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Article:Best and Worst Moments of 2020 for Every CDL Team

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Best and Worst Moments of 2020 for Every CDL Team
With the regular season over and playoffs just a little over a week away, let's take a look at the best and worst moments for every CDL team this season.

Atlanta FaZe: Expectations were high coming into the season for the Atlanta FaZe. The Tiny Terror duo of aBeZy and Simp were enough to make any team formidable, but adding the likes of Cellium, Priestahh and MajorManiak made this team one of the clear favorites to dominate the season. And that’s exactly what they did, winning three events en route to securing the number 1 overall seed for the playoffs. The team did hit some roadbumps along the way, at one point not looking as dominant as they did to start the season.

However, it should be noted those struggles come during a wild period where new GA’s were being formed almost every day, and the Meta was shifting just as much. But credit to them for fixing their mistakes and getting back to form, as they were able to almost win their fourth home stand of the year last weekend, falling to the Toronto Ultra in the Grand Finals.

Best Moment: Performance at CDL Toronto. It’s difficult to pick a single best moment for a team that was so dominant throughout the entire season, but I’ll go with their performance at CDL Toronto. Perhaps I'm getting caught up in the moment, but FaZe looked great all weekend long, starting the tournament 9-0, including a sweep over the Dallas Empire. This was a needed performance from this squad as some people, including myself, were starting to question if this team was still just as good as we had seen earlier. Even though they fell short to the Ultra in the finals, that series was incredibly close and Atlanta walked away reminding everyone their still the team to beat.

Worst Moment: 3-0 loss to the Florida Mutineers. Unlike their best moment of the season, this wasn’t too hard to figure out. This loss was when we really started to question this team. Getting 3-0’d is one thing, but the way Florida dismantled FaZe was something we hadn’t seen all year. The only close game of the series was the Search and Destroy, which was followed by a Domination that ended with a score of 235-70. Clearly not the best performance from Atlanta, but they’ve bounced back since, and seem to be getting back to their dominant form at the best time possible.

Chicago Huntsmen: Perhaps the most hyped team coming into the season, the Chicago Huntsmen looked like a team that could challenge both the Empire and FaZe for the top spot in the league. And for the most part, that’s exactly what they did. T2P members Formal and Scump joined forces with Arcitys, Envoy and Gunless to form one of the best rosters in the league. They had early success, winning the first Home Series of the year, which included a 3-0 sweep over the rival Dallas Empire. After some mid-season struggles however, Gunless was replaced with Prestinni, and the team was able to get back in form to finish the regular season as the 4th seed. While they have had been inconsistent at times, counting out a team that boasts 4 world champions and an MVP candidate might not be the most intelligent thing to do.

Best Moment: Sweeping the Atlanta FaZe. This was a match-up the entire community had been waiting for all season. At the beginning of the season, these were the unquestioned top two teams in the league, and even though both teams had disappointing moments, the buildup for this match-up never went away. We were finally treated to this clash of the titans during the New York Home Series, and Chicago was just too much for Atlanta. Their sweep over Atlanta was the best the team looked all year, dominating the series from start to finish. It served as a reminder to the rest of the league that when Chicago is performing at their best, they might just be the best team in the league.

Worst Moment: Losing to the Los Angeles Guerillas. While the Huntsmen have had their inconsistent moments, this loss was a bit shocking and perhaps the biggest upset of the year. Coming off a 3-0 sweep of the Toronto Ultra, Chicago looked primed to take a series over what many thought to be the worst team in the league, and move on to the Semi-Finals of the Minnesota Home Series. But LAG had other ideas, taking both Search and Destroys and making a comeback on a Hackney Yard Hardpoint to take the series and knock Chicago out of the tournament. Chicago faced tons of criticism for the loss, but they’ve bounced back very well and look poised to make some noise during the Playoffs.

Dallas Empire: Coming into the season, most people had the Empire, along with FaZe, as the top two teams in the league. And while the exact order of the top teams in the league was fluid and changed throughout the season, Dallas was always in the mix for the title as the best team. Bringing in rookies Shotzzy and iLLeY to pair alongside veterans Clayster, Crimsix and Huke resulted in a dominant team all season long. Just like every team in the league, they’ve had their ups and downs, but this is one of two teams in the league (Atlanta FaZe) to have made it out of the group stage of every event they attended. They were able to secure the 2nd overall seed for the playoffs, and are one of the favorites to win the Championship.

