This weekend will be the last chance for most of the teams in the Call of Duty League to earn more CDL points to boost their seeding going into the playoffs, aka Champs.
Four teams -- Paris, New York, London and the Los Angeles Guerrillas -- had their last chance this past weekend at the London home series. Of these teams, the Paris Legion certainly made the most of their opportunity, going all the way to the weekend tournament final.
They might have lost 3-0 to Dallas, but they picked up 30 CDL points and sit eighth in the standings. That's important because the top eight will start Champs in the winners bracket, whereas the bottom four will have no margin for error as they'll start in the losers bracket. Whether OpTic Gaming Los Angeles or even the Toronto Ultra can pass the Legion this weekend will be one of the things to watch.
Also worth watching will be the final seedings for the top four teams. Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Florida will all be competing this weekend and the top two seeds are still up for grabs.
Below is how our staff voted to rank the 12 teams after this past weekend's home series. 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. Dallas Empire
Season record: 21-10 | Week 12 record: 4-0 | Change from last ranking:2
The Dallas Empire will have one more chance to earn more points during the Toronto home series, but even a subpar showing won't hurt them too much after how dominant they were this past weekend. They went undefeated and dropped only one map en route to another home series victory and 50 CDL points. With 240 points on the season -- just 10 behind Atlanta and 20 ahead of both Florida and Chicago -- the Empire are sitting pretty. If they can win another home series they would take the top spot in the standings heading into Champs, but even if they remain in second they'll still get a two-round bye. They can likely guarantee that if they just make the semifinals this weekend.
The entire squad was on point this past weekend. Nobody had a K/D lower than 1.15. Just for some perspective, several teams this weekend didn't have anybody in their lineup with a K/D that high. The final against Paris was no contest, but even in the semifinals against Florida, the Empire made quick work of the Mutineers. That win probably said more about where Dallas is at given how good Florida has looked lately. The way James "Clayster" Eubanks was pumped up at the end of that matchup lets you know how good Dallas felt after that victory.
-- Brian Bencomo
2. Atlanta FaZe
Season record: 23-6 | Week 12 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
As we talk about our theme this week, the last chance, we have two we need to discuss that pertain to the Atlanta FaZe.
First, this is their last chance before the playoffs to stop their downward trend in Search & Destroy (9-9 in their past 18 maps on the mode, with five of those games going to the 11th round).
Second, this is their last chance to secure a first or second seed -- a huge boon as those who occupy those spots will get a two-round bye in the playoffs. The Mutineers, Huntsman and Empire are all competing in the Toronto home series and within striking distance of knocking the FaZe down to a less ideal third or fourth seed.
-- Darin Kwilinski
3. Florida Mutineers
Season record: 19-10 | Week 12 record: 2-2 | Change from last ranking:2
Florida had a chance to prove it is the best team in the Call of Duty League only to fall short against the Dallas Empire in the London home series.
The Mutineers won't be pleased with making the knockout round on the back of two wins over OpTic Gaming Los Angeles and then being unceremoniously shut out by Dallas. A bright spot was Maurice "Fero" Henriquez scoring the second-highest K/D of the tournament with a 1.27, which is yet another step up for the team's No. 2 player.
If Cesar "Skyz" Bueno returns to looking like the front-runner for league MVP and Joseph "Owakening" Conley keeps shouldering more weight, there's a shot that the Mutineers are the final team standing in a Toronto home series field that includes Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago.
-- Sean Morrison
Check out the rest of the Call of Duty League schedule.
4. Chicago Huntsmen
Season record: 20-7 | Week 12: DNP | Change from last ranking:
The Toronto home series will give Chicago one more chance to prove it's better than Atlanta, Florida, Dallas or any combination of the three.
The Huntsmen have been in an odd spot for the past month, with up-and-down play leading to everything from sweeps of the FaZe to losses to the Los Angeles Guerrillas. The improvement in Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson's play during the New York event, combined with an event break that gave Chicago more VOD reviews on Dallas and Florida, sets the Huntsmen up for a strong final regular-season stand. Starting off the Toronto home series with a match against the Seattle Surge sets Prestinni's squad up for an easy route to the knockout stage.
5. London Royal Ravens
Season record: 12-14 | Week 12 record: 2-1 | Change from last ranking:1
As soon as I found out our theme for the week was "last chances," my stomach dropped, realizing this really was London's. It was the Royal Ravens' last shot at a regular-season win, and it was in their own home series nonetheless. They'll finish the season with 120 points, and unless something crazy happens, that should keep them in the top half of the leaderboard going into the postseason.
Despite the semifinal loss to the Legion, there were plenty of positives to the Royal Ravens' home series. They figured out Domination! They reverse-swept the No. 1-ranked Florida Mutineers! Trei "Zer0" Morris and brothers Matthew "Skrapz" and Bradley "wuskin" Marshall all finished with positive K/Ds! I'm giving Skrapz's St. Petrograd Domination vs. Paris my vote for performance of the week. He was back on the MP5, racking up 33 kills and earning a 3.00 K/D. If he brings that level of play to the postseason, London's right back where it wants to be.
