Throughout the history of Call of Duty esports, there have been numerous rivalries between players and organisations. Some have spanned several years whereas some have recently emerged and remain fierce rivals on the virtual battlefield. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at five rivalries which peaked in previous games and some which still rage on today.
5) Epsilon & TCM Gaming
The Advanced Warfare season saw many North American rivalries reach their peak but in Europe, the rivalry between TCM Gaming and Epsilon Esports came to its fruition in the finals of the 2015 European qualifier for the world championship.
In game two, European veteran Joshua-Lee “Joshh” Sheppard pulled off a sneaky ninja defuse in round eleven, winning the game for Epsilon. After the map, a jubilant Dylan “Madcat” Daly dished out the now infamous “gun fingers” celebration.
4) Team Envy & FeaR
The 2008 MLG National Championship is widely considered to be the first major LAN tournament for Call of Duty esports on console. Taking place on the acclaimed Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the event would be the catalyst for one of the most intense rivalries in the entirety of the esport.
The boys in blue would defeat FeaR in an intense five-game series to advance to the Grand Finals but FeaR would make it through the bracket to set up a continuation with Envy, a match they would win.
Heading into 2011 and the two North American powerhouses would do battle on numerous occasions. FeaR defeated Envy at MLG Raleigh before going on to secure another championship. MLG Orlando would be where Envy had the upper hand, beating FeaR 3-1 to eliminate them from the tournament.
3) Complexity v Impact
As Black Ops 2 gave a much-needed boost to competitive CoD, the rivalry between Complexity and Impact soon became apparent.
After winning the first three events on Black Ops 2, (including the world championship) MLG Anaheim would be where the two sides would meet in the Grand Finals. In an incredible series, Complexity defeated Impact 6-2 and began what was an incredible run of form for the next year.
The final encounter between these two legendary teams was at Gfinity 1. Complexity took down Impact 3-1 and went on to win the tournament, defeating TCM Gaming in the Grand Finals.
2) OpTic Gaming & Aches
Two-time Call of Duty world champion, Patrick “Aches” Price has frequently been an ever-present thorn in the side of the Green Wall. Since 2014, Aches has played spoiler to OpTic at some of the biggest tournaments in the history of Call of Duty.
Starting at the 2014 world championship, Aches and his Complexity dynasty team faced OpTic in the winner’s bracket final where they would send the Green Wall down to the loser’s bracket where they would lose to Team Envy, eliminating them in third place.
The beginning of Advanced Warfare marked an end of an era. The Complexity roster had disbanded, Ian “Crimsix” Porter had moved to OpTic while Aches joined FaZe Clan to contend for the championship at MLG Columbus. With stitches in his hand, Aches denied OpTic the first trophy of the Advanced Warfare season after beating the new look OpTic in the finals.
OpTic would go on to win the next three events before Aches struck again at the world championship. Having lost early in the tournament, Aches would cause the upset and eliminate OpTic from a tournament that everyone thought they would win. A year later and OpTic are the heavy favourites to take home the championship. Competing under Cloud 9, Aches knocks down the Green Wall, sending them home without the championship OpTic desperately wanted.
1) OpTic Gaming and Team Envy
The rivalry between Optic Gaming and Team Envy may be one of the biggest and greatest rivalries in esports. With both organisations originating from Call of Duty, the eClassico has since become a staple in Call of Duty esports.
Back on Infinite Warfare, the two sides took centre stage at the 2017 CWL Championship final. Could Envy become the first team to successfully defend their world championship or would the Green Wall stand tall and secure their first ring.
Coming from the loser’s bracket OpTic had to win the first best-of-five to reset the bracket. They did just that, taking down Envy 3-1 to reset the series. With the momentum in their favour, OpTic swept aside Envy to win their first Call of Duty world championship.
Heading into Black Ops 4, there will be opportunities where an eClassico occurs and we hope we get to see one at CWL London at the Copper Box Arena! Get your spectator tickets here:
Written by Jon Nicholson