CWL Atlanta Open 2018: Final Winner & Exclusive Interview

After a weekend full of action packed matchups between some of the world’s best Call of Duty players; one team walked away from the 2018 Call of Duty World League Atlanta Open with the title and $80,000 from the $200,000 prize pool. The Grand Final found the Red Reserve EU team facing off against Dallas based Rise Nation team in one of the most heated matchups in eSports history with Rise Nation taking the title, 3-1.

We got a chance to speak to Rise Nation team player, Thomas “TJHALY” Haly, right before the team took to the main stage to face off in the Grand Final and he shed some light on what steps the team took to make it to the top. He explained, “we’ve been grinding a lot the past couple months [since] the game release but it feels good to be here and I’m happy with the team.” He then added, “[we’re gonna] keep our game plan the same and you’ll expect to see us holding that trophy up there.” He wasn’t lying.

After spending the weekend rising to the top of the Winners Bracket, Rise Nation spent their time devising strategies and practicing “almost 24/7” in order to secure their place in eSports history. Beating out other top hopeful teams like Faze Clan, Team Envy and Luminosity Gaming; Rise Nation kicked some serious ass and made their mark on the CWL with their impressive wins at the Atlanta Open. When it was finally time for Rise Nation to take on Losers Bracket winners Red Reserve EU in the Grand Final, the team stepped up to the plater delivering one of the most intense games I’ve ever witnessed in eSports. Playing through 4 rounds of different game modes, Rise Nation was able to secure two round wins before losing the third to Red Reserve EU. Their final round which was spent playing Hardpoint was a nail-biting experience as Red Reserve put up a solid fight being able to hold on down to the very last seconds of the round.

Once the match was called and Rise Nation took the title, we got a chance to speak with Anthony “Methodz” Zinny and Haly once more about their monumental win. “I don’t think we were ever nervous, [the] pressure really doesn’t get to us. It comes with the job honestly… we’re very confident in everything we play,” Zinni explained when asked if the team was a bit nervous heading into the finals. Haly chimed in and added, “it definitely feels good knowing we’ve got fans watching at home and especially to win in front of them feels good,” when he sees the fan response to the team.

Rise Nation can’t just kick back and enjoy their victory yet though, with the next Call of Duty World League Open set from March 30th to April 1st. Zinni said, “[in] the future [we’ll] just win some more championships; we’ve got Birmingham and Playoffs coming up. The plan is to win those and go on from there.” Time will tell if this hot streak will continue for Rise Nation but we’re pretty certain they’ll take the title.

In case you missed the insane match between Rise Nation and Red Reserve EU, catch it in its entirety below

Tickets and information for the 2018 Call of Duty World League Birmingham Open can be found at the official Call of Duty World League website.

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