Best Moment: Winning the Chicago Huntsmen Home Series. This was the first event of the season where the Atlanta FaZe, Chicago Huntsmen and Dallas Empire would all be in attendance. At the time, these three teams were a clear cut above the rest of the league, with general consensus being that whoever came out on top would be seen as the best team in the league. Not only did Dallas sweep Chicago at their own Home Series, they went on to defeat FaZe 3-1 in the Grand Finals. Dallas walked away with the event win, and were seen as the clear cut top team in the game.

Worst Moment: Paris Legion Home Series. Coming off a disappointing Semi-Finals loss to the Florida Mutineers in the event prior, Dallas was looking to reclaim the title as the best team in the league. They matched up against Florida again in the second round of group play, but were defeated 3-1. Although they were able to advance to the Semi-Finals through the Losers’ Bracket, they matched up against Atlanta, and were defeated 3-2. This was a rough stretch for the Empire, as they seemed to be able to take care of the lesser teams easily, but were struggling to compete against the top teams in the league. Credit the Empire for finding their form and bouncing back into shape heading into Champs.

Florida Mutineers: Florida came into the season with relatively low expectations, with many thinking that a roster of Maux, Skyz, Havok, Prestinni and Frosty could be formidable, but nothing spectacular. The team was solid to begin the season, advancing to the Atlanta Home Series Final and pulling off a reverse sweep over the Huntsmen in the process. But the team seemed to be struggling after that performance, so they added Fero and Owakening to the starting roster, and suddenly the team looked unbeatable. They were the only team this season to win back to back Home Series events, and will be a force to reckon with come the playoffs.

Best Moment: 3-0 sweep over the Atlanta FaZe. It wasn’t just that the beat Atlanta to win their second straight Home Series. It was the fact that series was so one-sided. Consider the fact that four players for the Mutineers finished the series with a positive KD, while Atlanta only had one player that was able to do so, and you can see just how dominant this win was. Florida ended this event as the clear top team in the league, and it looked like no one was even close to them.

Worst Moment: Performance at CDL Florida. It was after their own Home Series that team was forced to make a change. While they weren’t the favorites to win the event, finishing your own Home Series with a 0-6 map count is more than disappointing. After that performance, many called their success earlier in the year a fluke, and serious doubts were placed on this team. The roster moves they made following this performance proved that wasn’t the case, as they went on to secure the 3rd seed for the playoffs, a spot no one thought this team would be at when the season began.

London Royal Ravens: Of the two European teams in the league, many thought the Ravens would be the better team, and not only did they prove that, they proved to be one of the better teams in the league. All throughout the year there was one narrative this team just couldn’t break away from; the team was good enough to beat the lesser teams in the league, but they always seemed to struggle against the better team in the league. Regardless, London enjoyed a solid regular season, locking themselves into the 6th seed for the playoffs.

Best Moments: Reverse Sweep over the Florida Mutineers. We just talked about how this team struggled beating the top teams in the league all season, ending the season with a 2-10 record against the top 4 teams in the league. Both of those wins came against the Florida Mutineers, and one of those came before the team added Owakening to the team. But their most recent win over Florida was easily their best moment of the year. During their own Online Home Series event, they matched up with the Mutineers in the second round of group play, and despite dropping into an early 2-0 deficit, London was able to come roaring back and complete the reverse sweep. This included a win on St. Petrograd Domination, which has been one of Florida best maps and modes all season long. This was the first loss Florida suffered since they had added Owakening to the team. The win was nothing short of impressive, and was their best moment of the season.

Worst Moment: Losing to Paris Legion in the Semi-Finals of London Home Series. Unfortunately, their best moment of the season was followed by their worst moment of the season. After a massive reverse sweep over Florida, London was matched up against the Paris Legion in the Semi-Finals of the tournament. Paris was riding the momentum of completing an impressive Losers’ Bracket run to make it out of group play. This series was very close, with the series coming down to a Map 5 Round 11. But in the end, Paris was able to get the victory over London. The loss was a real heart-breaker for the Royal Ravens, as they were finally able to get a win over a top 4 team in the game, only to fall short against what many would believe to be an inferior team.

