Stage 5 in the Call of Duty League is now underway and with the New York Subliners Home Series now in the books, our Reverse Sweep crew of Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt, Jonathan ‘Pacman’ Tucker & Katie Bedford are back to debate the biggest storylines.
After a few weeks off, the CDL finally returned with the Subliners Home Series. As the first week of the final Stage, every game is now vital on the road to Champs. While some teams appear to be rising to the occasion, others have faltered out of the gate.
It was a big week for the Los Angeles Thieves with the debut of John. OpTic soared to a 2-0 scoreline to regain some confidence. All while the LA Guerrillas continued to fumble their way down the standings.
Before we get into the second week of competition, our Reverse Sweep crew is here to break down all the latest results.
OpTic Chicago reaching their true potential?
Despite their Stage 4 struggles, OpTic managed to kick Stage 5 off in a big way. Flawless wins over New York and Paris secured a 6-0 map count for the week, but is this the best version of OpTic we’ve seen all year?
Other than early scrim results before the season started, “this is the best OpTic we’ve seen,” Pacman argued. Not just due to the wins, but because a win over New York will be “great for confidence.”
Enable wasn’t quite on the same page. Due to some issues in the NYSL camp, he countered by saying this is the same OpTic we’ve seen “for the majority of the year.”
With a match against FaZe up next, their biggest test is just days away. If they secure a monumental win, it could just set them on a patch to success at Champs.
A rough week for the New York Subliners
Despite it being a Home Series named after them, week one of Stage 5 wasn’t great for NYSL. Frustrating losses against the LA Thieves and OpTic now has them towards the bottom of their group.
From Enable’s perspective, these losses show “they’ve regressed” as a team. “It showed how many issues they actually have,” he said.
Though the early defeats don’t quite spell disaster just yet, according to Pacman. “You just lost a close match, that’s it. Things happen to everyone, I think they’ll be right back. They’re still one of the top teams in the game.”
— DEXERTO Call of Duty Esports News (@DexertoIntel) July 11, 2021
Dallas Empire & Atlanta FaZe: The race to Champs
While other teams push towards the top of the standings, two squads appear to be the clear frontrunners for now. Both Dallas and Atlanta may be a step ahead of the competition, but are they equals atop the pack?
“I just don’t think I can put any team in the same tier as FaZe,” Enable said. “Maybe if we see Empire and FaZe again, we’ll have a better gauge on if Empire can take FaZe. But I just don’t think any team can consistently beat them.”
We won’t get this matchup again until the Stage 5 Major, which gives both squads plenty of time to strategize after their Grand Final clash at the previous event. As a result, Pacman “believes” in the current Dallas lineup to get the job done.
“I think they’re going to go back to back and win Champs.”
John pushing LA Thieves to a new level
With more roster shuffles to their name than any other team in the league, it’s been a turbulent year for the Thieves to say the least. But with John now locked in for Stage 5, could they finally be finding their footing?
“I do think this is the best version of the LA Thieves,” Enable argued. Wins over New York and London are impressive in their own right, but he still wants to see them “play other top teams” before placing them higher up the standings.
“This feels like the final move for them,” Pacman agreed. “It’s a positive move for them. Now you just have to figure it out.”
— DEXERTO Call of Duty Esports News (@DexertoIntel) July 13, 2021
Best moments of the Subliners Home Series
Even with a sweeps in various matchups, week one still delivered some shocking moments. Perhaps the biggest of them all was none other than the Game 5 Round 11 between LA Thieves and NYSL.
In the most intense final round yet, “Drazah and Slasher went huge,” Enable said. “That’s the clutch moment of the week because this series was everything to them.”
Meanwhile, Pacman’s pick also involved NYSL on the losing half of the equation. “I’m gonna go with OpTic’s game against NYSL,” he said. Not because of a particular moment, but because they “manhandled” NYSL through the “entire” opening map.
“OpTic controlled the pace of the map. They played their best map of Hardpoint. That kind of win from OpTic can spur them to be the top team we know they can be.”
MVPs of the Subliners Home Series
“I’m gonna go with Envoy. He had the best series he’s had in a while. He’s the one that drives the team. When he’s having series like that it just looks so much easier for the team.” – Pacman
“I’m going LA Thieves again, with Drazah. This kid has been put in one of the hardest situations I’ve seen in a long time. He just finds a way to make it work. He played great, he can do it all.” – Enable.
— DEXERTO Call of Duty Esports News (@DexertoIntel) July 12, 2021
Least Valuable Players of the Subliners Home Series
As for the least valuable players of the week, Enable couldn’t help but pick the entire LA Guerrillas franchise once again.
“Should I go LA Guerrillas again? For the 25th time? They’re the LVP,” he joked. “It’s the whole team. They can’t make Champs anymore. They need to literally let the LAG Academy team play the rest of the matches. They’re so damn bad.”
Pacman couldn’t have agreed more with this sentiment, questioning why management brought Mental up for his debut, rather than bringing the full Academy team up with him. “Let [Mental] play with the people he’s been playing with,” he stressed. “LAG is just an actual conundrum, I don’t understand what they’re doing.”
Ultimately, Pacman had to make another pick and sided with Mack as the player who proved most disappointing this time around. “He did not have a good week. He needs to regain his individual form so New York can compete.”
Last but not least, Katie added Alexx into the mix as well. “I don’t think Alexx has been a net positive for London at any point. At this point, I don’t see what Alexx is tangibly bringing to London.”