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The Call of Duty League’s return to LAN didn’t disappoint with the Stage 4 Major. The event provided some epic showdowns, tremendous blunders and a great weekend of Call of Duty. The eventual champions, Atlanta FaZe, continued to prove they’re the best team in the world, not surprising anyone. However, other aspects of the event taught the community several things as we head into Stage 5.

1. Atlanta FaZe is the best Control team COD has seen

The game mode Control has been in two previous titles: Black Ops 4 and Black Ops Cold War. It’s a fan-favorite mode, often providing viewers with a thrilling experience as teams fight to capture two points or eliminate the other team’s lives. However, the mode isn’t too exciting when watching Atlanta FaZe.

This is for the simple fact that FaZe blows through opponents like a wrecking ball hitting a wall of cotton candy. While some of their Control maps are exciting, like the Raid map against Dallas in the grand finals, Atlanta rarely struggles.

In their past 13 Control maps, they’re an impossible 12-1. It’s safe to say that COD esports has never seen a better Control team than FaZe in 2021.

2. LA Guerrillas will regret benching Vivid

When the LA Guerrillas decided to bench Reece “Vivid” Drost, it was one of the most confusing moves of the entire year. Vivid was clearly the Guerrillas’ best player, outperforming the other members of the roster on a consistent basis. However, LA felt that keeping the former world champion trio together was the smartest choice. They were wrong.

Despite their win over the LA Thieves at the Stage 4 Major, the Guerrillas have been on a steep decline since benching Vivid. They went winless in Stage 4 Groups and, to make matters worse, they traded Vivid to Dallas.

In Dallas’ first Major with their new teammate, the Empire went all the way to the grand finals, losing by one map to FaZe. Vivid played a key role in the run despite just joining the roster a couple of weeks ago. It’s clear that the Guerrillas could use someone like the man they traded away and that they could regret that decision when trying to look for young talent in the offseason.

3. Dallas Empire can no longer be considered “onliners”

Since their win at the 2020 CDL Championships, some in the community have claimed that Dallas Empire only won because the event was online. Images of Dallas’s logo turned into a router surfaced on social media and spread like wildfire.

At the Stage 4 Major, the Empire put those doubters on notice. After sweeping OpTic Chicago in Round 1, Dallas went on a huge losers bracket run to make it to the grand finals. While they lost to Atlanta, they took the series the distance, losing in nine maps.

They don’t walk away with the extra $80,000 but they proved that whether the matches are online or on LAN, they can compete with the best.

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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