The competitive Call of Duty landscape is buzzing with excitement heading into this week’s Stage Four Major.
This tournament marks the first time the Call of Duty League will have an in-person event since last March following the league’s move to online play for the rest of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this season has mostly run well online, fans and players alike are undoubtedly excited for the CDL to return to what makes competitive CoD so exciting: LAN.
From New York’s temporary new-look lineup to OpTic Chicago’s ability to stay consistent, here are the biggest questions heading into the Stage Four Major.
What team at the bottom of the standings could surprise fans?
There’s a clear disparity from the eighth-place team in the CDL, the Florida Mutineers, to the bottom of the league. The Los Angeles Guerrillas sit in ninth place with 90 CDL points on the season while the Paris Legion and London Royal Ravens find themselves in 10th and 11th, each with 80 CDL points. The Seattle Surge are in last with 60 CDL points. But one of these teams will likely give someone a headache in the losers bracket.
Paris look to be the most dangerous of these four teams right now. The Legion come into the Major winning two of their last three matches, including an upset win over the Los Angeles Thieves on June 4. Seattle have been extremely inconsistent this year but have a talented roster with championship experience. That was evidenced by their 3-2 win over OpTic Chicago on June 10. London, who went 1-4 in Stage Four group play, enter the Major with a win in their last match, a 3-1 victory over the Guerrillas. For the Guerrillas, they haven’t won a match since the Stage Three Major and have looked overmatched at times this season.
How will the new-look Subliners gel?
With Asim unable to travel to Dallas for this week’s Major, the New York Subliners had to look elsewhere to complete its roster for this event. They chose Decemate, most recently with the Seattle Surge, to fill in for the rest of Stage Four. While Decemate only played three series with Seattle, he played relatively well for the 12th-place team in the CDL, posting a 0.91 overall K/D and a 1.21 K/D in Search and Destroy.
New York still should be considered one of the favorites for this tournament, despite the absence of Asim. While their chances take a hit due to these circumstances, the Subliners have been a top-three team all season long. And if Decemate gels with Clayster and the rest of the squad, New York could make a deep run into Sunday.
What OpTic Chicago will we see?
This question was asked before the start of Stage Four and it appears the answer is still unknown. Chicago went 3-2 in group play with an expected 3-0 loss to Atlanta FaZe and a disappointing upset loss to Seattle. While OpTic did follow up that loss to the Surge with a dominant performance against the Thieves, it’s still unclear what version of OpTic will show up to the Major.
OpTic have one of the most talented rosters in the CDL. Scump has turned back the clock and is playing at an extremely high level, specifically in Search and Destroy. Dashy has a 1.15 overall K/D this season, good for second in the league and trailing only MVP front-runner Simp. FormaL and Envoy have both performed well. At a certain point, this team needs to see it all come together. They had a fantastic run at the Stage Three Major, which could help propel them this time around.
For an experienced team like OpTic, a return to LAN could prove to be extremely beneficial.
Are Atlanta FaZe just as dominant in person?
Atlanta are undoubtedly the best team in the league this season. If the CDL was college football, Atlanta would be the University of Alabama. They have the best coaches, the best players, and the most dominant outcomes.
Simp, Cellium, and aBeZy all hold K/Ds of 1.10 or higher, and Arcitys comes in with a 1.06. There’s no overstating when saying this is the most complete team Call of Duty has seen since the OpTic Gaming dynasty.
With the switch to LAN, there should be no dropoff with how talented this team is. But can they continue to dominate teams night in and night out? Three of Atlanta’s starting lineup have won a world championship on LAN. Cellium has been in high pressure moments his whole career. If there’s one team to bet on handling the pressure at this event, it’s this Atlanta team.
The Call of Duty League’s Stage Four Major kicks off on June 17 at 2pm CT when the Seattle Surge take on the London Royal Ravens.