Call of Duty

CDL Minnesota Day 1 recap & highlights: Huntsmen upset, FaZe survive scare

by Albert Petrosyan

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The first day of the Minnesota Home Series has now come to a close, setting the table for an intense and exciting weekend of Call of Duty League action.

As per usual, Day 1 of the Minnesota Home Series only featured four matches, and there was a lot at stake for the eight competing teams, knowing that their results will determine where they stand going into Saturday.

It was Game 5s galore on Friday, as three of the four matches went the distance, including one that went to a Round 11. After the dust settled, Atlanta FaZe, Dallas Empire, LA Guerrillas, and Florida Mutineers had claimed victories, while Seattle Surge, Minnesota ROKKR, Toronto Ultra, and, perhaps most surprisingly, Chicago Huntsmen, will be facing elimination on Day 2.

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Group A

Atlanta FaZe 3-2 Seattle Surge

Controversy struck CDL Minnesota when FaZe faced off against Surge, who were playing their first match with Proto in the starting lineup following Karma's surprise retirement the week prior.

Despite being massive underdogs, Seattle's victories on Azhir Cave Hardpoint (250-175) and Gun Runner Search & Destroy (6-5) had them up 2-0 and on the verge of pulling off the biggest upset of the season.

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However, what followed was a long delay while the CDL had to reset the broadcast due to technical issues. That was apparently enough to cool down the Surge, who went on to lose the next three maps and get reverse-swept.

Wins on Hackney Yard Domination (199-123), Gun Runner HP (250-188), and St. Petrograd S&D (6-5) was enough for FaZe to avoid what would have been an unthinkable defeat. The Game 5 S&D, in particular, was an exciting affair, as star-man Cellium proved that he's got ice in his veins with a very clutch 1v2 in Round 11.

With the loss, Seattle dropped to 0-13 against teams not named LA Guerrillas this season, and despite the promise they showed in the first two maps of the series, it's yet another disappointing result.

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One player who was particularly unhappy about how things unfolded was Octane, as he went on a Twitter mini-rant ripping the CDL for what he claims is "nonexistent" competitive integrity. He also called the league "garbage" and their level of professionalism and standard "legitimately laughable."

It remains to be seen whether or not they will look to level any sort of punishment against the Seattle star, although he made it clear in his tweets that he won't care if they do.

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Dallas Empire vs Minnesota ROKKR

While ROKKR have been in the top-four of the 2020 CDL standings for most of the season, their form recently has not been that of a top team. Their struggles continued on Friday as they fell victim to the relentless machine that is Dallas Empire.

It looks like the hosts may have found their groove, after a 250-232 win on Rammaza HP, but Empire put their foot on the gas pedal and stormed to three straight map victories: 6-2 in the S&D, 177-133 in Domination, and 250-185 in HP, all of them played on St. Petrograd.

It'll have to be another losers bracket run for Minnesota as they lost for the sixth time in eight matches, while Dallas continue with their winning ways, this being their 10th win out of their last 11, including five straight.

Group B

Los Angeles Guerrillas 3-2 Toronto Ultra

Guerrillas made a last-second swap ahead of CDL Minnesota kicking off, adding Saints back into the starting lineup in place of Spart. The decision seems to have payed off, at least for now, as they're now just one more win away from their first-ever trip to the semifinals.

It nearly didn't happen for them, however. After going up 2-0, thanks to a 250-197 win on Rammaza HP and 6-3 on Arklov Peak S&D, Toronto ripped off two wins of their own to tie things up - 187-137 on Hackney Yard Dom and a dominant 250-84 on Hackney Yard HP.

Luckily for Los Angeles, they refound their mojo just in time to win 6-3 on Gun Runner S&D, securing the series victory and avoiding a devastating reverse-sweep.

Florida Mutineers 3-2 Chicago Huntsmen

If there's a rivalry forming between Mutineers and Huntsmen, it's been pretty one-sided so far, as Florida got yet another win in this matchup to improve to 3-0 vs Chicago this season. This time, it came with their new man Owakening, who was signed from the Challengers circuit a few weeks ago to replace the recently-benched Maux.

As with the other matches on Friday, this series was an intense affair that went the distance. After Huntsmen took the lead with a 250-239 win on Gun Runner HP, Mutineers ripped off two victories of their own - 6-3 on Arklov Peak S&D and 154-146 on Hackney Yard Dom.

Things got back to level after Chicago won the Rammaza HP 250-204, but a 6-4 victory for Florida on Rammaza S&D sealed the deal, despite Scump's incredible sequence of kills that nearly willed his team to victory.

The loss is only the second one they've suffered in group play this season, and now they'll be forced to make a losers bracket run if they're to make it to the next stage. As for Florida, they're just one win vs LA Guerrillas away from making it back into the semis after they were swept out of the first round in their own Home Series last month.

Looking ahead to Day 2

While no one was eliminated on Friday, that won't be the case for Day 2 of the Minnesota Home Series, as four of the eight competing teams will see their weekend cut short. In Group A, it'll be FaZe vs Empire for all the goods while Surge and ROKKR will battle for survival in the first round of the losers bracket.

As for Group B, two surprise teams - Guerrillas and Mutineers - will be battling it out in the winners bracket final. The winner will secure a trip to the semis, which would be a first for Los Angeles, while the loser will have to face the victor of Huntsmen vs Ultra in the losers bracket.

Group A Bracket

Group B Bracket

Day 2 Schedule

Remember, you can watch these matches live and keep up with all of the Call of Duty action via our CDL Minnesota hub, which includes streams, updated scores, brackets, and more.