All your key talking points ahead of the final Home Series of the season.
Fresh from another fantastic weekend of action at the second London Home Series, the Call of Duty League enters its final Home Series event of the regular season as eight of the 12 franchise teams do battle for the final time before the season-ending championship weekend. This is the last chance for the eight teams competing to earn CDL Points to secure the best possible seed for Champs which takes place at the end of August.
The twelfth and final Home Series of the Modern Warfare season will not feature the London Royal Ravens, Los Angeles Guerrillas, New York Subliners or the Paris Legion but will see the likes of the Chicago Huntsmen, Atlanta FaZe, Florida Mutineers and London champions Dallas Empire battle it out to determine the top seeds for the biggest tournament of the season.
In our latest and final Home Series preview of the season, we take a look at the key storylines heading into the event, predict the winners of the first-round matches, and see which teams are in contention to win one final event before the big one.
You can find everything you need to know about the Toronto Home Series here, including the participating teams, the complete schedule and how to watch the event.
Dallas Is the Best Team
After sweeping aside Paris in the finals of the London Home Series, the Dallas Empire are a team that has greatly benefitted from the recent changes to the metagame. With the M4 assault rifle now the best weapon used in competition, veterans Ian “Crimsix” Porter and James “Clayster” Eubanks have come into a class of their own, holding down lanes with clinical precision while the young stars roam around the map with the MP5.
The Empire only lost a single map on the way to their third title of the season and if they are able to take down the likes of Chicago and Atlanta this weekend, the Empire could well end the regular season at the top of the table and the top seed in the Champs bracket.
Can Minnesota Bounce Back?
The Minnesota RØKKR has been on a downward slope since its second-place finish at the Dallas Home Series. Since then, the team has placed no higher than sixth, dropping them down into the hectic midfield battle. Superstar SMG slayer Alex “Alexx” Carpenter has been back in the starting line-up after pulling out of the Minnesota Home Series due to injury but his first event back in the team didn’t go to plan as the RØKKR placed eighth for a second consecutive event.
Once a team that could contend with the top teams in the league, Minnesota’s downward run of form couldn’t have come at a worse time as other teams have quickly adapted to an AR-focused metagame. It’s surprising Minnesota hasn’t managed to get to grips with it yet after Adam “GodRx” Brown quickly shot to stardom in the first half of the season thanks to his aggressive and impressive slaying ability with the M4. The Toronto Home Series is the final chance for Minnesota to move up the table, and with London and New York not competing, a good performance can see the RØKKR move back up to fifth in the table.
Another Chance for OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
The London Home Series was the first time the new-look OpTic Gaming LA team got to showcase their talents and the Green Wall certainly did that, taking Florida to a game five and defeating Seattle before falling to the Mutineers in the group A qualification match. The additions of Darien “Hollow” Chverchko and Zack “Drazah” Hollow has added a new level of aggression, complementing Thomas “TJHaly” Haly’s style of play well and adding a further wave of attacking strength to the team.
Currently sat in ninth place in the table, OpTic LA has a great chance to move up the table with a strong performance this weekend, but with Chicago, Dallas, Florida, and Atlanta playing, a big points haul could be a tricky task but if the Green Wall can improve on their performance against Florida, the team has a good chance of making it to CDL Sunday.
First Round Predictions
Chicago Huntsmen 3-1 Seattle Surge
Regardless of results this weekend, the Surge are locked in as the 11th seed for Champs and given how the Huntsmen have been playing in recent weeks, a victory for Seattle is unlikely. They may be able to snatch a map if Octane is delivering with the M4 but it is hard to see anything other than a victory for Chicago, a team looking to secure the top seed for championship weekend.
Toronto Ultra 2-3 OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
Both Toronto and OpTic LA have been on a run of form, with the change of metagame bringing the Ultra within touching distance of a better starting position in the Champs bracket. The team will need to make it to Sunday in order to have any chance of moving up the table but it is achievable if they can overcome a strong OpTic LA roster.
As mentioned earlier, the new additions to the OpTic roster have bolstered its attacking presence and have shown that the team can contend with Florida, this series could well go all the way to a fifth and final map. The difference will be the performance of the AR players on both teams and with Austin “Slasher” Liddicoat intent on a solid performance despite the online setting, we see the Green Wall conquering the Ultra in a highly competitive series.
Atlanta FaZe 3-1 Minnesota RØKKR
As the league heads into its final event, it could be argued that both of these teams have been on the back foot in recent weeks, with Atlanta being swept aside by Chicago at the New York Home Series and Minnesota’s slump in form for the past couple of months. With the top seed up for grabs, the FaZe will be focused on beating the likes of Chicago and Dallas to the top of the table with a dominant performance this weekend.
For Minnesota, a minimum of a top four placement is needed if they are to move up the league table before Champs. If the team is able to rekindle the magic from earlier in the season, this series could be much closer than many anticipate but it is going have to be something special from the RØKKR if they are to overcome the FaZe again.
Florida Mutineers 2-3 Dallas Empire
This is certainly the closest match of the opening round. Dallas has the chance to wrap up its fourth title as does Florida and with both teams aiming for the top seed heading into Champs, this could be one of the most important battles for 10 CDL Points. The Empire looked clinical at the London Home Series, only losing one map throughout the entire tournament, while the Mutineers nearly lost to OpTic LA in the first round.
The last time these two teams met, Dallas swept Florida 3-0 but with it being the final Home Series of the season, expect Florida to be firing on all cylinders as they attempt to conquer the Empire and put the brakes on their push towards the top of the table.
1st: Dallas Empire
2nd: Chicago Huntsmen
3rd: Atlanta FaZe
4th: Florida Mutineers
Images via Call of Duty League, OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, Esports Nation