We’re down to just four home series remaining in the Call of Duty League season, and there appears to be as much parity as there has been all season. Instead of the Dallas Empire, Atlanta FaZe or Chicago Huntsmen winning a third home series, the Florida Mutineers won a second one to make it four teams that now have two titles apiece.
The Los Angeles Guerrillas showed that teams shouldn’t be sleeping on them. They looked excellent on Search and Destroy maps all weekend to reach their first home series semifinals and almost upset the FaZe, who might be the best team in the league. The Guerrillas have entered a new phase of their season, as have other teams, like the Seattle Surge, who lost Damon “Karma” Barlow to retirement and benched Ian “Enable” Wyatt and then proved this weekend that they can beat teams not named Guerrillas. Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson’s move from Florida to Chicago has ushered in a new era for both squads, and some teams that were off this weekend, such as the New York Subliners and OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, have looked much different in recent weeks.
Below is how our staff voted to rank the 12 teams after this weekend’s home series. Each participating staff member ranked the CDL teams from No. 1 to No. 12, and the results were aggregated to determine the list below. All player stats are courtesy of Atlanta FaZe stat analyst Austin O’Neil.
1. Atlanta FaZe
Season record: 18-3 | Week 9 record: 3-1 | Change from last ranking:
The FaZe had a tough weekend, but it wasn’t against the teams you’d think. While the Dallas match was a 3-2 win, the Surge and Guerrillas pushing Atlanta to the limit wasn’t on my bingo card.
Atlanta’s mettle was tested against the Surge, whom they reverse swept, with Seattle nearly winning the fifth and deciding map on their worst mode (Search & Destroy) if it weren’t for the heroics of McArthur “Cellium” Jovel in Round 11. Then, the FaZe had to scrap against L.A. with the score bouncing back and forth until they finally took home the win with a 6-4 Search & Destroy win on Gun Runner.
And this is the next phase for Atlanta — stop underestimating opponents not called Empire or Huntsmen. In both the Florida and Chicago home series, the FaZe were pushed to five maps by the Subliners. Against the RØKKR, the FaZe won 3-2 in Atlanta and lost 3-2 in LA. Will we see the trend continue in the upcoming Paris home series against the Ultra or Legion? Time will tell.
— Darin Kwilinski
2. Dallas Empire
Season record: 15-8 | Week 9 record: 2-2 | Change from last ranking:
The next phase for the Dallas Empire will be for them to continue to put up points every weekend and set themselves up in an optimal seeding position for the league’s playoff tournament. They currently sit at third in the standings, but they’ll want to move into the top two to secure a coveted bye into the third round of the playoffs. If they can win one or two of the remaining four home series, they’ll be in good shape.
The team stumbled a bit this weekend, losing to the FaZe in five maps on Saturday and losing to the eventual champion Mutineers in five maps during the semifinals on Sunday. It’s not that the Empire struggled this weekend; they beat the teams they should have beat soundly (Minnesota and Seattle), and each of the five starters had solid stats across the board. Dallas were up 2-0 on Atlanta and just couldn’t win a third map, and they were up 2-1 on Florida and just lost a close S&D 6-5 in Map 5. If they win that Round 11 in Map 5, we might be talking about another Empire-FaZe final. The Empire just need to stay sharp the rest of the way.
— Brian Bencomo
3. Florida Mutineers
Season record: 13-8 | Week 9 record: 4-0 | Change from last ranking:1
Hello, top three.
The Mutineers were unfazed by Atlanta’s prowess and took home their first title since Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson left for the Chicago Huntsmen. It’s a new chapter in Florida’s up-and-down season that, while inconsistent, has made the Mutineers the fourth team in the CDL to win two home series events.
Standout Cesar “Skyz” Bueno tied his season-high K/D with a 1.34 for the tournament and has yet to register less than a 1.13 in any event he has played this year. There was no weak link for Florida this time out, either, with the team posting a combined plus-minus of plus-137 and every player on the team going positive in that metric.
Looking back at the start of the year, it’s nearly impossible to imagine Florida ascending this high. Could the next phase of the Mutineers’ season be a No. 1 spot in our rankings? Atlanta and Dallas, the only two teams ahead of them in our rankings, will be in their group for this weekend’s Paris home series, so there’s a chance.
— Sean Morrison
Check out the rest of the Call of Duty League schedule.
4. Chicago Huntsmen
Season record: 17-6 | Week 9: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:1
The Chicago Huntsmen entered a new phase of their season this weekend: their first hiccups after the addition of Prestinni.
The Huntsmen suffered a loss to Prestinni’s old team and eventual tournament champion, the Florida Mutineers, and a shocking upset against the Los Angeles Guerrillas. We’ve seen other teams getting closer to the Huntsmen’s prowess in S&D throughout the season, but the Minnesota home series really showed it: Chicago’s loss to Los Angeles featured two (two!) Search & Destroy defeats.
Prestinni and his brother, Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson, had the fourth- and fifth-lowest K/D of the tournament in Search, with Prestinni posting a 0.63 and Arcitys an uncharacteristic 0.67. Numbers aren’t everything, but Arcitys didn’t go positive in K/D for any of the three game modes, a troubling sign as he has been a steadying force for Chicago along with Matthew “FormaL” Piper.
5. London Royal Ravens
Season record: 8-9 | Week 9 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
The Royal Ravens had a bye week, but that didn’t keep them from getting reps in as they hosted “Royal Ruckus,” a charity Warzone tournament, where London’s own Team Skrapz took home the win.
