With the 2021 season just around the corner, here are three bold predictions that may just come true.
It feels like an age since the Dallas Empire were crowned champions of the inaugural Call of Duty League season. Since the conclusion of the Modern Warfare season, a lot of changes have taken place ahead of the start of the 2021 season. While all 12 franchises have had to make roster changes due to the return of a four-versus-four team structure, the Call of Duty League will be transitioning away from consoles and will be played on PC.
Since the release of Black Ops Cold War on November 13, 2020, teams have been busy practising their strategies alongside attempting to determine some form of balance ruleset ahead of the beginning of the season which gets underway on February 11, 2021.
With so many roster changes made during the off-season, the 2021 Call of Duty League season is primed to be one of the most competitive seasons in its short history. In a league where any teams can defeat one another on any given day, here are three bold predictions that just might come to fruition during the season.
1) Paris Legion To Shine
Throughout the duration of the off-season, the Paris Legion has quickly fallen to the bottom of the pecking order thanks to its often-convoluted methods of operating. Until the last day of 2020, rumours surrounding which players would be representing the franchise swirled around the community until an official announcement emerged on the franchise’s surprisingly quiet Twitter account.
For the 2021 season, Ulysses “AquA” Silva, Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo, Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall, and relative unknown Luis “Fire” Rivera will be flying the flag for the French franchise. While this new roster may look like a downgrade from Paris’ 2020 team, this particular combination of players contains a wealth of experience alongside an untapped skill ceiling in the form of former amateur player Fire.
One of the main talking points of this particular roster is the inclusion of Skrapz, who is heading into the 2021 season with a large chip on his shoulder after being ousted from a London Royal Ravens roster that ended the 2020 season with an impressive fourth-place finish at the CDL Championship. Now representing the other side of the Channel, Skrapz has the opportunity to show the Royal Ravens that dropping them was its biggest mistake, and there’s no better way to do so than start the season off on the front foot.
Despite heading into the season as an unknown entity against the household names of Call of Duty esports, Fire has impressed when competing in online tournaments, and with the 2021 season remaining online for the foreseeable future, there is a real chance for Fire and the Paris Legion to cause a number of early upsets in the first few events of the season.
2) Toronto Ultra: The Dark Horses
Towards the end of the 2020 season, the Toronto Ultra began to stretch its legs, showing that the team was more than capable of contending with the North American juggernauts that had topped the table throughout the year. Armed with a roster consisting of three exciting European talents alongside multiple tournament winner Anthony “Methodz” Zinni, the Ultra is certainly one of the strongest rosters on paper.
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Throughout 2020, Ben “Bance” Bance, Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan, and Tobias “CleanX” Juul Jønsson all showcased moments of brilliance. Whether it was Cammy excelling with the sniper rifle or the formidable sub-machine slaying partnership of Bance and CleanX swinging the momentum of a match in their favour, Toronto is a team that should not be underestimated in the slightest.
Despite an impressive team of four, Toronto has slipped under the radar while the spotlight shines on the likes of fan-favourites OpTic Chicago and the Los Angeles Thieves. There is a real chance for the Ultra to build on their impressive run of form from late 2020, giving them all the confidence to contend towards the top of the table in 2021.
3) Too Close To Call
As teams continue preparations for the 2021 season, there are several that are capable of dethroning the Dallas Empire this season. With the potential champion almost impossible to predict, the Black Ops Cold War season has all the ingredients to be the most competitive season of Call of Duty in the history of the esport.
It’s not just the top of the table that is too close to call. There are several rosters that appear to be very evenly matched, and if the Black Ops Cold War season is anything like the previous season of competition, there’s a chance for any team to emerge with a victory on any given day. All it takes is for a run of poor results for the league table to be turned on its head, and who knows, we could well see a surprising frontrunner after the Atlanta Home Series has come to an end.
Images via MLG | Call of Duty League