So we didn't get the highly anticipated Chicago Huntsmen-Atlanta FaZe final this past weekend in Atlanta. There was still plenty to get excited about, though, particularly the drama of the Florida Mutineers' beating the Chicago Huntsmen to reach the final, with brothers -- the Mutineers' Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson and the Huntsmen's Alec "Arcitys" Sanderson -- on opposite sides.
Even though we didn't get to see the Huntsmen take on the FaZe, we saw plenty of other new matchups this weekend to help us determine our rankings. The Atlanta homestand confirmed what we thought about several of our teams -- looking at you, Atlanta and OpTic Gaming Los Angeles -- while other teams shook up our rankings a bit -- specifically, the Florida Mutineers and Minnesota RØKKR.
In light of the Mutineers' upsetting the Huntsmen, "upset" is our theme for these rankings. Specifically, we decided to look at what's upsetting or should be upsetting each of the teams.
Below is how our staff voted to rank the 12 teams after London. Each participating staff member ranked the CDL teams from No. 1 to No. 12, and the results were aggregated to determine the list below. All player stats are courtesy of Atlanta FaZe stat analyst Austin O'Neil.
1. Atlanta FaZe
Season record: 6-0 | Week 3 record: 4-0 | Change from last ranking:1
What's upsetting about this Atlanta FaZe squad is not that they won, but that they bled. A surprisingly spunky Minnesota ROKKR won the first two maps in the semifinals, forcing FaZe to steel up and reverse sweep. Then, despite sweeping the Florida Mutineers 3-0, the second and third maps were much closer than the score line indicates (Map 2 Search and Destroy was 6-4, and Map 3 Domination was 144-136).
Still, when you have McArthur "Cellium" Jovel and Chris "Simp" Lehr playing this well, a little leeway is allowed. Cellium ended the weekend with MVP honors and a 1.32 K/D, the second-highest of the weekend. Meanwhile, Simp (1.24 K/D) led FaZe in kills at 310. While the young Atlanta squad (the oldest is Preston "Priestahh" Greiner, at 21) got punched in the mouth here and there, the resilience was impressive, especially in front of a home crowd.
-- Darin Kwilinski
2. Chicago Huntsmen
Season record: 8-1 | Week 3: 2-1 | Change from last ranking:1
Put the touching moment between the Huntsmen's Alec "Arcitys" Sanderson and his brother, Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson, out of your mind for a minute. Chicago, despite the feel-good vibes after a hard-fought loss to the Florida Mutineers, should be furious with themselves.
Chicago lost a chance to take on the No. 1 team in the Call of Duty League and beat Atlanta on their home turf. The Huntsmen could have walked out of the FaZe homestand as the undisputed top team in the CDL; instead, Chicago looks vulnerable, and the dynamic trio of Peirce "Gunless" Hillman, Seth "Scump" Abner and Matthew "FormaL" Piper will be left stewing over that shocking upset until the Dallas homestand in late March.
-- Sean Morrison
Check out the rest of the Call of Duty League schedule.
3. Dallas Empire
Season record: 3-4 | Week 3 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
The Empire and Ian "Crimsix" Porter have been upset at Infinity Ward throughout the season. Crimsix infamously went off on a rant in a postmatch news conference during opening weekend about a patch update that dropped just before the season started. More recently he said during a stream that the Chicago Huntsmen had violated a gentleman's agreement by holding three stun grenades during spawn, rather than the conventional two.
Speaking of the Huntsmen, Crimsix and the Empire have to be angry at how they've been embarrassed by Chicago this season. Despite being considered one of the top teams in the league, the Empire are 0-3 with a 1-9 map record against the Huntsmen. That likely stings especially hard for Crimsix, whose former teammate Seth "Scump" Abner is now a member of the Huntsmen. That choking sign that Scump lobbed in the direction of the Empire after beating them in the London final doesn't help matters. The Empire's next chance for revenge against the Huntsmen will be when they host their homestand in Dallas on March 28-29.
-- Brian Bencomo
4. Florida Mutineers
Season record: 4-3 | Week 3 record: 3-2 | Change from last ranking:3
What could the Mutineers possibly be upset about after such a standout weekend? Not closing it out, of course. Prestinni & Co. shouldn't be content with moral victories, and their finals tilt against Atlanta wasn't close. Florida can live with that loss to the FaZe, but they'll have a chip on their shoulder entering group play at the Los Angeles homestand on March 7 and need to overperform once again to be seen as a real dark-horse contender. The Mutineers' first opponent in that event? You guessed it: Atlanta.
To see rosters for all of the Call of Duty League teams, click here.
5. Minnesota RØKKR
Season record: 4-2 | Week 3 record: 2-2 | Change from last ranking:1
Yeah, maybe we're valuing the RØKKR a little too much, but pushing FaZe to the limit by taking a 2-0 lead in the semifinals counts for a lot. What's upsetting is the lack of follow-through and failing to put away Atlanta for good for a trip to the final.
