Call of Duty League (CDL) has fully embraced the online format with the Chicago Home Series. Three of the top teams are all competing in the same event and fireworks are sure to ensue. The teams absent this week are Minnesota RØKKR, Florida Mutineers, Toronto Ultra, and Paris Legion.
There were many complaints from both viewers and players on how unsatisfactory the servers were during the Dallas Home Series. The CDL appears to have listened and stepped up their game to provide much more stable servers for their esports events.
Like the previous Series, the event takes place over three days. The first two days consists of Group Play and all knockout matches. Day 3 will see the remaining four teams compete for the Finals and an event win. Let’s jump into Day 1 and take a look at the day’s events.
Teams play in a double elimination format in two separate groups. Group A consists of London Royal Ravens, Atlanta FaZe, Chicago Huntsmen, and New York Subliners. Group B consists of Seattle Surge, Los Angeles Guerrillas, Dallas Empire, and OpTic Gaming Los Angeles.
Each team will play one game during Day 1. This will solidify the qualifier match and first of the knockout match for each group. Let’s see how Day 1 turned out.
The first match of Group A would be between Atlanta FaZe and London Royal Ravens. Atlanta would sweep London 3 – 0 fairly easily. Whether this is due to the Royal Ravens having a very long period between events (their last event was the Atlanta Home Series in February), or due to the roster change in dropping Rated for Seany, time will tell. On a positive note, Simp dropped a new record for the most Hardpoint kills so far against London with 49 during their first game.
The second match of Group A is the premier match of the day between the hosting Chicago Huntsmen and the struggling New York Subliners. Chicago is favored to be in the Finals, which is why it was shocking when New York took and early 2 – 0 lead. The Huntsmen would have a tough time clawing their way back to force a Game 5 Search and Destroy.
New York looked unstoppable behind some crazy performances from Accuracy, Attach, and ZooMaa. However, Chicago would put together some dominant performances during Games 3 and 4 to tie the series at 2 – 2. Game 5 Search and Destroy would be dominated by Temp and Attach from the Subliners, posting 2.6 and 1.8 kill-to-death (K/D) ratios respectively. Chicago would be knocked down to the first knockout match.
Group B went as predicted with no upsets. The first match would see Seattle Surge facing off against the Los Angeles Guerrillas. Seattle takes the series in an easy 3 – 0 sweep against Los Angeles, who continue to try to find any rhythm so far this year.
The second match is between OpTic Gaming LA and Dallas Empire. This is a rematch of the Los Angeles Home Series Semifinals where OpTic surprised everyone by being ranked the bottom team in the League and trouncing Minnesota to face off against Dallas. History would unfortunately repeat itself.
Dallas took an easy Game 1 Hardpoint, winning 250 – 175. OpTic would answer back by absolutely destroying Empire in Game 2 Search and Destroy 6 games to 1, giving the momentum fully to LA. Unfortunately for them, Dallas would take the next two hard fought games to send Los Angeles down to the first knockout match of Group B.
Day 2 starts with the Qualifier rounds consisting of teams playing to make it into bracket play. The losers will await the winners of each group’s first knockout matches for another chance to make it to the Semifinals. Let’s see how Day 2 progressed.
The first match of Group A is between Atlanta FaZe and New York Subliners. Subliners stunned the fans yesterday when they upset the favored Chicago Huntsmen to make it to the Qualifier match, and look to do the same here against FaZe. Unfortunately for them, Atlanta are looking like the best team in the League once again.
Subliners come out swinging with a strong performance from ZooMaa to go up 1 – 0 in the series, but Atlanta takes the next two games. New York forces a Game 5 Search and Destroy, but Priestahh and MajorManiak make it look easy dropping a 6.5 and 3.33 K/D respectively. Atlanta moves on to the Semifinals while New York awaits the winner of Chicago versus London.
The remainder of the Group A matches sees Chicago cut through the competition with ease, besting both London and New York 3 games to 1. New York out-slayed the Huntsmen significantly, but the teamwork and heads up plays by Chicago put them out on top again and again. Royal Ravens and Subliners are knocked out of the tournament while Huntsmen look to remain undefeated against the Empire.
The first match of the day for Group B is Dallas Empire versus Seattle Surge. Seattle was able to take Game 1 Hardpoint, but after that the Empire proved to be too much for the Surge. Dallas moves on to the Semifinals while Seattle awaits the winner of OpTic Gaming versus Guerrillas.
