Stage 2 of the Call of Duty League is now in full swing, after week one shifted the entire course of the season. Since those matches ended, two organizations have made major changes to their roster by bringing in former amateurs.
The L.A. Thieves brought on Carlos “Venom” Hernandez to replace Donovan “Temp” Laroda and the Minnesota ROKKR replaced Mike “MajorManiak” Szymaniak with Eli “Standy” Bentz. The moves were somewhat unexpected but it’s clear that both squads are opting to hop on the amateur train that’s been sweeping through the CDL.
As a result, the week two matches have become even more intriguing and there are three matches that stand out from the rest of the bunch.
1. Minnesota ROKKR vs. OpTic Chicago
Starting off the list is one of the teams that underwent a roster change this week: the ROKKR. Their first match with Standy comes against a top three team in the CDL, OpTic Chicago.
While it’s not an ideal matchup for Minnesota, it’s a great test to see how they stack up against the CDL’s elite with the speedy Standy in place of the slow-moving MajorManiak. The biggest aspect to keep an eye on will be how Minnesota’s respawns look. Though Chicago is famously one of the toughest respawn teams to face, perhaps the ROKKR’s newfound speed will surprise the Greenwall.
Minnesota and OpTic face off on Thursday, March 25 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
2. London Royal Ravens vs. L.A. Thieves
Once again, a match with some new rosters is at the forefront for week 2 of Stage 2 of the CDL. Both London and L.A. are sporting new rosters, with L.A. signing Venom earlier this week and London playing in its second match with Paul “PaulEhx” Avila.
While this matchup seems fairly one-sided on paper, it’s worth noting the success that London had in week one. The squad that had previously been on a losing streak defeated the L.A. Guerrillas 3-0 in their first match with PaulEhx, showing that they are capable of winning matches.
This momentum collides with the Thieves’ recent struggles and the addition of Venom. L.A. has only had around a week of practice with the new roster and, if the Ravens continue playing well, they could take down yet another L.A. roster.
London and L.A. go head-to-head on Friday, March 26 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
3. L.A. Thieves vs. Atlanta FaZe
The L.A. Thieves are in for an uphill climb when they take on Atlanta FaZe, as the Thieves have yet to keep things close in a series with FaZe, who haven’t lost a match the entire year.
This match, which could perhaps be the marquee matchup in week two, has the potential to be a 3-0 blowout for Atlanta. Or, it could turn out extremely close if Venom and L.A. can mesh well right off the bat. While the former seems more likely, it’s still worth tuning in to see which way the outcome goes.
L.A. and Atlanta square off Saturday, March 27 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.