both teams have had incredibly uneven seasons thanks to lineup changes and weak tournament performances. Cloud9 looks to be the wild card of the group, as they made the cut for the Pro League pool. But when the stakes are high, Cloud9 always seems to clutch up. Team EnVyUs, on the other hand, have had a lackluster season hot off of their CoD Champs victory last season. Then again, Team EnVyUs didn't find their full momentum last year until the second half of the season when the meta settled.
With all that said, Cloud9's Patrick "Aches" Price seems much hungrier for a win. He thrives as the underdog, the villain and the upset, as seen at CWL Dallas 2017 and the aforementioned CoD Champs. Several seasons of disappointing placements has only seemed to fuel Aches, determined to prove his skills haven't diminished. That hunger has yet to be seen in Team EnVyUs. So it's my opinion that Cloud9 will cause an upset and take second place in the bracket.
Mindfreak will likely fall into fourth place. The Asia-Pacific region has yet to make a strong impact in the global scene, largely due to a lack of competition. The same problem can be seen in the European region where the top six teams absolutely dominate the region thanks to the top six's constant global competition. Mindfreak rarely are afforded the opportunity to practice against other regions. This puts them at a distinct disadvantage within the meta. However, if they can take a game off of Cloud9 or Team EnVyUs then they may be able to sneak into Stage 2. All it takes is one weak game from either team for Mindfreak to avoid relegation.
The CWL Pro League starts on April 22nd at 4:00 pm ET. The first match will be Splyce vs. Team EnVyUs. Games will be streamed on MLG.tv and in-game in Call of Duty: Advanced Warefare.