The Battle of Los Angeles sees OpTic Gaming LA versus LA Guerrillas. After OpTic’s impressive performance in the LA Home Series they had fans talking that they may be on the rise. After this performance people may be rethinking that. The Guerrillas, regarded as one of the worst teams in the League, make taking down OpTic Gaming look too easy 3 games to 1.
Guerrillas move on to face the Surge, only to have the same done to them. Seattle easily trounced LA 3 – 1 behind another top performance from Octane. The Surge move on to the Semifinals to face FaZe while both Los Angeles teams are eliminated from the event once again.
Day 3 consists of the Semifinals and Finals. Atlanta FaZe take on Seattle Surge, and Dallas Empire face off against Chicago Huntsmen. Let’s see how Day 3 unfolded.
Semifinals Match #1
The first Semifinals match sees Atlanta FaZe versus Seattle Surge. Atlanta are veterans of bracket play, but this is Seattle’s first time making it out of Group Play. They have amazing talent, especially in their front-runner Octane, but they will need to pull together as a team if they want to stand any chance against FaZe and the “Tiny Terrors.”
Event after event, Simp somehow finds a way to amaze. In Game 1 Hardpoint on Azhir Cave, he broke his own record of 49 kills in a Hardpoint match by dropping 50 kills against Seattle. Atlanta just seems unstoppable with Simp leading the charge.
Game 2 Search and Destroy on St. Petrograd goes to Round 11 where Seattle are able to pinch the bomb site and get the defuse to even the series 1 – 1. Atlanta bounces right back with an incredible triple cap in Game 3 domination on St. Petrograd, easily securing the match behind a dominant performance by Priestahh. The Surge would need to take the Game 4 Hardpoint if they want to force FaZe to Game 5.
This would not be the case however as Cellium is able to close out Game 4 for Atlanta and secure their spot in the Finals. They await the winner of Dallas versus Chicago while Seattle exit the tournament with a respectable 3 – 4 placement.
Semifinals Match #2
Match number 2 of the Semifinals is Chicago Huntsmen taking on Dallas Empire. This is a chance for redemption for Dallas as they are 0 – 3 against Chicago so far this year. Both teams have star studded veterans who used to play on the same team but are looking to take their new teams to another level.
Empire would go on to prove too much for the Huntsmen to handle. Dallas takes Game 1 Hardpoint with a commanding 250 – 165 victory behind some incredible performances by the young guns on the team. It seems all Dallas needed to prove their dominance was for iLLeY and Shotzzy to find their groove.
Empire go on to sweep Chicago in their first victory over the Huntsmen in 2020. They take Game 2 Search and Destroy with ease and are able to hold on and close out the series in Game 3 Domination. Dallas move on to face Atlanta in the Chicago Home Series Finals and look to get their second event win.
Once again, everyone was expecting for this to be a matchup of titans between Atlanta FaZe and Chicago Huntsmen. Once again however, Chicago failed to make it past the Semifinals. Dallas is looking to prove that they are the best team in the League and get revenge on Atlanta who swept them the last time they met.
Game 1 Hardpoint is back and forth between the two teams, but Dallas is able to lock down the final point and secure the match to go up 1 – 0 to start the series. However, a nail-biting Game 2 Search and Destroy comes down to Round 11 where Simp is able to clutch the final 1v1 against Clayster and get the defuse to tie the series 1 – 1. So far this has been one of the most intense finals yet for CDL 2020.
Dallas are able to put constant pressure on Atlanta’s home flag during Game 3 Domination helping them secure the map and move up 2 – 1 in the series. Moving on to Game 4 Hardpoint, the Empire just prove too much for the FaZe and are able to take the match, and the series, making them the first team to achieve multiple event wins this year. Shotzzy and iLLeY had their best event yet, catapulting Dallas ahead of the competition and securing their spot as the best team in the League.
Up Next: Florida Home Series
Chicago Home Series pitted three of the top teams in the League against each other to see who is truly number one. Chicago and Atlanta fell short while Dallas stepped over them to secure that spot. It will be exciting to see if Empire can maintain their dominance, or if another team can knock them down from their mountain top.
Florida Home Series sees the absence of both Chicago and Dallas, giving Atlanta a chance to jump to the top spot should they get the event win. Minnesota returns to try and make their third Finals appearance and secure their first event win. They will have to get past their rematch with Florida first after the Mutineers were able to steal the Dallas Home Series away from the RØKKR.
Florida Home Series will be held online from May 8 – 10. For a full list of event dates visit the official Call of Duty League website.