Pressure continues to ramp up in Stage 3, Week 3 of the Call of Duty League’s 2021 season. Here are five players who can absolutely impact CDL momentum in the Dallas Empire Home Series.
It’s the final week of Stage 3 and that means there’s $500,000 on the line and critical CDL points to gain. Not only do teams want to establish seeding for the Major, but time is running out for them to assert placement points for the eight-team, $2.5 million 2021 Champs.
Last week, our Paris Home Series players to watch included three veterans hoping to bounce back and two newcomers making debuts: Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson, Tyler ‘FeLo’ Johnson, Paco ‘HyDra’ Rusiewiez, Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly, and Daniel ‘Loony’ Loza. The first three all popped off, the last two struggled and…got benched.
This week, the stakes remain high and critical performances need to be monitored. Headlined by the LA Thieves’ new star, Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland, here are five players to keep an eye on.
Colt ‘Havok’ McLendon (Florida Mutineers)
Had it with Havok?
Last time Havok was in our P2W, it was for the right reasons — as the SMG was brought in to give Florida new life. But, at 1-2 since his debut, the team doesn’t seem revitalized and now, he makes the list for the wrong reasons.
You can’t blame the newcomer for this team’s woes, but it’s hard to look past a team-low 0.78 KD in a 1-3 Mutineers loss to the Paris Legion last week. Still in the race for third in Group A, Havok and Florida need to bounce back in a major way against the Empire and LA Guerrillas this week.
Already rumored to be in the Huke sweepstakes, you have to imagine the Mutineers will take a look at SMG options like Renato ‘Saints’ Forza or TJHaLy if the team continues to disappoint. And, should the Guerrillas struggle, Florida may face some competition in the bidding war.
Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland (Los Angeles Thieves)
The Thieves are a game ahead of the pack for first place in their Stage 3 group, but they still decided to make a roster change. That’s fairly unprecedented, but so is the player they acquired.
As Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag explains, Huke is “a generational FPS talent.” And now the 20-year-old star can back that gas up.
An early MVP favorite who struggled in Stage 2, Huke’s bizarre benching now lands him in black and red. There will be no more highly-anticipated match this week than the young gun’s Thieves debut against the New York Subliners.
Makenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley (New York Subliners)
Speaking of the Subliners, Mack is back. After dropping a decent 0.88 in a 2-3 loss to the London Royal Ravens, the sophomore slayer put up a monstrous 1.68 in a sweep of the Seattle Surge.
Mack has changed to second AR to accommodate rookie HyDra and seems to be gaining his footing. This week, that footing gets tested by OpTic Chicago and the Thieves. If Mack can prove that his Seattle demolition wasn’t an outlier takeover, New York can clinch second in the Stage 3 Major and establish themselves as Champs contenders.
Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper (OpTic Chicago)
Time to regain
Last week, Arcitys was the renowned AR who needed to regain after dropping negative KDs the week prior. This week, it’s his former Chicago teammate: FormaL.
OpTic are still in a three-way tie with New York and the Atlanta FaZe for second in their winners bracket. But a 1-3 loss to the Thieves in Week 2 dampened expectations.
Against LAT, FormaL posted a disappointing, team-low 0.89 KD (and an uncharacteristic 0.71 on Hardpoint). OpTic faces tough foes in New York and Atlanta this week, so they’ll need much bigger output from their iconic AR if this team is going to regain.
Jacob ‘Decemate’ Cato (Seattle Surge)
Guess who’s back
Less than a year after being dropped by the Guerrillas, Decemate is back in the CDL. The SMG fried for the Fantastic Four in Challengers, earning himself an opportunity on a Surge squad eager to improve.
But, despite filling in for a struggling Loony, pressure is still high for Dece. As revealed by Seattle’s Sam ‘Octane’ Larew, the new addition wasn’t the Surge’s first option. The team couldn’t procure Reece ‘Vivid’ Drost from the Guerrillas, leaving Decemate as the next-best choice.
Seattle is 0-3 this stage and 4-12 on the season. This week, their new SMG debuts against FaZe and then faces the Royal Ravens. For the Surge, it’s a chance to make a splash and build hope for a Major III losers bracket run. For Decemate, it’s a chance to prove he belongs in the CDL — for good.