LA Thieves and Dallas Empire Battle It Out For 1st Place In Group A.
Technically, this was meant to be a Stage 1 Week 3 game in the Call of Duty League 2021 season. However, the events in Texas over the past couple of weeks meant that Week 2 games were delayed, and instead the league opted to make a CDL Super Week. So instead of Week 2 running from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st February, it combined with Week 3 to create the Call of Duty League Super Week running from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th February. We have created a full preview of the Call of Duty League Super Week if you want to catch up on the details.
How Things Look So Far
With the league heading into what would have been its third week of action, we are starting to get more of a feel for the teams this year following the roster mania and franchise changes. It will likely take us until the end of Stage 2 to get a true understanding of where teams are at, and where we can expect them to finish, but as it stands, there are many takeaways including who is performing best at each respective game mode.
The end of the Stage 1 regular matches is a massive feature game this Sunday evening, between the reigning champions Dallas Empire and the popular LA Thieves who have had a tremendous start to their debut season. Last week we look at LA Thieves vs Seattle Surge as our game to watch.
The action unfolded last night, in what is arguably the best series we have witnessed in the opening weeks of actual in the 2021 Call of Duty League season. LA Thieves came out victorious with a 3-2 win, with an incredible last map performance.
Meanwhile, Dallas Empire merely scraped a win against the London Royal Ravens. Despite the close encounter, that was predicted to be an easy win, there were still glimpses of the true quality on the Dallas roster.
The LA Thieves and Dallas Empire are from Group A, and when you take a look at the current standings, you can see this game will be a huge decider, but right now, LA Thieves are in the driving seat
Two Pillars Of Call of Duty Esports Clash
Whilst LA Thieves are a new franchise to the CDL this season, and 100 Thieves (LA Thieves' parent company) have only been operating for a few years, those involved with the brands have been pillars of the community since its beginning. For the Dallas Empire franchise, it is owned by Team Envy. Team Envy was founded by Mike ‘Hastr0’ Rufail, previously known as EnVyUs, the brand stems back to 2007 and the dawn of esports.
These are the sort of franchises that we expect to be battling it out at the top of the Call of Duty League, and you imagine will be at the forefront of aiding the league to grow and develop through its infancy as a franchised league. Dallas Empire won the third Home Series events and the world championship last year, truly stamping their name in the history books.
The LA Thieves bring the return of 100 Thieves and Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag to Call of Duty, and they will without a doubt be pushing to try and claim the world championship as their own at the end of this season.
We touched on the full breakdown of the LA Thieves in last week's Game To Watch piece, but here’s a quick recap on their roster.
- Kenny "Kenny" Williams (Player)
- Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat (Player)
- Thomas "TJHaLy" Haly (Player)
- Donovan "Temp" Laroda (Player)
- Zack "Drazah" Jordan (Substitute)
The team has had a fantastic start to the season, currently sitting at a 3-0 record with a 9-3 map count. Losing against Dallas would mean both teams hold 3-1 records, and Dallas would move into 1st place in Group A due to the head-to-head win. So it is vital for the LA Thieves that they clutch up in the final game of the CDL Super Week and head into the first major of the year with full confidence.
It’s already been touched on, but Dallas Empire came into this season after making history, as they won the first ever franchised Call of Duty League World Championship in 2020. Despite the event having to take place online due to COVID-19, it is still a massive achievement.
At the end of Week 1, the Dallas Empire were caught out by the Minnesota ROKKR who pulled off a 3-2 upset of the champions. Now as they head into this game against the LA Thieves, as a loss could potentially leave them sitting in 3rd or even 4th place out of the six teams in the group. Below you can find the Dallas Empire roster for the 2021 Call of Duty League season.
- Anthony "Shotzzy" Cuevas-Castro (Player)
- Cuyler "Huke" Garland (Player)
- Indervir "iLLeY" Dhaliwal (Player)
- Ian "C6" Porter (Player)*
- Tyler "FeLo" Johnson (Substitute)
* It’s worth nothing that C6 was formerly and more commonly known as ‘Crimsix’.
It’s predicted and expected that Dallas Empire and LA Thieves, along with the likes of OpTic Chicago and Atlanta FaZe will pave the way for the Call of Duty League moving forward.
All four stem from some of the biggest esports organisations in the world, and each have their own unique ties to the core of Call of Duty esports. This will be both a short term rivalry this season and also a long term rivalry in the history of Call of Duty esports.
Images via LA Thieves | Dallas Empire | Call of Duty League