Call of Duty League (CDL) 2020 is back in full swing this weekend with the Dallas Home Series resuming in an online format. It’s been a while since the last official event in Los Angeles and teams are itching to get back in on the action. The teams absent from this event are Atlanta FaZe, London Royal Ravens, New York Subliners, and OpTic Gaming Los Angeles.
The new online format sees a change to the layout of the event. Going forward, events will take place over 3 days with the first two events being Group Play including all knockout matches. Day 3 consists of the Semifinals and Finals.
Let’s jump into Day 1 and see how the event started.
Teams play in a double elimination format in two separate groups. Group A consists of Mutineers, Ultra, Empire, and Guerrillas. Group B consists of Surge, Legion, Huntsmen, and RØKKR.
Each team will play one game during Day 1 solidifying the qualifier match and first of the knockout matches for each group. Let’s see how Day 1 progressed.
The first match of Group A would be between Florida Mutineers and Toronto Ultra. Both of these teams’ last event was the Atlanta Home Series. During that event Toronto predictably fell short and were knocked out immediately while Florida stunned the League when they knocked out Chicago to play in the Finals.
That is why this first match was shocking when Toronto ended up knocking Florida to the first knockout match after taking Game 5 Search and Destroy. Cammy and MeTTalZz had huge games in the two Search and Destroy games, ultimately leading Toronto to their first win of the event. MeTTalZz may be the spark that Toronto needed to compete in CDL 2020.
The second match of Group B between Empire and Guerrillas went as expected. LA showed life in Game 2 Search and Destroy with a huge 13 kill game from Blazt, but that was about all the life they had. For a moment it looked as if we would see a Game 5 between the two teams, but somehow iLLey was able to have an incredible clutch moment for Dallas in Game 4 to allow them to close out the series.
The first match of Group B was a chance for Seattle to come out swinging. They are able to take Paris to Game 5 Round 11, but just can’t close it out. Legion defeat the Surge and knock them down to the first knockout match for Group B.
The second match of Group B was between two powerhouses in the Huntsmen and RØKKR. This match could have gone either way, but Chicago proves to be up to the challenge. Chicago take the series 3 – 0 after three of the closest games yet this season.
Chicago squeaks out on top during Game 1 Hardpoint, but Minnesota comes out hot during Game 2 Search and Destroy going up 5 rounds to 0. Envoy completely turns the game around on some incredible flank plays, leading Chicago to a 6 – 5 win completing the reverse sweep. It is going to be exciting if we see a rematch between these two teams later in the event.
Day 2 starts with the Qualifier rounds with 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 played out.
The Qualifier match between Toronto and Dallas was hard fought. Empire took an easy 2 – 0 lead in the series, but the Ultra answered back to tie the series 2 – 2. Dallas went on to win Game 5 Search and Destroy and move on to the Semifinals.
Shotzzy and iLLey had a huge series which is exactly what Dallas has needed to take their team to the next level. They were able to operate as the team’s main slayers, posting a 1.18 and 1.23 K/D respectively. If they continue playing at that level the Empire will be hard to beat.
The knockout matches of Group A were pretty uneventful with Mutineers moving through the lineup with ease. They lost only two games, a Search and Destroy against the Guerrillas and Domination against Ultra. Florida moves on to face Chicago in the Semifinals.
The Qualifier match for Group B was between Paris and Chicago. It went as most expected with the Huntsmen taking the series 3 – 1 moving on to the Semifinals. The Legion are still struggling to find any rhythm against the top teams in the League.
Group B knockout matches is where things got interesting. Minnesota versus Seattle was back and forth, seeing the first Draw in CDL history during Game 3 Domination. The RØKKR were able to close it out in Game 5 Search and Destroy by another dominant performance by GodRx which we have come to expect.
Paris Legion took a game from Minnesota winning Game 2 Search and Destroy 6 rounds to 5, but the RØKKR took every other game with ease. Minnesota moves on to face Dallas in the Semifinals.
