Most off-seasons in the professional Call of Duty competitive scene consist of various roster changes with players being dropped and moving to other teams. Some players retire from professional play, while others are unable to find another spot. The end of the inaugural Call of Duty League season is not only the first time rostermania is occurring in the franchised league but is also the most severe and intense roster mania in Call of Duty history.
Teams are making their regular changes to prepare for next season, but an upcoming change in 2021 has added an extra layer to the madness. The Call of Duty League is reverting to the 4v4 format in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which means every team must drop or bench one player from their starting lineup. This means players who performed well are still on the chopping block as there is simply no room for them in a starting position.
Almost every team has made changes in response to this rule change, but some have decided more drastic methods are needed to improve. Some teams, such as the Minnesota ROKKR and Paris Legion, have dropped their entire roster. Other teams, such as the Toronto Ultra and the Los Angeles Guerrillas, have dropped a significant portion of their lineup.
Dozens of players are free agents looking for a new team, and more will likely join them within the next few days. Here is a breakdown of every confirmed roster change in the Call of Duty League so far.
— Dallas Empire (@DallasEmpire) August 30, 2020
The Dallas Empire established themselves as the best team in the world by securing the first Call of Duty League Championship. Despite the teams’ success, one player needed to be benched or dropped to prepare for the 4v4 format even though every player deserved to remain on the team.
Who’s out: James “Clayster” Eubanks, a three-time world champion, was dropped from the Dallas Empire just days after they won the title. It was an unpleasant process for the team and organization who made it clear to fans that they did not want this to happen. Regardless, Clayster is a talented free agent looking for a home. Substitute player Thomas “Tommey” Trewren was also released from Dallas a few days after Clayster.
Who’s in: Dallas has not made any other announcements about other players leaving the team. Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, Cuyler “Huke” Garland, Indervir “IlleY” Dhaliwal, and Ian “C6” Porter will likely remain together for the 2021 season.
The Atlanta FaZe remained quiet about roster changes until other teams announced the new players joining their rosters. Atlanta dropped two players from its lineup and secured a former world champion who proved himself further with the Chicago Huntsmen during the inaugural season.
Who’s out: Michael “MajorManiak” Syzmaniak and Preston “Priestahh” Greiner were removed from Atlanta’s lineup and will now play for the Minnesota ROKKR.
Who’s in: McArtuhur “Cellium” Jovel, Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris, and Chris “Simp” Lehr will remain on Atlanta’s roster and will be joined by Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson for the 2021 season. Arcitys is a former world champion who earned his title alongside Simp and aBeZy in 2019. He remained a star player on the Chicago Huntsmen throughout the inaugural season.
— Chicago Huntsmen (@Huntsmen) September 8, 2020
The Chicago Huntsmen were considered one of the top four teams in the inaugural Call of Duty League season. The team won two Home Series events and made it to the final elimination round in the playoffs. The Atlanta FaZe defeated them, but they did pull off a solid run and beat the London Royal Ravens, OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, and New York Subliners before going home for the season. Chicago has announced a few significant roster changes, including a return player from one of the original OpTic Gaming rosters.
Who’s out: The Chicago Huntsmen have parted ways with twin brothers Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson and Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson. The organization also dropped John “2Pac” Hartley, the team’s Search and Destroy Analyst. It is unclear if the two brothers will find another team together or branch off on their own.
Who’s in: Dylan “Envoy” Hannon, Matthew “FormaL” Piper, and Seth “Scump” Abner are still a part of the team. The final spot has been filled by Brandon “Dashy” Otell who formerly played for OpTic Gaming Los Angeles and OpTic Gaming in 2019 alongside Scump.
The Florida Mutineers have been relatively quiet since the end of the season. The Mutineers were often overlooked but proved themselves as one of the best teams in the league. The Mutineers won three Home Series events during the regular season, but they could not replicate the same success during the playoffs. The Mutineers were defeated by the Toronto Ultra and OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, who sent them home without a win. Two players have announced that they are leaving the team, but no other players have broken the silence.
Who’s out: Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom announced that he is an unrestricted free agent for the 2021 season. He established himself as a strong player this year and helped his team secure three victories, but was ultimately let go.
