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The Call of Duty League is going back to LAN later this year, which means the Stage 3 Major could be the last major event that’s played online in the 2021 season. That could change our power rankings once players leave the latency behind. The Upcomer Power Rankings don’t care about how the game is played, though. We care about who is the best.

The Toronto Ultra are undefeated going into the Stage 3 Major, the Los Angeles Thieves have a new superstar on their roster, and the Atlanta FaZe are starting look like a shadow of the squad we watched at the beginning of the season. Every team has the chance to wipe the slate clean by winning — or placing high enough to earn some of the cash prize — the Stage 3 Major.

Nothing is a given this weekend except for some clean Black Ops Cold War action. Here are where all 12 Call of Duty League teams rank ahead of the Stage 3 Major.

1. Toronto Ultra

Season record: 15-9

Stage 3 record: 5-0

Movement this week:

Toronto is playing like a team on fire. It’s not just communication or team synergy, either. Every member of their team has been playing at a high level. Ben “Bance” Bance has been winning gunfights left and right, Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan has proven he’s the best flex player in the league and Jamie “Insight” Craven has been the anchor tying them all together. It’s no wonder the team’s been on a tear since he got moved up from the bench in March.

The Ultra are 29-6 in maps during their nine game winning streak. Playing through a Major is a completely different beast, though. Toronto has experience and are primed to make a deep run even if they get knocked into the loser’s bracket. They’ve been there before, after all.

— Aron Garst

2. New York Subliners

Season record: 14-8

Stage 3 record: 4-1

Movement this week: +2

A victory against OpTic Chicago gave New York the marquee win they needed to make a statement after mixed results throughout the Call of Duty League season. A loss to London Royal Ravens on April 29 is the sole blemish on the Subliners’ Stage 3 record, and with London’s improvement in the stage, that L looks a little bit better.

Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez continues to be a revelation for New York. His collective 1.75 K/D (kills/deaths) ratio during the series against OpTic paced the Subliners through their upset, and the CDL rookie is now third in the league in K/D with a 1.14 clip, according to Breaking Point.

If HyDra can continue to perform alongside anchors such as Makenzie “Mack” Kelley and James “Clayster” Eubanks, this is without question a top-3 team that can contend with the Toronto Ultra and Atlanta FaZe on any stage.

— Sean Morrison

Chris "Simp" Lehr Stage 3
Chris “Simp” Lehr and the FaZe are still a powerhouse. | Provided by Carlton Beener for Activision Blizzard Entertainment

3. Atlanta FaZe

Season record: 18-3

Stage 3 record: 4-1

Movement this week: -1

This weekend was business as usual for Atlanta as the FaZe handled a bottom-dweller in the Seattle Surge and swept aside a struggling OpTic Chicago. The matchups were a nice rebound from the first back-to-back losses in franchise history, and a four-match winning streak capped off by beating a top-5 foe should give FaZe the confidence they need going into the Stage 3 Major.

With two leaders in K/D in Chris “Simp” Lehr (No. 1 with a 1.2) and McArthur “Cellium” Jovel (No. 4 at 1.12), Atlanta has the firepower to jump back into the top spot over the surging Toronto Ultra. Things don’t get any easier after that OpTic sweep, however: Atlanta will face the Dallas Empire in the first series of their Stage 3 Major run and likely have another matchup against a top-5 opponent from there as well.

— Morrison

4. Dallas Empire

Season record: 14-9

Stage 3 record: 3-2

Movement this week: -1

Call of Duty: Warzone has a brand new statue sitting outside Verdansk stadium to honor the Dallas Empire’s victory in the 2020 season of the Call of Duty League. The honorary placement in the battle royale comes at an odd time, as the Dallas Empire are struggling to defend their throne with a roster that’s completely different than the one that won it in the first place.

The five flags hanging on the outside of the building are a remnant of the past. Clayster and Cuyler “Huke” Garland are on other teams and only four players are on the field at once now. That —alongside the fact that Dallas has been struggling since sending Huke to the Thieves — make the monument feel eight months too old to be relevant.

Dallas is still an Empire that can compete with anyone, however. Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal and company beat Minnesota, Paris and the Los Angeles Guerrillas heading into the Stage 3 Major. They lost to both Florida and Toronto, setting up a difficult road to victory this weekend.

— Garst

5. LA Thieves

Season record: 12-10

Stage 3 record: 3-2

Movement this week: +2

Thieves management shocked the Call of Duty League community when they benched Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly for Huke ahead of the squad’s matchup against the New York Subliners. TJHaly had been performing well during Stage 3 but wasn’t keeping pace with some of his teammates. Huke pulled off some incredible plays during Stage 3, but he still needs time to gel with the rest of LA’s roster.

Despite dominating Seattle, London and Chicago, the Thieves fell short against Atlanta and New York. Both teams are currently in the top three in the overall standings, which means the LA Thieves are slowly breaking out of their cemented sixth place ranking. With more time to practice with Huke, LA Thieves could make a deep run at the Stage 3 Major.

