CDL 2021 Stage 1 groups announced

Jacob Hale
cod league group draw 2021

The 2021 season of the Call of Duty League is about to kick-off and teams have just been locked into their groups following the Stage 1 group draw during the CDL Kickoff Classic on January 24.

The CDL Kickoff Classic marked the first time fans could see their favorite teams in action this year, with every franchise playing one match against fan-voted opponents between January 23-24.

Perhaps the most important part of the weekend was the CDL Stage 1 group draw, which saw teams pick out who they want their opponents to face throughout Stage 1 of the season.

Each stage consists of three Home Series tournaments as well as a Major, all of which feeds into the World Championship tournament at the end of the season — so how these groups play out could have huge implications on the rest of the year. Here’s how the group draw played out and how the unique drafting system all worked.

CDL 2021 Stage 1 groups

Group A Group B
Dallas Empire Atlanta FaZe
LA Thieves OpTic Chicago
Minnesota ROKKR Florida Mutineers
London Royal Ravens Toronto Ultra
New York Subliners LA Guerrillas
Seattle Surge Paris Legion

CDL 2021 Stage 1 group draw process

call of duty league 2021 dates announced
The 2021 season brings about a number of changes to the CDL.

The group draw selection took place on Sunday, January 24, in a format that left some fans a little confused.

The draw was described as a reverse-snake-draft format, with teams picking who wound up in the opposing group, starting with the top two seeds of the 2020 season, Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe.

Here’s how it worked:

  • Dallas picked the first team to be in Atlanta FaZe’s Stage 1 group — let’s call them Team 1.
  • Atlanta then picked a team to be in Dallas’ group — let’s call them Team 2.
  • Team 1 then picked another team to be in Dallas’ group.
  • Team 2 then picked a team to be in Atlanta’s group, and so on.

When was the group draw?

As mentioned, the group draw took place on Sunday, January 24. As revealed by the CDL, it was featured prior to the OpTic Chicago vs Los Angeles Thieves Kickoff match, which took place at 3pm PST (6pm EST/11pm GMT).

This has now set the stage for the first few events of the season, with the groups being shaken up for Stage 2. After the first Major, teams will go through the same process to decide Stage 2 groups, and for each Stage after that until Champs rolls around.

Be sure to keep up with all of the action on Dexerto, and follow us over on @DexertoIntel for on-the-pulse updates!

About The Author

Jacob is Dexerto’s UK Editor and Call of Duty esports specialist. With a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing, he previously worked as an Editor at Ginx TV. Jacob was nominated for Journalist of the Year at the 2023 Esports Awards. Contact: