In what will be the most action packed week of the CDL so far, which teams will rise above the competition?
After the unfortunate weather conditions in Texas caused the delay of week two of the CDL, the league decided to merge weeks two and three, giving the fans a week of non-stop competition every day Monday to Sunday, and with some key matchups taking place throughout the week we take a look at the biggest storylines heading into the super week.
Can the Thieves remain on top?
After having what many would consider a dream start for the franchise, the LA Thieves come into the super week off the back of an impressive 2-0 week one in which they managed to take down the New York Subliners and most impressively the Minnesota ROKKR. Many fans doubted the Thieves given their disappointing preseason although after their 2-0 week now they will have to prove that their wins weren’t a fluke a have another big week to show to the world they have what it takes to be placed at the very top of the CDL elite.
In their first match of the new week they face the Seattle Surge, a team that went 1-1 in their opening week and could turn out to be more of a tough test than people would expect. After losing their first series 3-0, many people wrote off Seattle as a bottom of the barrel team, although after winning their second series 3-2 and seeing the resurgence of form for star player Peirce “gunless” Hillman, the Surge could very well be a tough test for the Thieves in their first match of the week.
Secondly, they face off against the London Royal Ravens. Given that London is the team that Seattle managed to beat and the fact they are still using stand in Christopher “Parasite” Duarte for the foreseeable future, it is hard to see a world in which the Thieves don’t manage to come out on top in this matchup if they remain anything close to the levels from week one.
On paper, the biggest challenge of the week for LA should be their matchup against Dallas Empire on Sunday. After a shock loss against the ROKKR, a team that the Thieves dismantled, many fans question whether Dallas belong amongst the elite competition in the CDL and Dallas will have to come out all guns blazing to prove that they are still a top team in the game and beating the Thieves would do that for them. What seems to be the key for LA Thieves so far in their series in making sure to win the respawns and if they can manage to win at least two of them against Dallas, they will at least put themselves in with a fighting chance of taking a Search and Destroy victory, even if it does take another 16 kill performance from Kenneth “Kenny” Williams.
Are Toronto Ultra the real deal?
In what probably went under the radar for many fans as one of the upset performances of the week and without a doubt one of the more impressive victories, Toronto Ultra defeating Florida Mutineers was definitely a surprise result. The Ultra have an action packed super week in which they play four times, and with two games they are favourites for and two they are underdogs for, this is a perfect week to gauge how well the Ultra are currently stacked up in the league.
In their first series of the week they face off against a red-hot Atlanta FaZe team, coming off a 2-0 week one and an impressive win against OpTic Chicago, a team many considered the best team in the game heading into the matchup. For Toronto to stand a chance in this matchup they will be heavily reliant on SMG player Tobias “CleanX” Juul Jonsson to put in a high level performance and be able to slow down the unrelenting pressure put on by Chris “Simp” Lehr and Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris. Whilst this may seem an impossible task, if the team and specifically CleanX play at the level they did against Florida last week there is no reason they can’t step up to the plate again and shock everyone by beating FaZe.
Going into their second match of the week, it doesn’t really get any easier for Toronto as they face OpTic Chicago, a team looking to prove they still deserve to be the number one team in the game despite their loss to FaZe. Once again it seems like an uphill struggle for the Ultra to be able to win a match against another supposed top three team and if they manage to win either of their opening two series against FaZe or OpTic, it will be hard for them to fly under the radar for much longer.
In their other two series this week, Toronto Ultra find themselves playing against Los Angeles Guerrillas and Paris Legion, two teams that struggled immensely during week one. For the Ultra to be able to prove to fans that they’re the real deal, beating teams that they are favourites against is the place to start. Even if they manage to beat either FaZe or OpTic, if they lose to Legion or Guerrillas, many fans will just write them off as a middle of the pack team that can get an upset win and not truly a real title contender. Even if the Ultra just manage to win their last two games of the week convincingly, it at least shows that they are levels above the bottom of the field and if they can win a couple of maps and make in close in their first two series, it will be hard to deny them from being a high level dark horse team in the CDL.
Images via Activision | MLG | Toronto Ultra