London will be back in action against an increasingly dominant Dallas Empire squad this weekend, and all eyes will be on Trei “Zer0” Morris as he makes his second appearance with the team after the Ravens’ new starting roster went all the way to the finals in last month’s Seattle home series.
— Elizabeth Baugh
6. Minnesota RØKKR
Season record: 12-12 | Week 9 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:1
The RØKKR keep slipping, and I keep getting sad. They haven’t made a finals bracket since the Dallas home series back in mid-April, and the most notable thing they have done since then is lose to the Toronto Ultra 3-1 in the Florida home series.
This is a stumbling team at the moment, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this was a stacked home series. Still, like many of the teams on paper, this team has talent to perform. Adam “Assault” Garcia kicked open the Dallas match on one of his best maps, Ramaza, by going 33-22 with 8 assists and 1:25 hill time on Hardpoint, but the team got crushed 6-2 the very next map in Search & Destroy. From there, they couldn’t find their footing against a clearly stronger Dallas team.
But it was the match against the Seattle Surge that condemns Minnesota. Up 2-0, the RØKKR ultimately lost 3-2 and showed what they have so often showed this season: a lack of follow-through — whether it’s not being able to finish in the finals or being unable to close out a series. With a chance to close out Seattle, they lost a close Map 3 155-165. RØKKR’s next phase is to finally put to rest the stigma that they can’t finish.
7. New York Subliners
Season record: 6-12 | Week 9 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:1
The Subliners were off for the Minnesota home series, so their next phase will begin at the Paris home series this weekend. Will they build off their performance in Seattle, where they nearly made it to the final? Or will they revert to early-season NYSL and struggle some more? We won’t have to wait long to find out.
— Joe DeMartino
To see rosters for all of the Call of Duty League teams, click here.
8. OpTic Gaming L.A.
Season record: 7-11 | Week 9 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
OpTic Gaming Los Angeles has been in a new phase ever since the Florida home series. That’s when they surprised everyone by reaching the final that weekend against Atlanta. They followed that up with another semifinal appearance during the Seattle home series. With back-to-back semifinal appearances it appears OpTic are on their way to respectability again after really struggling early in the season. Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat has been a catalyst for the team, and the addition of Martin “Chino” Chino to the team’s starting lineup has also buoyed the team. If those two continue to click, then OpTic will remain a force to be reckoned with during the second half of the season.
9. Los Angeles Guerrillas
Season record: 5-13 | Week 9 record: 2-2 | Change from last ranking:1
The Los Angeles Guerrillas have clearly entered the next phase in their development. After showing improvement last month when they finally beat the Seattle Surge, they really made some noise this past weekend. Not only did they reach their first home series semifinal on Sunday by beating the Chicago Huntsmen on Saturday, they nearly pulled off what would have been a monumental upset of the Atlanta FaZe. They pushed the FaZe to Map 5 in their series, and what might be even more remarkable is that the Guerrillas actually lost that Search & Destroy map.
Much of the Guerrillas’ success this weekend is due to how well they played on S&D maps. Going into the series against Atlanta, L.A. was 5-0 on S&D. If they had won just one of the two S&Ds against Atlanta they likely would have reached the final. Three Guerrillas were among the top 10 players in S&D K/D this weekend — Reece “Vivid” Drost, Ulysses “AquA” Silva and Renato “Saints” Forza. Vivid deserves recognition in particular with a K/D of 1.47 in Search and Destroy — good for second-best among all players — and he also made some critical plays in this map type throughout the weekend. Despite still being near the bottom of the standings, the Guerrillas might be one of the scariest teams to face as the season winds down.
10. Seattle Surge
Season record: 5-13 | Week 9 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:2
A win against Minnesota seemed like a harbinger of change for Seattle, but the team fell back into a lower gear against Dallas and hasn’t moved forward much all year.
Sam “Octane” Larew remains unfazed by his team’s poor performances and put up another respectable showing with a plus-29 for the event despite all his teammates going negative in double digits in that metric.
The Surge have some time to phase out the issues that plagued them against the Empire and focus back on what worked against the RØKKR in the weeks to come. Seattle doesn’t play again until mid-July and will face the Royal Ravens to start things up again.
11. Paris Legion
Season record: 6-10 | Week 9 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
It’s not a true home-field advantage because it’ll be online, but it has to feel good for the Legion to finally host their own event after a disastrous Seattle home series. The Legion’s next phase doesn’t look too promising, however, as they’ll face the surging Mutineers in their opening game.
12. Toronto Ultra
Season record: 4-10 | Week 9 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:3
It has to be tough not competing for a month and then coming back during a stacked tournament. The Atlanta FaZe, Dallas Empire and Chicago Huntsmen were all present in Minnesota, meaning more likely than not, the Ultra would have to face one, if not more, of the titans of the CDL.
And they did. And they got crushed 3-0 by the Huntsmen.
Was it all bad for the Ultra? Not quite. They did nearly reverse-sweep the L.A. Guerrillas, who have been playing at a higher level than expected lately (they beat the Huntsmen 3-2). Also surprisingly, during that near-reverse sweep against L.A., others on the squad stepped up. The team equally performed during Map 3 on Hackney Yard on Domination; Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan then dropped 32 kills on a Hackney Yard Hardpoint to tie the series 2-2; and Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo finished 9-6 on S&D in the final map before the loss.
This is to say it wasn’t up to only Anthony “Methodz” Zinni to carry the team, and that is how the Ultra will get to the next phase.
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