CDL Toronto Challengers final placements: NA shakeup ahead of Champs - Dexerto
Call of Duty

CDL Toronto Challengers final placements: NA shakeup ahead of Champs

Published: 28/Jul/2020 2:45

by Brad Norton


As the top Call of Duty teams around the world look to peak in time for the biggest event of the year, standings were shaken up during the Toronto Open Challengers tournament.

The current competitive cycle is nearing its end as Modern Warfare’s time in the spotlight is coming to a close. With new leaks spilling out, an imminent announcement for the next release seems likely. With just one major event left for the current title, amateur teams have been pushing harder than ever before.

Over 200 teams competed across three major regions in the last Open Challengers event of the year. Prize money was the same as always with $7,500 up for grabs for North America, $6,000 for Europe, and $1,500 for APAC. However, Pro Points were more valuable than ever as teams battled for better seeding in the 2020 Championship event.

Certain teams continued their dominant reign while other regions saw stunning upsets. Just two weeks out from the $500,000 Championship tournament, here’s how the final Open event of the year played out.

CDC Toronto Open NA placements

Players on stage during CDL Launch Weekend.
All competitive Call of Duty events will be played out online through to the end of the Modern Warfare cycle.

The North American leg of the competition saw many familiar names pushing through to the final rounds. The final bracket was as stacked as ever, including former winners UYU and Atlanta FaZe Academy, though one surprising team was able to stand out from the pack.

Five Star Creations, a new org, topped the FaZe lineup in the Grand Final series to claim the Toronto Open. Their roster features CoD veterans Christopher ‘Parasite’ Duarte and Jevon ‘Goonjar’ Gooljar-Lim.

“Been consistent all year placing in the Top 4,” Parasite said after the win. “This feels so satisfying. Gotta make sure we keep grinding and focus up for Champs.”

The Top 8 placements for the final NA Open can be seen below:

Place Prize Money Team
 1 $ 10,500 Five Star
 2 $ 7,500 AF Academy
 3 $ 5,000 UYU
 4 $ 2,500 Carnage Gaming
5-6 Sixth Gear
Built By Gamers
7-8 Triumph
InControl Gaming

CDC Toronto Open EU placements

Call of Duty Challengers players at LAN event
Katy Eyre/ESPAT Media
The top EU teams will soon be competing for $200,000 in the Champs event.

While 123 teams competed in the European portion of the tournament, it was a familiar roster that came through with the win once again. Team WaR collected its ninth overall event win of the year, though they faced some tough competition this time around.

They were knocked into the lower bracket early and had to regain composure. WaR then won three critical games in a row to bounce back and land a spot in the Grand Finals. In one of their most difficult challenges yet, they had to win not one, but two bo5 matches against TrainHard Esport.

It was a fierce matchup but ultimately Team WaR reigned supreme once again. This could be a sign of things to come in the Championship tournament, though the competition is certainly looking tighter than ever before.

Place Prize Money Team
 1 $ 3,500 Team WaR
 2 $ 1,500 TrainHard Esport
 3 $ 1,000 Team Singularity
 4 Connect 5
5-6 The Bedroom
Team BDS
7-8 The Atlas Lions
Doug Censor Martin v8

Completing their sweep of an entire region, Renegades won the final APAC Challengers Open of the year. The roster has now gone undefeated throughout the entire Modern Warfare cycle with no signs of slowing down.

The 2020 Call of Duty Challengers Championship begins on August 15. The top 32 NA and EU teams will be battling it out for $250,000 and $200,000 respectively. Meanwhile, APAC will be limited to just 16 teams with $50,000 up for grabs. Stay tuned for results as the final amateur event of the Modern Warfare cycle kicks off soon.

Call of Duty

7 players to watch during 2021’s CDL Kickoff Classic

Published: 22/Jan/2021 19:02 Updated: 22/Jan/2021 20:03

by Theo Salaun


Activision’s Call of Duty League is finally here and things are getting started with the CDL Kickoff Classic — a preseason event where x-factor players on all 12 teams can begin making their mark. 

With an exodus of 12 starters as the CDL shifts to a 4v4 format in Black Ops Cold War, individual play is paramount. Players have less backup on the battlefield and, with a deep talent pool in the Challengers scene, more competition for their roles.

Representing Chicago, OpTic Gaming are back with Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, Seth ‘Scump’ Abner and the gang. Delighting fans, Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag’s 100 Thieves return to competitive CoD for Los Angeles. Teams have shuffled since the inaugural season and each team’s expectations will be tested by at least one player’s CDL Kickoff performance. 

Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson (Atlanta FaZe)

The best AR in CoD?

Chicago Hunstmen Arcitys CDL
Call of Duty League
Did the most stacked roster in CoD add the league’s best AR?

While Michael ‘MajorManiak’ Szymaniak was highly regarded by his teammates last season, few rank him in a tier anywhere near Arcitys. FaZe’s submachine gun and flex play was never a question, but adding Arcitys on the assault rifle could push them past the Dallas Empire in power rankings.

