Call of Duty League London Home Series was another successful event for the League. Eight teams met in a tournament format where points were handed out based on where teams placed at the end of the weekend. Clutch previewed the event with our thoughts on what these teams needed to do to win their initial match-ups.
Group A (Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, and Los Angeles) went pretty much as expected. However, Group B (London, Paris, Toronto, and New York) was much more exciting. Will the initial power rankings hold true? Let’s jump into the events of Day 1 in CDL London.
London Day 1: Initial Match-ups
The event opened with a Group B match-up, Paris Legion versus New York Subliners. Paris is favored to win this match. However, the talent on the New York roster has some people expecting more out of them after their opening showing in Minneapolis. They did not disappoint.
New York came out strong, taking the first game of Hardpoint, and then dominating the Legion in Search and Destroy 6 rounds to 1. They looked like they would close it out in game 3 Domination, but Paris climbed back from a 25-point deficit to make the match 2 – 1.
It would be a short-lived victory as New York, led by the slaying of ZooMa, wiped the floor with Paris in game 4 Hardpoint on St. Petrograd. New York had a lot to prove after their sub-par showing in Minnesota, and they did just that with their early trouncing of the previously undefeated Paris Legion.
The second match-up would see the first of Group A, Dallas Empire versus Seattle Surge. Both teams played well this series, but Dallas was able to close each game taking the match 3 – 0. Dallas was always favored to win, but Seattle proved that they could play with the top tier teams with their noteworthy performance.
Match three of the day was another Group A match-up, Chicago Huntsmen versus Los Angeles Guerrillas. Just like in Minneapolis, a barrage of boos were aimed at ACHES as he took the stage. He claims the attention helps him thrive in the moment, but his stats prove otherwise.
Chicago went on to take the match 3 – 0 easily. Los Angeles just couldn’t keep up with a team of Chicago’s caliber. Seattle needs to figure out what its strength is and lean on it if they hope to climb out of the losers’ bracket in London.
The final initial Group B match-up of the day was between the hosting London Royal Ravens and Toronto Ultra. The Royal Ravens took the stage amidst a tidal wave of fan fare. They claim they have the loudest and proudest fans, and the fans may have proven them right.
London took the first two games, looking unstoppable with an absolute onslaught of slaying between Jurd, Skrapz, and Dylan. Toronto was able to hold on by taking game 3 Domination, but London came back in a close game 4 Hardpoint to secure their first win of the London Home Series.
The initial match-ups went almost as predicted, with Chicago and Dallas winning Group A. London won their match, but New York upset the favored Paris to join London as the winners for Group B. The losers of these matches were sent to the first-round losers’ bracket which take place on Day 2.
Vying for Bracket Play
The winners of each group in the initial match-ups would be pitted against each other to see who would move on to bracket play. For teams to make it to bracket play they essentially need to win two matches.
The first match was Group A’s Chicago Huntsmen versus Dallas Empire. Chicago took an easy game of Hardpoint to start off 1 – 0 on the back of a red hot Scump. However, in game 2 Search and Destroy, Dallas was very dominant, going up 5 rounds to 3. Chicago rallied to win the next 3 rounds and take the game 6 – 5 and moving forward 2 – 0 in the match-up.
Dallas would come out strong in game 3 Domination and take the win. In game 4 Hardpoint, Envoy was an absolute terror for Chicago against the offense of Dallas. Chicago moves on to bracket play while Dallas will move to round 2 losers’ bracket and away the winner of Seattle and Los Angeles.
The final match of the day was between the home team London Royal Ravens and the New York Subliners. This was by far the most nail-biting match of the day. With both teams having excellent starts to their event, it would be a hard-fought battle to see who would move on to bracket play.
Subliners would take game 1 Hardpoint with relative ease and go on to win a very close game 2 of Search and Destroy. At this point Temp started to taunt the crowd and show off a bit, enraging the crowd who were hurling insults his way. He would soon regret his taunting as London put on a commanding game 3 Domination performance to set the tone for the second half of the series.
The Royal Ravens would absolutely destroy the Subliners in game 4 Hardpoint, winning by over 100 points. They would go on to win a very close game 5 Search and Destroy to take the series and move on to bracket play with Chicago. New York moves down to losers’ bracket round 2 awaiting the winner of Paris Legion versus Toronto Ultra.
Day 1 has seen some incredible matches between some very hungry teams. It will be very exciting to see which teams are knocked out of the tournament early in day 2, and which teams climb the losers’ bracket to play in the semi-finals against Chicago and London.
London Day 2: Losers’ Bracket
Day two of the event starts with losers’ bracket play to see which teams will be going home, and which will be moving on to bracket play with Chicago and London. There are several upsets throughout the losers’ bracket, so let’s jump in.
Group A starts out the day with a match between Los Angeles Guerrillas and Seattle Surge. Both teams have been struggling so far throughout the start of the CDL season. It’s going to come down to which of these two teams wants it more.
Both teams have a rough start, but LA seems to be a bit more organized. They take a close game 1 Hardpoint 250 – 210, followed by a nail-biting game 2 Search and Destroy 6 – 5 ending in a climactic 1v1 between Aqua and Karma. But that was all soon to change.
Seattle composed themselves and willed their way back to life. Games 3 and 4 were very close between the two teams, but Seattle came out on top, tying the series 2 – 2 and forcing a game 5 Search and Destroy. This was a back and forth slugfest between the stars of each team, ending in an 11th round decision in which Octane found the final kill with his pistol to take the series for Seattle.
