CDL Championship Weekend 2021 Preview
The 2021 CDL Championship Weekend is here, and the top eight teams will fight in one last tournament for a chance to win the crown. Some teams have dominated the competition all season, while others have recently found their stride. Regardless of the circumstances, every team is ready to leave it all on the battlefield one last time.
The 2021 CDL Championship Weekend will have some of the most exciting matchups of the season. Atlanta slightly struggled in the Stage Five Major, but they are still miles ahead of most teams. On the other hand, teams like the Los Angeles Thieves and Florida Mutineers have more to prove and will have their work cut out for them in the lower bracket. Knowing a little about each team will help you understand the gravity of their situation, so let’s take a look at the top eight teams competing in the 2021 CDL Championship Weekend.
Atlanta is easily the best team going into Champs despite a rough performance in the Stage Five Major. The team finished the regular season with a 34-7 record and 525 CDL Points, 100 more than Toronto Ultra in second place. They also won three major championships and appeared in every Major grand final except in Stage Five.
However, FaZe did drop out of the Stage Five Major without winning a match. The team will need to get it together for Champs, which shouldn’t be an issue. Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris, McArthur “Cellium” Jovel, and Chris “Simp” Lehr are all nominated for the 2021 MVP award and are led by veteran player Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson.
Atlanta will face either OpTic Chicago or the New York Subliners in their first match of the weekend in the second round of the upper bracket. If things go south, they will have the opportunity to fight their way out of the lower bracket.
Toronto had one of the most successful runs in the 2021 season, finishing with a 29-17 record. The start of the season was rough for the team, leading to the benching of Anthony “Methodz” Zinni. Jamie “Insight” Craven took his spot on the starting roster, which turned out to be one of the best decisions of the 2021 season.
According to Breaking Point, Insight currently has a 1.14 KD ratio and is tied with Cellium for third place in the league. He has been an essential part of the Ultra lineup and helped maintain their spot as a top-three team. But Toronto’s most recent performance has left some wondering if they can bounce back in Champs.
In the Stage Five Major grand finals, Toronto secured a 4-0 lead against Minnesota and was one map away from securing victory. However, Minnesota managed to win five straight maps to win the match and achieve the biggest comeback in Call of Duty history. This failure is lingering over the heads of Toronto, and they might face Minnesota again if they beat Dallas. If Toronto can win its first match in the upper bracket, it can likely bounce back from its recent mishap.
The defending CDL champions finished the season in third place with a 26-18 record and 400 CDL Points. The team maintained its spot as a top contender in the league early this year but decided to replace Culyer “Huke” Garland in April to improve their performance. The team also added Reece “Vivid” Drost to its ranks, who has been an excellent addition.
Indervir “ILLeY” Dhaliwal has performed well recently, and Ian “Crimsix” Porter is more than capable of leading his team to another championship victory. However, they will need to beat Minnesota in their first match of the tournament, which is no easy feat.
OpTic Chicago finished the regular season in fourth place and recently secured a top-three finish in the Stage Five Major. They also beat notable teams like Dallas and Atlanta in Stage Five, cementing their ability to beat the best teams in the league. However, they recently lost both matches against Toronto in the Stage Five Major, meaning they have a new team to overcome.
Chicago has some of the best raw talents in the league, including Brandon “Dashy” Otell, who currently has the second-highest KD ratio in the league. Seth “Scump” Abner and Dylan “Envoy” Hannon have also performed well recently, giving fans hope of a championship run.
New York Subliners
The New York Subliners have had an interesting 2021 season. They were a dominant team until stage four, when Obaid “Asim” Asim was unable to travel to the first LAN event of the season. Jacob “Decemate” Cato filled in for Asim, and the roster disruption led to issues in Stage Five.
The roster was further disrupted when James “Clayster” Eubanks stepped away briefly but has returned for Champs. It is unclear how the team will perform with the original roster and if these changes have negatively impacted their overall chemistry. The Subliners will face Chicago in its first round of the tournament, which will be a significant challenge.
If any team has momentum on its side going into Champs, it’s Minnesota. The team recently pulled off an incredible comeback against Toronto, winning five straight maps in the Stage Five Major grand finals. The team’s latest performance is an improvement on their rocky start earlier in the season, and Eli “Standy” Bentz has been an excellent addition to the team.
The young rookie has meshed well with the veterans on his team, and Minnesota defeated notable teams in Stage Five like Toronto and Atlanta. Minnesota will face Dallas in its first match of the tournament, and if it can maintain its momentum, it can easily make a run in the upper bracket.
Los Angeles Thieves
The Los Angeles Thieves have had a revolving door on its roster all season. LA has made more roster changes than any other team, but managed to secure a spot in Champs, albeit in the lower bracket.
However, the current lineup features experienced players like Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, Kenneth “Kenny” Williams, and Johnathan “John” Perez. The team also has Zack “Drazah” Jordan, one of the league’s best young players. This roster is more than capable of making a run through the lower bracket and should not be ignored.
The final team that secured a spot in the Championship Weekend is the Florida Mutineers. Despite having a roster full of raw talent, the Mutineers have been unable to break into the top echelon of teams this season but did secure the eighth seed for champs.
The best talent in the world means nothing if they cannot work together as a cohesive unit. But if the Mutineers can somehow bring it together for the final tournament of the season, they are more than capable of making a run through the lower bracket.
The 2021 Call of Duty League Championship Weekend starts on August 19 at 2:oo PM CT. The Minnesota ROKKR will face the Dallas Empire in the first match of the event.