Day 2 of the CDL Launch Weekend brought great moments for some teams but a few aspects didn't live up to the hype.
We’re finally through the second day of Launch Weekend for the Call of Duty League. A long, yet exciting, day was action-packed throughout. Some teams proved the doubters wrong and other teams look extremely underwhelming. We had several series go to a game 5, however, meaning there’s a lot of evenly matched squads early on. Let’s hop in and take a look at which aspects of day 2 ended on a high note and which ones didn’t go as planned.
High- L.A. Guerrillas
Coming into Launch Weekend, the L.A. Guerrillas were an unknown. They haven’t scrimmaged nearly as much as the other CDL teams, giving us no indication as to where they were as a team. As such, they were ranked extremely low on a majority of analyst’s power rankings.
Well, this weekend showed the community that the Guerrillas should be taken seriously as a top-caliber team. Though they stand at 1-1 in the standings, some would argue they should be 2-0. A controversial loss to the Minnesota Rokkr, in which they were forfeited an entire map, was their only defeat. However, had they not been forfeited, it’s likely they win that series.
Nonetheless, they looked outstanding the entire weekend, especially against the Florida Mutineers. Though the series went to a game 5, L.A. showed poise throughout and really shined in Search and Destroy. Jacob “Decemate” Cato was the Guerrillas’ best player today, posting solid stat lines against Florida.
Now that L.A. has had a chance to play on LAN, who knows what kind of damage they can cause in the coming months.
High- CDL Challengers
This weekend, we’ve seen some stellar Call of Duty being played. However, it’s not just by the big organizations on the main stage. Down in the parking garage, which is heated, hundreds of amateur players have been competing in the CDL Challengers event. With $250,000 on the line, there’s been a ton of great individual series and some surprising upsets.
Though some don’t agree with the best-of-three format, the Challengers event has been terrific to watch. Organizations like Hybrid Gaming, UYU, and Renegades all look fine-tuned and stand above the rest of the crowd.
Although, the Challengers events could improve. Luckily, Adam Apicella, former head of MLG Operations for the CWL, is going to be helping out with all future Challengers events. Apicella’s new company, Esports Engine, specializes in these types of events and should help out each CDL host tremendously. On top of that, Apicella has more experience hosting Call of Duty events than anyone in the industry. The future looks bright for the CDL Challengers.
Low- Seattle Surge
Looking at every roster in the CDL, there are a few that are simply loaded with talent and experience. Chicago, OpTic Gaming, and even Atlanta are among these teams. However, one with perhaps the most experience is the Seattle Surge. Many expected this veteran lineup to dominate Launch Weekend. Well, two games in and the Surge are quickly surging towards the bottom of the standings.
After two games, Seattle is 0-2 after losing to Florida and the Toronto Ultra. While both series went to a game 5, the Surge looked lost in Search and Destroy despite having strong S&D players. The team didn’t win a single map in S&D this weekend, spelling disaster for their hopes of securing a win.
While the skill and experience are present, it seems the execution is not. Seattle’s respawn game modes looked decent, but it’s extremely difficult to win any series if you can’t take a Search and Destroy map. They’ll have just under two weeks to improve their gameplay before jetting off to London on Feb. 8.
Low- Dallas Empire
While we could talk about the individual performances of someone like Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, the Dallas Empire, in general, looked awful. After the 3-1 drubbing they took yesterday against Chicago, they followed it up with a disappointing 3-0 loss against the Atlanta FaZe.
Launch Weekend was expected to be the coming-out party for Dallas. They looked amazing online prior to the event and were toted as one of the top teams in the CDL. However, they only managed to win one map the entire weekend. Though they faced arguably the best two teams in Atlanta and Chicago, Dallas should be able to perform better than they did.
What this means for the Empire going forward is unclear. As aforementioned, the debut for Shotzzy and Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal didn’t go as planned. While they have the talent to take over the CDL, the young guns need to show it along with the rest of the Empire.
Day 3 of the CDL Launch Weekend kicks off tomorrow at 3:00 EST.
Images via CODLeague.