— Danny Appleford

6. OpTic Chicago

Season record: 12-10

Stage 3 record: 2-3

Movement this week: -1

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The OpTic Chicago team from Stage 1 is completely gone, and what’s left is a roster reminiscent of the OpTic Gaming from Call of Duty: WWII. Chicago only managed to beat Seattle and London in Stage 3, two teams at the bottom of the league. But that wasn’t surprising. OpTic looking absolutely dreadful against other top teams in the league was a surprise, though.

At this point, it’s hard to imagine Chicago making any kind of a run at the Stage 3 Major. Seth “Scump” Abner and others on the squad have been saying they’ll perform better on LAN all season. We’ll see if that’s true when we return to in-person play with the next Major in June.

— Joey Carr

7. Florida Mutineers

Season record: 9-11

Stage 3 record: 3-2

Movement this week: +1

One of the biggest surprises during Stage 3 was how good Florida looked with their newest member, Colt “Havok” McLendon. The Mutineers were able to leapfrog the Dallas Empire in Group A, taking the second seed behind the undefeated Toronto Ultra.

While we’re not expecting a grand finals run from the Mutineers at the Stage 3 Major, this roster could be one to watch out for in Stage 4 and beyond. Joe “Owakening” Conley (1.11 KD in Stage 3) and Cesar “Skyz” Bueno (1.16 KD in Stage 3) are playing as fast and strong as anyone else in the league.

Carr

call of duty power rankings, Stage 3 Major bracket
The Stage 3 Major Bracket. | Image provided by Call of Duty League

8. Minnesota RØKKR

Season record: 8-9

Stage 3 record: 2-3

Movement this week: -2

Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi pulled off the play of the season during the Stage 2 Major, killing three members of Chicago in a stunning round of Search and Destroy. Now he’s been struggling to keep Minnesota in the middle of the Call of Duty League pack. The RØKKR have barely been able to keep up with top teams like Dallas and Toronto.

The RØKKR outgunned Dallas by 12 kills during their series, but still came out with the loss. Accuracy put out an abysmal .82 KD during that match and an didn’t even drop 13,000 damage against the Guerrillas. That’s not a good stat-line as a main AR. Accuracy says he’s struggling because of Ramadan, which ends right before the Stage 3 Major. We’ll see if he can help the RØKKR improve.

Garst

9. London Royal Ravens

Season record: 4-13

Stage 3 record: 2-5

Movement this week: +3

Improvement is the focus for London right now, and a five-game series win over New York and taking Atlanta to five are positive signs for the future. The Royal Ravens took apart Seattle, too, and handling business against weaker squads is a hallmark of a rising team.

The next step? Keeping a consistent core and leaving radical adjustments behind. With former WestR teammates Paul “PaulEhx” Avila and Alex “Zaptius” Bonilla, London has some synergy to build on, and recent results point to a bottom-half squad that could defy expectations. The Royal Ravens should start off the Stage 3 Major strong against Paris Legion, and from there, as we saw in the Stage 2 tourney, anything can happen.

— Morrison

10. LA Guerrillas

Season record: 6-13

Stage 3 record: 1-5

Movement this week: -1

Even with Martin “Cheen” Chino performing with an admirable 1.01 KD in Stage 3, there’s still not much to write home about when it comes to the Guerrillas. The roster went 1-4 in Stage 3 after dropping Reece “Vivid” Drost. The change hasn’t led Los Angeles to greener pastures.

There doesn’t seem to be any Ultra-esque turnaround in the cards for the Guerrillas. While they play some teams close, they’re far too inconsistent to be treated as a contender. Unless a substantial roster change comes down the pipeline — which seems unlikely — the second-tier LA team will continue to drop matches and isn’t likely to make the champs bracket.

— Carr

11. Paris Legion

Season record: 5-12

Stage 3 record: 1-4

Movement this week:

Paris has improved somewhat after replacing Luis “Fire” Rivera with Donovan “Temp” Laroda. Temp had the second highest KD against Florida, helping Paris grab their only win of the entire Stage. Group A had less competition when compared to Group B and Paris didn’t take advantage of that. The mostly-American-filled roster tied the equally poor LA Guerillas.

Ulysses “AquA” Silva and Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo have had inconsistent performances throughout their time in the Call of Duty League. AquA is either popping off with a 1.21 KD or falling short with a negative statline. Paris needs to figure out who they are and shape up against other bottom-tier teams if they hope to improve in the rankings.

— Appleford

12. Seattle Surge

Season record: 4-14

Stage 3 record: 0-5

Movement this week: -2

Despite replacing Daniel “Loony” Loza with Jacob “Decemate” Cato, Seattle is one the worst teams in the Call of Duty League. Their 4-14 record puts them in dead last right next to the London Royal Ravens and their many roster struggles. Veteran Sam “Octane” Larew has won more series at the 2019 Championship than he has in his entire time on Seattle Surge. Something needs to change.

Outside of Octane, the rest of the Seattle Surge have fallen from their spurt of greatness during Stage 2. Peirce “Gunless” Hillman and Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson have both been performing below their usual skill level. Prestinni’s overall KD 0.63 against London didn’t make Gunless’s 0.97 any better. Seattle may rank near London but it’s clear that the Zach “Zed” Denye-led team is the better one right now.

— Appleford




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