Call of duty

Call of Duty League 2020/21: Preseason Power Rankings

by Jacob Hale

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Every Call of Duty League team has now announced their rosters, and some are looking markedly better than others. I take a look through each roster and rank them from worst to best, explaining why they are ranked where they are.

While the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is still very fresh, pro teams have already started playing together, practicing in Search and Destroy tournaments and making the most of the early days of the game.

These rankings are slightly based on performances so far, but the reputation of the players involved and the success they've seen in recent years has been a much more important quality when organizing these rankings.

12. Paris Legion

Paris Legion
Paris Legion
Paris was the first team to announce it's full roster, including subs.
  • Luke 'Louqa' Rigas
  • Conrad 'Shockz' Rymarek
  • Denholm 'Denz' Taylor
  • Matthew 'KISMET' Tinsley
  • Timothy 'Phantomz' Landis
  • Zach 'Zed' Denyer
  • Paul 'Breszy' Breszynski

Paris is one of the teams that I would define as “having upset potential.” They could end up being a top 6/8 team, but none of these players have been consistent enough throughout their careers to justify being placed much higher in my rankings.

They could greatly benefit from signing even one superstar player, but this could be a plan for the long-term, with a good roster of middle-of-the-pack players that could become superstars over the coming months or years.

11. Los Angeles Guerillas

LA Guerillas
LA Guerillas
Los Angeles Guerillas have acquired a team of players looking to get back to the top once more.
  • Patrick 'Aches' Price
  • Ulysses "AquA" Silva
  • Renato 'Saints' Forza
  • Jacob 'Decemate' Cato
  • Andres 'Lacefield' Lacefield

I wanted to put Paris above Los Angeles and Florida initially, but the fact that these players have multiple championships under their belts pushed them up slightly. 

Despite that, my hopes aren’t high for the “other” LA team to perform as well as their local rivals, or indeed most of the teams in the league. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the last few years, it’s to never count Aches out.


10. Florida Mutineers

Florida Mutineers could be a solid team in time.
  • Preston 'Prestinni' Sanderson
  • Chance 'Maux' Moncivaez
  • Cesar 'Skyz' Bueno
  • Bradley 'Frosty' Bergstrom
  • Colt 'Havok' McLendon

Florida really seems like a “best of the rest” type team. They’ve got a World Champion, players who have come close to winning championships and players that seem to be there simply because they were available.

I would’ve expected Prestinni to land on a better team given he has just become a World Champion, but hopefully, he can make this one work


9. Minnesota Rokkr

Minnesota Rokkr
Minnesota Rokkr
Minnesota will be hosting the opening weekend of the 2020 Call of Duty League.
  • Justin 'Silly' Fargo-Palmer
  • Alex 'Alexx' Carpenter
  • Adam 'GodRx' Brown
  • Obaid 'Asim' Asim
  • Adam 'Assault' Garcia
  • Kaden 'Exceed' Stockdale
  • Devin 'TTinyy' Robinson

Minnesota was somewhat of a wildcard in their addition to the league – not many would have seen it coming, but they picked up a group of talented players that can provide some consistent results.

However, although consistent, I don’t think they’ll be consistently at the top. They may have some top-six performances in them but my expectations don’t go much further than that.

8. Toronto Ultra

Toronto Ultra/Twitter
Toronto Ultra/Twitter
Toronto are the only franchise to announce a full 10-man roster.
  • Daniel 'Loony' Loza
  • Anthony 'Methodz' Zinni
  • Carson 'Brack' Newberry
  • Alejandro 'Lucky' López
  • Adrian 'MeTTalz' Serrano
  • Tobias 'CleanX' Juul Jønsson
  • Nicholas 'Classic' DiCostanzo
  • Cameron 'Cammy' McKilligan
  • Ben 'Bance' Bance
  • Mehran 'Mayhem' Anjomshoa

Toronto has clearly prepared for all possibilities with their insane roster depth, and it could very well pay off throughout the season, but I feel like they’re missing that superstar player that can individually win games. 

That said, if Loony, Methodz, Brack and the Spaniards are on form, this team could get very scary, very fast.

7. London Royal Ravens

London Royal Ravens
London Royal Ravens
London has opted for an all-UK team to represent them in the CDL.
  • Jordan 'Jurd' Crowley
  • Matthew 'Skrapz' Marshall
  • Bradley 'Wuskin' Marshall
  • Rhys 'Rated' Price
  • Dylan 'Dylan' Henderson
  • Sean 'Seany' O'Connor

The players on this London team are all incredibly talented; Dylan was a rookie of the year contender in Black Ops 4, Skrapz has been one of the best players of the last two years.

