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Rampage Gaming Takes An Emotional Win To Emerge Call Of Duty WWII Asia Champions
When you say esports in Southeast Asia, it’s rare to hear people here equate it to Call Of Duty. The annual FPS franchise is a juggernaut worldwide in sales yet its esports scene is only thriving in North America, and official circuits have yet to expand to any country in Asia. This is something that the small but passionate pocket of the Call Of Duty community in Southeast Asia, and Asia, aims to change, and the first step that we now see is the Call Of Duty WWII Asia Championships 2018.
Organised by ESL Asia with support of Playstation Asia, this is a rare occasion for a COD tournament to be this big held here in this region. Not just in terms of prize money- which is worth $20,000 USD of prize pool- the champion team also gets a ticket to Anaheim, California, USA to compete at the Call Of Duty World League (CWL)Anaheim on June 15th-16th, an open tournament where up to 160 teams all over the world can join and compete for a piece of the $200,000 USD prize pool.
Four teams emerged out of the online qualifiers to play for one whole day on May 12th at Battle Arena, Petalling Jaya, Malaysia to duke it out. All of the teams are of mixed nationalities: ItsNutty features two Singaporeans, A Filipino and a Malaysian, Avarice and Rampage Gaming fielded three Singaporeans and a Malaysian each in their rosters and home favourites Venom has a South Korean rounding up the team of three Malaysian players.
The one-day tournament was played with a double eliminations format, a loss drops them to the losers bracket for another chance to continue, another loss after that sends the team home.
The crowd might not be big- there’s roughly 70-100 spectators and fans tuning in live at Battle Arena cheering on- but they sure are passionate. The crowd goes wild with cheers, especially when the crowd favourites Venom plays. We even heard the shouts of “Itu boss-ku!” (“That’s my boss!”) amongst the crowds when the Malaysian squad comes alive with big plays.
Rampage Gaming, the clear favourites of the tournament, had a great start, blazing through to secure a slot in the grand finals with a 2-0 win against ItsNutty and then Avarice in a best of three matches. The first match of Avarice VS Venom was a close one, though Avarice prevailed to get 2-1.
Over on the losers bracket, Venom easily sends home ItsNutty early with a 2-0 win, but cannot make a dent over Avarice this time as they settle for third after losing 2-0. While Avarice might looked on form, they were not prepared for the onslaught Rampage Gaming was about to dish. Rampage held no bars and dominated the grand finals match- a best of five- which they won decisively in a straight 3-0. The team was indeed on a rampage, never dropping a map on their road to be crowned champions.
— ESL Asia (@ESL_Asia) May 12, 2018
Two members of the Rampage Gaming team were overwhelmed by emotions on stage- Ranger and team owner Megat “MDIPlaya” Danish hugged as they reeled in the fact that the team won $12,000 USD, a chance to prove themselves to the world at CWL Anaheim, and a labour of work rewarded. These two are among the most vocal of the Asia Call Of Duty scene, working hard to grow it. To get an event of this scale in Asia has been years in the working, and now they get the chance to show their worth.
“This is a very unreal experience to me,” Ranger said in the post-win interview, tears of joys still visible on his face. “I’ve waited two years for this.”
The whole presentation is slick and professional, as you would expect from an ESL production. Props to the commentators waving the Malaysian flag on camera once in a while- it’s the best time to do so due to recent events in the country’s elections.
— ESL Asia (@ESL_Asia) May 12, 2018
Congratulations to Rampage Gaming and we wish the best of luck on their next tournament at CWL Anaheim next month.
You can catch up on the tournament and relive those emotional moments from the stream archive here: