Boosted by the return of their veteran leader Clayster, the New York Subliners stunned OpTic Chicago in their first-round match of the 2021 Call of Duty League Championship today with a 3-2 win.
New York came into CoD Champs as the fifth overall seed but had been without Clayster since the middle of Stage Five group play after he stepped aside to “recharge.” The Subliners went 3-2 in his absence but it was clear the team didn’t have the high ceiling they do with this three-time world champion in the lineup.
The Subliners came out hot today, taking a quick 2-0 lead over OpTic with dominant performances on Checkmate Hardpoint and Express Search and Destroy. It looked like New York were going to run away with the series in dominating fashion. OpTic did manage to push it to a game five but New York pulled away with a 6-4 win. While New York’s win might be surprising to many fans of the CDL, Clayster knew better than to doubt his squad.
“We’ve been looking phenomenal the last two weeks,” he said of his team in the post-match interview. “So I’m just glad we could come out here and show everybody what we’re about.”
HyDra led the Subliners in slaying with a 1.13 K/D across the series’ five games, while Clayster posted a 0.98 series K/D. New York were actually outslayed in the series by 11 but they made enough plays to close it out.
OpTic dropped their winners bracket match for the fourth time this season and will yet again need to make a losers bracket run to save their season. Scump played as well as he has all year, posting a 1.26 series K/D and continuing a trend of strong CoD Champs performances. Unfortunately for him and Chicago, though, it wasn’t enough.
Envoy, who’s played extremely well over the past few stages, struggled with a 0.80 K/D, failing to keep up with HyDra’s extremely fast pace of play. OpTic will need Envoy to step up his play if they want to make a losers bracket run. He’s been crucial to their success this year, and when Envoy struggles, OpTic usually struggles. He’s the biggest X factor on Chicago’s roster.
New York advance to winners round two, where they’ll match up with the CDL’s best team, Atlanta FaZe, tomorrow at 3:30pm CT. OpTic face the Florida Mutineers with their season on the line later today after the Los Angeles Thieves vs. Minnesota RØKKR match concludes.