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The most storied organization in Call of Duty esports, OpTic Chicago, have been spinning their wheels since Stage 1 of the Call of Duty League. They continually fail to meet expectations stage after stage and have extreme difficulty defeating top-ranked opponents.

The Stage 4 Major and return to LAN was supposed to be the turning point for the experienced roster. That didn’t happen, however, and the team now needs a stellar Stage 5 to instill hope that they can make a run at CDL Champs. If past events are any indication, though, that seems like an impossible task.

Looking at OpTic’s chances in Stage 5 of the CDL

Chicago was placed in Group A for Stage 5, which houses the likes of Atlanta FaZe, New York Subliners and LA Thieves. History has proven that the odds are not in OpTic’s favor for securing a top-three spot in the group. The veteran squad hasn’t defeated Atlanta FaZe in 2021 and they only beat the New York Subliners once, way back at the Stage 1 Major.

OpTic’s past matches against LA Thieves bode well for Stage 5, but the Thieves are sporting a new roster. It’s difficult to foresee how strong they can be moving forward, putting another question mark on Chicago’s chances. In all likelihood, they need to defeat either Atlanta, New York or LA to have any hope of making it into the winners bracket for the Stage 5 Major.

Is this feasible, though? All season long, the primary hindrance that OpTic has faced is consistency. Each member of the roster usually puts up solid numbers throughout every match. However, most of the time, this has not translated into match wins. Sure, they’ve won most of their series against lower ranked opponents, but rarely do they defeat a team ranked higher than themselves.

Chicago somehow needs to figure out how to turn their decent kill/death ratios into match wins. That starts with playing more as a team. Take their infamous Stage 2 Major loss against Minnesota, for example. In round 11, they had a 4v2 advantage with the bomb near A. Dylan “Envoy” Hannon decided to hunt more kills down the pillars alley and was squashed by Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi, who went on to clutch the 1v3.

Those types of small mistakes are what’s killing OpTic Chicago in their matches. Head coach Troy “Sender” Michaels has repeated this sentiment numerous times on Twitter. Chicago needs to clean up the tiny mistakes because those are outweighing what the team does right.

If OpTic can eliminate these mistakes, they’ll have a better chance of defeating the high-ranked teams in their group. If they can’t, they’ll likely be in a poor spot to make a run at the Stage 5 Major. They wouldn’t garner the CDL Points they need to move up in the standings and they’d have a tough road at Champs.

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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