The Call of Duty League finally returned this weekend after being on hiatus for just over a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Play resumed online for the Dallas Empire "home series," with the Florida Mutineers running it back through the losers bracket to win it all.
With play starting up again online, we decided to take a look at who was (or should be) mad online after this weekend. We saw some players get fed up about technical difficulties, while we think some teams should have concerns over their upcoming schedules.
At the risk of making more people mad online with our power rankings, here's how we think the teams stack up after the fifth week of competition. Each participating staff member ranked the CDL teams from No. 1 to No. 12, and the results were aggregated to determine the list below.
1. Atlanta FaZe
Season record: 8-1 | Week 5 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
While the Atlanta FaZe don't play in the new online format until the next home series starting on April 24, they have every reason to be mad at the upcoming online games. Yes, we all give a pass to the production during these challenging times -- any Call of Duty is better than no Call of Duty -- but knowing they might walk into some interesting situations with lag and glitches is bound to be frustrating.
-- Darin Kwilinski
2. Chicago Huntsmen
Season record: 10-2 | Week 5: 2-1 | Change from last ranking:
The taunt-loving Huntsmen are much better at being mad offline, but Seth "scump" Abner showed a little frustration following his team's loss in the semifinals to Florida.
GGs to Florida, super sloppy on that map 4.
- Seth Huntsmen (@scump) April 12, 2020
That said, this whole online play format is a much less formal affair, even with most of the Chicago roster being in one place for the matches this weekend. We had people getting up for food, tweets going out seconds before rounds started and plenty of other shenanigans. If there's a team that won't be shaken by a loss, it's the Huntsmen.
-- Sean Morrison
Check out the rest of the Call of Duty League schedule.
3. Dallas Empire
Season record: 9-6 | Week 5 record: 2-1 | Change from last ranking:
The Dallas Empire have to be mad about how they didn't capitalize on the opportunity to win their home series and become the first team in the league to win two of them. They made it to the semifinals and lost to the team they beat in Los Angeles. If Ian "Crimsix" Porter ran the Empire's Twitter account, you can be sure we would have seen how the Empire felt about this weekend. Luckily, we have his personal account to tell us how he felt about technical issues.
Just trying to stay professional/not get fined/let you guys know my thoughts on this weekends online event. ... and the only thing I can really say while trying to do those 3 is by saying that I did not enjoy competing this weekend given the circumstances.
- Empire C6 (@Crimsix) April 13, 2020
The circumstances that made competing this weekend less than enjoyable, he went on to explain, involved the lag that cropped up in various matches throughout the weekend. The Call of Duty League had to move online due to the coronavirus, and this is unfortunately a side effect of that issue. Nonetheless, it's still something that the league should make every effort to minimize, otherwise there are going to be a lot of players mad online.
-- Brian Bencomo
4. Florida Mutineers
Season record: 9-6 | Week 5 record: 4-1 | Change from last ranking:1
Florida fans were definitely bummed when Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson had to step away from the team ahead of the Los Angeles homestand. Despite the Mutineers' glue guy being on the bench, Florida has flourished, and Prestinni himself seems to be pleased with the results -- even if he wishes he could get in on the act.
Congrats to FL.
Im excited to start competing again, whenever that might be (:
- Preston (@Prestinni) April 13, 2020
That smiley face says 1,000 words.
The Mutineers have clicked in Prestinni's absence despite all expectations to the contrary. Maurice "Fero" Henriquez has been a stalwart on Hardpoint, and he popped off in Games 3 and 4 of Florida's final against Minnesota. The Mutineers still need to shore up their Search and Destroy play, but this team, with Cesar "Skyz" Bueno leading the way, is much more dynamic than expected.
5. Minnesota RØKKR
Season record: 10-6 | Week 5 record: 3-2 | Change from last ranking:1
Another tournament, another second-place finish for the Minnesota RØKKR, which is bound to be upsetting. This is the second time in a row the RØKKR have, well, taken second. But we should be fair here: This is also the first time any of these teams have competed in a while. For the RØKKR to pick up where they basically left off is a good sign, especially with Adam "GodRx" Brown (No. 3 in overall K/D this weekend) and Adam "Assault" Garcia (No. 5 in overall K/D this weekend) leading the charge.
To see rosters for all of the Call of Duty League teams, click here.
