Throughout Call of Duty esports' lifespan, two teams ascended competition: the compLexity/Evil Geniuses and OpTic Gaming dynasties. ​Both had their time in the limelight. CoL/EG existed during Black Ops II and Ghosts, while OpTic played together during Advanced Warfare, Black Ops III, Infinite Warfare, and World War II before disbanding. 


The debate about which team was better is one of the most discussed topics in the Call of Duty community. With OpTic Gaming making a roster change May 6, both dynasties can be analyzed and broken down to determine which was ultimately better. 


As a disclaimer, events with stand-ins or former members (Nadeshot, Enable, Dedo) are counted toward overall performance but not for individual tournament analysis. Also, coL/EG teamed for only two titles while OpTic played together for four.


I broke down both dynasties into seven categories to compare and contrast:

  • Tournament Wins
  • Average Placings
  • Worst Placings
  • Grand Finals Appearances
  • Lifetime Game Mode Records
  • Competition at Tournaments (10 Selected)
    • ​Seven Major Tournament Wins
    • Call of Duty Championship Win
    • Worst Event Placing
    • Loss in a Final
  • Finals Performances


Tournament Wins

Starting off with compLexity/Evil Geniuses, the first major dynasty in CoD took home 13 championships out of 18 events and appeared in 15 grand finals. The group won six championships in ​Black Ops 2 and seven in Ghosts. The first championship came at MLG Anaheim 2013, the team's first event, and finished with ESWC 2014 at the end of Ghosts with Kenneth "Dedo" Dedo as a stand-in. Patrick "Aches" Price, Tyler "TeePee" Polchow and Ian "Crimsix" Porter won seven championships with James "Clayster" Eubanks and six with Damon "Karma" Barlow.


OpTic won 18 championships out of 36 major events and appeared in 24 grand finals. OpTic won nine championships in Advanced Warfare, five in Black Ops 3 and four championships in Infinite Warfare. The first championship came at UMG Orlando 2015 and the last at Call of Duty World League Championship 2017. Notably, OpTic won three championships with Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag and two with Ian "Enable" Wyatt as a stand-in. 


Average Placings

Because both teams competed in at least two titles, let's look at each team's average placing at events in each title:


  • compLexity/Evil Geniuses
    • Games
      • Black Ops 2
        • 7 Events Attended
        • Placing - 1.14
      • Ghosts
        • 11 Events Attended
        • Placing - 2.73
    • Total Average
      • 2.11 over 18 Events


  • OpTic Gaming
    • Games
      • Advanced Warfare
        • 14 Events Attended / 24
        • Placing - 1.71 
      • Black Ops 3
        • 8 Events Attended / 22
        • Placing - 2.75
      • Infinite Warfare
        • 8 Events Attended / 22
        • Placing  - 2.75
      • World War II​
        • 6 Events Attended / 36
        • Placing - 6
    • Total Average
      • 2.89 over 36 Events


Worst Placings

CoL/EG's worst placing in Black Ops 2 was second at the MLG PAX Prime Invitational, while in Ghosts, EG finished 5-8th at Gfinity 3. EG finished top 16 at UMG Nashville 2014, but that was with Dedo. The most disappointing loss came at the first MLG X Games, where the team finished third. 


OpTic Gaming's worst overall performance at an event was CWL Seattle, where the team finished top 16. OpTic also placed at least 7-8th in one event per title competed in.


Grand Finals Appearances

Out of 15 total grand finals appearances, coL/EG participated in 13 straight from MLG Anaheim 2013 to UGC Niagara 2014, all under compLexity. OpTic Gaming in comparison appeared in 24 grand finals, managing to string together nine straight appearances from ESWC to MLG World Finals 2015.


Lifetime Game Mode Records

CompLexity/Evil Geniuses played five different game modes in its lifespan: Hardpoint, Domination, Capture the Flag, Blitz and Search and Destroy.


  • Black Ops 2
    • Hardpoint: 48-11 - 81.36%
    • Search and Destroy: 29-20 - 59.18%
    • Capture the Flag: 32-7 - 82.05% (Best Record in Title)
  • Ghosts (Dedo events omitted)
    • Domination: ​56-22 - 71.79%
    • Search and Destroy: 45-17 - 72.58% (Best Record in Title)
    • Blitz: 37-15 - 71.15%


OpTic Gaming played four different game modes across as many titles and also played four game modes in two different years.


  • ​Advanced Warfare (Nadeshot and Enable events omitted)
    • Hardpoint: 59-15 - 79.73% (Best Record in Title)
    • Search and Destroy: 41-22 - 65.08%
    • Capture the Flag: 8-1: 88.89%
    • Uplink: 40-12 - 76.92%
  • Black Ops 3
    • Hardpoint: 32-5 - 86.49% (Best Record in Title)
    • Search and Destroy: 24-23 - 51.06%
    • Capture the Flag: 17-5 - 77.27%
    • Uplink: 28-6 - 82.35%
  • Infinite Warfare
    • Hardpoint: 77-35 - 68.75%
    • Search and Destroy: 70-22 - 76.09% (Best Record in Title)
    • Uplink: 57-18 - 76.00%
  • World War II
    • Hardpoint: 58-30 - 65.91% (Best Record in Title)
    • Search and Destroy: 30-31 - 49.18% (Only Losing Record)
    • Capture the Flag: 34-19 - 64.15%


Competition at Tournaments

One of the hottest debates and arguments regarding this topic is the competition both teams faced during their times at the top. To analyze that, 10 tournaments were selected for each: seven major championship wins, each team's Call of Duty Championship win, and two losses: worst event and a loss in a final. 


