Call of Duty League (CDL) is starting to see some clear leaders pull out in front of the pack. The Chicago Home Series was the first event to see a team crowned their second event win of the season in Dallas Empire. The teams absent this week are Chicago Huntsmen, Dallas Empire, Los Angeles Guerrillas, and Seattle Surge.
The event takes place over three days, with 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. Minnesota will be looking to get the event win that they have come close to doing so many times this season, while Atlanta and Florida try to get their second win of the year.
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 Toronto Ultra, New York Subliners, Florida Mutineers, and Minnesota RØKKR. Group B consists of Paris Legion, Atlanta FaZe, OpTic Gaming LA, and London Royal Ravens.
Each team will play one game during Day 1. This will solidify the Qualifier match and first of the knockout matches for each group. Let’s see how Day 1 turned out.
The first match of Group A sees two of the bottom teams facing off, Toronto Ultra and New York Subliners. The Subliners came out hot and won the first game of Hardpoint quite handily. However, Classic would lead his team in the next three straight games to send New York to the first Group A knockout match.
The second match of Group A is a rematch of the Dallas Home Series Finals, Minnesota RØKKR versus Florida Mutineers. The two teams are currently tied for 4th place in the standings and are playing to break into the top 3. Minnesota came out flying behind an expert performance by SiLLY, dropping a 1.59 K/D to start the match off.
The rest of the match went similarly with the RØKKR dominating Game 2 Search and Destroy and winning a very close Game 3 Domination, sweeping the Mutineers 3 – 0. They get their revenge on Florida and assert their place among the elite teams in the League. Minnesota moves on to the Qualifier against Toronto while Florida meets New York in the first knockout match of Group A.
The first match of Group B went as expected with Atlanta FaZe taking the match against Paris Legion 3 games to 1. Paris was able to show some life by taking Game 3 Domination and preventing the sweep. However, Atlanta put forth a top tier performance in Game 4 Hardpoint with three players all dropping 1.5+ kill-to-death (K/D) ratios.
The second match of Group B is between two teams with something to prove, Royal Ravens and OpTic Gaming. The whole series would go back and forth between the two teams with each teams’ AR player, wuskin and Slasher, putting forth stellar performances. The match would go to Game 5 Search and Destroy on Piccadilly.
Game 5 was a showdown between two of the best snipers in the League, wuskin and Dashy. Both players set their team up for success round after round, but London was able to close out the match and win the game 6 – 4 and take the match 3 – 2. Royal Ravens move on to face FaZe in the Qualifier while OpTic faces Legion in 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 turned out.
The first match of Day 2 for Group A is a battle for the north rematch between Toronto Ultra and Minnesota RØKKR. Minnesota are one of the favorites to win the event, which is why it was so surprising when Toronto came out and took Game 1 Hardpoint on Hackney Yard. RØKKR would answer back with a strong Game 2 Search and Destroy behind stellar performances by Alexx and Asim.
Ultra are able to take the next two games behind an incredible showing by main AR player Methodz. He posted an overall 1.59 K/D for the match, paired with an underwhelming performance on the other side by RØKKR’s SiLLY. Toronto secures their first Semifinals appearance while Minnesota awaits the winner of New York versus Florida.
The next two matches see the New York Subliners absolutely dominate the competition, sweeping both teams 3 – 0. New addition Mack puts forth a performance that shows he is here to stay on the roster. New York moves on to face Atlanta FaZe in the Semifinals.
The first match of Group B is between Atlanta FaZe and London Royal Ravens. The last time the two faced off Atlanta pushed through London with relative ease. The same will happen here today as FaZe move on to the Semifinals after taking the match 3 – 1, sending London to await the winner of OpTic Gaming and Legion.
The second and third matches for Group B would be the knockout matches. OpTic Gaming Los Angeles stunned the fans when they went on to sweep both the Paris Legion and London Royal Ravens, the latter whom they lost to the previous day.
The stats ended pretty even for Los Angeles during the Paris match with each player putting forth stellar performances to secure the 3 – 0 sweep. However, against the London Royal Ravens, Kenny put forth a next level performance each game helping them dominate, posting a 1.45 overall K/D. OpTic Gaming move on to face Ultra in the Semifinals.