6. London Royal Ravens
Season record: 4-4 | Week 5 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
The Royal Ravens will be back in action for the Chicago home series after having had the past two series off, and they should probably be mad that their first online matchup will be against a dominant Atlanta FaZe squad. While we haven't seen either of these teams play online in a tournament this season, we do know the boys from London have been streaming Warzone on a regular basis, so they should be primed and ready to go.
-- Elizabeth Baugh
7. Paris Legion
Season record: 6-6 | Week 5 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:
The Legion should be mad about how flat they came out this past weekend. Seattle isn't exactly a walkover, but Paris was in serious danger of dropping that first series. Only a huge effort by Luke "Louqa" Rigas and Zach "Zed" Denyer on Gun Runner saved them. It actually looked like they were bringing that momentum into their next match against Chicago, defeating the Huntsmen in a close Hackney Yard match during which Denholm "Denz" Taylor ran wild. That hope was quickly dashed as Chicago rattled off three straight wins, and the Legion could only manage a single map win in their final match against Minnesota. Paris now sit at .500 on the season, and the five teams ahead of them in the standings are trending in the right direction.
-- Joe DeMartino
8. OpTic Gaming LA
Season record: 2-5 | Week 5 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
OpTic might not have been playing this weekend, but Jordan "JKap" Kaplan was watching and, like the Empire's Crimsix, made his feelings known about the laggy servers.
The reality here is that the CDL was in a near-impossible spot with the switch to online and anyone expecting a perfect broadcast and product simply wasn't being unrealistic. However, playing on laggy servers that were KNOWN to be laggy from previous test runs is unacceptable.
- Jordan Kaplan (@JKap415) April 13, 2020
He acknowledged what we all know -- that the league is in a tough spot because it has been forced to go online due to circumstances beyond its control. But he went on to say in a reply to the tweet above that the league has to do better going forward to maintain competitive integrity.
9. Seattle Surge
Season record: 2-8 | Week 5 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:
Seattle's coach made a lot of people mad online with this banger of a tweet that should have come with a dose of self-reflection:
hats off to everyone that did their job correctly this weekend
- Surge Joey (@JoeyNubzy) April 13, 2020
The Surge just aren't clicking. Sam "Octane" Larew is doing everything he can to carry this team and is constantly in the conversation for being one of the best players in the league despite the performance of the players around him. At this point, it feels like we're saying the same thing over and over again about this squad; there's no reason Seattle should be 2-8 overall with a 38% round win rate with the talent it has. Surge fans have every right to be frustrated.
10. Toronto Ultra
Season record: 2-7 | Week 5 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:2
I will continue to beat this drum: It's frustrating to watch the Ultra generally perform well only when Anthony "Methodz" Zinni performs well. There's no reliable second-hand man on the squad. Yes, Cameron "Cammy" McKilligan has his moments, but it's not enough for the team to really compete at a high level. A small highlight was the return of Adrian "MettalZ" Serrano (team-high 36 kills on Hardpoint against Dallas), who replaced Daniel "Loony" Loza, but this is the second roster swap this season for a team that still lacks an identity.
11. New York Subliners
Season record: 1-6 | Week 5 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:1
The Subliners didn't play this weekend, so what they should be mad online about is their first opponent next time around. Who wants their first online match to be against the first-place Huntsmen? Right now, the only player with a positive K/D is Dillon "Attach" Price, and that's only by one kill. I doubt that'll change much by the end of the next event.
12. Los Angeles Guerrillas
Season record: 1-7 | Week 5 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:1
The Guerrillas should be mad about forfeiting a map to the Dallas Empire this weekend. It's the second time this season they've had to forfeit a map. This first time was during the inaugural weekend of the season against the hometown Minnesota RØKKR. Back then, it was because of the use of a banned perk. This time, it was because Ulysses "Aqua" Silva and then Jacob "Decemate" Cato left the game during the Map 3 against the Empire -- presumably because of technical issues.
Forfeits are lame regardless of reason.
- LA - PATTYP (@ACHES) April 11, 2020
After the Guerrillas played short-handed for a while, the action was stopped, and after a long pause, the league ruled that the Guerrillas would have to forfeit the map. According to commentator Joe Deluca, the players should have notified an admin rather than leave the game. Obviously, it's a little harder to do that when you're online and don't have an official over your shoulder, but it's probably what the Guerrillas should have done to avoid a forfeit.
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