5 players to watch during CDL 2021 Opening Weekend - Dexerto
Call of Duty

5 players to watch during CDL 2021 Opening Weekend

Published: 10/Feb/2021 23:45 Updated: 16/Feb/2021 15:08

by Theo Salaun


The 2021 Call of Duty League season finally kicking off with the Opening Weekend and we’ve keyed in on five players who fans need to keep an eye on at Atlanta FaZe’s Home Series event.

Professional Call of Duty is back and revamped for 2021. With a change to 4v4 in Treyarch’s Black Ops Cold War, rosters have shuffled and so have player expectations.

During the Kickoff Classic preseason event, we locked in seven players whose performances were worth monitoring. Now, based on that limited sample size, we’ve centered on five Week One x-factors. Some play for championship contenders while others for more hopeful organizations, but all need to be watched closely as Stage 1 of the 2021 campaign gets underway.

Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper (OpTic Chicago)

The tale of “Texas FormaL”

Chicago Huntsmen's FormaL.
FormaL may have received a buff with the move to Texas.

In 2020, FormaL played below his standards due to Californian connection issues. In 2021, like much of the league, he is based in Texas. And, even if you’re not a Green Wall diehard, you’ve likely heard that “Texas FormaL” means the return of the beast.

Sweeping the Los Angeles Thieves in the preseason, FormaL posted a 1.40 and 1.23 K/D in both respawn maps. That suggests the AR may, once again, be shooting as straight as ever. This week, he faces the Paris Legion and Atlanta FaZe, providing another test of OpTic’s revitalized AR and the Lone Star State’s internet.

Christopher ‘Parasite’ Duarte (London Royal Ravens)

A fresh start after a decade of uncertainty

Parasite CoD CDC Challengers Zaptius_
Nearly a decade after winning a world championship, Parasite is, once again, a pro player.

Having started his professional career in 2011, Parasite has spent a decade gunning kids, talking his talk, and burning bridges throughout the CoD community. Relegated to the amateur scene for much of the past four years, the man known as Haggy is now back on a pro roster.

The 2013 world champion has played for over 40 teams in his career and, unsurprisingly, many believe this is his last chance to cement a place among the pros. On a two-week contract as Trei ‘Zer0’ Morris deals with visa issues, Haggy will look to re-establish his place in the pro CoD scene while helping the Royal Ravens bounce back. He’ll start against the Seattle Surge, after London fell 2-3 to the Legion in the preseason (during which Zer0 went -26 in both Hardpoint losses).

Tyler ‘aBeZy’ Pharris (Atlanta FaZe)

Time for the Tiny Terror to go big

Atlanta FaZe's aBeZy.
Among SMG players, aBeZy has an astronomical reputation.

Every team in the CDL knows just how dangerous the Tiny Terrors are. But a retooled FaZe lost 2-3 to the Florida Mutineers in the preseason and, while statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, they do paint an intriguing picture.

FaZe won both maps in which aBeZy notched a positive K/D, while losing all three in which he went negative (a combined 9-18 in SND and a 17-27 in the Hardpoint loss). Whether it’s aBeZy’s play or the team’s gameplan, Atlanta will need more terror than error out of him if the hosts intend to make a statement against the LA Guerrillas and OpTic Chicago this weekend.

Michael ‘MajorManiak’ Szymaniak (Minnesota ROKKR)

Is 2021 Maniak for real?

Call of Duty League
A veteran AR, MajorManiak kicked off 2021 with a stellar showing.

To be candid, few would credit MajorManiak’s AR play for FaZe’s 2020 run to the CDL Championship Grand Finals. The team went out and replaced him with Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson for 2021 and, in response, the Major gifted his new team, the ROKKR, one of his best performances in recent memory during a preseason win against the Toronto Ultra.

The veteran AR helped the fully retooled Minnesota roster to a victory by posting a cumulative 1.50 K/D across the match, the highest among all CDL players in the preseason (per BreakingPoint). Now, with matches against the highly touted Thieves and Dallas Empire, fans will discover if that early 2021 form was a fluke. 

Indervir ‘iLLeY’ Dhaliwal (Dallas Empire)

From dirty work to 30-bombs

Dallas Empire's iLLeY.
Team Envy
Shout out, iLLeY, man.

