Wed, 19 Feb 2020

Take 5: Re-stacking the CDL after Launch Weekend

Field Level Media
28 Jan 2020, 09:20 GMT+10

"Launch Weekend" showcased all 12 Call of Duty League teams, with each team playing two matches in what could have been dubbed "Rivalry Weekend."

The first game of the weekend was between the Chicago Huntsmen and Dallas Empire - arguably the most bitter rivalry in the league.

Other notable rivalry matchups included:

--Paris Legion vs. London Royal Ravens (Battle of the Europeans)

--Toronto Ultra vs. Minnesota ROKKR (Battle of the North)

--Chicago Huntsmen vs. OpTic Gaming Los Angeles (Former teammates/ownership)

--New York Subliners vs. Atlanta FaZe (Battle of the East)

Favorites coming into Launch Weekend, according to the Call of Duty League power rankings, included the Dallas Empire, Atlanta FaZe, Chicago Huntsmen, OpTic Gaming Los Angeles and New York Subliners.

However, only the Atlanta FaZe and Chicago Huntsmen lived up to the hype as they both went 2-0 on the weekend.

The remaining three "powerhouses" didn't win a single series.

My new top 5 teams after Launch Weekend:

1. Atlanta FaZe (2-0)

The FaZe looked to be completely unstoppable in nearly every match they played this weekend. Chris "Simp" Lehr was easily the best player that I watched and his numbers reinforce that claim.

In a tweet after their matchup with FaZe, New York Subliners player Thomas "ZooMaa" Paparatto said, "FaZe is next level right now, the pressure they apply is insane, on every map."

2. Chicago Huntsmen (2-0)

The Huntsmen came out firing on all cylinders as they beat their rival - and previous No. 1 team in the power rankings - the Dallas Empire 3-1.

On the shoulders of the "T2P" duo, Seth "Scump" Abner and Matthew "Formal" Piper, the Huntsmen looked seemingly unstoppable against both of their rivals - Dallas and OpTic Gaming.

Young gun Dylan "Envoy" Hannon showed us that he may be the wildcard that carries the Huntsmen to a very successful season.

3. Paris Legion (2-0)

Formerly ranked at No. 12 in the league, the Paris Legion silenced naysayers this weekend as they beat top-five OpTic Gaming in day two and then their European rivals in day three.

I was most impressed by the Aussie duo of Denholm "Denz" Taylor and Conrad "Shockz" Rymarek.

Paris seems to be a genuine contender for the No. 1 spot in the league by the end of the year.

4. Minnesota ROKKR (2-0)

Minnesota looked a little rusty in the first day of their home event, but came back strong on day three to beat their northern rival Toronto Ultra.

This team seems to have a lot of good chemistry and play very well together, but I was most impressed with Adam "GodRx" Brown's performance this weekend.

He put on a clinic for the home crowd and helped lead the ROKKR to an undefeated start in the league.

5. Los Angeles Guerrillas (1-1)

The Guerrillas came out very hot with a fairly dominant first map against the ROKKR and then again in the second map. However, Los Angeles player Andres "Lacefield" Lacefield was reported for using a banned perk and it was determined that they would forfeit the second map en route to a 3-1 loss. Los Angeles acknowledged the inadvertent use of the perk and have protested the outcome.

Rules are rules, but the Guerrillas bounced back in their second series against the Florida Mutineers and won 3-2.

Four of the five teams listed above (Atlanta, Chicago, Paris, and Los Angeles) meet up overseas in London for the first "Home Series" event on February 8-9.

--Jason Anderson, Field Level Media

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