The first Australian LAN event for Call of Duty kicked off on Friday last week as a total of 31 teams from our APAC region made their way down to the ESL Studios in Sydney, Australia to claim the throne. Mindfreak who placed highly in the last CWL LAN event in Atlanta were hot favourites to take it home but rivals Tainted Minds didn’t make it easy for them.

After a questionable performance at CWL Atlanta, Tainted Minds were looking to redeem themselves in our region. With old-Mindfreak player Denholm ‘Denz’ Taylor moving over to the Tainted Minds roster in January, the rivalry between the two were at an all-time high. Mindfreak has also something to prove with fourth man Cody ‘Excite’ Rugolo joining the roster last month.

Kicking off the LAN strong, Mindfreak proved the dominant team asserting their presence without dropping a single map throughout the pools and championship bracket. It’s when they faced off their rivals Tainted Minds – Mindfreak met their match dropping into the lower brackets after going 3-2.

Exchanging fire – both TM and MF firing shots across the stage

With the crowd and fans shocked at the unexpected result, Tainted Minds proved they can make the champions bleed with some excellent plays from Denz and Nimble to highlight the few. Securing a spot in the Grand Final, Tainted Minds were able to sit back while Mindfreak drop down into the losers’ bracket to face off Validate.Black, a team that shut down Chiefs eSports Club’s CWL campaign.

While Validate.Black valiantly took a map at the start, Mindfreak answered going 3-1 securing their spot in the Grand Final to face off their rivals once again. In order to win, Mindfreak has to beat Tainted Minds in two series of best of 5s coming from the lower brackets. With a massive challenge ahead, the boys in blue fought hard against Tainted Minds in their first series going 3-2.

Even with the momentum coming from the Winner Bracket Final, Tainted Minds CWL Sydney campaign began to fade away as Mindfreak returns the favour with a 3-0 sweep in the 2nd series showcasing they’re not taken down that easily.

CWL Dallas Open begins on March 17th is the next and last opportunity for teams to secure CWL Pro Points for entry into the CWL Global Pro League Stage One.


  1. Mindfreak – $14,000 AUD / 10,000 PP
  2. Tainted Minds – $7,000 AUD / 6,000 PP
  3. Validate Black – $4,000 AUD / 4,400 PP
  4. Chiefs eSports Club – $2,000 AUD / 3,600 PP

Photos credit to ESL Australia