Is the French franchise finally nearing a decision on its roster for next season?
The Call of Duty League (CDL) off-season is in full swing. The geo-located franchised league is heading into its second season after the Dallas Empire walked away with the inaugural championship after beating the Atlanta FaZe in the CDL Championship final.
Soon after the conclusion of the final, it was revealed that the esport would be returning to a four-versus-four team structure after two seasons of five-versus-five competition. Over the coming months, several of the franchises were quick to announce their four-man rosters heading into the Black Ops Cold War season. After months of preparation, there is one of the 12 franchises that doesn’t seem to be anywhere near ready to finalise its roster for the 2021 season, and that franchise is the Paris Legion.
Having revealed that their existing roster of players would be departing the franchise on September 8, the Legion, owned by c0ntact Gaming, still doesn’t appear to be in a position to announce its roster for the upcoming season. So, what exactly is going on with the only franchise based in continental Europe?
A Deep Talent Pool
Despite having a solid mix of UK, Australian, and North American talent on its books during last season, performances during the regular season were not as good as they could have been, implying that this was the reason why the Legion has opted for a complete roster overhaul.
As many franchises opted to axe one of the existing members of its roster to adhere to the new team structure, the number of free agents to choose from has been extremely high. With a lot of players without a team and with plenty of experience competing at the top level of competition, building a solid roster should not have been a difficult task, yet for Paris, it appears that managing to find four players from an extremely deep talent pool has been just that.
Early rumours suggested that the French phenom Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez would be joining the franchise, a logical move considering that he is French and one of the hottest young properties ever seen. That move fell through as HyDra eventually signed with the New York Subliners for the Black Ops Cold War season, seemingly leaving Paris back at square one.
With so many players desperate to compete in the CDL, why has Paris seemingly failed to create a solid roster?
It’s no secret that 2020 has been especially hard due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While some franchises and organisations coped, Paris owners c0ntact Gaming has struggled financially.
If money is tight, the likelihood of attracting some big names to the Paris Legion for the 2021 season is pretty slim, leaving the owners with limited options in regards to which players it can afford.
Unable to attract the big names which will attract some amount of attention to the franchise and with time quickly running out, is the Paris Legion any closer to unveiling its roster?
The Rumoured Roster
After various reports emerged which suggested that the franchise had no idea what it was doing regarding its roster for the Black Ops Cold War season, it looked like London Royal Ravens outcasts Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall and twin brother Bradley “Wuskin” Marshall would be making the move across the channel alongside two other players. This would’ve been a very smart decision from the Legion, bringing in two players armed with a large fan base and with a point to prove after a somewhat controversial dismissal from their previous team.
As time progressed, it looked like only one of the twins had made it onto the team after Wuskin expressed his frustration on social media.
While Wuskin prepares for a year competing in Challengers, Dot Esports has reported that the Legion is nearing a decision on its starting line-up for the new season. Skrapz is rumoured to be one of the players in the four-man roster alongside former Los Angeles Guerrillas player Ulysses “AquA” Silva, ex-OpTic Gaming Los Angeles substitute Jevon “Goonjar” Gooljar-Lim, and North American amateur player Luis “Fire” Rivera.
Considering AquA didn’t have the best of seasons under the LAG banner, and Goonjar didn’t even participate in a single professional game last season, the rumoured roster seems a very strange one indeed.
Although Goonjar and Fire did finish third in the Challengers finals last season, the decision to select this particular duo over the likes of Wuskin and even former Minnesota player Adam “GodRx” Brown is certainly one that is going to raise many questions if this is the roster to be revealed.
A Recipe For Success?
As always, it is difficult to determine the success of a roster without seeing them play in some capacity. It’s likely that Goonjar will be the main assault rifle player for the team with Skrapz in the flex role while AquA and Fire will be the sub-machine gun partnership leading the charge.
If this is the case, it is a balanced team but whether the players will be able to keep pace with the top teams in the league is another question.
After not knowing what the future holds for the Paris Legion, it appears we may be getting some answers before the end of the year.
Images via Call of Duty League | Market Watch