Seattle came back from a possible sweep to move on in the bracket against Dallas Empire. Los Angeles Guerrillas are the first team to pack and head home. Hopefully they can come back stronger in the next event.
Group B is up next with Paris Legion taking on the struggling Toronto Ultra. The Ultra came out very strong, turning the second half of game 1 Hardpoint around and securing a 250 – 170 win. However, Legion would rally behind stellar performances by Denz and Shockz in games 2 and 3.
Game 4 Hardpoint would be the most lopsided match we have seen yet in the CDL with Paris absolutely dominating Toronto. The Ultra went home while Paris readied for a rematch of yesterday against the solid-looking New York Subliners.
The last match of Group A is a rematch of yesterday’s Dallas Empire versus Seattle Surge. The match started out similarly with Dallas taking game 1 Hardpoint behind stellar performances by Huke and Shotzzy. Game 2 Search and Destroy was pure dominance by Dallas, with Illey wreaking early round havoc with his snipes while Clayster performed some of the most clutch flanks we’ve seen in the CDL yet.
As we’ve seen a few times this season already, Seattle was able to slow Dallas down a bit by taking game 3 domination. But it just delayed the inevitable win by Dallas in game 4 Hardpoint 250 – 210. Dallas moves on to bracket play against the London Royal Ravens while Seattle are sent home.
The final match of the losers’ bracket is another rematch between Paris Legion and New York Subliners. The Subliners beat the Legion 3 games to 1 the previous day after being swept by them in opening weekend. Both teams want to prove which of them is truly better.
Paris Legion would have a lot to say on that note. Game 1 Hardpoint and game 3 Domination would be very close, hard-fought games between both teams with Paris just edging out New York for both wins. Game 2 Search and Destroy was an absolute bloodbath by the Legion, taking the game 6 – 0 behind incredible performances by Denz, Zed, and Louqa.
Paris moves on to bracket play against Chicago and New York head home to prepare for the next event. New York proved they can play at a high level this event, but they need to close out games if they want to win any events this year.
The losers’ bracket matches are complete and we have out final four teams for bracket play. This is a single elimination bracket as opposed to the double elimination of the qualifiers. The first match is Dallas Empire versus London Royal Ravens, followed by Chicago Huntsmen versus Paris Legion.
London Royal Ravens came out hot, shocking everyone by going up two games to none. They won game 1 Hardpoint with relative ease behind the excellent speed of Dylan, Skrapz, and Jurd. Game 2 Search and Destroy came down to a round 11 where Rated finds Shotzzy to end the game in favor of London.
The hype from the crowd would be short lived as Dallas preceded to take the next two games by dominating their gunfights and putting constant pressure on London. The series came to a game 5 Search and Destroy that went back and forth, round after round. With the game tied 4 – 4, Dallas rally to take the final two rounds and move on to the Grand Finals against the winner of Chicago versus Paris.
The first match of bracket play went exactly as fans had hoped. Two top tier teams playing incredibly, fighting tooth and nail for a chance to play in the Grand Finals. If the end of each event is like this, the CDL is going to be very exciting this year.
The last match before the finals, Chicago Huntsmen versus Paris Legion, was a sight to behold. A lot of critics counted Paris out before the match even started, but they would have something to say about that. Paris came out swinging and took game 1 Hardpoint behind the expert slaying of Shockz, Kismet, and Louqa.
Chicago answered right back with a dominant performance in game 2 Search and Destroy with Arcitys and Envoy having stellar performances. They then take the series lead 2 – 1 in game 3 Domination making it look easy. But once again, Paris takes the second hardpoint match due to an incredible outing by Denz, posting a 40/19 Kill-to-Death ratio (K/D) along with 1:56 of hill time.
Game 5 Search and Destroy felt like Chicago was making a statement. The Huntsmen swept the Legion 6 – 0 with an MVP showing by Scump, aka “The King.” Scump posted 13 kills in the final match, carrying his team with multiple clutch round wins.
Paris showed that they belong at the top of the rankings. Chicago is set to face Dallas in the Grand Finals. Can Dallas come out on top after losing both of their last matches against Chicago?
The Grand Finals see two of the top teams in the CDL 2020 season face off against one another. Chicago Huntsmen are 2 – 0 against the Dallas Empire, but Dallas has looked very good during this event. Let’s check out the results.
Game 1 Hardpoint was a back and forth struggle for both teams. The AR players for each team dominated the sight lines while the aggressive pushes struggled to find success. Some heads-up plays flipping the spawns ultimately won the game for Chicago 250 – 239.
Game 2 Search and Destroy was a nail-biter of a series. Empire took an early 2 – 0 lead, only to see Chicago go up 4 – 2. On the back of some impressive flanks from Shotzzy and Clayster, Empire takes the lead 5 – 4. Behind a slaying spree by Gunless, Chicago is able to take the next two rounds to go up 2 – 0 in the series.
Game 3 Domination ended the first half with Empire (considered one of the best domination teams) up 100 – 87. Coming straight out of the gate in the second half, Envoy went on an absolute tear for Chicago. He was finding kill after kill, allowing Chicago to come back and eventually win the match.
Chicago Huntsmen became the first Call of Duty League Champions during this London Home Series and have cemented their claim of being one of the top teams. Dallas played very well during the series, but still struggle to find success against Chicago. Regardless, this was a great tournament to help open the CDL season.
The new standings for the CDL have the Huntsmen sitting comfortably atop all other teams. The next Call of Duty League event will be held in Atlanta from February 22nd – 23rd. Will the Huntsmen be able to claim another victory with Faze present? I guess we’ll find out.