With Call of Duty League 2020 well underway we have a much better idea of where teams rank in the standings. After the last event in Atlanta, every team has had a chance to participate in an event. The teams absent from Call of Duty League LA Home Series are Chicago Huntsmen, Toronto Ultra, London Royal Ravens, and Paris Legion.
As with previous events, events take place over two days. Day 1 consists of placement matches with four teams vying for position in the single elimination bracket play. Let’s jump in and see how Day 1 progressed.
Teams play in a double elimination format within two separate groups. Group A consists of RØKKR, Surge, and both home teams: Guerrillas and Optic Gaming. Group B consists of FaZe, Mutineers, Empire, and Subliners.
Four teams will remain at the end of group play, moving on to face off in single elimination bracket play.
The first round of Group A matches proceeded as expected. Minnesota versus Seattle were some hard-fought matches, but the RØKKR proved to be too much for the Surge who would fall to the first knockout match later in the day.
The biggest surprise of the event during day 1 was the performance by LA Optic Gaming. They came back from a 2 – 0 deficit against the Guerrillas, completing the reverse sweep to send them to the first knockout match against Seattle Surge.
Optic Gaming then went on to completely dominate the RØKKR and sweep them in 3 games. Before today, Optic Gaming was regarded as one of the worst teams in the League. After this weekend, that perception may be up for debate.
The first knockout match for Group A would be between Seattle Surge and LA Guerrillas. The Guerrillas, arguably the current worst team in the League, would come out looking sloppy. Seattle easily sent them home behind stellar performances by Octane and Apathy.
Group B would see the Atlanta FaZe doing what they do best: dominating every team in the League. Their first match would be a rematch of the Atlanta Finals against the Florida Mutineers, who they took down with ease. Their next series against Dallas was hard-fought, but Atlanta was too quick and Dallas simply couldn’t keep up.
There was some recent controversy surrounding the New York Subliners and who they should sub into the lineup after a rough start to the season. Many thought Doug “Censor” Martin would get a shot, but the Subliners substituted Nick “Happy” Suda instead. Whether or not it was the right call, the Subliners would continue to struggle, losing both of their matches to be the first team sent home for Group B.
Florida Mutineers’ front-runner Prestinni had to be subbed out at the last minute due to some unknown reason, replacing him with Maurice “Fero” Henriquez. Although they lost to Atlanta FaZe quite easily, they would perform much better against the Subliners in the first Group B knockout match. We will see how they fare against the much better Dallas Empire in the second knockout match during day 2.
LA Home Series Day 2 would start with the second knockout matches for each group. The winners would move on to face LA Optic Gaming and Atlanta FaZe in the Semifinals, hoping to be crowned event champions.
Final Knockout Matches
The first knockout match of day 2 would be between Dallas Empire and Florida Mutineers. Fero stepped up big filling in for Prestinni, but the Mutineers would come up just short in each game. They fell to Dallas in a 3 – 0 sweep behind a much better outing by Shotzzy who has struggled in previous events.
Dallas Empire move on to face LA Optic Gaming in the Semifinals.
The final knockout match of the event is a rematch from the previous day, RØKKR versus Surge. Minnesota looked uncharacteristically flat during their day 1 match against LA Optic Gaming, but would come out and prove why they are considered one of the best teams this season.
They would absolutely roll through the Surge in a 3 – 0 sweep. Alexx and GodRx continue to perform on a higher level, sending Seattle home and securing their rematch of the Atlanta Semifinals against Atlanta FaZe.
The first match of the Semifinals is between Dallas Empire and LA Optic Gaming. Optic are trying to complete a cinderella story of being ranked last in the standings to making it to the finals of an event. Unfortunately Dallas, who have yet to drop a match to any team outside of Atlanta and Chicago, have other plans.
LA comes out hot behind some clutch performances by TJHaLy and Dashy, taking the first game of hardpoint. The next 3 games all go to Dallas, with Game 3 Domination coming down to a clutch performance in the last 20 seconds for Empire to close it out. Clayster was dominant for Dallas during the last two games, enabling them to make their second appearance in the Finals this season.
Our second Semifinal match is a rematch of the Atlanta Semifinals between Atlanta FaZe and Minnesota RØKKR. This was possibly the most exciting match of the season to date. Last event, Minnesota became the only team to take Atlanta to a game 5, but unfortunately lost.
This was their chance for redemption, and they did not disappoint. Minnesota came out firing on all cylinders, taking Game 1 Hardpoint with some expert teamwork. Atlanta answered back taking the next two games with relative ease, putting RØKKR’s back to the wall. Game 4 Hardpoint was the closest game yet of the season, with Minnesota taking it 250 – 247.
It all came down to Game 5 Search and Destroy on Piccadilly. GodRx and Asim put forth an otherworldly performance, making Atlanta pay for every little mistake they made. Minnesota take the game 6 – 2, handing Atlanta their first loss proving they are human after all.
RØKKR move on to the Finals to face the awaiting Dallas Empire.
Dallas Empire’s teamwork proved too much for RØKKR at first, taking the first two games and going up 2 – 0. However, the RØKKR have proven that they should not be counted out. Minnesota went on to take the next two matches to tie the series up 2 – 2.
In the first Finals Game 5 Search and Destroy of the season, Dallas proved to be too much for Minnesota to handle. Empire put constant pressure on RØKKR behind the expert leadership of Clayster, not giving them a moment to recuperate. They won the game 6 – 2, becoming the third team to win an event this season.
What to Expect at Dallas
If there is one thing that Call of Duty League LA Home Series has proven, it’s to expect the unexpected. After the upset by Optic Gaming over RØKKR, everyone expected FaZe to easily win the event. However, they didn’t even make it to the Finals where we witnessed the third separate team walk away with an event win.
The next event will be hosted by the Dallas Empire. The event takes place March 28th – 29th. Event times can be found on the official Call of Duty League website.