We’ve officially arrived at the best time of the year for the Competitive Call of Duty scene. We’re just two events away from the Call of Duty League Postseason. At this point in the season, we have a pretty good idea of what round each team will be starting in the postseason tournament, but there’s a lot of potential for seeding movement. Let’s take a look at what’s at stake for each team at CDL London.
London Royal Ravens: Gotta start off with the home team right? The Royal Ravens currently find themselves in the seventh seed in the CDL Points Standings, with 100 CDL Points to their name. The big question for London hasn’t changed since the start of the season. Can this team beat one of the top four teams in the league? They’ve had ample chances to do so, but haven’t had any luck so far accomplishing this. While undoubtedly a solid team that can give any team a run for their money, until they beat one of the top teams in the league, it’s tough to see them as a true contender come the Playoffs.
They’ll definitely have their chance at their own Home Stand. Should they defeat their Group A, Round 1 opponent, the Seattle Surge, they’ll have the tall task of defeating the Florida Mutineers, assuming the Mutineers take care of Optic Gaming Los Angeles. Defeating what many believe to be the best team in the league, in the Florida Mutineers, would go a long way to convincing everyone that they can hang with the big boys.
Even if they aren’t able to defeat Florida, they’ll still have a decent chance to make it to the Semi-Finals of the tournament, being in a relatively weak group, excluding Florida of course. While taking out either Dallas or Florida would be great, overtaking the Minnesota Rokkr in the standings has to be accomplished in this tournament. This is the last event for the Ravens, and they currently sit only 20 points behind the Rokkr for the 6th seed. Should they be able to overtake the Rokkr, they should be secured in the 6th seed for Playoffs, as Minnesota is slated to be in the toughest group we’ve seen all year next week at the Toronto Home Series, the final event of the year.
Paris Legion: The main objective for the Paris Legion is a simple one; make sure you come out of this event with more points than Optic Gaming Los Angeles. Paris is currently tied with OGLA for the 8th spot in CDL Points Standings. That’s easier said than done of course, as Paris is slated to match up against the Dallas Empire in their first match of the tournament. Paris is also in the slightly tougher group in this tournament too, as their in a group that features both the Empire and New York Subliners.
It’s not impossible to pull this off for Paris however. OGLA is slated to play the Florida Mutineers in their first match, a series most people would expect Florida to win. Should Florida take care of them, Paris needs to hope for an upset by the Seattle Surge over the London Royal Ravens, which would then pit London against OGLA in a knockout match. You would assume OGLA would have a harder time handling the Royal Ravens, as compared to the Surge, but with the way this year has gone, who really knows?
Of course, it’s much easier to just take of what’s in front of you, rather than hope for upsets. While Paris is in the tougher group, the last team in their group is the Los Angeles Guerrillas, the team they just defeated 3-0 at the New York Home Series last weekend. If they can take the series against the Guerrillas in the first knockout match, they’ll still have to defeat either New York or Dallas to get to the semi-finals. Remember, OGLA still has one more event after this weekend, so it’s imperative Paris walk away from this tournament with some points, or they’ll have to start the Postseason Tournaments in the Loser’s Bracket.
Seattle Surge: For the Seattle Surge, this has to be the time to start rounding into shape. We all know how this team has under-performed all year, but this roster still holds talent. Octane has been the best AR all year long; Apathy and Slacked have years of experience under them, and Proto and Pandur have nothing to lose. In fact, this entire team as nothing to lose. Everybody has written them off and won’t take them seriously.
Well, this is their chance. They currently sit at 11th place in the CDL Standings, tied with the Guerrillas at the bottom of the standings. Having a first round match-up with the Royal Ravens is tough, but certainly not impossible. The team is currently 20 points behind Optic Gaming for the 8th seed, meaning if they can make it to the semi-finals, they’ll have at least brought themselves within a tie with OGLA heading into the final event of the year, which both teams will be participating in.
The path for Seattle to reach the semi-finals isn’t especially hard; having to make sure they can beat out London and OGLA for the second spot from the group. OGLA will be debuting with two new players on their squad, and while London is a formidable team, they’re only ahead of Seattle by 50 points for a reason. This is very doable for Seattle, and with little to no expectations for this squad, don’t be shocked if they pull off a semi-finals berth.
Dallas Empire: This is a huge tournament for Dallas and Florida, as both teams need to keep pace with Atlanta and Chicago for the top two seeds. Dallas currently sits in the 4th seed in the CDL Points Standings, just 10 points behind Florida, and 30 points behind Chicago. They still sit 60 points behind Atlanta however, so even if they win this event, they can quite take the one seed away from Atlanta.
Of course, winning this event would be the best possible outcome, as the pressure would then shift to the other three teams in the top four to either catch up and overtake Dallas, or make sure Dallas doesn’t grab the Number 1 seed. When you look at the groups for this tournament, you would think that Dallas has the tougher group, but the key is that they aren’t in the same group as Florida, the team that’s given them a handful of problems recently.
That matchup can only happen in the Semi-Finals or Grand Finals, so as long as Dallas can grab one of the Semi-Final spots, they should be in good position to at least be tied with Chicago going into the last event of the season, assuming Florida reaches the Semi-Finals as well, and in which case they don’t, they’ll be in prime position to overtake Florida in the standings as well. Dallas has been one of the top teams all year, constantly holding their spot as one of the top teams in the game. They cannot allow this moment to be where they slip up and lose concentration, or they’ll be in a very difficult position come next weekend.
