The Struggles Of The New York Subliners
At the start of the Vanguard season, many members of the community had the New York Subliners as one of the very best rosters in the entire Call of Duty League (CDL). With two veterans in the form of James "Clayster" Eubanks and Ian "Crimsix" Porter joining the team alongside French phenom Paco "HyDra" Rusiewiez and Travis "Neptune" McCloud, expectations heading into the 2022 season were high.
Following a disappointing start to the opening weeks of competition before the first Major of the year, Neptune was placed on the bench in favour of former Epsilon and Lightning Pandas slayer Matthew "Royalty" Faithfull in a bid to adapt to the fast pace of competitive Vanguard. Despite the change, the Subliners ended the first quarter of the season with a dismal record of a single victory to five losses, some of which were 3-0 sweeps.
Now at the bottom of the table, the franchise has continued struggle but some additional practice time with a returning Neptune and a change in coaching staff could spark change as the 2022 season nears its halfway point. Will the changes transform the Subliners into a team capable of contending for championship wins or is this recent wave of downward form here to stay?
Is The Team Struggling?
Based on results from online matches and a 3-0 sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Thieves at the first Major, it’s safe to say that the Subliners are struggling to find their feet in Vanguard. The pace of the game favours aggressive players and with HyDra often carrying the slaying responsibilities, the elder statesmen of Clayster and Crimsix are struggling to adapt after several years of playing with a certain style.
Perhaps sub-standard performances are down to the roles of each player within the team. The days of a passive assault rifle (AR) player locking down spawns and holding lanes from afar are long gone thanks to the increase in pace. If Clayster adapts to a more aggressive style to act as a secondary line of offence to the submachine gunners, it could make all the difference over the course of a match. Alongside Clayster, there’s also scope for Crimsix to switch between a dedicated flex role and a third SMG slayer in situations where aggression is the key to breaking an objective or to secure control of a specific area of the map.
Time For Another Roster Change?
In a bid to reverse their fortunes, the Subliners bought in Royalty following an impressive stint in Challengers. Having spent a minimal amount of time practicing and competing on the line-up, it’s unclear as to whether the change made an impact after the team bought Neptune back into the starting roster. With rumours of another roster change doing the rounds, it appears that either Clayster or Crimsix could be on the chopping block.
It’s certainly worth exploring the possibility of benching one of the two players that once dominated under the Complexity/Evil Geniuses banner. A more aggressive AR could be the injection of pace that New York desperately needs in order to join the fight at the top of the league table.
Can The New Head Coach Make A Difference?
It’s not just the roster that’s undergone a change. Former Challengers coach Ehsan "DREAL" Javed has received a promotion to the role of Head Coach while John "Revan" Boble acts as a secondary coach. DREAL is no stranger to success in the coaching role, having achieved victory with the likes of Team Singularity and Team Elevate in Black Ops Cold War. With the competition growing fiercer with each title, coaching in Call of Duty has become just as important as getting the roster right.
Perhaps a change of thought is required in order to get the Subliners firing on all cylinders and bringing in a coach with a track record of strong placements and a wealth of fresh ideas could be the catalyst for an upturn in form. With qualifiers for the second Major of the season beginning almost immediately after the OpTic Texas Major, it’s going to be interesting to see if DREAL can lend a hand as the Subliners look to swing the momentum.
Although there’s a lot of focus on the disappointing start to the Vanguard season, New York is focused on rectifying the issues within the team in order to end the second stage on the front foot. It’s evident that numerous parts of the team are either on the verge of change or have already received an overhaul so it’s probably unwise to write the Subliners off this early on in the year.
We’ve already seen Seattle Surge and the London Royal Ravens swing the momentum in their favour following staff and roster moves so there’s every chance New York can recover and fight at the top of the CDL once again.