Los Angeles Guerrillas: The Guerrillas came into the season with relatively low expectations. This team featured a roster of some talented veterans along with promising young players looking to prove themselves in the league. The initial roster only lasted 2 events before an overhaul took place, replacing veterans Aches, Saints and Lacefield while adding Spart and Vivid from the Challengers scene.

The team wasn’t able to improve much throughout the season, although they did establish themselves as one of the best Search and Destroy teams in the League. It seemed that the team was coming together towards the end of the season, but poor finishes in their last two events will have many doubting this teams ability to perform well in the playoffs.

Best Moment: Upsetting the Chicago Huntsmen during the Minnesota Home Series. LAG started off this tournament with an impressive win over the Toronto Ultra, but Toronto wasn’t the team that they are today, so it wasn’t seen as that big of a win at the time. Following a loss to the Florida Mutineers, they were matched up with the Chicago Huntsmen for the right to advance to the Semi-Finals of tournament. Many believed Chicago would win comfortably, and the Huntsmen entered map 4 with a 2-1 map advantage. But the Guerrillas were able to come back to steal the map and tie the series up at 2-2, heading to a Gun Runner Search and Destroy. As we discussed before, Search and Destroy is what this team thrives on, and they were able to complete the upset by defeating Chicago 6-4. It was most likely the biggest upset of the year, and allowed Los Angeles to advance to their first Semi-Final of the year.

Worst Moment: Reverse sweep by OpTic Gaming Los Angeles. Coming into the Los Angeles Home Series, and event that was shared by both LA teams, the Guerrillas had just finished reshaping their roster as we discussed above. This was a big match for LAG, as it was a chance to prove that their roster changes were indeed the right move, and at the same time take down there in-city rivals. The Guerrillas started the match well, going up 2-0, before OGLA stormed back to reverse sweep them. It was a difficult loss for a team that seemed to be on the cusp of an impressive win, but the loss derailed all their momentum, as they wouldn’t win another map the entire event, and exited the event on a six map losing streak.

Minnesota Rokkr: The Rokkr entered the season as one of the biggest question marks in the league. The teams featured an impressive fusion of veterans like Assault, GodRx, and Silly along with upcoming players such as Asim and Alexx. While many doubted this team to be competitive, they proved everyone wrong at the start of the season, jumping out to an impressive 7-4 record, even upsetting the Atlanta FaZe during the Semi-Finals of the Los Angeles Home Series.

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about how this team has struggled to perform ever since the league switched to an online format. Minnesota was able to perform well during the first online event, advancing to their second Grand Finals of the season, before falling to the Florida Mutineers. But following that event, the team spiraled down and struggled to recapture that momentum. Following the Dallas Home Series event, the Rokkr finished the season with a 2-10 record, failing to advance past the Group Stage in any following event. This forced them to bench early season MVP nominee GodRx to try to and improve their chances for the Playoffs. Only time will tell if this change was the right move.

Best Moment: Eliminating the Atlanta FaZe during the Los Angles Home Series. After blowing a 2-0 series lead during the Atlanta Home Series against FaZe in the Semi-Finals, Minnesota was given a chance at redemption the following event. Despite trailing in the series 2-1, Minnesota was able to withstand an insane ending to a Rammaza Hardpoint to force a map 5, which they won 6-2 and handed Atlanta their first loss of the season. This was a huge upset as many thought the only teams that could defeat FaZe where Dallas and Chicago, and people quickly started calling Minnesota FaZe’s kryptonite.

Worst Moment: Full Sail during Dallas Home Series. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where Minnesota’s downfall began, but this loss to Chicago might be that point. They went into map 2 of the series already down 0-1, but jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead during a Search and Destroy on St. Petrograd. It was then that Chicago roared back to life, behind Envoy’s continuous game changing plays to come all the way back and tie the game at 5-5. Minnesota looked poised to prevent the collapse, holding the man advantage with bomb down at the A site. But an insane ninja defuse by Envoy gave Chicago the map win, completing the only full sail we saw this season.

New York Subliners: It’s often hard to gauge one players’ impact on a team in Call of Duty. When you have 10 players on the map at one time, games often come down to which team can execute their game plan best. However, when discussing the Subliners, it’s impossible to understate the impact that the addition of Mack had on this team. Consider the fact that the team had a 1-6 record prior to the addition of Mack, then went 12-11 with Mack on the team, and you can see the impact he brought to the squad. Of course, all credit can’t go to him.

