A weekend of upsets ended in dramatic finish Sunday as Evil Geniuses, a team that didn't even qualify for the Stage 2 Call of Duty World League playoffs, won the CWL championship over Team Kaliber at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Team Kaliber, the Stage 2 champions and predicted favorites, landed in second place after defeating some of the best teams in Call of Duty.
The teams first faced off in the winners bracket final, and Evil Geniuses showed its potential in that matchup. Team leader and former world champion Patrick "ACHES" Price helped hand Team Kaliber its first two Hardpoint losses of the entire tournament by playing slow and focusing his team's efforts on controlling the spawn points. Team Kaliber couldn't adapt quickly enough and lost 3-1. The defeat sent the Stage 2 champion into the lower bracket.
Having narrowly earned its way in the championship bracket during the group stage, Team Kaliber clearly had enough poise to persevere even after its upper bracket loss. Led by star player Kenny "Kenny" Williams, Team Kaliber rallied in its five-game set to knock off lower bracket finalist FaZe Clan 3-2 and set up a rematch with Evil Geniuses in the finals.
Team Kaliber fell behind 0-2 and was on the brink of elimination in the first series only to rally and win three straight rounds to reset the bracket. Maurice "Fero" Henriquez was the hero throughout the rally. He handled the sniper with ease during the decisive Round 5 Search and Destroy to the tune of a six-kill streat and his full suite of scorestreaks.
Momentum was firmly on Team Kaliber's side going into the second series, and Evil Geniuses looked as if it were destined for a repeat of its back-to-back finals losses at CWL Seattle Open earlier this year. But in the third series between these teams Sunday, Evil Geniuses swept Team Kaliber 3-0 thanks to Justin "SiLLy" Fargo-Palmer and Adam "Assault" Garcia finding key kills during 1-on-1 fights in respawn rounds.
Team Kaliber, the champions of CWL Dallas Open, CWL New Orleans Open and Stage 2 of the CWL Pro League, ran out of gas at the biggest match of the year. ACHES, long-considered one of the greatest boots-on-the-ground Call of Duty players, proved his mettle by defeating Call of Duty: World War II's biggest team of the year while Assault will walk away with the MVP after arguably one of the most consistently destructive CoD Champs performances in recent memory.