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With the Call of Duty League’s fifth and final Stage fast approaching, our Reverse Sweep crew of Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt, Jonathan ‘Pacman’ Tucker & Katie Bedford are here to preview the remaining weeks of competition ahead of Champs.

Just days removed from the Stage 4 Major, CDL’s top squads are already hard at work preparing for their final challenges. The upcoming Stage will be the final chance to rise through the rankings and lock in a better seed for the end-of-year $2.5m Champs event.

From squads with the most potential to players that we need to keep a close eye on, there’s plenty to unravel before the next round of regular-season action.

Join the Reverse Sweep crew as they break down the biggest narratives heading into CDL’s fifth and final Stage.

Will New York Subliners return to form in Stage 5?

While NYSL still pulled out a win at the Stage 4 LAN, it was certainly a struggle without Asim in the lineup. Despite the unfortunate circumstance, they didn’t “lose anything from losing,” Pacman stressed. “Bring [Asim] back and if anything, it should just make you more confident.”

Unlike a good number of roster shuffles throughout the year, “there’s no bad blood” here, Enable added. It was entirely out of their control but with Visa issues now under control, “they’ll get back to where they were at.”

Rookies that didn’t show up at their first LAN event

For many of the younger CDL pros, the Stage 4 Major was their first time playing in an offline setting. While a dip in performance would have been understandable, Pacman and Enable couldn’t name a single rookie that failed to deliver.

Instead, “the duds came from veterans,” Pacman joked. “None were duds,” Enable followed up, looping back to newcomers like Standy and HyDra. “Most of them were just ok. It’s so hard with the format, some teams only played three maps.”

So while there were no standouts, both agreed that we still need a bigger “sample size” before properly judging them.

Which CDL teams will reach new heights in Stage 5?

With the fifth and final stage fast approaching, which teams are most likely to improve before it’s too late? After a disappointing Stage 4 finish, Pacman went with the Los Angeles Thieves but only because “they can’t [get] worse. I have to assume they’ll improve,” he said.

Meanwhile, Enable sided with the Subliners, arguing that the team will improve more than any other ahead of Champs. “They realized they missed an opportunity,” with the Stage 4 LAN, he explained. Now, their sights will be set on locking in second seed for the end-of-year tournament.

“I think they’re gonna grind and they’re gonna do well,” Enable explained.

Throwing a final name into the hat, Pacman also added Dallas Empire to the mix. “I think Dallas is at least going to solidify themselves as the second-best team.”

CDL teams that desperately need a quick rebound

Only a few weeks of action remain in the 2021 season so for certain teams, they need to rebound much quicker than others. LA Thieves is one such team, according to Enable. They’ll need a huge Stage 5 showing to avoid starting Champs in the lower bracket.

“If you go to Champs and you can only lose one series, that’s the worst feeling ever,” he said. “They need to turn it around right now if they want to have any kind of success.”

“For me it’s OpTic,” Pacman chimed in.

“This is the first time where they’re not a true contender in a long time. They are truly not a championship-level contender.” Even if the Green Wall can turn things around, however, he’s adamant they’ll never “make it to a final.” 

Players to watch in CDL Stage 5

Before the 2021 offseason roster shuffles begin, players have one final stage to prove themselves and stand out from the pack. As a result, Pacman hoped Cammy can keep up his impressive performances moving forward. “He’s been disgusting and I think Cammy is a top-five player in the game.”

“It’s gotta be Shotzzy for me,” Enable added.

“When you watch him you just see how much he impacts the game. Not only is his movement an art, he’s making his teammates better. He’s gonna get to a point where he’s looked at as the best in the game.”

Last up, Bedford highlighted another Toronto player, siding with Bance as her player to watch in Stage 5. “When they beat FaZe, Bance was so incredible. He was so good and then suddenly stuttered.

“I want to see him get back into that rockstar form.”

Bold CDL Stage 5 predictions

After painting a more realistic picture of the upcoming Stage, the Reverse Sweep crew laid out their more outlandish predictions. To kick things off, Pacman made the claim that FaZe will finally face some adversity.

“This is gonna be FaZe’s worst regular-season group stage,” he said. “In my head, they’re gonna be trying to iron out any details before Champs.  Working on that might cause them to lose a match that maybe they shouldn’t lose.”

On the opposite end of the standings, Enable believes Seattle Surge will finally make it to a winner’s bracket. “I think they’re gonna make a run in the Major,” he predicted. “They’re not gonna make it to Champs, but I think they’ll be close.”

“I think Thieves will be starting in winners in Stage 5,” Bedford added with one condition in mind. Thieves will only find this success “if SlasheR stays on the team.” 

How CDL rosters should change in Stage 5

Speaking of the LA Thieves lineup, mystic Enable struck again in this week’s preview show. Before news broke that TJHaLy would be joining Challengers team WestR, Enable saw it coming.

“The one realistic move that I would do, if I was LA Thieves, I’m bringing Drazah back into the starting lineup for TJ,” he said.

As the final request, Pacman wanted to see one key change from Minnesota. “I think ROKKR’s ceiling was higher with Accuracy,” he argued. If they rotate him into the lineup once again, it could be a chance to find success in Stage 5.

For all Reverse Sweep CDL news, head over to our dedicated page.