The CDL Championship 2021 is slated to kick off on Thursday, August 19, at Galen Center in Los Angeles, California. The season-culminating tournament will feature eight CoD teams, who will duke it out for the largest slice of the $2,500,000 prize pool and the prestige that comes with winning the title.
Although eight teams earned their spot at the tournament, it’s fair to say that only a few can be considered serious title contenders. That largely comes down to the large discrepancy of the quality of the team; if we compare the top-three and the remaining five.
Still, most of the season was played online, whereas the CDL Championship 2021 will take place on LAN. We have seen a couple of LAN CDL Majors, which exposed “the best CoD players” who could not handle the pressure of playing just a few feet from their opponents.
But will the LAN environment help the seasoned veterans, or will the rising young stars orchestrate the changing of the old guard and prove to anyone that they can perform under the spotlight? Find out more in our CDL Championship 2021 Preview below!
Atlanta Faze, Toronto Ultra, Maybe Dallas Empire?
Toronto Ultra enter the CDL Championship 2021 as a serious candidate to claim the title. You could question that claim after seeing Ultra choke a 4-0 lead in CDL Stage 5 Major; however, it’s fair to say that they should have won the fourth Major.
Ultra might have left many of their fans furious with their performances over the last two stages of the season, but this team has been consistently good. The only thing that was holding them back from finishing the season as the top team was occasional slip-ups, but if they can improve in that department and show more consistency, Ultra should be viewed as one of the main favorites to make it, at least to the finals.
Talking about favorites, Atlanta FaZe ended the season in first, with 525 CDL Points. FaZe were undeniably the best team over the entire season; however, they have begun to slump, which and haven’t inspired much confidence with their early exit from the CDL Stage 5 Major.
You can’t blame anyone for believing FaZe can win the title, but that confidence mostly comes from FaZe’s incredible run through the first part of the season. Of late, FaZe started to struggle on respawn maps, which is concerning – now the question is whether they can improve in time to mount an attack on the title.
The reigning CDL champions, Dallas Empire, looked a bit off during the fifth stage of the season. However, with the talent this team has, the Empire have a legitimate chance to turn things around for the CDL Championship.
Spearheaded by Ian “Crimsix” Porter, Indervir “ILLeY” Dhaliwal, and Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, the Empire should at very least make a deep run. Beating the likes of FaZe and Ultra won’t come easy, but Dallas Empire’s high ceiling, you should show some respect to a roster that has the tools to emulate their success from August 2020.
Don’t Sleep On Minnesota
Unlike FaZe, who started to slump towards the end of the season, Minnesota RØKKR came out of nowhere to produce one of the most impressive CDL Major runs of the season. The RØKKR won CDL Stage 5 Major title with a 5-4 reverse sweep of Toronto Ultra.
En route to the title, RØKKR won against Atlanta FaZe (3-1) and Dallas Empire (3-1), effectively proving that they’re more than capable of taking on any CDL team in the league.
While RØKKR looked exceptional during the last stage, it’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll manage to look as dominant in the CDL Championship. They have had some lucky moments last stage and seemed like they overperformed a bit; however, seeing them perform at such a high level just weeks prior to the CDL Championship 2021 should make RØKKR a scary opponent to face.
Dark Horses Won’t Go Down Quietly
OpTic Chicago, New York Subliners, and Los Angeles Thieves are considered outsiders to win the 2021 CDL Championship. That might seem weird, but on the contrary, it only proves how stacked this tournament is.
OpTic Chicago sport one of the most talented rosters in the league; however, that hasn’t helped them achieve much this term. Regardless, the sheer amount of experience in this roster alone is enough to view OpTic as a darkhorse to make a deep run.
Seth “Scump” Abner and co. have the tools to win the CDL Championship 2021, but it will all come down to them and whether they can step up when needed.
The New York Subliners have had some success this term, but with James “Clayster” Eubanks out of the team, it’s hard to be overly confident in their ability to impress. Without Clayster, the Sublibers will lack the raw talent to compete with the likes of FaZe, Ultra, OpTic, and the Empire and seem like one of the least likely teams from the upper bracket to mount an attack on the title.
Florida Mutineers and Los Angeles Thieves will start the CDL Championship 2021 in the lower bracket, which is a huge handicap they will have to overcome. That, however, seems highly unlikely, considering the quality of the opponents they’ll have to face.
Depending on how the opening upper bracket round plays out, the Thieves and Mutinerrs will have to face OpTic, Subliners, Empire, or RØKKR, who are arguably much stronger teams. Thieves and Mutineers have talented players, but the closer you look at the field, the more likely it seems that they’ll suffer round-one exits.
The Thieves have the most upside out of the two and could potentially reach round two or three. However, for that to happen, then they will have to show a bit more than what we have seen from them over the last few months.