CDL Super Week - The Empire Survives
Following the CDL super week, some teams cemented themselves as top contenders heading into the first major of the year, and with some teams massively disappointing, we take a look at the biggest storylines from the super week.
The Empire Survives
Following their shock loss to the Minnesota ROKKR in the first week of the CDL, many fans were left wondering whether the Empire were a legit title contender and following two very questionable five-game series against London Royal Ravens and New York Subliners, the questions for the Empire weren’t fully answered.
However, in the final matchup on Sunday night, the Dallas Empire proved to the fans why they should still be considered one of the favourites headed into the first major, stealing the number one seed in group A from the LA Thieves after taking them in 3-0 in the final series of the week. Without a doubt, the player that carried the team in the crucial series was Cuyler “Huke” Garland putting up monstrous numbers that the SMG players on the Thieves couldn’t contend with, putting up a 1.36 K/D over the series and over 3,000 damage more than any of his other teammates over the course of the three maps. If Huke continues to play like this, he may very well be the best player in the game, taking over the mantle from teammate Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro.
Coming into the week, it appeared that Toronto Ultra could be a dark horse for the first major, however after struggling massively to close out games, Toronto found themselves on the receiving end of some upsets that they were heavily favoured to win.
Losing at the end of the week to LA Guerrillas and Paris Legion, Toronto found themselves finishing the week with a 1-4 overall record heading into the series, with their one win coming in the first week against Florida Mutineers. The main problem for the Ultra this week was closing out games and all their players not finding consistent form at the same time, with Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan sometimes carrying the team with little help around him or other times it was Tobias “CleanX” Juul Jonsson putting up monstrous performances for the loss. Heading into the first major, for them to make a run, it appears that they will need to work on closing out their games and keeping composed to win the games they’re supposed to.
Can Atlanta win the major?
Looking ahead, it seems that Atlanta FaZe could be the early favourites for the first major of the season, coming out of group B with a 5-0 record and being the only undefeated team left in the CDL. Even with a couple of close series against OpTic Chicago and Paris Legion, with the prowess of the team in Search and Destroy, it appears not much can stop FaZe with no teams being able to beat them in three respawn game modes, and for that reason they will head into the major as favourites, facing either LA Guerrillas or LA Thieves in round two of the winner’s bracket.
After finishing with the second seed in group B and cementing their slot in the winner’s bracket against New York Subliners in round one, OpTic Chicago will find themselves in the somewhat unfamiliar position of not being favoured to win the major, with their apparent weakness in Search and Destroy being a major Achilles heel for them to overcome to be able to consistently beat the best teams in the game, something that they would have to do to win the major.
Even against the Subliners, a young, hungry team led by veteran James “Clayster” Eubanks, if OpTic don’t prepare correctly, they could find themselves on the receiving end of an upset and have to bounce back all the way from the loser’s bracket. However, with the raw gun skill on OpTic, it is hard to imagine they won’t be finding themselves deep in the tournament.
Potential dark horses?
Whilst starting in the loser’s bracket is no easy task for anyone, after putting in some very impressive performances against Atlanta FaZe, Paris Legion could potentially be a team that people should keep their eyes on heading into the major. Built from the seemingly misfit players that other teams didn’t want, Paris were written off as a bottom tier team, although with the resurgence to the form of former world championship runner up Ulysses “AquA” Silva and the team having a couple of impressive wins under their belt and a spot in the second round of the loser’s bracket it would be a risky decision for any team to overlook the Legion especially when they will be fighting for their lives all tournament.
Whoever comes out on top of the first major, Call Of Duty fans should anticipate some high-quality gameplay, and if the games keep going the way they have, some shock upsets could definitely be on the cards. It is looking like a week no fan would want to miss out on.
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