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The Call of Duty League has gone through another stretch of unexpected roster changes, resulting in a some equally as unexpected results. We’ve had a lot of work to do in keeping up with the shifts for Upcomer’s Call of Duty League Power Rankings.

The Dallas Empire were on everyone’s mind when they benched superstar Cuyler “Huke” Garland in favor of Tyler “FeLo” Johnson after head coach Ray “Rambo” Lassier said the team wasn’t performing up to expectations. Last year’s championship squad went on to get swept by the Toronto Ultra at the London Royal Ravens Home Series. We’ll see if they bounce back this week.

The Ultra have continued the hot streak that won the Stage 2 Major. The Northern all-EU team have won six straight and are at the top of our Call of Duty League Power Rankings.

1. Toronto Ultra

Season record: 12-9

Stage 3 record: 2-0

Movement this week: +1

The Ultra proved they didn’t win the Stage 2 Major off of a fluke. The Ben “Bance” Bance-led squad came out and dominated both the Dallas Empire and Florida Mutineers with two shutouts. While the Empire came close to getting on the scoreboard, Toronto never let up, despite falling behind in Hardpoint right off the bat. Strength is in the North.

This squad looks and plays nothing like they did during the first stretch of the season. The combination of Bance’s veteran timing and Jamie “Insight” Craven’s instincts let them roll over the defending world champions. The Ultra should be able to continue their hot streak when they play the LA Guerrillas and Minnesota RØKKR later this week.

— Aron Garst

2. Atlanta FaZe

Season record: 14-3

Stage 3 record: 0-1

Movement this week: -1

Remember when we said the FaZe looked beatable? Well, add the New York Subliners to the admittedly short list of teams who have managed to prove it.

Atlanta’s third loss of the season comes on the heels of dropping the Stage 2 Major final to the Toronto Ultra. This time out, it was a closely contested five-game series, with Atlanta letting several chances slip away.

McArthur “Cellium” Jovel propped Atlanta up in the team’s first Search and Destroy map with a 2.0 K/D (kills/deaths) ratio in Map 2 of the series. The FaZe looked just as good to start Map 5 with Chris “Simp” Lehr and Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris combining for eight kills to one death in a 3-0 start, and Simp’s triple-kill to give FaZe a 5-3 advantage all but assured the win for Atlanta. But from there, the favorites crumbled and gave up three straight rounds to earn back-to-back losses for the first time in franchise history.

— Sean Morrison

3. Dallas Empire

Season record: 12-8

Stage 3 record: 1-1

Movement this week:

Everyone in the Call of Duty League has been scratching their heads since the Empire benched Huke and suffered a big loss against the Ultra. The team hasn’t won either of this season’s Majors, but they have performed well against top teams like the Atlanta FaZe and New York Subliners. It’s understandable that the 2020 championship winning team wants better results, but the recent roster move seems to have taken them further away from success.

The Empire haven’t shown many cracks throughout league history, but they’re starting to show now. Rambo and company look to rebound against the LA Guerrillas this weekend.

— Garst

4. New York Subliners

Season record: 11-7

Stage 3 record: 1-0

Movement this week: +2

Makenzie “Mack” Kelley got the Subliners rolling against Atlanta and up the rankings by terrorizing the FaZe on Search and Destroy in a 3-2 series win Sunday.

The 19-year-old helped New York turn around a 3-0 Game 5 deficit with five kills in a row to stabilize the Subliners. He finished with 10 kills on Raid as New York reeled the game back and took a 6-5 victory to claim the series.

Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez put together about all you can ask from a Call of Duty League debut as well. The former Subliners Academy player notched a 22/18 K/D on Apocalypse Hardpoint to force the decisive game.

This young core, anchored by James “Clayster” Eubanks, might be the answer to New York’s consistency woes going forward. If so, expect to see the Subliners continue climbing the standings in the weeks to come.

Morrison

5. OpTic Chicago

Season record: 12-7

Stage 3 record: 2-0

Movement this week: +1

After suffering possibly the worst loss in Call of Duty history at the Stage 2 Major, OpTic Chicago bounced back in a big way. They went 2-0 at the London Home Series, only dropping one map in a huge return to OpTic form.

The two wins were against bottom tier teams in London and Seattle, however. We’ll need to wait and see how they perform against another powerhouse. Still, as long as Matt “FormaL” Piper continues to put up numbers (126 kills in two matches) and Dylan “Envoy” Hannon keeps making big plays, OpTic should compete at a high level in Stage 3.

