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The Atlanta FaZe emerged as the victors of the Call of Duty League Stage 1 Major, crushing the rest of the field after several days of exciting matches. However,  their success wasn’t the only piece of news from the weekend.

While some storylines from previous weeks didn’t come to fruition, new ones surfaced as old rivalries were renewed. All in all,the Stage 1 Major was an eye-opener for the whole league.

1. The CDL isn’t on Atlanta’s level

If the Stage 1 Major proved one thing, it’s that the 11 other league teams aren’t on Atlanta FaZe’s level. The “Tiny Terrors” trounced every squad they faced, and have done so since the season began. 

Atlanta is 8-0 thus far and have only dropped eight maps all season. At the Major, they only lost two maps, both in the grand finals to Dallas. It’s clear FaZe is simply playing better than the rest of the league and it’s mostly thanks to the play of each roster member.

Atlanta FaZe win the CDL Stage 1 Major
Image via ATLFaZe

Chris “Simp” Lehr and Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris are leading the charge in terms of stats, but each player is contributing. There doesn’t appear to be a weak spot on the roster, and that should scare the rest of the CDL teams, who need to catch up quickly. Otherwise,  FaZe might not lose another Major. 

2. The New York Subliners are an enigma

The Stage 1 Major winners bracket began with the New York Subliners facing off against the OpTic Chicago. This was a highly-anticipated matchup, as New York was coming off a great Super Week and any series involving OpTic tends to generate hype. 

Despite those facts, the match fans got wasn’t anything to write home about. Chicago crushed New York 3-0, forcing the Subliners to head back to the drawing board. 

Whatever plan they came up with after that apparently worked for New York, however, as their next match with OpTic in the losers bracket was a complete turnaround. This time, the Subliners crushed OpTic 3-0. The Green wall seemingly came out flat and New York took advantage, handing OpTic their worst loss in Hardpoint all season and winning a 4v11 comeback in Control to seal their win.

New York has been down, then up, then down, then up in the Call of Duty League this season. They have yet to hit a consistent stride besides their run in the losers bracket. If they can figure out how to perform well at a regular level, the top four of the CDL standings could get shaken up.

3. The Grand Finals format could use a change

Up until the last series of the Stage 1 Major, the format was going swimmingly. Losers bracket teams were making a run (which always spices up an event) and top-tier squads were coasting through. 

However, all of this came to a grinding halt when Atlanta and Dallas squared off in the grand finals. Instead of the winners bracket team, FaZe, having a map advantage, they faced off with a clean 0-0 slate. Additionally, the match was now a best-of-nine instead of two best-of-fives, like previous years. 

The comments on the official CDL stream and social media proved people didn’t care for this new format. The players even contributed to the conversation, with FaZe star aBeZy calling the format “mentally draining.”

It’s unclear if the CDL will revert to the previous format or change up the one seen at the Stage 1 Major. However, it’s safe to say the players and community would welcome an alteration.


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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