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The chip on the shoulder of Atlanta FaZe has officially disappeared, as the 2020 Champs runner-ups have become the victors in 2021. In a thrilling grand final, FaZe defeated the Toronto Ultra to win CDL Champs in 2021. After not losing a map during their previous two matches, Atlanta and Toronto traded blows in the finals. The match looked like it could go the distance at some points, with every player on the main stage giving it their all. In the end, though, it’s the Tiny Terror-led squad that takes home $1.2 million, a championship ring and their names etched in history.

Atlanta FaZe win CDL Champs in 2021

Coming into the event, Atlanta was not considered by many to be the favorites. They were outclassed at the Stage 5 Major, losing to Minnesota and Seattle. This led many fans to pick Toronto to become the champs, even if they lost the Stage 5 Major in heartbreaking fashion.

However, after FaZe’s first match at Champs against the New York Subliners, it was clear Atlanta had returned to form. They made easy work of New York and Dallas to advance to the grand final.

While Toronto took a longer route to get there, they looked strong heading into the final themselves. This led to the fans in attendance at the Galen Center to expect a gauntlet in the grand final. And a gauntlet it was.

The Ultra and FaZe took turns winning maps, with Toronto taking the first and Atlanta taking the next three. The maps themselves were a mixture of blowouts and nail-biters. The maps that stick out are the Express Search and Destroy and Garrison Control. Express ended 6-5 and Garrison ended 3-2. Both maps were considered to favor Toronto at one point or the other. On Garrison, especially, the Ultra took a 2-0 round count but were promptly reverse swept by Atlanta.

This was followed up by a Raid Search and Destroy where Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan went wild. He had two rounds that will go down in history, including an ace that only took five seconds to happen. Cammy kept Toronto in the series singlehandedly on numerous occasions. He was also aided by the best European player in Call of Duty history, Benjamin “Bance” Bance, who had a match to remember.

Despite this herculean effort from Cammy, Toronto lost the series in the following Apocalypse Hardpoint. FaZe were simply too much in the end and the best team in 2021 captured the CDL Champs title. This is FaZe Clan’s first world championship in the history of the organization. Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris took home CDL Playoffs MVP after his teammate Chris “Simp” Lehr was awarded the regular season MVP.

It’s hard to envision any team that could match Atlanta for years to come, even Toronto, according to Simp. In his post-match interview, he was asked about next season and didn’t seem too worried about the Ultra.

“We’ll smoke those guys next year, too,” he said.

We’ll have to wait and see if those words reign true when Call of Duty: Vanguard releases. For now, Atlanta FaZe are world champions.


Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.


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