The Call of Duty League regular season is over, and despite a breathtaking grand finals reverse sweep by the Minnesota RØKKR, all teams are looking ahead to Champs on August 19. Even the comeback of a century with the RØKKR winning five maps straight wasn’t enough to take everyone’s focus away from the big championship tournament.
Hopefully the Stage 5 Major was a preview of the unpredictable action we’ll see at the Galen Center at University of Southern California. Atlanta FaZe fell early to the bottom-tier Seattle Surge roster, OpTic Chicago trashed Dallas Empire and then got trashed by Toronto Ultra. Toronto then — you guessed it — got trashed by Minnesota in the best-of-nine series. Champs is anyone’s tournament to take at this point.
Here are Upcomer’s Call of Duty League power rankings for August 4. The bottom four teams have already been eliminated from championship contention and will remain outside the top eight spots.
- Season Record: 34-7
- Stage 5 Record: 4-3
- Movement: –
Atlanta FaZe shocked the Call of Duty League when they were taken down by both Minnesota RØKKR and Seattle Surge. While Minnesota went on to win the entire Stage 5 Major, the loss to the team at the bottom of the standings was the final nail in the coffin.
FaZe has been looking shakier towards the end of the season, at a time where it’s important that teams are beginning to hit their strides (like the Minnesota RØKKR). With their uncharacteristic losses towards the end of the season, we could easily see Atlanta falling in the first match of Champs and struggling to regain composure. There are other teams, like Dallas Empire, Toronto Ultra and Minnesota, that look stronger overall.
– Danny Appleford
- Season Record: 29-17
- Stage 5 Record: 7-3
- Movement: –
Toronto went on an impressive run at the Stage 5 Major, beating OpTic Chicago and the LA Thieves before falling to Minnesota in the winners final. They beat OpTic Chicago again, completely embarrassing Matthew “FormaL” Piper in the process. The European squad seemed primed to take another Major championship before the worst possible outcome came true.
“I have no words,” Jamie “Insight” Craven tweeted after Minnesota reverse swept the Ultra in the grand finals. “Gotta be better.”
Insight and the rest of his team were understandably devastated after the loss, which brings up some concern in how they’ll fare at Champs. They better come out looking for blood. The Ultra are still one of the most consistent squads in the Call of Duty League and that should shine through at the Galen Center.
– Aron Garst
- Season Record: 20-17
- Stage 5 Record: 7-2
- Movement: +4
Down 4-0, everyone and their favorite Warzone streamer thought Toronto had the Stage 5 Major in the bag. Minnesota had other plans though, that saw the Eli “Standy” Bentz-led squad take 5 games straight to come back and win the best-of-nine series in a reverse sweep.
“A wise man once said…it’s never chalked,” tweeted Dillon “Attach” Price after the victory. You could tell the entire squad was in disbelief.
Hours after the victory, the RØKKR already had their minds on the championship tournament. A major win is nice, but it only serves as momentum for the new kings of the north.
- Season Record: 26-18
- Stage 5 Record: 6-3
- Movement: -1
OpTic Chicago turned in their best performance at a major all season long, placing third in Stage 5. While they still have their kryptonite in Toronto Ultra, OpTic looks to be a completely new squad. They’re winning close maps they would have lost earlier in the season, and are no longer completely fading against top teams.
The weakest link of Chicago, surprisingly, is Matt “FormaL” Piper. He didn’t perform too well at the Stage 5 Major, turning in a 0.70 KD against the Toronto Ultra in the losers finals. He was thoroughly outclassed by Jamie “Insight” Craven. With Brandon “Dashy” Otell, Seth “Scump” Abner and Dylan “Envoy” Hannon putting up great numbers, OpTic’s success rests on how well FormaL can match up with the top ARs of Toronto, Atlanta, Minnesota and Dallas. We’ll see if FormaL can do just that at Champs.
– Joey Carr
- Season Record: 26-18
- Stage 5 Record: 5-3
- Movement: -1
Dallas’ only victory at the Stage 5 Major was against a depleted LA Thieves roster. After a thoroughly impressive 4-1 finish to the group stage, I did not expect the Empire to crumble at the feet of Minnesota. Losing Hardpoint by 80 points is never something a team wants to experience, especially when they follow it up with a 164 point loss against Chicago.
Ian “Crimsix” Porter said that communication and teamwork were nonexistent from them at the major and it’s hard to disagree. The real question is why did Dallas pump the brakes here? Are they saving it all for Champs? They barely scraped by the seventh seed Thieves. It’s impossible to count them out at this point, but I’m not liking what I see.
- Season Record: 18-21
- Stage 5 Record: 4-4
- Movement: +2
LA Thieves continue to disappoint time and time again. While they were able to take down a couple of teams at Stage 5, they still weren’t able to close out the important matches. Kenny “Kenny” Williams struggled throughout the entire Stage 5 Major, which hurt the team overall.
With so many roster changes happening within the team, and the lack of performance both online and offline, there’s not much else LA Thieves can do. They’re in the losers bracket at Champs and will have to make an incredible run to make it to the finals. Like what Atlanta FaZe is currently struggling with, there are other teams that look stronger than them currently.
- Season Record: 17-19
- Stage 5 Record: 3-3
- Movement: -2
Once again, the Florida Mutineers crashed and burned at a major tournament. They bowed out in their first loser’s bracket match against the Clayster-less New York Subliners, 3-2. The entire team seemed off from the get-go but it was Colt “Havok” McLendon that was the worst-performing member. He accounted for the fewest percentage of kills in all three game modes across five maps. This was compounded by Havok posting a 0.56 KD in Search and Destroy and a 0.88 in Control.
If Florida wants any prayer of competing at Champs, they need all four players to contribute. It can’t continue to be a three-man show between Joe “Owakening” Conley, Travis “Neptune” McCloud and Cesar “Sykz” Bueno. Havok needs to show up at Champs or Florida likely doesn’t win a match.
New York Subliners
- Season Record: 24-17
- Stage 5 Record: 3-5
- Movement: -2
The New York Subliners surprised the community by winning two matches at the Stage 5 Major. After their woeful performance in Stage 5, and losing James “Clayster” Eubanks, no one gave the young Subliners roster a chance. Of course, they didn’t beat the top competition of the event, only narrowly defeating LAG and Florida.
New York didn’t put up much of a fight when it came to playing the LA Thieves. This doesn’t bode well for the Subliners, as they drew a first-round match with the red-hot OpTic Chicago. Also, after a terrible Stage 5, they lost their fourth-place seed for Champs, trading for the fifth seed with OpTic. This lost them the map-veto advantage and could play a huge role in the Champs match.
It would take perfection from New York to take down Chicago but the talent is present on the roster to complete the upset.