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The Call of Duty League Stage 4 Major provided some of the best moments in the league’s young history. From exhilarating matches to massive upsets, there was little the Major didn’t have over its four-day run. However, for some players, this weekend was more than just another event.

For the rookies in the league, this was their first experience on LAN in the CDL. Since this year has been held online prior to the Major, all the rookies hadn’t competed offline in their professional career. That didn’t seem to matter though, as almost every rookie shined in the spotlight, putting up the same, if not better, numbers than they were online.

While most of the newcomers helped their squad, three rookies took their performances to an entirely new level.

1. Neptune, Florida Mutineers

Travis “Neptune” McCloud delivered the best performance out of any rookie at the CDL Stage 4 Major. Though the Mutineers didn’t get the finish they wanted, Neptune proved to himself and the team that he can be a force.

The rookie posted an impressive 1.36 KD in the two matches Florida played at the event. This was second out of every player, with Sam “Octane” Larew edging out Neptune with a 1.37. The Mutineers’ young gun also singlehandedly won rounds of Search and Destroy by himself and controlled Hardpoints at times.

Though the other players on this list get more of the attention, Neptune proved he’s in the running for rookie of the year in 2021.

2. Insight, Toronto Ultra

The fact that Jamie “Insight” Craven is on this list isn’t too shocking. He’s been the best rookie this entire year, holding the top overall KD and helping Toronto win the Stage 2 Major. However, there were some doubts about whether LAN would trip him up or not.

The answer to that question is a resounding “no.” Insight was terrific throughout the event, posting a 1.21 overall KD; good for fifth among all players. His steady AR and consistent numbers are one of the big reasons that Ultra has been able to stay a top three team the entire year.

3. Standy, Minnesota RØKKR

The final spot on this list was tough to narrow down. Eli “Standy” Bentz and Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez finished with the exact same KD at the Major: 1.01. However, the edge goes to Standy for his consistent work across all three game modes. When compared to HyDra, Standy had a higher kills and damage per 10 minutes in both Hardpoint and Control at the CDL Stage 4 Major.

While HyDra had some memorable moments in Search and Destroy — like his 17 kill performance against Florida — Standy had a better overall performance. He largely contributed to his team’s upset win over HyDra’s Subliners, finishing all three maps with a KD higher than 1.40. Both players proved that they belong in the league, though, and they should be key pieces for both rosters heading into Stage 5 and beyond.


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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