CDL power rankings: 2023 season opener

The best Call of Duty players in the world are ready.

Photo via Call of Duty League

The 2023 Call of Duty League season is here. For the fourth time, the CDL is kicking off a regular season. But this time, things are coming much earlier than usual.

Unlike past seasons, which typically began weeks after New Year’s, this season will actually begin only a month and change following the global release of Modern Warfare 2. While this is a welcomed change for many, the newest CoD title has been plagued with issues that have made it difficult for CDL pros to practice and prepare for the first batch of online qualifying matches.

Despite these issues, the premier CoD league will officially start today with a matchup pitting CDL Champs runners-up Atlanta FaZe against the Boston Breach. Both of these teams look slightly different after roster changes, which could very well shake up the league’s presumed hierarchy.

With the CDL’s fourth season set to get underway, we have polled our CoD writers and editors to produce the first Dot Esports CDL power rankings of the 2023 season.

Call of Duty League power rankings (Dec. 2, 2022)

12) London Royal Ravens

Photo via Call of Duty League

After a pretty quiet offseason, the London Royal Ravens opted to bring back Nastie and Zer0 from its 2022 roster, while adding Asim and PaulEhx, formerly of the Los Angeles Guerrillas and New York Subliners, respectively. Additionally, the team signed skrapz, an English player who played for London in the inaugural CDL season before moving to the Paris Legion. After the 2021 season, skrapz hardly played any competitive CoD, instead focusing his efforts on streaming and Warzone.

Skrapz will almost certainly begin the new season on the bench, but this roster doesn’t inspire much confidence among our voters. Afro, very likely the best player the Ravens had last season, signed with the Minnesota RØKKR in the offseason. And while Asim and PaulEhx are talented players, neither seem to have the star power of Afro.

11) Florida Mutineers

Photo by Jordan Reed via EsportsNation

In much of the same boat as London, the Florida Mutineers enter the new CDL season with a different-looking roster. Only MajorManiak, a late-season addition, remains in the starting lineup as Davpadie has been relegated to the bench. Joining MajorManiak is former Mutineer Havok, as well as Brack and Vikul, two Challengers players.

Brack and Vikul are unproven in the CDL, although they both had their fair share of success in the Challengers scene last season and Brack has prior pro experience with Luminosity in 2019. As for Havok and MajorManiak, both are certainly deserving of CDL roster spots, but whether they can improve the Mutineers’ fortunes without Skyz and Owakening is another task entirely.

10) Los Angeles Guerrillas

Image via Call of Duty League

At the time, the Los Angeles Guerrillas’ stunning Major Two championship run last season seemed to be a team suddenly finding their groove. Unfortunately, that was not really the case. LAG lost nine of their final 13 matches and missed the cut for Champs despite the tremendous boost Major Two brought.

Instead of blowing up the roster, LAG chose to replace SlasheR with two-time world champion Arcitys. He swapped places with SlasheR, who is now on Atlanta FaZe. Despite Arcitys and LAG’s obvious talent, there is understandable uncertainty about whether they will manage to put it all together consistently this season to be truly competitive.

T-8) Boston Breach and Vegas Legion

Photo via Taylor Powell

The Boston Breach and the relocated Legion had very different outcomes last season. While the Breach outperformed expectations in their first season in the CDL, the then-Paris Legion recorded the worst record in league history. But things might be a little different this season.

Related: CDL announces broadcast information, and YouTube is conspicuously missing

The Legion have since moved to Las Vegas and overhauled the roster, keeping only Temp and adding TJHaLy, Prolute, and three-time world champion Clayster. The team seems more talented and experienced than last year’s, and this foursome had some success immediately upon the release of MW2, but it’s unknown how the team will perform when matches are official.

The Breach chose to only part ways with TJHaLy from its end-of-season roster, bringing in Owakening from Florida. Nero and Methodz seemed to work well together last season, and while he was a late-season pickup, Vivid appeared to slightly help get Boston back on track. He also has prior experience playing with Owakening, which is always a plus.

7) New York Subliners

Screengrab via New York Subliners

Despite an outstanding late-season push that helped the team qualify for Champs, the Subliners’ early offseason was anything but outstanding. The team’s star player, HyDra, clashed publicly with former teammates Crimsix and PaulEhx, who accused NYSL’s coaching staff of playing favorites and management of ignoring pleas for help with resolving team matters.

With Crimsix and PaulEhx, as well as a few members of the coaching staff, out of the picture, this offseason may have been a much-needed reset for the Subliners. HyDra and KiSMET, who remain from last season’s team, are now playing with Skyz and Priestahh, both of whom are proven commodities in pro CoD.

6) Minnesota RØKKR

Photo by Jordan Reed via EsportsNation

After a disappointing 2022 season in which the team failed to make Champs, the Minnesota RØKKR arguably had the strongest offseason roster moves of any team. Keeping Attach, who many considered one of the best AR players in the league, and adding Cammy, Bance, and Afro helped put the RØKKR among the most talented rosters.

That talent still needs to translate to the game, however. If the team is able to mesh well and relatively quickly, Minnesota could shoot up our next set of power rankings.

5) Seattle Surge

Photo by Kelvin Wan

Off the heels of the best season in franchise history, the Seattle Surge decided to stick with the foursome that produced a Major title and a third-place finish at Champs in 2022.

The team will need the same level of production out of its players to stay among the league’s best, especially from Pred, the league’s first Rookie of the Year, and fellow all-star Sib, who proved to be a lethal duo last season.

4) Toronto Ultra

Photo by Jordan Reed via EsportsNation

The Toronto Ultra never seemed to click last season, which seemed puzzling considering the team’s incredible performances a year earlier. And while the team had shown they could win together previously, it came as no surprise when the Ultra announced the departures of Cammy and Bance.

Joining in their places are Standy and Scrappy from Minnesota and Toronto’s own academy roster, respectively. Scrappy may be the preseason Rookie of the Year frontrunner, and Standy has shown in the past to be an excellent player. Pairing these young, talented players with the star duo of CleanX and Insight seems to be a good idea, to say the least.

3) OpTic Texas

Photo via Taylor Powell

This season will very likely be the final competitive year of Scump’s legendary career. “The King” announced he will retire after the upcoming CDL season, although he seemed to leave open the possibility of sticking around if the team managed to accomplish the nearly impossible task of winning every event in 2023, including Champs.

Regardless of whether it indeed will be Scump’s final season, OpTic Texas, like usual, has the talent to win every event. But consistency and health will be the biggest questions surrounding the team. Dashy and iLLeY were temporarily released in the offseason before being brought back a day later. Additionally, iLLeY battled a thumb injury most of last season that kept him out of action for a considerable chunk of the season and seemed to halt OpTic’s momentum.

2) Atlanta FaZe

Photo via Kelvin Wan

Atlanta FaZe are the most successful team in CDL history, with a world title, numerous Major event wins, and consistently high placings under their proverbial belts. But after the team failed to win any LAN tournaments last season, FaZe decided to acquire SlasheR to replace Arcitys.

Atlanta obviously felt the change was needed, but it remains to be seen whether SlasheR will help the team overcome the defending world champions.

1) Los Angeles Thieves

Photo via Taylor Powell

After winning the final Major of 2022 and CDL Champs, it’s no wonder the Thieves are considered the team to beat heading into a new season. Unsurprisingly, LAT opted to keep the roster together, with the only real change coming when Muddawg was replaced as team general manager by former Surge GM Novus.

The roster remains the same and the results may stay the same, but like FaZe learned all too well last season, it’s hard to stay on top.