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The Call of Duty League’s biggest event thus far in the 2021 season begins tomorrow. The Stage 5 Major is the last chance for teams to secure CDL Points in order to secure their seeding for CDL Champs in three weeks. Of course, there’s also a large amount of money on the line for each team in attendance.

This will be the last time fans see all 12 teams competing in an event this year. Only eight teams are going to CDL Champs, so the Stage 5 Major will have some interesting storylines to follow. However, there are three in particular that fans should pay close attention to when the action starts tomorrow, July 29.

1. Will OpTic Chicago cement themselves as contenders?

OpTic Chicago had perhaps the best performance of anyone in the qualifying round of Stage 5. They went 4-1, with their only loss being a reverse sweep at the hands of the LA Thieves. They defeated perennial juggernaut Atlanta FaZe for the first time in 2021 and they’re playing their best Call of Duty this season.

As any OpTic will say, though, this doesn’t mean anything yet. Chicago has struggled mightily against top competition at previous majors. The Stage 5 Major is their final test before Champs and, if they perform well, it will cement them as contenders for the ring. However, if they don’t, it’s hard to foresee OpTic making a deep run in Aug.

2. How will the LA Thieves fare on LAN?

One of the biggest surprises in CDL Stage 5, ahead of the major, was the LA Thieves making the winners bracket. They performed well in groups, only losing to Atlanta FaZe and Paris Legion, of all teams. However, this success took place online. LA fans know all too well that success online doesn’t always translate to LAN.

At the Stage 4 Major, LA bowed out without any fight in the losers bracket. Granted, they faced a huge roster shuffle just hours before. Though, it’s still concerning how poorly most of the Thieves performed on LAN for the first time in 2021. It will be interesting to see whether the revamped roster will find the same success in the major offline as they did online in CDL Stage 5.

3. The Florida Mutineers and a possible losers bracket run

The Florida Mutineers started out as one of the hottest teams in Stage 5. They were 3-0 heading into the Seattle Home Series with a chance to lock up the first seed in Group B. Things took a turn for the worst, however, and Florida lost both of their matches to Toronto and Minnesota.

This 0-2 performance landed them in the losers bracket for the Stage 5 Major of the CDL. They’ll start in the second round of the bracket and face long odds to make the grand finals. If the Mutineers can recapture some of their success from the start of Stage 5, though, top teams who fall into the losers bracket should watch out. Florida has the capability to beat any team and losers bracket teams have the potential to get hot due to the number of matches they’re required to play. It’s still a long shot for the Mutineers but something to certainly monitor.


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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