Atlanta is Unstoppable
With just one week remaining in the Stage 4 group play, it is safe to say that the Atlanta Faze and New York Subliners are expected to fight for the championship in 10 days’ time when the Call of Duty League returns to a LAN environment.
Faze has only dropped one map in four matches during Stage 4, adding three sweeps to their league-leading 11 total on the year.
One of these sweeps came in emphatic fashion against the Los Angeles Thieves, currently 1-2 in Stage 4, who are attempting to regain the form they saw a few weeks ago before they dropped TJHaly for Huke in their starting lineup. Although they have re-added TJ alongside Venxm, Kenny and Drazah, the chemistry that seemed to have been there before now appears to be long gone; that being said, Faze is capable of making any team look like amateurs at this point and are prohibited favorites to run the table during the return to LAN.
New York has also gone undefeated through two weeks in Stage 4, sitting atop Group B with a 3-0 record and wins over the Los Angeles Guerillas, Florida Mutineers and last year’s world champion Dallas Empire. Hydra has continued to revolutionize the Subliners since being inserted into the starting lineup after Stage 2, posting league-best 1.28 kill/death ratio in hardpoint and a 1.13 across all modes, good for fourth overall in the league.
Mack had a huge series in NY’s most recent match against the Dallas Empire, slaying out for 40 kills in both hardpoints and dropping a 1.27 K/D over the course of the series. The Subliners closed out Dallas in 6-4 fashion on Raid Search and Destroy in map five, sending home captain Clayster’s former team with a loss to end the week.
Another team with an impressive performance in their lone matchup this week was Optic Chicago, who beat the Paris Legion 3-1 behind a resurgent performance from “King” Scump. The face of Optic Gaming and professional Call of Duty in general led all players in the series with a 1.38 K/D and looks ready to explode when he returns to the main stage two weekends from now, an environment that he has become incredibly familiar with during his lengthy and decorated career. Optic is 2-1 during this stage with a lone loss to Faze and will be facing Seattle Surge and the LA Thieves this week.
The only other 2-1 team left in Group A is the Minnesota Rokkr, who have undergone a mini revival since adding MajorManiak back into the starting lineup and benching former World Champion runner-up, Accuracy. MajorManiak has a 1.1 K/D in his return series and is helping rookie Standy carry the Rokkr forward, while the duo of Preistahh and Attach have been off their game more or less in recent weeks.
The bottom half of the teams in Group A are the LA Thieves, Paris Legion and Seattle Surge, with Thieves and Legion having one win each while the Surge is 0-3 and on a 10-game losing streak.
All three teams have plenty of slaying talent on their roster— LA with Kenny, Paris with Skrapz and Seattle with Octane— but mistimed plays and a lack of concentration have prevented these teams from succeeding to any noteworthy extent. LA is 1-2 in this stage while Paris and Seattle are 1-3 and 0-3 respectively, meaning the latter two are likely to start in the loser’s bracket at the Stage 4 Major.
The Florida Mutineers are a surprise second-place in Group B, trailing only the Subliners (who they pushed to a map five), and have beaten Stage 2 champions Toronto Ultra along with the Guerillas and London Royal Ravens.
“Big Wake” Owakening was the first pick in the All-Star week showdown and has proven why he is so highly regarded, helping to turn his team’s fortunes from a 10-13 record before Stage 4 to a 3-1 within the stage and putting a comfortable gap between his team’s place in eighth (150 points) and the ninth-place Guerillas, who are set to miss qualifying for the World Championships with just 90 points on the season.
Toronto has been a powerhouse in the league behind the constant pressure of sub duo CleanX and Bance but are currently in third place in their group at 2-1. They will be taking on the Guerillas and Subliners later this week.
The Dallas Empire are 2-4 in their last six matches but 2-2 since acquiring Vivid from the Guerillas in a move that sent FeLo back to the bench and Illey back to his preferred Flex position after his attempt at running a second sub did not pan out.
At the bottom of Group B resides a couple of familiar faces, the Guerillas and Royal Ravens. LAG has not performed well all season and are one of the slower-paced teams in the league, a quality that does not behoove the advanced movement-based mechanics of Call of Duty: Cold War.
The Royal Ravens have made more roster changes than any team in the league, cycling through a roster of Seany, Dylan, Alexx, Zero, Parasite, Zed, PaulEhx, Zaptius and the newly inserted Afro, who has the hopes of the organization riding on his young shoulders. London finished in fourth place at last year’s World Championship but only have one player from that lineup currently in their starting roster and have fallen to 10th place for the year.
Where Everyone Falls
As it currently stands, this is the points ladder for this season; as a reminder, only the top eight teams will advance to the World Championship after the conclusion of Stage 5.
- Atlanta Faze: 380
- New York Subliners: 270
- Dallas Empire: 250
- Toronto Ultra: 245
- Optic Chicago: 220
- Los Angeles Thieves: 180
- Minnesota Rokkr: 160
- Florida Mutineers: 150
- Los Angeles Guerillas: 90
- London Royal Ravens: 70
- Paris Legion: 70
- Seattle Surge: 50
Week 3 in Stage 4 should be full of excitement as the teams battle to fill out the final bracket for the major— less than two weeks from now, the league will be back on LAN, right where it belongs.
Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.