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Stick Or Twist: Which CDL Teams Need To Make Roster Changes For 2022?

Images via Call of Duty League | Minnesota Røkkr | Dallas Empire

Written by 

Jonno Nicholson

Posted 

27th Aug 2021 19:30

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The 2021 Call of Duty League (CDL) season is done and dusted after Atlanta FaZe managed to withstand a valiant effort from the Toronto Ultra to secure the championship rings and $1.2 million in prize money. Just days after the biggest tournament of the season, the community is swirling with numerous rumours surrounding many potential roster changes that are likely to take place during the long off-season.

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Often referred to as ‘Rostermania’, this period of the year plays host to many teams making significant changes in a bid to improve their fortunes for the following year. This year, the Seattle Surge was the first to blink, releasing its entire roster and coaching staff after a second season of sub-standard performances. Alongside the Surge, there are several other teams that could do with a revamp ahead of Vanguard’s release on November 5th.

With that said, which teams need to make changes to their team, and which are likely to hold on to their starting line-up for another season of world-class competition?

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Stick: Atlanta FaZe

Image via Call of Duty League

Hot off the back of a successful Champs and having won three out of the five regular-season Majors, it’s highly unlikely that Atlanta will be making any kind of changes to the best team from Black Ops Cold War. The combination of the Tiny Terrors alongside Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson and McArthur “Cellium” Jovel has proven to be a formidable force in all departments, with very few teams able to compete with them.

With such a well-rounded roster of players in the perfect position to dominate Call of Duty esports for the foreseeable future, the FaZe has cemented its position as one of the very best teams in the history of the esport with plenty more potential for championship success left in the tank.

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Twist: Paris Legion

Image via Call of Duty League

After ending the Black Ops Cold War season without a single dollar in prize money, the Paris Legion is in desperate need of a roster overhaul. There were some glimpses of brilliance shown by the likes of Ulysses “AquA” Silva and former London Royal Raven Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall but other than that, the 2021 season was filled with plenty of defeat. It’s unclear as to whether the Legion will take a leaf out of Seattle’s playbook and start with an all-new roster of players, or it will consider building a roster around Skrapz and Donovan “Temp” Laroda.

One thing is for certain. The Paris Legion must make some new signings if it is to compete with the likes of Toronto and Atlanta next season.

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Stick: Toronto Ultra

Image via Toronto Ultra

While the Ultra did fall short in the finals of Champs, the all-European roster has proven many doubters wrong, having competed against the very best North America has to offer. Two-time Champs runner-up Ben “Bance” Bance has had a remarkable turnaround during the second half of 2021, becoming a dominant submachine slayer alongside Tobias “CleanX” Juul Jønsson. The addition of Jamie “Insight” Craven as the main assault rifle player was a stroke of genius, as he ran through many of the more established players on his way to becoming one of the best rookie players of the season.

Ending the season with a second-place finish is still an impressive achievement, and it lays the perfect foundations to build next season’s campaign on. Expect Toronto to be challenging up near the top of the table throughout the Vanguard season.

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Twist: London Royal Ravens

Image via Call of Duty League

It’s hard to think that the London Royal Ravens managed to score a top-four finish during the 2020 CDL Championship Weekend, but since then, many variables out of the team’s control prevented the Ravens from flying towards the top of the table during Black Ops Cold War. Trei “Zer0” Morris never made it into the United States for a chance to compete due to travel restrictions, leaving the team to make numerous changes during the regular season. Without a stable roster, the performance of the Ravens faltered but thanks to the arrival of Marcus “Afro” Reid, there were just a few signs that London could hang with the very best in the league.

With a huge pool of free agents within Europe and North America, the off-season is the perfect opportunity for London to build a strong roster around Afro as the main SMG slayer. Perhaps Zer0 comes back as the flex player alongside some top Challengers talent such as Harry “Harry” Payne and Joey “Gismo” Evans for a huge slaying presence? We will have to wait and see what direction they take, but considering the success of Toronto in 2021, it would seem silly not to consider an all-European team for 2022.

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Stick: Minnesota Røkkr

Image via Minnesota Røkkr

The first half of 2021 may not have been the smoothest of sailing for Røkkr, but the second half of the season was quite a turnaround for a team some had placed firmly in the middle of the table. Many forget that Michael “MajorManiak” Szymaniak finished second at Champs in 2020 and amid roster moves, the main AR showcased why he was one of the very best in his respective role. As Black Ops Cold War progressed, the SMG pairing of Dillon “Attach” Price and Eli “Standy” Bentz showcased their high-impact slaying, which played a key role in Røkkr’s incredible reverse sweep victory at the Stage 5 Major.

I wouldn’t expect Minnesota to make changes based on their strong run of form towards the end of the 2021 season, but stranger things have happened during an off-season rostermania!

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Twist: Dallas Empire

Image via Dallas Empire

2021 has been full of twists and turns for many teams in the CDL, especially the Dallas Empire when the team opted to part ways with Cuyler “Huke” Garland in order to stabilise the turbulent run of form. After finally settling on Reece “Vivid” Drost as the second submachine gunner, the results did begin to improve and despite their best efforts, the Empire wasn’t able to defend the throne that it had earned in 2020.

Considering Ian “Crimsix” Porter has revealed that there was an attempt to bring James “Clayster” Eubanks back to Dallas after he was dropped a day after winning the 2020 CDL Championship, is there a possibility of the two legends joining forces for another shot at championship glory in 2021? Will Dallas go all out and attempt to poach both Clayster and Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez from the New York Subliners to create a team that can defeat the likes of Toronto and Atlanta? With plenty of possibilities on the table for Dallas, they may have to act fast as other teams begin preparations for the 2022 season, which is expected to begin in the first few months of the new year.

 

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Can The Los Angeles Guerrillas Contend For Titles In 2022?

Call of Duty League

Written by 

Jonno Nicholson

Posted 

10th Sep 2021 19:22

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