By: Zachary Lange
Surreal is the word James “Clayster” Eubanks used to describe what it would feel like to become a two-time Call of Duty World Champion during our pre-championship preview earlier last week.
That surrealism, mixed with a sense of disbelief, achievement and actualization came to a climax when eUnited defeated 100 Thieves by a 3-2 final to claim their second championship in as many events. The team claimed the $800,000 grand prize in front of thousands of fans at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, where 32 teams began play in the group stage Wednesday.
For all the glory of becoming world champions, the team clashed with a familiar foe. 100T have won two championships in Black Ops 4 – one by way of sending eUnited home with second place at CWL London.
Quickly, the squad found themselves in a frantic fight in the series opener on Seaside Hardpoint but pulled ahead toward the middle stages of the map for a 250-126 victory, putting themselves only two games away from winning it all.
The series victory, however, didn’t come so easily.
With a 6-3 defeat on Hacienda Search and Destroy and a 3-1 loss on Frequency Control, the squad found themselves down 2-1 in the series and in need of a jolt to prevent a bracket reset and another best-of-five series. The jolt in question came from yet another victory on Arsenal Hardpoint, winning 250-219.
The final game of competitive Black Ops 4 finished with a resounding 6-4 triumph – appropriately on Arsenal – to complete the championship conquest.
In pool play, eUnited powered through all three of their Pool A foes before beginning their winners bracket run with a 3-1 victory against Team WaR.
An early scare came by way of Evil Geniuses, who were six points away from closing out a winners quarterfinal matchup in a Game 4 Hardpoint on Arsenal. Down 244-168, eUnited rallied to score 82 points across two hills to force a Game 5, which they won 6-3.
In a winners semifinal tilt against Units, eUnited came out firing on all cylinders, sweeping the European outfit 3-0 including a clean, 6-0 victory on Arsenal Search and Destroy.
Crowd favorite OpTic Gaming was the final obstacle to stand in the way of eUnited’s fourth appearance in grand finals out of the six events throughout the competitive Black Ops 4 season. The series started with a resounding win for OpTic in the Game 1 Hardpoint on Frequency, with a 250-109 drubbing to open the winners final. Down 5-3 in the following Search and Destroy, eUnited forced a Round 11 and never looked back, winning Games 2, 3 and 4 en-route to the event’s finale.
Postgame after securing the championship, the squad took to social media to celebrate the victory, with messages of support flowing in from all over the world.
In a final send off from the championship stage, Chris “Simp” Lehr was named the ASTRO Gaming MVP of the 2019 Call of Duty World Championship. Clutch plays across the board, amplified by the team’s desire of becoming the best in all the land made over nine months of the daily grind worth it.
On Aug. 18, 2019, eUnited cemented themselves as world champions in Call of Duty.
Surreal, can only begin to describe it all.
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