It’s finally that time again. Stage 2 is kicking off around the world and we’ve got a host of new talent on show from all of the three regions. For now, we’re still waiting for odds to go live for the upcoming week. Instead, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the new blood, and letting you know what you can expect over the next few months.
After an exciting relegation tournament, three of the four teams from stage 1 fought their way back into stage 2. That leaves us with just one new team, eXcellence Gaming. This traditionally North American organisation picked the roster of JayTex, Kirtikal, Envious and Perko after purchasing the previous league spot holders, Incept eSports. JayTex and Kirtikal joined from the original team, while Perko and Envious joined from the selection of free agents. Competition is tough in ANZ, and with only a win over Excile5 required to land their place in Stage 2, it’s yet to be seen if this squad can really hang with the best.
The European scene sees the addition of two new organisations. First up, we’ve got Exertus eSports. With a squad of Watson, Desire, Dqvee and Carbines, there’s a good reason to believe this team could do fairly well in Stage 2. Watson has always been known to put out good performances, joining teams such as Epsilon, Vitality and even North America’s Dream Team for a short period.
The only other new organisation in Europe is HyperGames, a French organisation who have been in the Call of Duty scene for many years now. You’ll notice that the roster of Braaain, Nolson, Zed and QuiKeR is a carbon copy of last season’s ExceL squad. With a 5-6th place finish in stage 1, the new owners will have high hopes going into Stage 2.
There have been some real movements in North America since stage 1. First, multi-eSport giant Cloud9 joins the ranks, featuring the roster of Havok, LlamaGod, Mochila and Happy. The late addition of Havok may prove critical to the team’s success throughout stage 2. It’s been a while since some of these players have been in a league scenario, so it’s anyone’s guess how they’ll perform over the coming weeks.
The big news of Stage 2 is the acquisition of the King Papey squad by Nadeshot, former OpTic Gaming professional player. Though this is sure to be a fan favourite with Nadeshot behind them, there are many questions over their ability to hang with the top teams. The roster of Nelson, Examples, Jonny and Royalty have yet to really make any noise in the scene, though they’ll be hoping to change that this season.
It’s going to be an exciting 11 weeks of Call of Duty. With an array of new talent on show, who knows who might surprise us yet.