The seven major wins for compLexity/Evil Geniuses analyzed were MLG Anaheim 2013, Gfinity 1, Gfinity 2, MLG Columbus 2013, UMG Philadelphia 2014, UGC Niagara 2014 and MLG Anaheim 2014. Throughout those events, coL had a total map count of 124-26, losing only two series: one to XGN at Niagara, and one to OpTic in the Anaheim grand final. 


Call of Duty Championship 2014, the only world championship in which the dynasty participated, was the most dominating performance in history. CompLexity's map count at the event was 24-4, only going to a Game 5 once against OpTic Gaming.


CoL/EG's worst placing came at Gfinity 3. At the event, Team Kaliber handed EG a first round group play loss, and FaZe Clan eliminated EG in the first round of bracket play. For a loss in a final, coL fell to UNiTE in the grand final of the MLG PAX Prime Invitational. 


OpTic Gaming's seven major wins analyzed were divided across three different titles. UMG California, MLG X Games and MLG World Finals 2015 were selected for Advanced Warfare, MLG Anaheim and Orlando 2016 were chosen for Black Ops 3, and CWL Dallas and CWL Stage 2 Playoffs 2017 were picked for Infinite Warfare. In those seven events, OpTic's map count was 158-46, losing four series across those events, three of those coming as bracket resets in grand finals. 


OpTic's Call of Duty Championship title came in Infinite Warfare, despite participating in two other world championships and being the favorite at each event. OpTic placed 7-8th at the 2015 and 2016 events, failing to live up to expectations. In the team's win, though, OpTic went 28-7, losing in the winners final to Team EnVyUs before beating Luminosity and EnVyUs in two best-of-fives to win it all.


OpTic's worst placing came in the team's last tournament together at CWL Seattle, finishing 13-16th. For a loss in a final, OpTic's recent loss at the CWL Pro League Stage 1 Playoffs was a backbreaker for the team. It's worth noting this team lost in a LAN final six times. 


Grand Final Performances

The final comparison is breaking down each dynasty's performance in grand finals and the competition each faced. 


Previously mentioned, coL/EG appeared in 15 grand finals out of 18 events, winning 13 times (and appearing in 13 straight). That's good for an 86 percent win ratio in finals and 72 win percentage at events.


CompLexity/Evil Geniuses met 13 different rosters in grand finals. The exceptions were Team Kaliber (Neslo, Theory, Goonjar, Sharp) at UMG Atlanta and MLG Columbus 2013, and Strictly Business (Censor, Dedo, Saints, Apathy) at Call of Duty Championship NA Regionals and MLG CoD League Season 1 playoffs. 


OpTic's numbers are a little inflated compared to coL/EG because that team simply played longer. OpTic appeared in 24 grand finals, winning 18 championships out of 36 events. That's a 75 win percentage in finals and a 49 win percentage at events. 


Analyzing OpTic's performances in finals is where this really get interesting. OpTic met 15 different rosters in grand finals, but met five different lineups at least twice.


Here's a breakdown of those five teams:

  • Denial Esports (Replays, Jkap, Clayster, Attach)
    • MLG Pro League AW S1 Playoffs - Win
    • CoD Champs 2015 NA Regionals - Win
    • ESWC 2015 - Win​
  • FaZe Clan (Huke, ZooMa, Slasher, Enable)
    • UMG California 2015 - Win
    • MLG Pro League AW S2 Playoffs / X Games - Win (Lost first series)
  • FaZe Clan (Clayster, ZooMa, Attach, Enable)
    • UMG Dallas 2015 - Loss
    • Gfinity Summer Masters - Loss
    • MLG AW S3 Playoffs - Loss
    • CWL Paris 2017 - Win
  • Team EnVyUs (Jkap, Slasher, John, Apathy)
    • MLG Orlando 2016 - Win (Lost first series)
    • CWL GPL IW Stage 2 Playoffs - Win
    • Call of Duty World League Championship 2017 - Win
  • eUnited (Arcitys, SILLY, Prestinni, Gunless)
    • CWL Atlanta 2017 - Loss
    • CWL Dallas 2017 - Win (Lost first series)


Conclusion

There were a ton of factors to consider when determining which team was better. The easy answer is to say coL/EG was more dominant while OpTic was overall the better team, simply as if you were comparing Michael Jordan to LeBron James in basketball. But there needs to be a definitive answer. These two teams most likely won't be replicated in Call of Duty for as long as the game is an esports title. 


The grand finals comparison, as coL/EG lost only once in a grand final, confirms that OpTic did in fact have tougher competition during its run but was less consistent in events. After appearing in 13 grand finals out of 14 events in AW, OpTic appeared in only 11 more grand finals. It must be taken into account that the frequency of events changed when the Call of Duty World League was introduced, but 13 placings, of which OpTic only placed in the top three once, of fourth or higher hurt OpTic's stock and more especially in WWII. 


But OpTic still managed to average a 2.89 placing compared to coL/EG's 2.11 placing and attended double the events of the latter. The latter as well was clearly more dominant over its period of time, but we're talking the greatest of all time. 


OpTic's WWII performance hurt the dynasty, but not enough to sway the decision in favor of coL/EG. In at least one writer's opinion, OpTic will go down as the greatest team in CoD history.


Photos courtesy of MLG/illustration by DBLTAP