Huke, SlasheR return to Los Angeles Thieves’ starting lineup ahead of crucial week in Call of Duty League

LAT have two important matches ahead of them.

Screengrab via LA Thieves

The Los Angeles Thieves, who sit in fourth place (1-2) in Group A of the Call of Duty League’s Stage Four, are making a change before the final week of online pool play.

Huke and SlasheR, two players who were benched by LAT at different points in the season, have been promoted to the starting lineup, the team announced today. The pair replaces Drazah and Venom, who will now move to the team’s bench.

Huke returns to the starting lineup just over two weeks after being benched for the second time this season. Before Stage Four began, on May 24, the Thieves announced Huke had been replaced by TJHaLy in the starting roster. With TJ as a starter, LAT won one of their first three matches in the stage, with the most surprising result being a 3-1 loss to the 11th-place Paris Legion.

Huke was also benched earlier in the season by the Dallas Empire, despite the team sitting in second place in the CDL standings at the time of the roster move. In a 32-minute YouTube video released today, Huke said his confidence was hampered after Stage One of the 2021 season and that the Empire’s team environment led to him being benched on April 22. The Thieves acquired Huke on May 4.

SlasheR moved to the Thieves’ bench on April 5 ahead of the Stage Two Major, where the team earned a top-six placing. With the roster remaining intact, LAT won three of four Stage Three group play matches before bringing in Huke for TJHaLy. With Huke, LAT finished top six at the Stage Three Major.

Heading into the final week of Stage Four group play, the Thieves have an opportunity to finish within the top three of their group. A victory against the ⁠Minnesota RØKKR, who are tied for second place in the group, is almost a necessity, however. The Thieves also play OpTic Chicago in the final match of the week on June 13.