Joey Carr

6. Minnesota RØKKR

Minesotta RØKKR head coach
Head coach Brian “Saintt” Baroska has been with RØKKR since the league’s inception. | Photo provided by Minnesota RØKKR

Season record: 7-8

Stage 3 record: 0-1

Movement this week: —2

Eli “Standy” Bentz has completely turned the Minnesota-based squad around. Since the rookie’s debut last stage, the RØKKR have improved in all areas. The Standy-less squad was last in K/D rankings on Hardpoint, 10th on Search and Destroy and ninth on Control. The RØKKR are now ranked fifth on Hardpoint, fourth on Search and Destroy, and third on Control since adding Standy to the starting lineup. Talk about an improvement.

The RØKKR started off strong against the Florida Mutineers but eventually fell apart and lost. The RØKKR have become a top team in the league, but any team could win between the LA Thieves, OpTic Chicago and other teams in the middle of our power rankings. Standy and company will have the chance to pop off against the Paris Legion later this week before needing to pull out all the stops against the Toronto Ultra on Sunday.

Garst

7. LA Thieves

Season record: 11-8

Stage 3 record: 2-0

Movement this week:

Zack “Drazah” Jordan has been the X-factor on the Thieves since he joined at the beginning of the Stage 2 Major. He’s been one of the reasons the Thieves have started off with two straight wins in Stage 3.

However, the LA Thieves will face the ultimate test with matches against both OpTic Chicago and Atlanta FaZe, two teams that have performed well for the majority of the season. Rookie Carlos “Venom” Hernandez has been holding his own alongside the veterans this long, but that task is about to get far more difficult.

Danny Appleford

8. Florida Mutineers

Season record: 7-10

Stage 3 record: 1-1

Movement this week: +1

The Florida Mutineers’ long-awaited roster change came prior to Stage 3 when Colt “Havok” McLendon replaced the struggling Josiah “Slacked” Berry. This move didn’t produce immediate results, as Florida was swept by Toronto in their first match.

Their next series against Minnesota was a huge improvement, though. Havok helped his squad tale down the RØKKR 3-1. Joe “Owakening” Conley put up huge numbers in the series, posting a whopping 96 kills and 1.26 K/D. “Big Wake” looks like the best player in the CDL right now. The Mutineers could find themselves competing for a winner’s bracket spot in Stage 3, even if Owakening has to carry the team on his back.

Carr

9. LA Guerrillas

Season record: 6-9

Stage 3 record: 1-0

Movement this week: +3

Before the Dallas Empire benched Huke, the LA Guerrillas made one of the most puzzling roster move of the year. They benched Reece “Vivid” Drost, who was arguably their best player, for Martin “Cheen” Chino. While the move was criticized by the Call of Duty community, it’s paid off so far.

The Guerrillas swept the Paris Legion in convincing fashion and Cheen was the best player on the map. The former MVP dropped a combined 72 kills and posted a 1.36 K/D with over 14,000 damage. Paris isn’t the best test of skill, so LA will need to continue proving themselves as Stage 3 rolls forward.

Carr

10. Seattle Surge

Seattle Surge Octane
Sam “Octane” Larew needs to help his team make a big change. Photo provided by Call of Duty League

Season record: 4-10

Stage 3 record: 0-2

Movement this week: -2

After a somewhat promising Stage 2, the Seattle Surge are back to their usually mediocre play. It’s no surprise they are at the bottom of their group for Stage 3 based on their performance. Pierce “Gunless” Hillman can’t carry the entire team, especially when Daniel “Loony” Loza continues to look worse and worse each Stage. They have the potential to go down 0-3 this week in their match against a hot New York Subliners.

Appleford

11. Paris Legion

Season record: 4-11

Stage 3 record: 0-2

Movement this week: +1

After how poorly Luis “Fire” Rivera had been performing for the roster, it was a breath of fresh air to see Paris Legion pick up Donovan “Temp” Laroda from the LA Thieves’ bench. However, despite an obvious upgrade in the roster, the Paris Legion continue to look dazed and confused in-game.

All four players on the roster have proven themselves to be a top performer at one point or another during their careers, but they are struggling to do anything during Cold War. They face Minnesota and Florida next week to potentially propel themselves in their group standings. This the best chance that Temp and Ulysses “AquA” Silva have to prove they can win in Stage 3.

Appleford

12. London Royal Ravens

Season record: 2-12

Stage 3 record: 0-2

Movement this week: -2

London continued falling after a brief blip of hope at the end of Stage 2 with a winless weekend against OpTic Chicago and LA Thieves. The addition of WestR’s Alex “Zaptius” Bonilla is a good move that could help fellow former WestR star Paul “PaulEhx” Avila settle in, but there’s been so much movement on this roster already that it’s tough to imagine more shuffling pieces will yield results.

Matchups against the New York Subliners on Thursday and Atlanta FaZe on Saturday don’t offer much hope for an immediate rebound, either.

Morrison




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