If Arcitys continues, let alone improves upon, his 2020 form, then Atlanta should be an early favorite. Tested by a strong Florida Mutineers squad, fans should get a quality temperature check on FaZe’s newest member.

Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter (Dallas Empire)

Did Dallas release the right veteran AR?

Crimsix celebrating a Dallas Empire win
At 28 years old, Crimsix needs to continue disproving his doubters.

The transition from 5v5 to 4v4 was not without heartbreak and few splits were as tough as the Empire’s. Dropping James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks instead of Crimsix was a difficult decision and, at the CDL Kickoff Classic, that decision will receive its first evaluation.

When the two veteran ARs face each other, Crim will be with the same absurd, young trio of “Xeo” gunners and Clayster with… one standout sophomore and two formerly projected bench players. It shouldn’t be too hard of a test for Dallas, but fans should be curious to see how much Crim’s thumbs have aged.

Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda (Los Angeles Thieves)

Big Brand meets Big Ego

temp la thieves
Twitter, @LAThieves
Temp talks the talk, but must walk the walk for the CDL’s next big brand.

Tying for 5th at CDL Champs wasn’t enough to keep OpTic in Los Angeles so Nadeshot got to buy into the league. Although the team’s Challengers call-ups, Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan and Darien ‘Hollow’ Chervchko, played admirably in the postseason — 100T replaced them in the starting lineup with one of the league’s most confident ARs.

The self-proclaimed top “gunnie” in the CDL, Temp has an unrelenting belief in his ability (alternatively, a ‘strong personality,’ per general manager Eric ‘Muddawg’ Sanders) backed by a strong history of top-tier, albeit streaky play. While his year with the New York Subliners was disappointing, Temp now rejoins former teammates Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat and Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly. With 100T’s enormous fanbase and a matchup with OpTic Chicago, the gunner gets a large stage to prove his play can rise to both the occasion and his own expectations.

Preston ‘Priestahh’ Greiner (Minnesota ROKKR)

The honorary Tiny Terror?

Atlanta FaZe's Priestahh.
From teaming with the Tiny Terrors to a much larger role, Priestahh can make a statement in 2021.

FaZe were the second-best team in 2020 and Priestahh would likely still be on the team if not for the swap to 4v4. Instead, one of the league’s most selfless players gets to turn a new leaf with a fully revamped ROKKR squad.

Starting with Minnesota’s preseason matchup against the Toronto Ultra, Priestahh should shift from flex to his more natural sub role. Expectations for what was a miserable ROKKR team will hinge on his ability to prove he was being overshadowed in Atlanta and can transition from dirty work to slaying.

Makenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley (New York Subliners)

No ZooMaa, No Hydra: Return of the Mack

New York Subliners' Mack.
MackMelts (Twitter)
A 2020 MVP candidate, Mack needs to take another step for NY to compete.

Easily one of the top rookies in 2020, Mack jumped into New York’s starting lineup and almost immediately surged into the MVP conversation. The Subliners had a quality offseason after fizzling in the playoffs, but new issues mean Mack will have to go above and beyond to start 2021.

With rookie Paco ‘HyDra’ Rusiewiez dealing with visa issues and Tommy ‘ZooMaa’ Paparatto retiring due to injury, Mack is moving to SMG for an unfinished roster. He’s back in his preferred role, but the season depends on his ability to reach 2020’s near-MVP form.

Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell (OpTic Chicago)

Heeding Chicago’s Bat-Signal

Dashy on stage
Back with his guys, Chicago’s hopes depend on Dashy’s return to form.

Like Atlanta, Chicago shuffled pieces after falling just short of the championship in 2020. With Arcitys eager to rejoin former teammates on FaZe, H3CZ celebrated the return of OpTic with the return of one of the brand’s former players.

But 2020 was an ugly year for Dashy and, aside from some big moments as a suddenly summoned bench player in CDL Champs, questions surround the formerly elite AR. Expectations are high for the biggest brand in CoD, but will rise and fall depending on Dashy’s play.

Peirce ‘Gunless’ Hillman (Seattle Surge)

Started from the bottom, now we Peirce

Chicago Huntsmen's Gunless.
In just a few years, Gunless has gone from star to substitute to starter with a chip on his shoulder.

Like Dashy, no one questions the raw mechanical talent that Gunless holds. Unfortunately, also like Dashy, the gifted player spent most of a porous 2020 on the bench with rumored character concerns. 

Now, he joins two others as reinforcements for Sam ‘Octane’ Larew on 2020’s worst team: Seattle. If the Surge are going to improve upon a 5-18 record that ended dead last at CDL Champs, Gunless will need a return to form beginning on Day 1 against the Los Angeles Guerrillas.

While the Call of Duty League is chock-full of players with high expectations, low expectations and everything in between, these seven stand out as those with the most notable stocks in the preseason. A variety of other rookies and transferred players can make statements during the Kickoff Classic, but power rankings and fan expectations should hinge entirely on our listed x-factors.