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Call of Duty

Call of Duty League Preseason Rankings

Jalen Lopez

The 2021 Call of Duty League season is just around the corner, and fans are excited to see their favorite teams compete again. The new season features a revamped format with three stages that each concludes with a Major Tournament where every team will compete.

Call of Duty crowd

Our preseason rankings will give you a better idea of what to expect this season. (Photo via CDL)

Almost every Call of Duty League team made drastic changes to its roster during the offseason to improve its chances of securing the championship this year. Some teams put together star-studded squads with lots of potential, while other teams took a chance on amateur players.

The new lineups give us a solid idea of who will perform well this season and which teams will struggle to compete each week. Here are our preseason rankings for the 2021 Call of Duty League season.

1. Dallas Empire

Dallas Empire

The Dallas Empire could become back to back champs. (Image via CDL)

The Dallas Empire almost maintained the same roster from the inaugural season. But the team was forced to drop James “Clayster” Eubanks at the end of the season in response to the return of the 4v4 format.

The Dallas roster still features Ian “Crimsix” Porter, Indervir “IlleY” Dhaliwal, Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castr0, and Cuyler “Huke” Garland, which is still one of the best rosters in the league. The team defeated the New York Subliners 3-0 during the Kickoff Classic, and the team looks capable of repeating their success this season.

2. Atlanta FaZe

Atlanta FaZe

FaZe has another chance to secure the championship. (Image via CDL)

The Atlanta FaZe consistently performed last season and appear capable of maintaining their spot as a top contender this year. Atlanta lost Preston “Priestahh” Greiner and Michael “MajorManiak” Syzmaniak during the offseason, but they did pick up Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson.

Arcitys was a key player on the Chicago Huntsmen roster. He brings a lot of talent to Atlanta and can hopefully help the team make another run for the title. FaZe was the runner-up in last year’s grand finals, and fans are anxious to see if they can improve their performance.

Atlanta lost its match against Florida during the Kickoff Classic, but this is likely more of an indication of how strong the Mutineers are this year.

3. OpTic Chicago

OpTic Chicago

OpTic Chicago is ready to break into the top spot. (Image via CDL)

OpTic Chicago, formerly known as the Chicago Huntsmen, was another team that constantly dominated during the inaugural season. However, the team was defeated in the playoffs by Atlanta and is looking to redeem itself.

OpTic lost Arcitys during the offseason but gained a familiar face, Brandon “Dashy” Otell. Dashy previously competed alongside Scump in the Black Ops 4 season. He has had little trouble adapting to the playstyle of Matthew “FormaL” Piper and Dylan “Envoy” Hannon.

The team dominated the Los Angeles Thieves during the Kickoff Classic with a 3-0 victory, and the team could make a run for the title if they succeed against Atlanta and Dallas.

4. Florida Mutineers

The Mutineers won three Home Series events last season but ultimately fell short in the playoffs. But the team appears to be stronger this season and defeated FaZe in the Kickoff Classic.

Florida suffered a devastating loss when Maurice “Fero” Henriquez suddenly died in November. Josiah “Slacked” Berry fill the missing spot, and former Challengers player Travis “Neptune” Mccloud completed the starting 2021 lineup.

Florida enjoyed a relatively successful 2020 season, and it appears they will be a competitive powerhouse this season.

5. Minnesota ROKKR

Minnesota ROKKR

The new Minnesota ROKKR has a lot of potential. (Image via CDL)

The Minnesota ROKKR cut its entire lineup during the offseason and have returned with a fresh roster. Former Atlanta players MajorManiak and Accuracy have joined former New York Subliner players Dylan “Attach” Price and Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi on the new iteration of the team.

The two former FaZe players were essential members of the 2020 Atlanta squad that dominated throughout the season. Attach is a former world champion, and Accuracy has years of professional experience. The new roster has the potential to be a strong force this season, and the team’s win against the Toronto Ultra during the Kickoff Classic was a strong start.

6. Toronto Ultra

Toronto Ultra

The Ultra have another season to prove themselves. (Image via CDL)

The Toronto Ultra struggled to perform at the beginning of last season but did on a high note by winning the final Home Series. Toronto cut six players from its lineup during the offseason, but the core roster remained unchanged.

Toronto lost its math against Minnesota in a close 3-2 series, and the team appears to have a chance of climbing the rankings if it can consistently perform.

7. Los Angeles Thieves

LA Thieves

The new team has a lot to prove. (Image via CDL)

100 Thieves recently returned to professional Call of Duty and acquired the OpTic Gaming Los Angeles franchise spot. Many fans are excited to see the organization return, but the team still has a lot of work ahead.

The majority of the team previously played under the OpTic Gaming Los Angeles banner and struggled throughout the inaugural season. However, the team did pull off an impressive run in the playoffs.

The LA Thieves roster made its debut against OpTic Chicago during the Kickoff Classic and was dominated in a 3-0 series. The roster still has the potential to compete with the best in the league and could easily climb the leaderboards.

8. New York Subliners

New York Subliners

Clayster will attempt to lead another team to victory. (Image via CDL)

The Subliners recently acquired 2020 world champion Clayster, but it is unclear if this will help the team succeed. Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto recently retired due to a hand injury, which caused the Subliners to replace him with Connor “Diamondcon” Johst. Diamondcon formerly played on the Subliners Academy team.

Dallas defeated the Subliners during the Kickoff Classic, but this does not mean fans should count them out. Clayster has the potential to lead the team to victory, and New York is still a strong contender.

9. London Royal Ravens

London Royal Ravens

The Royal Ravens should not be overlooked. (Image via CDL)

The London Royal Ravens performed relatively well throughout the 2020 season but could never finish the job. The team maintained the majority of its roster for the 2021 season and has the potential to build on its chemistry and go the extra mile.

The team was defeated in a 3-2 series against the Paris Legion in the Kickoff Classic, but the team can still get it together before the regular season begins.

10. Paris Legion

Paris Legion

The Paris Legion has a new roster, but will it be enough to improve? (Image via CDL)

Paris returned this season with a brand-new roster featuring Royal Ravens player Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall. The team managed to defeat London during the Kickoff Classic, but fans will have to wait and see if the new roster can consistently perform.

11. Los Angeles Guerrillas

Los Angeles Guerrillas

The Guerrillas have a world-class roster. (Image via CDL)

The Los Angeles Guerrillas finished in last place during the 2020 season and were eliminated by OpTic Gaming Los Angeles in the playoffs.

The new Guerrillas lineup includes three former world champions, Adam “Assault” Garcia, Justin “SiLLY” Fargo-Palmer, and Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov, who won the 2018 title. But it is unclear if they can recreate this success. The Guerrillas did defeat the Seattle Surge during the Kickoff Classic and could easily move up the rankings if they can repeat this success.

12. Seattle Surge

Seattle Surge

The Seattle Surge has a lot of raw talent but will need to consistently perform against other strong teams. (Image via CDL)

The Seattle Surge cut its entire roster except for Sam “Octane” Larew. The team has since added Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, Daniel “Loony” Loza, and Pierce “Gunless” Hilman, who are all talented additions to the team.

However, the new team has yet to prove itself as a consistent threat but has the raw talent and ability to compete with the best in the league.