The team features a loaded roster of stars with the likes of Temp, Accuracy, ZooMaa and Attach, who all improved as the season continued and played vital roles in the teams success. While the team struggled to start the season, the players were able to turn their season around and finish the regular season as the 5th seed, an incredibly impressive accomplishment considering where this team was in the CDL Points standings at one point.

Best Moment: Winning the New York Home Series. Following the addition of Mack, New York established themselves as a solid team in the game, reaching three consecutive Semi-Finals but failing to reach the Grand Finals in any of those appearances. But the Subliners were determined to change that during their own Home Series, quickly dispatching Toronto with a 3-0 sweep, to set up a rematch with the Chicago Huntsmen in the Grand Finals. New York played their best series of the year in the Grand FInals, sweeping Chicago en route to a 3-0 victory and taking home their only Home Series win of the season.

Worst Moment: Swept by Paris Legion during the London Home Series. Coming off their Home Series just a week prior, New York was favored by many to go back to back at the London Home Series. Although they fell to the Empire in a quick 3-0 sweep, the Subliners were matched up with the Paris Legion for a chance to advance to the Semi-Finals. Many had the series ending quickly with a 3-0 in New York's favor, and while it did end in a sweep, the Subliners ended up being on the receiving end of the sweep. Following a close first map, the Legion dominated the next two maps to secure their place in the Semi-Finals and handed New York their most disappointing loss of the season.

OpTic Gaming Los Angeles: What a wild ride OpTic Gaming has been on this season. Following the departure of some of the biggest names in Call of Duty history, OGLA was able to keep some of their roster from last year, namely TJHaly and Dashy. That duo was paired up with some of the best players in the game in Kuavo, Slasher and JKap. When the roster was announced, many thought this team could rival the top teams in the game, once given time to come together as a unit.

Sadly, that time never arrived for this group. JKap was benched early into the season and was replaced with Chino, only for him and Dashy to be benched in favor of Hollow and Drazah, two promising talents in the Challengers scene. That infusion of young talent seemed to get OpTic back on course, as the team looked much better in their last two events of the year. All eyes will be on them to see if this team can show out at the Playoffs now that they’ve had ample time to get adjusted to playing with one another.

Best Moment: Defeating the Chicago Huntsmen during the Toronto Home Series. This match-up had major playoff implications heading into it, and many favored Chicago to get the win comfortably. Of course, even besides the playoff implications, there’s a lot of history between the two teams. Chicago seemed to jump out to solid win on the first map, but from that point on, OGLA looked and played like the better team. Defeating a team like the Huntsmen was exactly the type of validation this team needed to prove that they were no fluke. They went on to win the series 3-1 and kept their dreams of a top 8 seed alive, ultimately falling short to the Atlanta FaZe in the Semi-Finals.

Worst Moment: Swept by the Toronto Ultra during the Paris Home Series. It’s one thing to be swept 3-0 in a series, those things happen to all teams. This loss however was something else. The series started with a Hackney Yard Hardpoint and it ended just as quickly as it began. The final score read 250-49, as dominant win as you can hope to have in the CDL. The rest of the series wasn’t much better either, and this loss seemed to be the last straw for the team, as the team benched Chino and Dashy following this event. Credit to OGLA for making the right moves and getting this team into a much better place for the playoffs.

Paris Legion: Perhaps no team was doubted more coming into the season as the Paris Legion were. A team comprised of solid talent but no clear cut superstar resulted in many picking this team to under-perform during the season. The Legion shut almost everybody up during the offline portion of the season, jumping out to a 5-4 record and even earning a Semi-Finals berth during the London Home Series. Following the switch to online play, the team slipped dramatically, going on a 9 series losing streak before capturing a much needed win during the New York Home Series.

Paris was able to close out the season strong however, advancing to their first Grand Finals appearance of the season during the London Online Home Series event. Although they were able to do as much as they could to give themselves a shot at a top 8 seed for playoffs, strong performances from OGLA and Toronto knocked them down to the 10th seed for the playoffs.

Best Moment: Advancing to the Grand Finals of the London Home Series. Paris had a lot of work to do to try and give themselves the best chance for the 8th seed coming into this Home Series, but they did almost everything they could to accomplish that goal. The team knocked off the defending Home Series Champion New York Subliners in an elimination match to advance to the Semi-Finals, followed by a wildly entertaining 5 Map series with the London Royal Ravens. Paris got the job done against the Ravens to set up a Grand Finals match-up against the Dallas Empire. Although they fell short, the Legion played the best they had all season during this event, and did everything they could to move into the top 8.

