The Call of Duty League is officially underway after an action-packed weekend in Minnesota, which saw all 12 teams head north to kick off their seasons. With CDL London taking place February 8-9, eight teams are preparing to stake their claim atop the standings.
Four teams had perfect 2-0 showings in Minnesota: Chicago Huntsmen, Atlanta FaZe, Minnesota RØKKR, and Paris Legion, but only Paris and Chicago will be headed to London to claim the top spot, with Atlanta and Minnesota having to wait to keep their flawless streaks going.
However, the standings are looking a far cry from what many CoD fans expected heading into the first LAN event of the season and, with the first tournament-style event approaching, we take a look at our current power rankings, which will be updated between every CDL event. To see how these lists compare, take a look at our preseason power rankings.
12. OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
Expectations weren’t particularly high for OGLA heading into the inaugural event of the season, and those low expectations were met in Minnesota.
Though they weren’t completely blown out – they did manage to take two maps from Paris Legion – there was nothing to suggest this team had clicked just yet.
That said, with the names on this roster, we fully expect to see them shoot up the rankings over time, and they’re not likely to sit in this spot for long. However, with the team not headed to London, they'll have to wait a little longer to start moving upwards.
11. New York Subliners
New York were tipped as a top-five team by fans and players alike prior to opening weekend, but a weak showing in Minnesota has made many fans question their ability at this point in the season.
New York’s matchup against Atlanta FaZe, which saw them take the Domination in convincing fashion, proves that there is fire in the belly of the East Coast team – they just have to pinpoint their weaknesses and mistakes to live up to expectations.
10. Seattle Surge
Seattle got off to a rocky start this season, with close losses to both Florida Mutineers and Toronto Ultra with 3-2 scorelines. It doesn’t reek of failure, but you would expect more from the players on this squad.
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The Surge’s main issue is a glaring lack of skill in Search and Destroy, a gamemode many on this roster have had issues with in the past. That said, if they can get past their SnD woes, they could become a force to be reckoned with.
Seattle will have Chicago Huntsmen, Dallas Empire and Los Angeles Guerillas in their pool at CDL London, so if they can make it out of this group, they're sure to fly up the rankings.
9. Toronto Ultra
Toronto’s 10-man roster already appears to be undergoing changes after a mixed Launch Weekend, with rumors that Ben ‘Bance’ Bance will be taking the place of Mettallz on the starting line-up.
A tight win over Seattle Surge allowed them to get a win under their belt, but they lost convincingly to Minnesota Rokkr, giving them a 1-1 win/loss record and 4-5 map count to open the season. They’ll need to tighten up a lot more to move upwards.
8. Florida Mutineers
Florida Mutineers is comprised of a team of scrappy players that have all shone at different times throughout their careers, and heading into Launch Weekend there were murmurings that they could be a dark horse to watch out for throughout the season.
They were held to a tight 3-2 win over Seattle Surge, taking it all the way, but narrowly lost by the same scoreline to Los Angeles Guerillas after. They clearly have things to work on, but they can’t be completely judged after just one weekend.
7. Los Angeles Guerillas
There was a lot of controversy over LA Guerillas’ matchup with Minnesota Rokkr during the opening week, which they lost 3-1, after they were forced to forfeit a map due to an incident with a player’s perk.
It’s impossible to say how that match would have ended if they weren’t forfeited, which makes it much harder to rank the team, but a 3-2 win over Florida Mutineers places them somewhere around the middle of the pack.
6. London Royal Ravens
London were expected to be a mid-tier team preseason, and they showed why in their CDL Minnesota performances. Despite taking the win against New York Subliners, a loss to European rivals Paris Legion, who weren’t expected to be great, put the London side back in their place.
At CDL London, we’ll see whether the homestand advantage can help move the Royal Ravens up the ranks.
5. Paris Legion
Paris Legion were the standout team in Minnesota in January, coming in regarded as a bottom-of-the-pack team but managing to pull off two series wins to kick off a flawless record. They beat Los Angeles Guerillas 3-2, and saw off London Royal Ravens in an easy 3-0 win.
The wins didn’t look like flukes, either – the players looked like they knew what they were doing and had figured out how best to play the game, but only time will tell whether they can keep that up.
4. Dallas Empire
Arguably, Dallas should be lower on this list – after all, they recorded two losses with a 1-6 map record – but that might not be a fair analysis on how this team is actually looking.
In Minnesota, Dallas had to go up against the two best teams in the game in Chicago Huntsmen and Atlanta FaZe, making it a lot harder to give them a full appraisal. Despite their current record, we trust Dallas will keep up their preseason performances and prove they’re a top team.
3. Minnesota RØKKR
Minnesota were tipped as a top-five team ahead of Launch Weekend, and lived up to expectations. They’re one of four teams with a 2-0 record, with wins over Los Angeles Guerillas and Toronto Ultra.
They looked great, but they were playing against opposition that didn’t have the best weekends, including that controversial win over Los Angeles Guerillas on the opening day. They might not be in third place after a few more events, and will need to work hard to maintain this position, but they’re definitely up there for now.
2. Chicago Huntsmen
Chicago opened their season with an emphatic win over Dallas Empire, and you could see how much the victory meant to them as they screamed some choice words across the stage.
Chicago were widely considered the third-best team in the game before the opening event, behind only Atlanta FaZe and Dallas themselves, but this blowout victory proved that they had the potential to be a dominant force in the Call of Duty League’s opening season.
1. Atlanta FaZe
Atlanta FaZe came in and did exactly what they were expected to do: dominate the competition. The 3-0 decapitation of Dallas Empire showed that the youngsters are worth far more than their lesser experience would suggest, and will likely be a force to be reckoned with not only this season but for years to come.
Atlanta are no doubt the best team in the game right now, and don’t have to put their crown up for availability in London as they will not be playing again until their own homestand event later on in February.
Though these rankings have changed quite a bit since preseason, we expect there to be several power shifts throughout the year and especially over the first couple of events when teams are still trying to find their footing.
Though the likes of Atlanta and Chicago look unlikely to drop off much throughout the year, nothing is impossible. They’ll need to work hard to maintain their top dog statuses, and that continues in London on February 8-9.