Day 1 of the Call of Duty World Championships flew by Wednesday, with 11 teams finishing with 3-0 wins. Despite most of the slate proceeding as projected, there was still some surprises along the way including a stunning upset by Rise Nation, and a shockingly easy win by Str8 Rippin.
Let's take a look at a few of the key points that emerged from the opening day at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
Revenge served cold
It didn't take long for Jeremy "StuDyy" Astacio to exact his revenge against his former team, Evil Geniuses, as Str8 Rippin ran rampant in the series en route to a scintillating 3-0 victory. Str8 Rippin, who were forced to qualify for the Call of Duty World Championship by way of the North America Last Chance Qualifier, simply looked like the better team - a surprise given the fact EG played in both Stage 1 and 2 of the Call of Duty Global Pro League.
Str8 Rippin seemed to play with a boisterous amount of energy, rallying around its hype-man's vendetta as the team continued to make critical plays. Both Brandon "Dashy" Otell and Donovan "Temp" Laroda cast aside any doubts of nerves affecting them in their first Call of Duty World Championships, as the two 18-year-olds put together blistering figures. The win was essential for StuDyy and company in a Group F that is still very much up in the air, with top seed Fnatic narrowly squeaking out a win of its own over Tainted Minds. Much will depend on how the matches in Day 2 shake out, but one thing is for certain -- if Str8 Rippin continues the trend it started Wednesday, Group F won't be the only teams put on notice.
Loony and Rise stun Luminosity Gaming
If StuDyy's revenge was a dish served cold, then what Daniel "Loony" Loza did against his former Rise teammates Nicholas "Classic" DiCostanzo, Sam "Octane" Larew and Josiah "Slacked" Berry may as well have been taken out of the freezer, microwaved for five minutes and served up on a platter. Left for dead by analysts after dismal finishes in the last four major events, Rise Nation, who underwent a major roster change to begin the year, pulled off by far the biggest shocker of Wednesday, beating Luminosity Gaming 3-0 in a series that was really only close in the opening Hardpoint. Perhaps more importantly, the loss puts a major dent in the hopes of Luminosity Gaming competing for the championship title, as the CWL Anaheim Open winners are expected to face its bitter rivals, eUnited, in the opening round of the championship bracket, if it makes it there at all.
Chalk on top
In a tournament of this magnitude, surprises are almost expected to occur, particularly during the opening days of competition as the players get accustomed to the intensity of the series. That wasn't the case during Day 1, however, as seven of the eight teams with the highest seed entering pool play ended Wednesday in the top spot, with just Rise Nation shaking it up in the aforementioned win over LG. And it wasn't as if the top teams were particularly challenged either, as the top-8 to end Day 1 lost a combined five maps across 12 series. In reality, the real excitement Thursday will come from who can qualify as the second seed from their respective group, as just one team, Red Reserve, who played just one series Wednesday, sits in the second spot in their pool unblemished.
Day 2 of the Call of Duty World Championship will begin bright and early at 10:00 am ET.