Worst Moment: 9 Series Losing Streak. It’s difficult to point out one single worst moment for the Legion, as their 9 series losing streak was against teams that just looked better than Paris at the time. To go from one of the dark horses of the league to being looked at as one the worst in the league is a tough fall to have, especially considering Paris was fairly competitive in almost all of those series losses. It just seemed that the Legion were missing something to get them back to their winning ways, but the Legion stuck through it and look like a much different team compared to the one that lost 9 series straight.

Seattle Surge: It’s hard to argue that no team has disappointed as much as the Seattle Surge have. A team that was filled with veterans and stars alike was never able to find their form. The team ended the regular season with a 5-18 series record; definitely not what anyone expected of this team. Of course not everything is on the players; questionable roster decisions were made to go along with having the worst luck when it comes to online play. Regardless, the team has a lot of work to do if they plan to be hosting the trophy at the end of the playoffs.

Octane, Slacked and Apathy are players who’ve been here before and know what it takes to win. Proto and Pandur have taken their fair share of criticism this season, but performing well in the Playoffs can erase all of that. The Surge enters the playoffs as the 11th seed and will face the Paris Legion in their opening match.

Best Moment: Advancing to the Semi-Finals of the Chicago Home Series. It’s tough to pick a best moment for a team that really didn’t have that many great moments all season, but they were able to advance to the Semi-Finals of the Chicago Home Series. Regardless of who they beat to get there, it had to be a good feeling to finally get out of the group stage of a Home Series for the first time all year.

Worst Moment: Losing to the Los Angeles Guerrillas during the Seattle Home Series. Of the 5 series wins the Seattle Surge had this year, four of them came against the Los Angeles Guerrillas. It became a running joke at one point that even though Seattle couldn’t beat any other team, they were always able to at least get 10 CDL Points off of LAG. That narrative came to end during the Seattle Home Series. Facing an elimination match at their own Home Series, Seattle was pitted against the LAG once again, but this time, the Guerrillas were able to come out on top with a convincing 3-1 victory. It had to have been a reliving victory for the Guerrillas but a tough loss for the Surge, as they were eliminated from their own Home Series against the one team they had consistent success against.

Toronto Ultra: If there was ever a team that was going to actually to use the substitution rule in the CDL this year, my pick would have been Toronto. The Team features 10 players on their roster, by far the most in the CDL. The Ultra shifted their lineup throughout the season, but settled on a starting five of Bance, Methodz, Cammy, CleanX and Classic. While the team had a poor start to the season, at point holding a record of 4-11, the team closed out the season stronger than any other team in the league.

Once looked as a lock for a start in the Loser’s Bracket of the Playoffs, Toronto was able to go 6-1 over the last two Home Series to snatch the 7th seed and avoid the Losers’ Bracket. Toronto is the hottest team in the league at the moment, and definitely look like a team no one wants to face in the Playoffs.

Best Moment: Winning their own Home Series. Coming into their own Home Series event, the Ultra had a shot at securing a top 8 seed for the playoffs. It was the last Home Series of the year, so it was a now-or-never moment for the boys in purple. Not only was Toronto able to win the event, they took out 3 of the top 4 teams along the way, knocking off Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta to win the event. It was by far their most impressive event of the year, and they looked and played like the best team that weekend. Their efforts were further rewarded by sneaking into the 7th seed for the playoffs, securing them a first round matchup with the London Royal Ravens.

Worst Moment: Performance at CDL Minnesota. At the time of CDL Minnesota, the team was just coming off a Semi-Final appearance at their last event, CDL Florida. It seemed the team was finally coming into form and had the potential to make it back to the Semi-Finals or perhaps go farther. That wasn’t the case, as Toronto lost their first series to LAG 3-2, and were then swept comfortably by the Chicago Huntsmen to eliminate them from the tournament. It had to have been a frustrating result coming off their best weekend of the season, but it proved to be a footnote as they ended the season as the 7th seed. It’ll be fascinating to see what they can accomplish during the Playoffs.

Credit to Cam Allen for the statistics used in this article. Give him a follow below!

Published on 10. Aug 2020
Written by Eucerin / Twitter - @shasiif
Twitter - @camallenn'

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