Will The Royal Ravens Fly High With Their New Roster?
Heading into the new season of the CDL, the London Royal Ravens have decided to make multiple roster changes to their team after the announcement of the league moving to 4v4. The new roster consists of Alex "Alexx" Carpenter, formerly of the Minnesota ROKKR joining three of the returning members from last seasons members.
The three returning members are Trei "Zer0" Morris, Sean "Seany" O’Connor, and Thomas "Dylan" Henderson. However, the biggest shock to the roster is not the players that are on the roster; it’s the players who aren’t. After being arguably one of the best AR players in the league during the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, it came as a major shock to the community when Bradley "wuskin" Marshall, was released by the organisation. As well as wuskin, his twin and face of the team Matthew "Skrapz" Marshall was also released.
Why Were the Twins released?
After the news that both wuskin and skrapz had been released by the organisation, speculation began to circulate around the community as to the possible reasons for the iconic EU duo to be dropped by the team.
Currently, it appears that due to the league being forced online last season many teams were reluctant to take up the second year options on the contracts of a majority of players in the league, due to a lack of revenue from missing out on live events. This meant that most starters around the league were reportedly made to accept lesser contracts in order to help the bottom lines of teams around the league, which if rumours are to be believed, the twins were unwilling to do. This would make sense as to why Seany would be maintained as the main AR instead of wuskin as Seany was brought on as a bench player last season and is, therefore, more likely to be on a ‘team-friendly’ contract. Although, another rumour surrounding the twins, less likely albeit, is that they weren’t dedicated enough to the game and attitude issues were the reason for them being replaced.
This rumour was sparked by a Reddit post by Adam "Assault" Garcia. The post hinted that on multiple occasions the twins prioritised other things such as Call of Duty: Warzone events over scrims and practising with their team.
Can Alexx fill the shoes of Skrapz?
After an up and down season for Alexx on the ROKKR, which finished with a disappointing ninth/tenth at CDL Champs and him being benched due to injury, many question whether he still has the capability to maintain a high level of play. However, due to the nature of the last season being almost entirely online and Alexx having a reputation of being a top EU player for the last few years on teams such as Unilad and Reciprocity, he definitely deserves the opportunity to prove himself once again on a team surrounded by his fellow brits.
With that being said, he has giant shoes to fill, replacing arguably the best EU player of the last couple of years in Skrapz. Having built up a reputation starting in the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare season, Skrapz has become a household name for EU fans and has earned a large fanbase within the community for his down to earth personality and world-class ability on the game. This is the one thing that Alexx may be unable to bring to the table as he isn’t known for his marketability which is shown with his vastly inferior social media following.
Although, at the end of the day the team won’t win games with Twitter followers and management and coaching staff including former players Shane "ShAnE" McKerral clearly believe that Alexx is the future of the team and Skrapz and wuskin are the past.
What to expect for the future
After achieving a fourth-place finish at CDL Champs 2020 and keeping three of the starting roster, fans will be expecting similar results in the upcoming season and on paper that seems like a reasonable expectation. With Dylan and Alexx potentially filling the SMG duo, they have the ability to challenge the top teams on any given Sunday. The biggest question mark is the AR slaying power on the team. Whilst Seany is by no means a bad player, having a heavy slaying AR has been a staple for the very best teams and although he has shown the occasional top performance, his 0.97 K/D at champs is basically a microcosm of his entire career.
Overall, we should expect possibly a few semi-finals performances. However, unless the game is heavily reliant on team play, we can’t envision this team being a consistent title contender with teams such as the Chicago Huntsman, Atlanta Faze, and the defending world champions Dallas Empire still dominating the league. Only time will tell how the Royal Ravens will perform in the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season.
Images via Activision | London Royal Ravens | Team Reciprocity