In 2020, iLLeY was an easy fan-favorite who put up highlight plays and handled the Empire’s dirty work, but understandably didn’t have league-leading statistics given that role. Potentially overshadowed in the mainstream by fellow rookie Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas’ MVP campaign, iLLeY’s time to shine may now be upon us.

With a swap to 4v4, games have become more methodical and the youngster has already made waves. With less sloppy duties, the young upstart posted absurd stats alongside patented highlights in a preseason sweep of the New York Subliners.

NYSL’s roster is in flux due to injury and visa complications, but iLLeY’s stats in the show match (a combined 1.43 K/D, third-best in the league) shouldn’t be discounted. Now, they’ll be tested by the Surge and ROKKR. If this is the form and role he’s bringing to 2021, a new MVP candidate may make Dallas the year’s championship favorites.

You can follow all of this weekend’s action live with our CDL 2021 Opening Weekend hub, which includes live streams, full schedule, up-to-date scores, and more.

Call of Duty

CDL Super Week Day 3: OpTic back to winning ways, Empire & Thieves escape upsets

Published: 25/Feb/2021 1:35 Updated: 25/Feb/2021 1:40

by Albert Petrosyan


The Call of Duty League has combined Weeks 2 and 3 of Stage 1 into one massive Super Week of matches, and everything you need to watch and follow the event live can be found below.

  • OpTic 100-point club Ultra in confident victory.
  • TJHaLy puts up rare numbers as LA Thieves improve to perfect 3-0.
  • Empire clutch up in five-map thriller to avoid upset vs Royal Ravens.
  • Day 4 preview: ROKKR vs NYSL, OpTic vs LAG, FaZe vs Mutineers

Due to the inclement weather in Texas and other parts of the United States causing power outages for a lot of pro players, the CDL opted to combine the Week 2 and 3 matches into Super Week.

Seven straight days of matches will see all 12 teams in action at least three times, and with the Stage 1 Major looming around the corner, this will be the final opportunity for teams to improve their seeding for the $500,000 tournament.

CDL Super Week: Stream

The CDL streams all of its matches exclusively on YouTube, which is where you can also find replays of matches that have already been completed.

CDL Super Week: Schedule

Day 3: Wednesday, February 24

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Royal Ravens 2-3 Empire LON 250-160 (Moscow) DAL 6-3 (Moscow) DAL 3-2 (Garrison) LON 235-228 (Garrison) DAL 6-4 (Miami)
Match Replay Thieves 3-2 Surge LAT 250-231 (Checkmate) SEA 6-4 (Raid) LAT 3-2 (Raid) SEA 250-222 (Moscow) LAT 6-0 (Moscow)
Match Replay OpTic 3-1 Ultra CHI 250-68 (Checkmate) TOR 6-4 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) N/A

Empire & LA Thieves escape upsets, OpTic back to winning ways

Having already suffered an upset loss at Opening Weekend, Dallas Empire barely avoided back-to-back such defeats in their match vs London Royal Ravens. Despite getting completely dominated by the Subliners the day before, London pushed the defending champs to a fifth map before ultimately coming up just short of their first win of the season.

LA Thieves found themselves in a similar situation against the Seattle Subliners, who, just like London, were swept the day before. A back-and-forth affair saw the match pushed to a game five, but that was the most resistance that Surge could offer as LAT dominated the final S&D 6-0, thanks to some historic numbers put up by TJHaLy.

The third and final match of the day saw OpTic Chicago back in action for the first time since their Opening Weekend loss to FaZe. Faced with a stiff test in Toronto Ultra, the Green Wall started off with one of the most dominant Hardpoint wins in CDL history, putting Ultra in the dreaded ‘100-point club.’

The series settled down and got a bit closer after that but OpTic ultimately edged out the victory in four maps, improving to 2-1 on the season while Toronto dropped to 1-2.

