CoD Champs - Epic Winners Bracket Final set for Championship Sunday - Dexerto
Call of Duty

CoD Champs – Epic Winners Bracket Final set for Championship Sunday

Published: 18/Aug/2019 0:42 Updated: 18/Aug/2019 2:32

by Albert Petrosyan

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The Winners Bracket Final at the CWL Championship 2019 is now set, and it will feature two of the best teams in Call of Duty esports – OpTic Gaming vs eUnited.

Considering that both OpTic Gaming and eUnited came into this week as two of the favorites to win the $2 million tournament, it doesn’t come as a major surprise that they’ve made it this far relatively unscathed. 

However, while this may be a classic case of an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, something has to give, as only one of these two powerhouse squads can advance to the Grand Final.

As far as previous matches go for this season, OpTic hold a 4-2 edge over eUnited, as well as a 13-8 map advantage. One of those wins came in the Grand Final of CWL Vegas, which saw the Green Wall sweep to secure their lone championship so far this season.

However, eU’s rosters was different back then, and since promoting Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr to the lineup, they’ve been operating like a well-oiled machine, taking two out of the three matches with a combined map count of 7-4. 

That said, let’s take a look at how both of these squads have gotten to this point in the tournament. 

Matt PotthoffSimp’s addition has turned eUnited into arguably the strongest team in CoD esports.

eUnited look as strong as ever

eUnited have picked up right where they left off following their win at CWL Finals, and look virtually unbeatable going into the match against OpTic.

After going 3-0 in pool play, and dropping only two maps, the boys in blue sped through the first three rounds of the Winners Bracket, beating Team WaR, Evil Geniuses, and UNITS.

They survived a bit of a scare against EG, who took them to a game five, but whatever issues they had were quickly fixed as they demolished UNITS 3-0.

There’s no question that the star of the show against UNITS was Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr, who put in a series of a lifetime in the semifinals. 

OpTic charge forward with an iron fist

Unlike eUnited, OpTic came into Champs having a lot to prove, after their disastrous performance at CWL Finals where they did not even pick up a single map win.

However, so far this tournament, the surge of the Green Wall has been very much present, as they went 3-0 in pool play and have beaten Team Heretics, Enigma6, and Team Reciprocity all 3-1 in the Winners Bracket.

Some fans were worried that REC would give them a scare in the semifinal, considering their inspiring reverse sweep of Luminosity in the previous round, but as is usually the case, OpTic proved too strong to beat in Hardpoint. 


You can check out the full Championship Brackets by visiting our CWL Champs 2019 Winners and Losers Brackets, and follow all of the action live with our dedicated CWL Champs 2019 hub, which features livestreams, updated scores, final placements so far, and more.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @DexertoINTEL for constant live update tweets through each day of the competition. 

Call of Duty

7 players to watch during 2021’s CDL Kickoff Classic

Published: 22/Jan/2021 19:02 Updated: 22/Jan/2021 22:40

by Theo Salaun

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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
CDL
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.
Activision
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
Activision
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.
MLG
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.