The inaugural Call of Duty League champions are making changes to their roster already.
Less than a week after finishing third at the 2021 CDL Championship, the Dallas Empire has parted ways with Vivid, a mid-season acquisition who stabilized the team after a rough stretch, as well as Crimsix, the most winningest player in Call of Duty esports history who was named the first CDL Championship Most Valuable Player when the Empire won the world title in August 2020. While it appears the franchise intends to move on from both players, they each said they are restricted free agents, meaning their contracts would likely need to traded or be bought out by any prospective teams.
While it is no surprise Dallas made a move—the team was the only one in the 12-team league not to acquire a starting player last offseason—fans seem surprised at Crimsix’s departure and the timing of the move. Crimsix is one of only three players in CoD esports history to win three world title events, and his leadership and experience appeared to prove vital to the team’s success in the 2020 season.
With these two moves, Dallas becomes the third team to announce changes to its roster. The Seattle Surge, who failed to qualify for the $2.5 million CDL Championship, announced the releases of its entire roster and head coach. The Paris Legion, another team who did not compete in the final event of the season due to a poor regular season record, similarly released its roster today.
Update Aug. 27 8:41pm CT: A spokesperson for the Dallas Empire replied to Dot Esports request for comment with the following statement:
“The team is heading in a new direction for next season. Letting players know as early as possible in the offseason has always been important to give the team and the players opportunity to find the best situation for the future. Crimsix is obviously special, and brought a championship to Dallas. The organization will always love him for that. Vivid came on great this year and proved he deserves a starting spot in the CDL. We’ll have more roster updates in the future.”
Envy chief gaming officer Mike “Hastr0” Rufail also thanked Vivid and Crimsix via Twitter, adding the team cannot “become complacent in fixing issues regarding our team dynamic.”