Call of Duty

7 players to watch during CDL Atlanta

by Andy Williams
Dexerto

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Following on from Chicago Huntsmen’s dominant showing at CDL London, it’s Atlanta FaZe’s turn to host seven more teams at their homestand event.

After Chicago Huntsmen earned the first Call of Duty League crown of the season – with a rowdy London crowd roaring them on – Atlanta FaZe are ready to take the top spot from Scump and co.

And where better to do so than at their home series event, at the Gateway Center Arena in Atlanta? A few players have something to prove this weekend, and we’ve rounded up seven players that all eyes should be on at CDL Atlanta.

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Pierce ‘Gunless’ Hillman (Chicago Huntsmen)

Chicago Huntsmen's Gunless.
MLG
Can Huntsmen's Gunless continue his hot streak?

Despite never winning a world championship, Gunless is considered one of the most versatile and well-rounded players in the game. Now reunited with former teammates Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson and Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper, Hillman is on a mission to obtain his first world championship ring.

Being one of the most flexible players on his team, the 22-year-old’s performances often fly under the radar. Specifically, in Hardpoint, the Canadian has been throwing himself into objective work — securing an average hill time of around 90 seconds at CDL Minnesota and London, respectively.

Together with Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon, the pair have been locking down early rotations for Hardpoints and have been the essential ingredient to Huntsmen’s success so far.

Denholm ‘Denz’ Taylor (Paris Legion)

Paris Legion's Denz.
MLG
Denz has his work cut-out, if he's going to spoil Atlanta's party.

Paris Legion have undoubtedly been the surprise team of the CDL season so far. After sweeping London Royal Ravens during Launch Weekend and taking Huntsmen to the wire in a five-game thriller, Legion have turned some heads.

While there are five Paris players on the server at any time, their standout player across both weeks has been Denz.

Being the main AR, he anchored his squad to both Hardpoint victories in their close match against Huntsmen — who can forget his Gun Runner hill hold with a pistol in-hand? Will Taylor be able to guide Legion to cause an upset, as FaZe and Huntsmen look destined to meet in the Grand Final?

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Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr (Atlanta FaZe)

Atlanta FaZe's Simp.
MLG
Simp led Atlanta's impressive S&D performance during CDL's Launch Weekend.

One person who will have something to say about that is FaZe’s star man, Simp. Having won a world championship in his rookie year, the 19-year-old is one of the most feared players on the sticks.

Together with Tyler ‘aBeZy’ Pharris, the pair have formed a deadly duo that could rival Huntsmen’s ‘T2P’ bromance. After posting a 1.58 K/D with 191 kills during Launch Weekend, Simp is poised to make a big statement. And where better to do so than at his homestand event?

Cesar ‘Skyz’ Bueno (Florida Mutineers)

Florida Mutineers' Skyz.
Mutineers (Twitter)
As the top fragger from CDL Minnesota, the pressure is on for Skyz to perform in a tournament setting.

On the topic of young-guns, Skyz made quite the impact for Mutineers at Minnesota’s homestand. Florida’s main AR racked up an outstanding 201 kills across only two series (albeit both series went to a fifth game), seeing him crowned the top fragger of the opening weekend.

However, with Atlanta’s Simp hot on his heels, Bueno will have to be on top form to fend off the Tiny Terrors. First up, however, is London’s Royal Ravens, who are primed to avenge their semifinal exit from their homestand event.

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Bradley ‘wuskin’ Marshall (London Royal Ravens)

London Royal Ravens' wuskin.
Activision
Can wuskin continue his hot streak three weeks on the bounce?

While the Royal Ravens fell short at the last hurdle in a five-game thriller against Dallas Empire, wuskin proved that the CDL Launch Weekend wasn’t just a blip. His incredible form followed him back across the pond, where he was the protagonist of what was an almost fairytale story.

After making swift work of Toronto Ultra and getting revenge on the New York Subliners, it was a bittersweet event for wuskin, who sat with his head in his hands after falling short in an 11-round final map against Dallas Empire.

The 22-year-old’s Sniper Rifle abilities cornered teams into tight situations on Search & Destroy and was paramount to London’s success. There’s no doubt that Marshall and co. will have the bit between their teeth and will be looking to avenge their homestand loss in Atlanta.

Adam ‘Assault’ Garcia (Minnesota RØKKR)

Minnesota ROKKR's Assault.
ROKKR (Twitter)
Assault (R) has a tough group to get out of, but can he lead RØKKR to continue their flawless start?

After kickstarting their CDL campaign 2-0, RØKKR will be looking to continue their hot streak in Atlanta this coming weekend. Former world champ (and MVP), Assault, was instrumental to their success in Hardpoint by simultaneously anchoring hills while amassing the second-highest average hill time for his team.

At 23 years of age, Assault is ironically considered a veteran of the scene after starting his career back on Advanced Warfare. Together with his partner in crime, Justin ‘SiLLY’ Fargo-Palmer, Garcia will be looking to cause an upset in Group B.

However, being pitted against the likes of Ultra, Legion and Huntsmen, the pair have their work cut-out if they plan on flying the Minnesota banner high down south.

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Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell (OpTic Gaming Los Angeles)

OpTic Gaming LA's Dashy.
MLG
Will Dashy bring back OpTic from the depths of despair?

OpTic’s hotshot was widely considered to be the only AR who could contend with Sam ‘Octane’ Larew during the Black Ops 4 season. However, despite having a star-studded roster, the GreenWall appears to be a shell of its former self.

Grinding his way against the grain, however, is Otell. After falling to Legion in a five-game extravaganza, OpTic found themselves against their predecessors in the Huntsmen. Despite being swept aside by Gunless and co., Dashy was the team’s silver lining.

If OpTic are looking to swing the tide in their favor, Otell will have to show up big — especially considering that they’re matched up against event favorites, FaZe in their first match of the weekend.

CDL Atlanta's teams.
Dexerto
Will Atlanta FaZe defend their homestand and dethrone the Huntsmen from their pole position at the top of the standings?

So what will be the narrative of the weekend? Will OpTic Gaming bounce back from their underwhelming performance at Minnesota? Will FaZe meet Huntsmen in the expected clash of the titans?

Will Chicago do the unthinkable and take-down Atlanta in their own back garden? Be sure to follow our guide on how to watch the CDL Atlanta to ensure that you don’t miss a beat over the course of a jam-packed weekend of Call of Duty.