And yes, going 2-2 on the weekend is pretty mediocre, but when you see their losses were to both Atlanta and Chicago and three of the five members of the RØKKR (Alex "Alexx" Carpenter, Adam "Assault" Garcia and Adam "GodRx" Brown) had a positive K/D (only Atlanta had more -- all five, to be exact), the picture becomes a little more clear. It would have been nice to see the RØKKR close it out in the semifinals to really solidify themselves as a top squad, but we'll take a gamble and put them at five.
6. London Royal Ravens
Season record: 4-4 | Week 3 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:1
London started off with a swift dominance over the Florida Mutineers in a St. Petrograd Hardpoint (250-113) on the backs of Rhys "Rated" Price and Bradley "wuskin" Marshall. They took a map from No. 1 FaZe in their second match, which keeps them in the top tier of our rankings, but lost steam in Round 5 of their final matchup vs. the Mutineers.
It's worth mentioning that wuskin went off ... but is a week going to go by where we don't mention wuskin going off? He led the leaderboard in overall K/D (1.38) and finished No. 1 in sniper kills with 24.
Despite ending up in the losers' bracket this tournament, you know what the Ravens should be upset about? The fact that they don't return to competition until the Chicago Home Series on April 4.
-- Elizabeth Baugh
7. Paris Legion
Season record: 5-4 | Week 3 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:3
The Legion should be upset about how they performed in their final Search and Destroy map against Minnesota. With a trip to the final on the line, they got blown out 6-0, with Denholm "Denz" Taylor ending an otherwise solid Atlanta homestand with a thud. Denz went 1-6 on Map 5, an abysmal 0.17 K/D, but he shouldn't face all the blame: Paris managed only 16 kills total on Gun Runner. That's not the kind of performance the Legion want to repeat in clutch moments.
-- Joe DeMartino
8. New York Subliners
Season record: 1-4 | Week 3 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
New York should be upset they're in a group with the FaZe and the Mutineers at the Los Angeles homestand. They're 1-4 and have to get past undefeated Atlanta and surging Florida to make a splash? Not an enviable position in the slightest.
9. Seattle Surge
Season record: 1-4 | Week 3 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
The Surge didn't play this weekend, but there's plenty for Seattle to be upset about going into Los Angeles. The team has underperformed to the point where it has had to bench a first-person shooter legend in Ian "Enable" Wyatt, and the only bright spot for Seattle seems to be Sam "Octane" Larew's play. It's tough to imagine the Surge turning things around at an event featuring Atlanta, Dallas, Minnesota and Florida, but Seattle certainly has room to improve.
10. Los Angeles Guerrillas
Season record: 1-3 | Week 3 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
Patrick "ACHES" Price has been the voice of the Guerrillas' anger early in the season. First, it was over practice conditions in Minnesota for teams other than the hometown RØKKR during opening weekend. Then, it was when the team thought it was unfairly penalized during one of their maps against Minnesota. Finally, ACHES pointed out that the league somehow had managed to schedule every team to play each other team during group play throughout the season except the Chicago Huntsmen and Atlanta FaZe. Is it a coincidence that the two teams widely considered to be the best in the league could only meet during the final of each weekend tournament in which they participate? ACHES doesn't think so, and he might have a point.
11. Toronto Ultra
Season record: 1-5 | Week 3 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:
Oh, Toronto. You're just upsetting. Questionable decisions and player inconsistency continue to plague the team from the Northeast. For example, an inability to rally around Anthony "Methodz" Zinni, the K/D leader for the team in Atlanta, is frustrating to watch, and bum-rushing Huntsmen's Arcitys while he's holding the garage on Hackney Yard (while you hold the lead, by the way) one by one ... by one by one by one ... was a head-scratcher.
Even so, the Ultra did take the Huntsmen to five maps, a team everyone considers a top-three contender. That counts for something, and if the Ultra's fortitude can transition into some wins, it might allow for the squad to play more to win instead of just trying to not lose.
12. OpTic Gaming LA
Season record: 0-4 | Week 3 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:
It's been a disappointing start to the season for OpTic Gaming Los Angeles. The team should be upset about their winless record thus far. Not only are they the only team without a win so far, but they have the worst map record at 3-12. With a roster that features two members (Brandon "Dashy" Otell and Thomas "TJHaLy" Haly) of an OpTic Gaming team that placed top-two in the 2019 Call of Duty World League and two teammates (Kenny "Kuavo" Williams and Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat) on a 100 Thieves team that placed first at CWL Anaheim and CWL London in 2019, this team is severely underachieving. Perhaps, it's a matter of the new OpTic Gaming squad needing more time to gel, but the talent on this roster indicates this team should be better.
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