They’re made up of fantastic players but I just don’t feel like they have it in them to be winning championships.

6. Seattle Surge

Seattle Surge
Seattle Surge
Seattle looks like it could conquer the league entirely, or disappoint the many fans they'll have in the opening CDL season.
  • Damon 'Karma' Barlow
  • Brian 'Apathy' Zhelyazkov
  • Josiah 'Slacked' Berry
  • Ian 'Enable' Wyatt
  • Sam 'Octane' Larew

Seattle is made up of some of the most successful players in CoD history, but they have one small issue that, in my opinion, could hold them back from being the best team in the game.

Of the five players on their starting roster, Seattle has four players that are typically role players, with Octane being the only name that has been a main slayer in recent seasons.

5. Atlanta FaZe

Atlanta has taken a big risk with this team of young talent.
  • Chris 'Simp' Lehr
  • Preston 'Priestahhh' Griener
  • Mike 'MajorManiak' Szymaniak
  • Tyler 'Abezy' Pharris
  • McArthur 'Cellium' Jovel

This Atlanta side is absolutely a team to watch out for in the future, with five of the most promising talents in Call of Duty all on one team.

I’m slightly uncomfortable with how young all of the players on this team are, but they've all been incredible as of late, with Priestahh, Abezy and Simp winning multiple championships each last season, including the latter two winning the World Championship.

4. New York Subliners

New York Subliners have some major names on their side.
  • Trei 'Zer0' Morris
  • Thomas 'ZooMaa' Paparatto
  • Donovan 'Temp' Laroda
  • Lamar 'Accuracy' Abedi
  • Dillon 'Attach' Price
  • Douglas 'Censor' Martin

New York has a healthy mix of players that are adaptable to any meta, and that’s something I definitely see being an advantage to them as the year progresses as well as in future titles.

These are all players that have experience being at the top and have enough firepower to compete with the strongest teams.

3. Dallas Empire

Dallas Empire
Dallas Empire
Dallas have been dominating Search & Destroy tournaments since the game released.
  • Ian 'Crimsix' Porter
  • James 'Clayster' Eubanks
  • Anthony 'Shotzzy' Cuevas-Castro
  • Cuyler 'Huke' Garland
  • Indervir 'iLLeY' Dhaliwal

Dallas has all the makings of a championship-caliber team but is at great risk of flopping if players don’t live up to the hype. Crimsix and Clayster aren’t the players they once were – although Clay winning the two biggest events in Black Ops 4 may suggest otherwise – and the risk involved in picking up Shotzzy and Illey is huge.

But, if those players can be the players they’re expected to be, Dallas will be a tough team to beat. They've already been dominating Search and Destroy tournaments in the days following Modern Warfare's launch.

2. Los Angeles OpTic

OpTic Gaming/Twitter
OpTic Gaming/Twitter
OpTic Gaming Los Angeles has some work to do winning over fans.
  • Thomas 'TJHaly' Haly
  • Jordan 'JKap' Kaplan
  • Austin 'Slasher' Liddicoat
  • Kenny 'Kenny' Williams
  • Brandon 'Dashy' Otell

OpTic may not have retained the fans that had stuck with the organization in recent years, but that doesn’t change the fact that they look like they will continue to be a powerhouse with this roster.

JKap is one of the smartest players in CoD history, and with a group of some of the strongest slayers in the league around him, LA OpTic will be challenging for titles all season.

1. Chicago Huntsmen

Chicago Huntsmen
Chicago Huntsmen
Expectations are high for Chicago in the 2020 CDL season.
  • Matthew 'Formal' Piper
  • Seth 'Scump' Abner
  • Alec 'Arcitys' Sanderson
  • Peirce 'Gunless' Hillman
  • Dylan 'Envoy' Hannan

It’s hard to look at this team and not see championships on the horizon. It’s the perfect blend of young talent and veteran leadership, with a group of players that have grown accustomed to winning multiple championships in recent years.

It’s perhaps the most raw talent we’ve seen on a Call of Duty roster for a while, and I doubt they'll struggle finding their feet when the league's inaugural season kicks off.

Activision
Activision
The Call of Duty League is expected to start in early 2020.

So, there you have it. I think Chicago look like the best team going into the Call of Duty League, and with the start of its inaugural season drawing ever-closer, we won’t have to wait long to find out which teams are really the best.