Call of Duty

FaZe Cellium interview: the MVP race, CDL Champs meta, and Pop Smoke

by Theo Salaun

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The Atlanta FaZe flex and Call of Duty League MVP candidate, McArthur ‘Cellium’ Jovan, discussed the MVP race, FaZe’s place in a new CDL meta, and more in an interview with Dexerto.

Cellium has been on an absolute tear this season. His team is ranked No. 1 in the CDL, his K/D sits at a pretty 1.14, and his name sits atop the majority of MVP lists. 

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Atlanta has 250 CDL Points and goes into a stacked final event, the Toronto Home Series, at 23-6, but have lost three of their last five matches. Before their chance to cement the top seed, we spoke with Cellium about everything from how FaZe and the league are impacted by a double-AR meta to the MVP race and his current pregame hype song.

The MVP Race

You’re known for that clutch factor, but also for being consistent and versatile. Do you consider yourself the best player in the league or is there someone with more impact?

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"I think it's different for every team, I think every team has the player that they need. Our whole team needs each other, so I wouldn't be in the position that I'm in without my teammates. I think MajorManiak, Simp, aBeZy, and Priestahh — they all put me in great spots to clutch up when I need to and get the kills that I get."

Who do you think is your biggest competition for MVP?

"I haven't seen the other three candidates, but the only one I know right now is Shotzzy and I think he’s a really good MVP candidate."

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Based on this past weekend’s broadcast graphic, the other three are Envoy, Mack, and Skyz. Is anyone missing from the list?

"Simp is missing from that list."

[The CDL has since updated its MVP candidates to include Simp instead of Mack.]

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Speaking of the league’s best, are you the best SND player in the CDL?

"Nah I don't think so, cause I lost a few clutches this last tournament. It’s probably a sniper or something."

Who's the most consistent player?

"Probably Simp."

Clutchest player?

[Laughs] "Probably me."

The double-AR meta

The CDL meta shifted to more AR-heavy, slightly slowing the pace and, by your standards, you guys had a disappointing event. Looking toward Toronto and Champs, do you think this meta hurts FaZe more than others and how are you adapting to it?

"This new meta, the two-AR meta, it kind of hurt us but we're getting used to it—with Preston having a second AR. I think it's going to help us now that we're used to it. I think our whole team is comfortable now with the guns we're using."

Cellium FaZe
Call of Duty League
Cellium locks in during one of the CDL's LAN events.

Seeing Arcitys and Clayster both look more comfortable on AR, do you think the other top three teams (Chicago Huntsmen, Dallas Empire, and Florida Mutineers) are better suited to this meta?

"Other teams have improved for sure with the new meta. But I think people underestimate MajorManiak and Priestahh with their ARs. People underestimate them a lot and focus on Simp and aBezY because they're the crackheads. I feel like people don't know how good Priestahh and MajorManiak really are with the ARs."

Who do you think is the toughest competition in the league moving forward?

"There's a lot of tough competition out there right now. There are four teams that can win this whole thing, you know? There's a lot of good teams, but the Huntsmen, Dallas, and Florida are the main three."

Of Chicago, Dallas, and Florida — does one stand out or are they all on the same tier?

"Nah, our whole team thinks they're all on the same tier. If our team plays right, then we can beat anyone."

People generally think that your team is the league’s most talented, but plays sloppily due to the ability to just slay out anyway. Do you agree that your fundamental teamplay has been subpar and has that been a point of emphasis to work on?

"For sure. In the past weeks of practice, the main thing we've been focusing on is our communication. I feel like, in the past, our communication was pretty bad — just all of us saying stuff at once. But I think we've all learned how to calm down and say things one at a time so that we can know what each other is doing."

The nitty, gritty wrap-up

So...it has to be asked. Assuming you saw the iLLeY impersonator on The Codcast, were you vexed?

[Laughs] "Nah I wasn't mad, I was laughing at it when I watched the clip."

Favorite pregame music?

"I don’t know, I listen to whatever’s on my playlist. Right now, it's "For the Night" by Pop Smoke."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9pjm4cNsfc

Any game-day superstitions?

"I don't think so, the only thing I need before a game is just to have the AC around 70. Not too hot."

Despite his team’s struggles in their past two events, Cellium still hasn’t finished a single event with a negative K/D. Now, he and FaZe meet the test of a Toronto field stacked with the likes of Chicago, Dallas, and Florida — a chance to lock in a top seed and convince voters that Cellium is the league's MVP.

He might not like it too hot, but it’s time for FaZe to prove they can fry again.