Unrestricted F/A for the 2021 CDL season. Won 3 chips this season and would love an opportunity to win more. If any franchise is interested email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
— Bradley Bergstrom (@FrostyBB) September 9, 2020
Substitute player Chance “Maux” Moncivaez also announced that he is an unrestricted free agent looking to “prove his worth” in the Call of Duty League.
Who’s in: James “Clayster” Eubanks has joined Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto and Mackenzie “Mack” Kelley on the New York roster. The team still needs one more player for the 2021 season.
New York Subliners
Thank you @AccuracyLA, @Temp, @Censor, and @OpSuda for representing New York in our inaugural season of the @CODLeague. We are grateful for all of your contributions to the team. We wish you all the best in your next chapter.#NYSL pic.twitter.com/Cx5LmKhFNu
— NYSL (@Subliners) September 8, 2020
Three players on the New York Subliners roster will need to find a new team next season, and two players will now represent the Minnesota ROKKR. The Subliners secured the fifth seed in the Call of Duty playoffs but were sent home after losing to Chicago and London. New York did win a Home Series event during the regular season but could not maintain a consistent performance.
Who’s out: The New York Subliners dropped Doug “Censor” Martin, Laroda “Temp” Donovan, Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi, and Nick “Happy” Suda from its roster. The team also announced the departure of Dillon “Attach” Price on Tuesday.
Who’s in: Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto, and Mackenzie “Mack” Kelley appear to still be on the New York roster. The team will likely announce the final two players on the team soon.
London Royal Ravens
We want to thank our players who represented London with pride.
We wish them all the best in their next ventures. pic.twitter.com/U5UVmu5p8O
— London Royal Ravens (@RoyalRavens) September 8, 2020
The London Royal Ravens have made one of the more drastic roster changes in preparation for the 2021 season. Seven players were cut from the team, leaving only one player on the lineup. London managed to survive most of the losers bracket in the playoffs before losing to the Chicago Huntsmen in round five. They walked away with a fourth-place finish, but changes were clearly needed to improve next season.
Who’s out: Trei “Zer0 Morris, Byron “Nastie” Plumridge, Dylan “MadCat” Daly, Rhys “Rated” Price, Thomas “Dylan” Henderson, Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall, and Bradley “Wukskin” Marshall were all dropped on Tuesday. Substitute player Jordan “Jurd” Crowly announced his free agency status a few days before London’s announcement.
Who’s in: Sean “Seany” O’Connor appears to be the only player remaining on the London roster.
The Toronto Ultra is another team that has made drastic changes to its Call of Duty roster. Six players will be free agents going into the 2021 season, while four players will likely remain the core team. Toronto won the final Home Series event of the regular season and was eliminated by London in the fourth round of the playoffs.
Who’s out: Carson “Brack” Newberry, Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo, Daniel “Loony” Loza, Alejandro “Lucky” Lopez, Mehran “Mayhem” Anjomshoa, and Adrian “MettalZ” were dropped on September 4th.
Who’s in: Anthony “Methodz” Zinni, Ben “Bance” Bance, Cameron “Cammy” Mckilligan, and Tobias “CleanX” Juul Johnson appear to still be on the team.
Minnesota decided to start from scratch by cutting its entire roster. The team did not find much success during the inaugural season and was defeated by OpTic Gaming Los Angeles in the second round of the playoffs.
Minnesota Head Coach Brian “Saintt” Baroska made it clear that just because players are cut from a team does not mean they cannot return next season.
— Minnesota RØKKR (@ROKKR) September 7, 2020
Minnesota recently announced their brand new roster which features talented players who formerly played for the Subliners and FaZe.
Who’s out: Adam “Assault” Garcia, Alex “Alexx” Carpenter, Kaden “Exceed” Stockdale, Obaid “Asim” Asim, and Justin “SiLLY” Fargo PalmerAdam “GodRx” Brown and Devin “Ttinyy” Robinson are free agents going into the 2021 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season.