-- Elizabeth Baugh
6. New York Subliners
Season record: 13-17 | Week 12 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:1
Last week was NYSL's last chance to prove -- really prove -- that it's in the discussion for the CDL's inaugural title instead of being gatekeepers. Sure, a big tournament win at the Subliners' home series was fantastic, and it looked like they were going to keep up that momentum at the London home series with an early sweep of the Guerrillas. A sweep at the hands of the Empire was bad, but these things happen (and it was relatively close as far as sweeps go), but then NYSL got swept by the Legion and its regular season ended with more questions than answers. The Subliners will hope to answer those questions in the postseason.
-- Joe DeMartino
7. Minnesota RØKKR
Season record: 12-14 | Week 12 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:1
Even if the RØKKR take first at the Toronto home series they'd still manage only a fifth-place seed. Yes, fifth would be better than their guaranteed, at worst, eighth-place seed, but what the RØKKR really have here is a last chance to solidify their ability to follow through. After a few high points near the midseason when the RØKKR rattled off two home series finals appearances in a row, things have been mostly quiet for Minnesota. If the RØKKR want to make a statement before Champs, there's no better chance than a home series that includes the Empire, FaZe, Huntsmen and Mutineers.
8. Paris Legion
Season record: 10-16 | Week 12 record: 3-2 | Change from last ranking:3
The Legion had one last chance to regain some of their early-season mojo, and they definitely succeeded. They even made the finals of the Toronto home series, where they were swept by the Empire. Weirdly enough, every member of the Legion ended the weekend with a negative K/D, but that was because the individual players stepped up to carry in different matches -- Denholm "Denz" Taylor and Zach "Zed" Denyer against the Guerillas, and Matthew "KiSMET" Tinsley and Luke "Louqa" Rigas against NYSL, for example. Paris might be a scary spoiler team in the playoffs.
9. Toronto Ultra
Season record: 7-13 | Week 12 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:2
Look, it might not seem like it if you've read any of my blurbs on Toronto, but I like the Ultra. I have liked them since they revealed their "Ultra as f---" branding; it embodied the Call of Duty scene wonderfully without being too over-the-top.
I've harped on them all season long about dividing the workload, and while it took a while, something has finally clicked with Tobias "CleanX" Juul Jønsson in the lineup. The best bet for the Ultra to get into the fifth-eighth seeding for the playoffs is to take a top-two spot at this weekend's tournament. Based on tiebreaker criteria they would have a higher match win percentage over Paris if they took second (they are 1-1 against Paris, with both teams taking 3-1 wins, meaning we go to the third criteria of overall match win percentage), and if they took first, they'd straight up surpass them in CDL points.
To see rosters for all of the Call of Duty League teams, click here.
10. OpTic Gaming L.A.
Season record: 8-15 | Week 12 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:1
This weekend will be the last chance for OpTic to get out of the bottom four in the CDL standings and thus avoid starting Champs in the losers bracket. If they can reach the semifinals that would give them 20 points and a tie with the Paris Legion (who don't play this weekend) for eighth place. Given that OpTic will be in a group that includes Chicago, Toronto and Seattle, they have a legitimate chance to advance out of their group.
Newcomers Zack "Drazah" Jordan and Darien "Hollow" Chverchko didn't necessarily stand out with K/Ds of 0.91 and 0.9, respectively, but then again neither did anybody else on the team except for maybe Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat. They did play a close match against Florida, a 3-2 loss on Friday that included an 11-round Search & Destroy in Map 5. Maybe another week together for this new OpTic lineup and everybody starts to jell a little more and they make another surprise run to the final at this weekend's home series. They'll face Toronto on Friday.
11. Seattle Surge
Season record: 5-16 | Week 12 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:1
Thanks to the Toronto home series, the Seattle Surge, and CDL, have one final shot to break Sam "Octane" Larew's will and kills/deaths ratio before we enter the playoffs.
The New York home series might have been the last straw for Seattle's MVP candidate. The weekend featured a bit of everything, from expletive-filled Twitter tirades about the CDL choosing not to restart a match against London when a Surge player disconnected to clap-backs and, eventually, this:
For the love of God can I get through this year I cannot handle this stupidity any more.
- Surge Octane (@OctaneSam) July 17, 2020
Well, the year isn't over. Not yet. Octane has since apologized for the way he reacted following the loss to London after also releasing a video in which he said this weekend was a "boiling point" for him.
Despite it all, Octane has remained one of the best AR players in the CDL; his worst event K/D of the season is 1.14, a career day for about half the players in this league. If he's lucky, he'll be able to make it out of this season without any more "fine me" moments and find a better use for his top-tier talent in Year 2.
12. Los Angeles Guerrillas
Season record: 5-17 | Week 12 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:2
The Guerrillas had their last chance to earn more CDL points this past weekend. With zero points to show for it, they're guaranteed to remain in last place in the CDL standings and will have the 12th seed during the playoffs. Only Rasim "Blazt" Ogresevic, who put up a K/D of 1.07, really stood out this weekend. It was a disappointing finish for a team that was starting to show some promise just a few weeks ago.
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