After a Call of Duty League offseason of roster moves and huge announcements, this weekend’s Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic was the first time fans were able to see all 12 teams in action. The weekend ended with a bang in the most anticipated match as OpTic Chicago dismantled LA Thieves 3-0.
OpTic Chicago 3 – 0 LA Thieves
In front of 100,000 viewers on YouTube, two of the biggest fan bases in Call of Duty went head to head Sunday evening, but it was OpTic Chicago that proved to be the better team over the newest CDL team, LA Thieves.
The veteran duo of Seth “Scump” Abner and Matthew “Formal” Piper dominated the first half of map one hardpoint on Garrison, pushing a 40-point lead after the first rotation of hills. Then, Dashy’s 11-kill streak continued the momentum, and suddenly, OpTic had a dominating 100-point lead.
Scump and Formal finished with 29 and 28 kills, respectively, and Chicago’s lead was never in doubt in the 250-136 stomping. All four players on LA Thieves were negative, and only Kenny “Kenny” Williams and Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly surpassed one minute of hill time.
Map two moved to search and destroy on Checkmate, and although the map was closer, the result did not change; LA Thieves was not able to keep up with the punishing fire power from the side of OpTic. Kenny showed some explosive flash at times, but Dylan “Envoy” Hannon’s 10 kills were too much in the 6-4 win as Chicago went up 2-0. Only TJHaLy collected a positive KD on the side of LAT.
The event ended on Raid control as OpTic finished the sweep in 3-0 fashion. Donovan “Temp” Laroda’s hot 6-1 start gave LA something to work with, but Envoy was having none of it with an 11-0 start of his own. Round two was the dagger as OpTic was down seven lives but still converted in the dying seconds and three players from OpTic finished with over 20 kills as the series of the weekend turned out to be pure destruction for the fan favorites.
Day 1 Results
The event started with the 2020 Champions, Dallas Empire, facing off against former teammate James “Clayster” Eubanks and the New York Subliners. Dallas’ young duo of Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro and Cuyler “Huke” Garland dominated the series, starting with 65 combined kills in map one. After a 6-2 win in search and destroy, Dallas closed out a 3-0 on Raid control behind 34 kills from Ian “C6” Porter.
The next match between the LA Guerillas and Seattle Surge gave fans the first five-map contest of the year with LAG taking the final search and destroy. The Guerillas more than doubled the Surge in first-map hardpoint, but the Surge did the same thing in a 6-3 map two search win because of Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson’s 11 kills.
After a map three win, Prestinni’s 30-bomb on map four was not enough to close the series for Seattle as LAG sneaked by in hardpoint and won the search and destroy behind Reese “Vivid” Drost’s 11 kills.
Saturday wrapped up with 2020 championship finalist Atlanta FaZe facing the solid lineup of the Florida Mutineers in a best of five that also went the distance. Florida jumped out to a good start in hardpoint, collected a 60-point lead, only 32 ticks from winning map one, but FaZe shut out the leaders for 95 consecutive points to win 250-218. Chris “Simp” Lehr, Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris and McArthur “Cellium” Jovel put up more than 25 kills each and Simp’s 2:08 of hill time led the lobby.
Cesar “Skyz” Bueno’s 15-kill performance on Garrison search and destroy willed a Florida map win in an 11-round thriller to tie the series. The evenly matched play continued into Garrison control as it came down to the final seconds of the final round, but FaZe pulled through in the ever-important third map.
Map four saw Florida again shred through its opponent in the first half, but this time, it was able to keep the huge lead to tie the series back up in a 250-117 affair. Game five lived up to the hype as Florida took the series 3-2 in the most exciting finish of the weekend.
Other Day 2 Results
Before the marquis matchup Sunday night, the two European teams in the London Royal Ravens and Paris Legion kicked off the day. Ulysses “Aqua” Silva washed away the rest of the competition on map one with 33 kills and just 18 deaths as Paris took the series lead by winning 250-176. However, a balanced effort from the side of London evened the series in a 6-3 search and destroy win, handicapped by a 1-8 showing from Legion’s Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall.
Fast forwarding to map five after the teams split maps three and four, Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo started off Miami search and destroy with a round one ace, which snowballed into a 6-3 series clinching score. Classic finished with 10 kills as Luis “Fire” Rivera was right behind him with nine.
In the middle matchup, the Toronto Ultra and Minnesota Rokkr also found its way to a map five. Map one was narrowly won by Toronto 250-244 in large part due to Ben “Bance” Bance’s 37 kills, but in map two search and destroy, he connected on only two as the Rokkr tied the series. Minnesota capitalized on the momentum, taking the control, but Bance took it right back with 33 eliminations on Checkmate hardpoint to tie the series at 2-2.
Map five, Garrison search and destroy, went all the way to round 11, but Minnesota overcame a two-kill performance from Dillon “Attach” Price using 12-kill outings from both Michael “MajorManiak” Szymaniak and Preston “Preistahh” Greiner to squeak out the series.
The Call of Duty League officially starts up the 2021 season Feb. 11-14 as all 12 teams will participate in the Atlanta home series which can be seen on the CDL YouTube channel.