Los Angeles Guerrillas bench Cheen, promote MentaL before Call of Duty League Stage 5

The Guerrillas need a strong Stage Five.

Photo via MLG

The Los Angeles Guerrillas are making a roster change ahead of the fifth and final stage of the 2021 Call of Duty League season.

The Guerrillas announced today that Cheen has been demoted to the team’s academy roster and MentaL, a former Gears of War pro, has been promoted to the starting lineup. The move comes after a top 10 finish at the Stage Four Major, which marks the third time this season the team failed to crack the top eight at a Major.

Before joining LAG Academy in the offseason, MentaL won dozen of LAN events in Gears, where he played on teams such as OpTic Gaming, TOX Gaming, and UYU. After winning the Gears Esports North America/Latin America Season Finals in August 2020, he turned his attention to Call of Duty. He had competed in various online CoD tournaments in previous years, but had not attempted to become a professional in the game.

Cheen, who spent the first several months of the 2021 season playing alongside MentaL on LAG Academy, was promoted to the starting lineup in place of Vivid on April 21 before Stage Three. While the Guerrillas did win their first match with Cheen, the team has only won two of the 13 matches since. This cold streak has made it very difficult for the team to qualify for the 2021 CDL Championship, which will only have the top eight teams in the league.

Cheen faced a similar situation last season, when he replaced JKap in the starting lineup of a struggling OpTic Gaming Los Angeles squad in the middle of the season. He was benched before the end of the season and spent the remainder of the year as an inactive player. He tweeted after being benched today, likening his experience this season with the Guerrillas to the one he had in 2020 with OGLA.

“Just sucks another year I’m put in to fix a broken team but they refuse to see the real issue,” Cheen said.

Screengrab via Twitter

With only Stage Five group play and the subsequent Major remaining, the Guerrillas are 70 CDL Points behind the eight-place Florida Mutineers. Heading into the final stage, only three spots remain in the top eight as Atlanta FaZe, Dallas Empire, Toronto Ultra, New York Subliners, and OpTic Chicago have clinched spots in the end-of-season event.

MentaL and the new-look Guerrillas roster will debut in Stage Five, which begins on July 1.

About the author

Preston Byers

Associate editor. Co-host of the Ego Chall Podcast. Since discovering esports through the 2013 Call of Duty Championship, Preston has pursued a career in esports and journalism, most notably with Dot Esports. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2021.