The Toronto Ultra put the final stamp on a wildly entertaining Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic weekend today, beating the Seattle Surge 3-1 in the grand finals of the preseason tournament.
Toronto had been a bit of an unknown since the release of Vanguard since they hadn’t been practicing as much as some of the other teams in the CDL due to spending time overseas through the holidays. Toronto head coach MarkyB found himself incredibly impressed with his team’s ability to quickly round into form ahead of the season.
“We were a very hard-working team so that’s just all it’s going to come down to really, is us putting in the effort,” he said of his team’s quick ascension to the Kickoff Classic title. “About three weeks ago, we were getting destroyed by all the European teams when we were back in Europe for the whole of December. We won our first scrim last week, so I don’t know how we won.”
While Toronto may have been an unknown in Vanguard, it’s no surprise to see the Ultra running through a tournament. They were one of the best teams in the league last year, winning a Major and finishing second in the regular season and at the 2021 CDL Playoffs. Insight, who had a strong rookie season in 2021, picked up where he left off last year, posting a 1.25 K/D while dealing nearly 11,000 damage over the series’ four games.
Toronto’s run to the championship was impressive, taking down an improved Florida Mutineers squad, a revamped Los Angeles Thieves team, and maybe the most improved team in the entire league in Seattle after only starting to scrim against other teams within the league earlier this month.
Despite the loss to Toronto, Seattle had one of the org’s best runs in a tournament since the team began play in the CDL in 2020. Knocking off the London Royal Ravens, Atlanta FaZe, and New York Subliners within a three-day stretch is an impressive feat. Even more impressive is the fact that the team features two rookies—Sib and Pred—alongside a rookie head coach in Fenix.
While the Kickoff Classic does not award any CDL points, it was still entertaining to see both Toronto and Seattle work their way through a bracket filled with the 12 best Call of Duty teams in the world.
The Call of Duty League’s 2022 regular season officially starts on Feb. 4 when London take on Florida to start Major I qualifiers at 2pm CT.