The first weekend on the brand new Call of Duty League is upon us and what better place to kick off the season than an event in Minnesota in the middle of Winter…. All jokes aside this will be first event of the year in the brand new city-based franchising structure. Each team will play in 2 best of 5 series with the winner collecting 10 CDL points which will be used to determine the standing throughout the season. Also going on during the weekend is the launch of the Challengers season as well, 180 teams will be battling it out for their share of the $250,000 prize pool at stake for the Challenger bracket. Launch Weekend will be the only event where the tournament format will not be utilized, this will give the audience a chance to see all 12 franchised teams on display in Minnesota.
Dallas Empire V Chicago Huntsmen: Hector “Hecz” Rodriguez v. Mike “Hastr0” Rufail one of the greatest rivalries in Call of Duty History also known as the eClassico takes on a new form in the Call of Duty League. With a new form of the rivalry comes a new set of players representing each respective team. Seth “Scump” Abner and Matthew “Formal” Piper are back together on the same team as they are set to take on former teammate Ian “Crimsix” Porter and James “Clayster” Eubanks. The Empire and Huntsmen are widely seen as the top two teams in the game, and what better way to kick off the season than a close back and forth match between the two best in the scene.
Paris Legion V London Royal Ravens: The Battle of Europe kicks off between two teams completely opposite standings. The Legion have not yet announced their starting roster yet which includes a mixture of top Australian talent and some North American talent. Names such as “KiSMET”, “Phantomz”, “Breszy”, and “Zed” coupled with the core of ex-Australian powerhouse in Mindfreak adds an interesting dynamic to the team. On the other hand London is led by the talented twins in “Wuskin” and “Skrapz”, talent is not short on this team with European veterans such as “Rated”, and one of the most aggressive objective players in the game “Jurd”. The Royal Ravens are poised to challenge some of the top teams from North America with their talent rich roster.
Chicago Huntsmen V Optic Gaming Los Angeles: Do I even have to explain why this is the match up of the tournament? #NotMyOptic Optic Gaming is now a shell of what it used to be and now represents one of the most hated franchises in the Esports industry. This match is being billed as “Scump” versus “Dashy”, but it is so much more than that, when the Chicago Huntsmen obliterate this useless organization into oblivion with a swift 3-0, Patrick “Aches” Price will no longer be the sole “Optic Killer”.
Alright let’s go through all 12 matches and give you an unbiased preview into the Call of Duty League’s Launch Weekend in Minnesota.
Chicago Huntsmen 3-1 Dallas Empire
Seattle Surge 3-2 Florida Mutineers
Los Angeles Guerrillas 2-3 Minnesota Rokkr
New York Subliners 2-3 London Royal Ravens
Toronto Ultra 2-3 Seattle Surge
Los Angeles Guerrillas 3-1 Florida Mutineers
Optic Gaming Los Angeles 3-1 Paris Legion
Atlanta Faze 2-3 Dallas Empire
Paris Legion 1-3 London Royal Ravens
Chicago Huntsmen 3-0 Optic Gaming Los Angeles
New York Subliners 1-3 Atlanta Faze
Toronto Ultra 1-3 Minnesota Rokkr
Call of Duty is finally back, despite what some may about this year’s installment in the longstanding franchise there is something to say about competitive Call of Duty events and the atmosphere it brings. For the launch weekend of Call of duty’s brand new league I’m expecting it pull some big numbers initially, however, when it come to if the weekend can sustain those big numbers only time will tell. With the number of big games packed into this weekend Faze/Dallas, Chicago/Dallas, Chicago/Optic, London/Paris, and New York/London and the opportunity for some serious story-lines to begin to develop it would be a large shame for this franchised league to flop in front of the fans of Call of Duty. Call of Duty fans deserve a product that they can be proud of.