CWL Fort Worth: Luminosity Gaming's Road to Redemption
Updated: Mar 24, 2019
Almost three months have passed since the last CWL major open event where we last saw OpTic Gaming retake their throne as kings of Call of Duty in Vegas last year. The CWL Pro League just finished the first split of divisional play and one of the biggest rostermanias shook the competitive scene, leaving many fan’s power rankings all over the place. Fans of Call of Duty esports have been dying to see how the next open major tournament will end. Many teams have looked incredibly strong throughout the CWL Pro League, but Luminosity Gaming came into the event blazing, despite not being viewed as favorites.
Luminosity Gaming finally found their footing this event and broke their streak of under-performance that has plagued them since their inception at the start of the season. A strong showing in the first major open was followed by a disappointing first week in the CWL Pro League. Luminosity Gaming managed to bounce back in the second week, showing hints of their potential. The squad, led by stars Gunless and FormaL, have been constantly scrutinized for their lack of high-level performances, lack of firepower, and incorrect fundamental play. Fans have constantly called for a roster change, but Luminosity Gaming stuck to their players and have finally reached their potential.
Luminosity Gaming’s roster consists of:
Matthew “FormaL” Piper
Peirce “Gunless” Hillman
Johnathon “John” Perez
Josiah “Slacked” Berry
Nicholas “Classic” DiConstanzo
Richard “Ricky” Stacy (Coach)
The squad was seeded into Pool C, along with tournament contenders Splyce, joined by Midnight Esports and Excelerate Gaming, teams that recently faced major roster changes. Coming into pool play, some could argue that Luminosity Gaming lucked out for their pool to match up with these fragmented teams. Luminosity Gaming had a decent showing in the groups stages, dropping one series to tournament favorites, Splyce and closing out their other two matches, securing a second place in the seeding.
Bless the Rampart
Throughout their winners bracket run, a key component to Luminosity Gaming’s success was an improvement in form from Classic. Along with Slacked and John, the trio were heavily criticized for their under performance and were viewed as the reason for the team’s string of failures. Leading up to the event in online practice and in the winners bracket, it has been noted that Classic had been practicing with the Rampart, an off-meta AR. This gun swap proved to be essential, as it drastically improved Classic’s play, boosting his regular respawn K/D from 0.82 to 1.17. This, alongside improved consistency on Slacked’s gameplay, freed the slaying pressure from the rest of the team.
The squad really came to life during their winners bracket run to the grand finals of the tournament with their first challenge coming in the form of the juggernaut squad, Gen.G. This team placed first in Division A of the CWL Pro League and looked to be potential event contenders even after a recent roster changed. Luminosity Gaming proved themselves with a tough winner’s round one, going to a map five against the Division A leaders, which they eventually won 3-2.
After a long first series, Luminosity Gaming faced the underdogs in Enigma6 during the semi-finals. Like many teams, the squad lead by Jordon “General” General, recently made a roster change, but it proved to not be enough, as Luminosity Gaming rode their momentum by completely dismantling their opponents with a swift 3-0. Enigma6 couldn’t do anything to counter the dominance that Luminosity Gaming displayed in all three maps, clearly heating up with every match they played. With this series victory, Luminosity Gaming secured a spot in the winners finals and a top three overall placing for the event.
Splyce, who previously made it into winners finals last major open in CWL Vegas, returned once again, to face the challenging Luminosity Gaming. While Splyce took a comfortable SnD, Luminosity Gaming showed their true potential in the respawns, dominating the two hardpoints and pulling off a close control comeback. Splyce could not handle the meta shift that Luminosity Gaming were forcing, not able to counter the Rampart play of Classic. The series closed out with a 3-1 victory for Luminosity Gaming, marking their first grand finals appearance since CWL Birmingham last season in April.
The new kings
Splyce then dropped down into the losers bracket, facing a Reciprocity squad on a hot losers bracket run. The Splyce boys ended the RECPack’s miracle run in a reverse sweep to earn themselves a rematch against Luminosity Gaming. Similar to the winners finals, Luminosity Gaming played a commanding first hardpoint for the series first blood, with the SnD this time around as a comfortable win for Luminosity Gaming. Despite a flawless record for Luminosity Gaming (at that point 6-0 in control maps), Splyce took a close map three, portraying an incredible display of composure. The final map was close as well, with Luminosity Gaming taking the deficit at first, but late game heroics eventually closed out the map in favor of Luminosity Gaming, earning them the titles of CWL Fort Worth champions.
This win, while not surprising, was unexpected, as Luminosity Gaming had not been rated at tournament favorites despite being stacked with talented players. It also marks main AR FormaL’s first win ever since his victory at the CWL Championship 2017 with his OpTic Gaming dynasty team. The MVP award was awarded to Gunless, making this his fourth MVP title out of five of his overall tournament wins in the past three seasons. The victory also ends a drought for Classic, his last win being in the Infinite Warfare series, while John and Slacked also earn their first title since Luminosity Gaming’s win last season in CWL Birmingham.
CWL Fort Worth will go down in the history books as one of the most memorable events and if any word could describe it, it would be the word “upsets”. Many of the top teams unexpectedly fell early, but Luminosity Gaming was the squad to rise up from the ashes of the disarray, single handedly introducing a new meta that will shake the Call of Duty esports scene for the next few months. Coming together during the pre-season of Black Ops 4, the Luminosity Gaming squad were touted to be the new superstar God-squad team and despite a little bit of lag in the early season, the team finally lived up to expectations during CWL Fort Worth.