OpTic Gaming Los Angeles: This is a make it or break it moment for OGLA. This team is right up there with Seattle as the biggest disappoint all year, constantly under-performing and living up to their potential. The team recently brought in two new players, Drazah and Hollow, to replace the recently benched Dashy and Chino. Both players have seen their share of success in the Amateur league, and while they might not be the best amateur players, they’re both well-known and have the talent to play in the pro league.
OGLA currently sits tied with Paris in the 8th seed, and just as we discussed with Paris, going farther than their French counterpart is one of the main goals of this weekend. However, I would argue that going farther than Paris shouldn’t be their main goal. The Playoffs are about a month away, and they’ve just brought on two new players to their squad. While winning and getting the most points they possibly can this weekend is important, getting comfortable with their new teammates and figuring out how to play together is arguably more important.
This team needs to work and figure out how all 5 players can work together to be the best team they can be before the start of the Playoffs. This team is loaded with talent, they just need their best players to perform like how we’re used to seeing them perform. It can’t be Slasher doing everything for this team anymore; he needs help from his teammates. If they can provide the help that he needs, this team can maybe start coming into shape. Their first match-up is against Florida, a tough draw no doubt, but they also have no pressure on them. Sure, we expect to see some improvement, but not many people will have them defeating Florida.
That’s where this team has to pounce. Play loose and play to win, all the pressure will be on Florida to win comfortably. If they can use that to their advantage, and throw some things at Florida that they won’t be expecting, they just might be able to steal the series from them. This match-up reminds me a lot of the Atlanta FaZe vs. Seattle Surge match-up from CDL Minnesota. Everyone expected a quick 3-0 from Atlanta, but Seattle came out and took it to them, and if it wasn’t for technical issues, Seattle might have come away with a victory. Optic Gaming needs that type of energy and performance, and if they can bring that, they just might be able to steal a series off of Florida.
New York Subliners: New York is probably in the most interesting position of all teams at this tournament. They currently sit in the 5th seed, with 130 points, coming off an impressive win at their own Home Series. The problem for New York is that this is their last event of the year, and even if they do come away with another tournament win, they can’t overtake Dallas for the 4th seed.
This tournament should be used as a good way to see how they match-up against Dallas and Florida, assuming they make it that far, and remind everyone in the league that last weekend was no fluke. This team feeds of momentum, maybe more than any other team in the league, and keeping that momentum and finishing the season on a high note is very important for this team. Should they come out flat, and bow out of the tournament early, the endless questions and criticism this team will have to hear until Playoffs could derail all that momentum they built off their most recent victory.
Therefore, the goal for this team should be simple. Go and show everyone that this team can hang with the big boys, and that last week was no fluke. This team has been fighting to prove this all year, and they’ll need to be firing on all cylinders, like they were last week, to make back to back Grand Finals appearances.
Florida Mutineers: Coming off back to back Home Series victories, you would assume there would be no question to how good this team is. And yet, with a Meta that seems to be changing every week, there are still questions to how this team will play with the new Meta. Judging off their recent performances and the group that they’ll be in for this tournament, this team should breeze into the Semi-Finals and look to take their third Home Series Victory.
Just like Dallas, Florida needs to rack up as many points as they can in this tournament. They currently sit in the 3rd seed with 200 CDL points, just 20 behind Chicago, and 50 behind Atlanta. Coming in and taking this home series is a pretty important goal for this team. Next week, at the Toronto Home Series, Florida is locked into a group featuring Dallas, Atlanta, and Minnesota, easily the toughest group all year. That also means that at least one of Dallas, Florida or Atlanta won’t make it to the Semi-Finals of the next event, assuming Minnesota is the other team to not make it to the Semi-Finals.
This means that Florida has to make sure that they are able to secure as many points as they can this weekend, and should they falter at any point in this tournament, the critics will be waiting to jump at this team. As long as they adjust well to the new Meta, and keep on dominating the opposition as we’ve seen, this team should be in a prime position to take a top two seed for Playoffs.
Los Angeles Guerrillas: The team that sits at last place in the CDL Points Standings has one last chance to show everyone that this team is to be feared. This is the last event for the Guerrillas, the last chance they have to improve their standings for Playoffs. It couldn’t really start off more difficult for them however; as they’ll have to play the defending champs New York in their first match-up of the weekend.
On top of that, they’re in the same group as Dallas, so they’ll have to knock out at least one of New York or Dallas to advance to the Semi-Finals. While it does look difficult, this is doable for this team, as they knocked out Chicago from the Minnesota Home Series a month ago. Search and Destroy has always been this team’s best game mode, but until they can improve on their re-spawn game modes, they’ll have a tough time beating any team.
If they can improve their re-spawn game mode however, this can be a scary team, as no one in the league wants to play this team in a game 5 Search and Destroy. Regardless, this team currently has 50 CDL points, and just like Seattle, their only 20 points behind OGLA for the 8th spot. They’ve made a Semi-Finals appearance once this season, and if they can do it again, they’ll put a lot of pressure on the other 4 teams to catch up to them to avoid starting in the Losers Bracket for the Playoffs.