Day 4: Thursday, February 25

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 26)
Game 1 ROKKR vs Subliners 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Guerrillas 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 FaZe vs Mutineers 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 5: Friday, February 26

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 27)
Game 1 Thieves vs Royal Ravens 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 Ultra vs Legion 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Subliners 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 6: Saturday, February 27

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 28)
Game 1 FaZe vs Legion 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 ROKKR vs Royal Ravens 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Ultra vs Guerrillas 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 7: Sunday, February 28

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Mar 1)
Game 1 Subliners vs Surge 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Mutineers 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Thieves 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Past scores & daily recaps

Day 1: Monday, February 22

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Guerrillas 1-3 Mutineers LAG 250-133 (Crossroads) FLA 6-3 (Miami) FLA 3-2 (Garrison) FLA 250-172 (Garrison) N/A
Match Replay Ultra 1-3 FaZe ATL 250-247 (Raid) TOR 6-3 (Raid) ATL 3-0 (Raid) ATL 250-128 (Garrison) N/A

Mutineers get first win of 2021, FaZe stay unbeaten

After losing their season-opener at CDL Opening Weekend, Florida Mutineers’ new-look lineup got their first win of 2021 with a 3-1 victory over LA Guerrillas, who now sit at 1-2. LAG won the first map in dominant fashion before the Mutineers ripped off three straight maps to secure the series.

The second match of the day was a battle of the unbeatens as Atlanta FaZe took on Toronto Ultra. The series started back-and-forth, and if it wasn’t for a clutch break at the end of the Raid Hardpoint, Atlanta may have found themselves down 0-2 early.

But things settled down after the second map as FaZe took games three and four quite comfortably to secure the 3-1 victory. The win now gives the boys in red a league-leading three wins, against just zero losses, while Ultra drop to 1-1.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 23

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Mutineers 0-3 Legion PAR 222-220 (Garrison) PAR 6-4 (Checkmate) PAR 3-1 (Raid) N/A N/A
Match Replay Subliners 3-0 Royal Ravens NY 250-151 (Garrison) NY 6-1 (Checkmate) NY 3-0 (Checkmate) N/A N/A
Match Replay Surge 0-3 ROKKR MIN 250-163 (Checkmate) MIN 6-5 (Raid) MIN 3-2 (Raid) N/A N/A

Legion & Subliners sweep their way to first wins, ROKKR stay hot vs Surge

After going 0-2 in the Opening Weekend, Paris Legion finally got their first win of 2021 at Super Week, and what a win it was. Despite being underdogs to the Mutineers, Legion pulled off a shocking sweep that featured a rare Hardpoint ending on time.

Following Paris’ script, the New York Subliners also notched their first one in the win column after sweeping London Royal Ravens in perhaps the most dominant performance we’ve seen so far in 2021.

None of the three maps were close, especially the Control, which saw NYSL shred their opponents from start to finish and not give them even a chance at making any sort of comeback. With the loss, Royal Ravens now sit at 0-2 early on in the season.

Rounding off a trio of Day 2 sweeps was Minnesota ROKKR grabbing their second win in a row after taking apart Seattle Surge 3-0. The series was closer than the final scoreline would suggest as Surge did make solid comebacks in both the S&D and Control, only to fall just short in both.

The win is ROKKR’s second in a row after their upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend. Meanwhile, Seattle falls to 1-2, suffering already their second sweep this season.

CDL Super Week essentials

CDL Super Week: Format & CDL Points

  • Location: Online
  • Prize Pool: N/A
  • CDL Points: 10 per win
  • Maps & Modes:
    • Hardpoint: Checkmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow, Raid
    • Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Raid
    • Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid
  • Matches are best-of-five (HP, S&D, Control, HP, S&D)

CDL Super Week: Teams & Rosters

CDL roster spotlight: Minnesota ROKKR’s new-look lineup delivered an upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend.

All 12 teams are participating in the Week 2 event, split into the two groups that were drawn at the start of Stage 1. All teams within the same group play each other once during the Stage, for a total of five matches.

Group A

Team Roster
Dallas Empire Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY
London Royal Ravens Alexx, Dylan, Seany, Zer0
Los Angeles Thieves Kenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp
Minnesota ROKKR Accuracy, Attach, Priestahh, MajorManiak
New York Subliners Clayster, Asim, Diamondcon, Mack
Seattle Surge Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony

Group B

Team Roster
Atlanta FaZe Simp, Cellium, aBeZy, Arcitys
Florida Mutineers Skyz, Owakening, Slacked, Neptune
Los Angeles Guerrillas SiLLY, Assault, Apathy, Vivid
OpTic Chicago Scump, FormaL, Envoy, Dashy
Paris Legion AquA, Classic, Fire, Skrapz
Toronto Ultra Methodz, Bance, Cammy, CleanX

Make sure to check out our CDL 2021 Season hub for the latest standings, full schedule of all events, a breakdown of the season format, and more.