Day 3 consists of the Semifinals and Finals. Minnesota RØKKR take on Dallas Empire, and Florida Mutineers face off against Chicago Huntsmen. Let’s see how Day 3 unfolded.
Semifinals Match #1
We see a rematch of the Atlanta Semifinals in our first match between the Chicago Huntsmen and Florida Mutineers. In that series, Huntsmen came out strong winning the first two games, only to get reverse swept by the Mutineers as the series went on. This series sees a similar outcome to the dismay of Huntsmen fans around the world.
Chicago came out swinging comfortably winning Game 1 Hardpoint, out-slaying the entirety of the Florida roster. However, that would be the only game the Huntsmen would see any success.
Formal would put forth some of the worst statistics of his career this series against the Mutineers, posting a 0.76 overall K/D. This could be due to his role switch from AR to SMG, but Huntsmen need to make an adjustment in this area. Florida on the other hand would output some incredible numbers in their trounce of the fan-favorite Chicago.
It seem the Mutineers may have found their X-factor in Fero who is substituting for Prestinni. Fero absolutely dominated this series alongside Skyz to take games 2 – 4 and send the Huntsmen home. Florida will move on and await the winner of Dallas versus Minnesota.
Semifinals Match #2
Another rematch, this time from the Los Angeles Home Series Finals, sees the RØKKR out for revenge and another chance at a Series Finals. Dallas is heavily favored online, dominating their online scrimmages against all teams. They would find it hard to shut Minnesota down.
Game 1 Hardpoint was back and forth all match until the Empire pulled ahead and had spawns on the final rotation. However, an incredibly heads up play from Silly slipping through Dallas lines takes them off guard and turns the game around for Minnesota to snag the victory. This behind a 2.53 K/D game from Assault has Minnesota fans excited for redemption.
Dallas would go on to hand Minnesota a debilitating defeat of 6 rounds to 1 in Game 2 Search and Destroy taking the wind out of their sails and shifting momentum to the Empire. This would be short lived when Minnesota are able to capture Game 3 Domination by putting constant pressure on Dallas’ home flag.
Game 4 was an absolute beatdown by RØKKR, posting possibly the highest K/D average by a team yet this season. Minnesota are successful on their revenge against Dallas behind dominant performances of Alexx, Assault, and GodRx as well as heads up plays from the rest of the team. RØKKR move on to face Florida in the Finals.
Everyone expected Dallas Finals to be a rematch between Dallas and Chicago, but here we are with a completely different story. Mutineers and RØKKR have been underestimated time and time again, and now they are facing off against one another in the second Finals appearance by both teams. One team would be walking away with their first event win of the season.
Game 1 Hardpoint on Azhir Cave would be hard fought by both teams with Minnesota coming out on top 250 – 241. Some heads up plays by both teams would foretell an exciting series to come. Florida, however, would show everyone why they should be in the conversation of Top 4 after Dallas Finals.
Minnesota fell apart in the next three games, looking lost and confused as they tried to keep up with the unexpected lightning-fast play of Florida’s SMG players Havok and Frosty. Silly would be the only player to post a positive K/D over the series after Game 1. Not even GodRx, arguably one of the best players in the game currently, could find his footing against the Mutineers’ onslaught.
Florida would go on to to stomp all over Minnesota’s dreams of an event win. Skyz, Fero, and Maux had their best series to date, posting 1.33, 1.38, and 1.24 K/D respectively. Fero has cemented his starting spot on this roster, giving Florida their first event win of Call of Duty League 2020.
What to Expect at the Chicago Home Series
With the switch to an online format, there will be growing pains. The Call of Duty League will continue to tweak and adjust the coverage until they find a winning formula. Expect lessons learned during the Dallas Home Series to be applied to Chicago for an ultimately better viewer experience.
Chicago Home Series will see the return of Atlanta looking for their second event win. OpTic Gaming LA also returns after a very surprising performance at the Los Angeles Home Series, so look for them to be making a statement as well.
The Chicago Home Series will be held online from April 24 – 26. For a full list of event dates visit the official Call of Duty League website.