Who’s in: Dylan “Attach Price, Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi, Preston “Priestahh” Greiner and Michael “MajorManiak” Syzmaniak will represent Minnesota in the 2021 season. Attach and Accuracy formerly played for the New York Subliners, and Priestahh and MajorManiak secured second place in the inaugural season with the Atlanta FaZe.
OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
A huge shoutout and thank you to @DashySZN. Young in your career, you’ve made an incredible impact on the Call of Duty scene. No doubt you’ll dominate wherever you land. We wish you the best of luck going forward 💚#OGLA pic.twitter.com/6mLlS3OQr2
— OpTic Gaming™ (@OpTicGaming) September 8, 2020
OpTic Gaming Los Angeles has removed three substitute players and one starting player from its roster. The team struggled throughout the regular season but did slightly redeem themselves during the playoffs. They eliminated the Los Angeles Guerrillas, Minnesota ROKKR, and Florida Mutineers in the losers bracket before being eliminated by the Chicago Huntsmen.
Who’s out: OpTic Gaming dropped Jevon “Goonjar” Gooljar-Lim, Martin “Chino” Chino, Darien “Hollow” Chverchko, and Brandon “Dashy” Otell on Tuesday.
Who’s in: OpTic Gaming Los Angeles still appears to have Kenny “Kuavo” Williams, Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, Thomas “TJHaly” Haly, and Zack “Drazah” Jordan on its starting roster.
Official statement : We want to thank all of these fantastic players that fought until the last second of the season with pride. We wish them the best of luck in the future. #EnGarde pic.twitter.com/ofdrhoeQQB
— Paris Legion (@ParisLegion) September 8, 2020
The Paris Legion also parted ways with its entire Call of Duty roster in hopes of improving in the 2021 season. Paris struggled during the regular season and finished in tenth place. The team made it to the second round of the playoffs after sending the Seattle Surge home, but they were eliminated by the European rivals, the London Royal Ravens.
Who’s out: Paul “Breszy” Breszynski, Denholm “Denz” Taylor, Matthew “KiSMET” Tinsley, Luke “Louqa” Rigas, Timothy “Phantomz” Landis, Conrad “Shockz” Rymarek, and Zach “Zed” Denyer are unrestricted free agents going into the 2021 season.
Who’s in: There are currently no active players on the Paris Legion roster.
You helped us start our journey and we are excited to see where yours takes you next.
We wish you all the best of luck. 💙 pic.twitter.com/UqZfGNIagv
— Seattle Surge (@SeattleSurge) September 4, 2020
The Seattle Surge did not drop its entire roster, but it still released the majority of its players. The team did not do well during the regular season or playoffs and were the first to be eliminated. Seattle tried various rosters during the season to try and find success, but nothing seemed to help.
Who’s out: Casey “Pandur” Romano, Nicholas “Proto” Maldonado, Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyzazkov, Ian “Enable” Wyatt, Josiah “Slacked” Berry, and Search and Destroy analyst Ted “TeddyRecks” Kim will be free agents going into the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season.
Who’s in: Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, Daniel “Loony” Loza, and Pierce “Gunless” Hilman have joined Sam “Octane” Larew who was the only player remaining on the Surge lineup.
Los Angeles Guerrillas
— Los Angeles Guerrillas (@LAGuerrillas) September 7, 2020
Six players from the Los Angeles Guerrillas will have to find a new team next season. The team finished the regular season in last place and was eliminated by their home town rivals, OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, in the playoffs.
Who’s out: Ulysses “AquA” Silva, Renato “Saints” Forza, Jacob “Decemate” Cato, Rasim “Blazt” Ogresevic, Kris “Spart” Cervantez, and Andres “Lacefield” Lacefield are unrestricted free agents going into the Cold War season.
Who’s in: Reece “Vivid” Drost is the only player on the Guerrillas lineup who has not made a free agency announcement, which might indicate that he will remain on the team during the 2021 season.
Roster changes will likely continue for the next few weeks until teams build a solid roster for the 2021 season. The new teams might shake up the standings next year and allow teams who struggled in the inaugural season to rise to the top. The roster mania might be stressful for the players and organizations, but it is exciting to watch as a fan and spectator.