OpTic & Empire dominate CDL Kickoff Classic 2021: Final scores & recap


The Call of Duty League’s 2021 campaign is here and Black Ops Cold War action kicked off with a preseason Kickoff Classic – where fans finally got to see OpTic Chicago and the Dallas Empire dominate an otherwise incredibly even field.

  • OpTic Chicago sweep LA Thieves 3-0 in Battle of the Brands
  • Shocking parity as four of six matches went to Map 5
  • Dallas Empire continued CDL Champs form with easy sweep

CDL Kickoff Classic: Final scores

Saturday, January 23

Dallas Empire 3-0 New York Subliners 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM (Jan 24)
LA Guerrillas 3-2 Seattle Surge 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM (Jan 24)
Atlanta FaZe 2-3 Florida Mutineers 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM (Jan 24)

Empire continue championship form, FaZe (and Surge) falter

The Dallas Empire were the best Call of Duty team in 2020 and that form has lasted into 2021. The day started with 2020 MVP Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro racking up 35 kills and just 17 deaths with almost two minutes of hill time on Map 1, but then it became the Indervir ‘iLLeY’ Dhaliwal show as the upsurging player hit star form with some huge clutches.

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With Empire cleaning up their former teammate James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks’ New York Subliners, the day moved on with two tight Map 5’s. First, Bryan ‘Apathy’ Zhelyazkov and the Los Angeles Guerrillas outdueled a revamped Seattle Surge 3-2 and then, in a twist few saw coming, the Florida Mutineers came back against the Atlanta FaZe.

As Cesar ‘Skyz’ Bueno returned to the form that earned him MVP candidacy in 2020, the Mutineers flew back from a 2-1 deficit and eventually clinched the 3-2 victory against a FaZe team who stood near the top of most standings for this season.

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Sunday, January 24

London Royal Ravens 2-3 Paris Legion 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM (Jan 25)
Toronto Ultra 2-3 Minnesota ROKKR 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM (Jan 25)
OpTic Chicago 3-0 LA Thieves 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM (Jan 25)

OpTic ruin 100 Thieves’ return to Call of Duty

On Day 1, the Dallas Empire pulled off a sweep before the next two matches went to a tight Map 5. On Day 2, things stayed consistent as revamped Paris Legion and Minnesota ROKKR rosters pulled off Map 5 wins against the London Royal Ravens and Toronto Ultra, respectively.

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But the impressive showcase of league parity quickly ended and the Kickoff Classic returned to where it started: with a dominant, 3-0 sweep by a championship contender. After Skrapz got the feel-good moment for beating his former Royal Ravens and MajorManiak got to show FaZe that they dropped a guy who can actually win tie-breakers, OpTic went ahead and gashed the hopes of excited LA Thieves fans.

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On Map 1, Dashy returned to form with an elite 11 kill-streak. Later, Envoy hit his own double-digit kill-streak. And throughout, the infamous T2P duo proved they were…ready to pound. Texas FormaL is real and, although it was just a show match, it seems that OpTic’s championship hopes are very real too.

CDL Kickoff Classic: Teams & players

With this being the first official CDL matches in Black Ops Cold War, a lot of eyes were on new rosters. Two of the most intriguing revamped rosters came with the year’s new brands: OpTic Chicago and the Los Angeles Thieves.

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With Arcitys going to Atlanta, Dashy going to Chicago and Temp going to LA, the consequences of roster reshuffling were key points for fans to keep track of during the Kickoff Classic. And early impressions suggest that Chicago is comfortable, while the other two have more work to do.

All 12 teams had to make at least one change due to the switch to a 4v4 format, with some opting to completely revamp their squads.

Team Players
Atlanta FaZe Simp, aBeZy, Cellium, Arcitys
Dallas Empire Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY
Florida Mutineers Skyz, Havok, Owakening, Slacked
London Royal Ravens Seany, Alexx, Dylan, Zer0
Los Angeles Guerrillas SiLLY, Assault, Vivid, Apathy
Los Angeles Thieves SlasheR, Kenny, TJHaLy, Temp
Minnesota ROKKR Attach, Accuracy, Priestahh, MajorManiak
New York Subliners ZooMaa, Clayster, Mack, HyDra
OpTic Chicago Scump, FormaL, Envoy, Dashy
Paris Legion Skrapz, Classic, AquA, Fire
Seattle Surge Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony
Toronto Ultra Methodz, Bance, CleanX, Cammy


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