The New York Subliners knocked off the Seattle Surge to claim the Call of Duty League’s first major championship of the 2023 season, winning the CDL Major I with a 4-1 victory in the Grand Finals.
In the series’ first map in the best of seven match, Hotel Hardpoint would be the setting for what turned out to be a wildly entertaining map. Seattle found themselves just two points from the needed 250 to secure a 1-0 lead, but were unable to stay on the point for those elusive final seconds.
New York found an opening and behind a team wipe of Seattle, managed to get to the needed 250 points to take the lead and set the tone for the rest of the series.
In the Mercado Search and Destroy, New York rode their momentum to an early lead. Up 5-2, the Subliners looked to be in cruise control. Seattle did fight back to bring it to a 5-4 map count, but in a clutch two-vs-two situation, the Subliners iced up and found a way to close out the SnD and take a massive 2-0 lead.
The series’ third map was a back-and-forth affair, with each team trading offensive round wins before they went to a round five. The Surge were content to give up the B point and preserve their lives for a massive battle at the A point.
And then it was a bloodbath from both CoD teams.
Every single player was throwing themselves at the point and traded kills were abundant. It appeared New York was going to stack the point before Pred and his teammates flew in to get them off of the point, if only momentarily. Kismet found himself a massive two-piece that opened up the point and allowed his teammates to flood the point and win a massive map to put New York up by a count of three maps to zero in the best-of-seven series.
The series returned to Mercado for the fourth map with New York looking to close the door on Seattle in the Hardpoint.
It was again a back-and-forth map, with neither team wanting to give an inch. It was exactly what is expected of a championship match—two fantastic teams trading blow after blow to try and bring home a trophy. Seattle found themselves in a familiar situation, as the team needed to break a setup from New York just four points from 250. Unlike the first map, though, the Surge were able to overpower the Subliners to get the break and get on the board.
As the series turned the page, this time with Seattle having some momentum for the first time, the series went back to Embassy, for another massive Search and Destroy.
Despite losing the previous map, the Subliners side were absolutely dialed in and the entire map felt like a formality for New York to claim the trophy. New York took the map in dominant 6-2 fashion and claimed their first championship since their inception in 2020.
New York had a tumultuous offseason after parting ways with multiple players after the 2022 season, including the winningest player in competitive CoD history, Crimsix, and three-time world champion Clayster. There were a lot of doubts cast over HyDra’s work ethic and favoritism within the organization, just a few pieces of their dirty laundry that was aired out after the 2022 season. But in the season’s first major, HyDra looked like the best player in the world and the Subliners look like the best team in the game.
Their ability to compartmentalize and push through adversity is a testament to their mental fortitude. Their run to a CoD championship started off in the worst way possible, losing 3-0 to the Vegas Legion and 3-1 to the Toronto Ultra.
But after that moment, New York looked like a juggernaut, taking out the Minnesota ROKKR, Florida Mutineers, exacting revenge on Vegas, and eliminating both the Atlanta FaZe and Surge en route to the chip.
It was truly one of the most impressive championship runs in CDL history.