With Call of Duty League Champs drawing near, our Reverse Sweep crew of Jonathan ‘Pacman’ Tucker & Katie Bedford are here to preview the biggest tournament of the year and make their bold predictions for who might win.
After months of grinding through the regular season, this year’s Champs event is now all that remains. Eight of the world’s best CoD teams are set to throw down in a $2.5m event from August 19 but only one can be crowned as champions.
Champs is where the biggest stars emerge and the craziest results often come to fruition. So to preview the final Black Ops Cold War event, our Reverse Sweep duo is here to break down all the biggest matchups.
From OpTic’s potential shot at glory to players that we need to keep an eye on, here’s the Reverse Sweep preview for this year’s Champs event.
Predicting the first Champs matchups
Kicking things off in the upper bracket, Champs is set to deliver two spicy games right away. Subliners meet OpTic in round one while Empire is thrown into a series with ROKKR. But who has the upper hand in these matchups? “I really struggle to see a world where Subliners beat OpTic,” Pacman said. Due to their “current form” without Clayster, NYSL’s journey at Champs will be an uphill battle, according to Pacman.
Meanwhile, the ROKKR vs Empire matchup could easily be the “craziest” of the entire event. “The ROKKR of this past weekend, they just shouldn’t lose to anyone. But a strong Empire can also beat anyone. My gut says go with ROKKR, but it’s a tough one.”
Can Dallas Empire go back to back at Champs?
Speaking of Empire, what are the chances last year’s Champs go on a run once again? While their roster is obviously quite different this time around, can they still pull out the win? “Of course,” Pacman responded.
“If this past Major taught us anything it’s that any of these top teams can look extremely scary. Dallas has all the potential in the world.”
Though to reach that final stage, Empire needs one thing: Shotzzy in MVP form. “[Shotzzy] needs to be that superstar for the team. He can do it, he just needs the teamwork to be there.”
Will OpTic finally reach a Grand Final in 2021?
OpTic’s best placing this year came during the Stage 5 Major. Could a Top 4 finish finally give them the momentum to close out a win? Pacman “actually thinks they can.”
First up, they have “the best [opening match] you can have” against NYSL. “Then you get to play a FaZe that’s clearly at the weakest we’ve seen them. That bodes well. Right now is the best opportunity for OpTic to get to a final.”
Similar to Empire, however, one key player needs to elevate OpTic during their Champs run. “I’m looking at [FormaL] to be the best player on the team,” Pacman added. “FormaL needs to get back to that level.”
Players to watch during Champs
Outside of FormaL for OpTic and Shotzzy for Empire, who should we be keeping an eye on during Champs? For Katie, it’s none other than Stage 5 winner Attach.
“They had such an incredibly Major,” she stressed. “I want to see that momentum continue. I want to see what he can impart onto Standy.”
Taking a different approach, Pacman wants to see LA Thieves firing on all cylinders. “If they’re gonna be a team that makes a loser’s bracket run, [Kenny] needs to be one of the best players in the tournament, if not the best.”
Bold predictions for Champs
With eight teams locked in for the event, who are the biggest underdogs and who has the most potential for an upset? Pacman is focusing his sights on LA Thieves to go further than most.
“I think LA Thieves are gonna get all the way to loser’s finals, upsetting at least two top teams on the way,” he said. “I think we’re gonna see LA Thieves’ best performance in two years at this Champs.”
- Read More: CDL Stage 5 Major Highlights
While they might not go much further than round two, Katie’s bold prediction sees New York “upsetting OpTic” to start their Champs run.