The CDL Stage 1 Major is over, and Atlanta FaZe once again see themselves atop the Call of Duty universe having beaten Dallas Empire. But the Stage 2 Major could look very different if the community, including some pros, get their way.
The first Major of the 2021 CDL season was full of as many incredible storylines and cracking matches as fans could muster.
New York Subliners had an incredible run through the tournament, including sweeping OpTic Chicago 3-0 to knock them out of the tournament, while the Dallas v Atlanta Champs rematch seemed only fitting.
There was, though, one notable change between this event and the countless previous, and that’s the format. Or, more specifically, the grand final format.
For the Stage 1 Major, while it was double elimination, the grand final was a best-of-9 matchup, with the side coming from Winners Bracket having no discernible advantage despite not losing throughout the entire tournament.
Best-of-9s aren’t unheard of in CoD esports. CDL Champs 2020 was a best-of-9 series, with Dallas Empire starting with a 1-0 map advantage over the Atlanta side. Now, with no map advantage for the winning team, a number of pros are calling out the system.
Seattle Surge’s Sam ‘Octane’ Larew called out the issue while the match was on, simply saying that best-of-9 grand finals are “simply not it.”
Guess I’ll be the one to say it
Best of 9 Grand Final is most certainly not it
— Surge Octane (@OctaneSam) March 8, 2021
Similarly, James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks said that he fought against the change when it was announced, saying that “winners bracket teams should have a significant advantage.”
I disagree with the format change, and was very vocal about it when it was announced. WB teams should have a significant advantage IMO.
— NYSL Clayster (@Clayster) March 7, 2021
100 Thieves coach Jordan ‘Jkap’ Kaplan and two-time world champion Patrick ‘Aches’ Price shared similar sentiments.
Jkap said it was “wild” that Atlanta go into the final without any advantage, while Aches argued it’s almost a disadvantage because the Loser’s Bracket team are “fresh off a big win.”
I’d argue it’s “almost” a disadvantage, Bc you gotta wait 2 hours then play a team who’s fresh off big win. Super lame
— PATTYP (@ACHES) March 7, 2021
Obviously, there was a lot of discussion around the new format, but whether we see changes going forward remains to be seen.
Some suggestions were bandied about, including going back to a best-of-9 with a 1 map advantage, a bracket reset with two best-of-5s, or even a best-of-11 series.
No matter what, the pros have all had their say, so now we wait to see how the Majors look from Stage 2 and beyond.