Day 3 consists of the Semifinals and Finals. Toronto Ultra face off against OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, and Atlanta FaZe take on New York Subliners. Let’s see how Day 3 progressed.
Semifinals Match #1
The first semifinals match is a first appearance by both the Toronto Ultra and OpTic Gaming LA this season. Both teams have soared above expectations all weekend long making quick work of the competition. Both teams will be trying to prove that their appearance on Championship Sunday is not just a fluke.
OpTic Gaming came out strong behind a stellar performance by Slasher to take Game 1 Hardpoint, but Ultra answered back easily taking Game 2 Search and Destroy 6 games to 2. Both teams were led by their main AR players putting forth championship level performances.
The next two games would be hard fought by both teams, splitting them and taking it to a Game 5 Search and Destroy on Arklov Peak. During Game 2 Search and Destroy, Slasher posted a 0.0 K/D with 0 kills and 7 deaths. He completely turns it around in Game 5 and steam rolls his way to a first Finals appearance by OpTic Gaming posting a 2.29 K/D with 16 kills and 7 deaths.
Both teams have shown immense improvement since the beginning of the season. The League is going to continue to become much more exciting should teams that have struggled at the start find their groove as the year moves on.
Semifinals Match #2
The second Semifinals match sees another team making their first Championship Sunday appearance in the New York Subliners. They will be trying to oust one of the best teams in the League, Atlanta FaZe. New addition to the roster of the Subliners, Mack, seems to have made a huge improvement on their performance as a team.
Game 1 Hardpoint would go pretty smoothly for FaZe as they take it 250 – 222. Subliners would answer back by handing Atlanta a handy Game 2 Search and Destroy defeat 6 – 3 behind some expert play by Mack. It seems that New York is well prepared for the lightning quick gameplay of Atlanta.
Similar to the previous Semifinals match, the next two games would split between the two teams. New York are able to force a Game 5 Search and Destroy after snatching the victory right out from under Atlanta in the final seconds of Game 4 Hardpoint.
A stellar team performance by FaZe in Game 5 will see them moving on to another Finals appearance. Subliners put up a very strong fight, and are another team that seem to keep improving as the season moves on. Atlanta moves on to face LA in the Florida Home Series Finals.
In their first Finals appearance in the 2020 League season, OpTic Gaming LA are looking to make a strong statement against the top team, Atlanta FaZe. OpTic Gaming have over performed all weekend long but did not get the chance to play a top tier team on their way here. Now they can silence all the doubters by beating Atlanta and winning their first event.
Game 1 Hardpoint was hard fought by both teams, but OpTic Gaming are able to hold on the final point and secure a 1 – 0 lead against FaZe. Game 2 Search and Destroy is similarly very close. Going to round 11, it seems as if LA are about to take a 2 – 0 lead against Atlanta when Cellium clutches a huge 1v2 to tie the series 1 – 1.
After they let Game 2 slip through their fingers, it seemed the wind was taken out of OpTic Gaming’s sails. Atlanta are able to secure the next two games relatively smoothly. Cellium goes big in Game 3 Domination, and Simp puts forth another otherworldly performance in Game 4 Hardpoint to secure the Florida Home Series win.
They become the second team so far behind Dallas Empire to secure their second event win of the season.
Lots of fans had the Finals set between Minnesota and Atlanta, but this weekend shows that the unexpected can still happen at this point in the season. OpTic Gaming, Ultra, and Subliners steam rolled through the competition to all make their first appearance in the Semifinals. Whether or not they continue to perform will be seen at future events.
Seattle Home Series will see the return of Chicago Huntsmen looking to find their groove again, and the Minnesota RØKKR looking to prove that this past weekend is not a sign of what’s to come. The absence of both Atlanta and Dallas could mean that teams like OpTic Gaming and the Subliners could once again find themselves in the Semifinals.
Seattle Home Series will take place online from May 22 – 24. For a full list of event dates visit the official Call of Duty League website.