Just one day into Stage 3 in the 2021 Call of Duty League season and Dallas Empire has announced a surprise roster shuffle, moving Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland to the bench with Tyler ‘FeLo’ Johnson stepping up.
Stage 3 has only just kicked off with the London Home Series, and already the Call of Duty League rosters are being shuffled again.
This time, it’s Dallas Empire making a change: Huke has been moved to the bench, with FeLo — who only joined the CDL organization as a sub in January this year — set to replace him in the starting lineup from their next game onwards.
“The team has felt we are playing below our potential,” head coach Raymond ‘Rambo’ Lussier said. “With FeLo playing so well in Challengers, he’s earned a shot to compete in the starting lineup.”
This marks the first time FeLo will start in the Call of Duty League.
Official statement: pic.twitter.com/l5trYZBQ8k
— Dallas Empire (@DallasEmpire) April 23, 2021
“Wish them the best,” Huke tweeted shortly after the news broke. “Another challenge for me and I’m here for it.”
Huke has been with Empire since the very beginning, helping the team claim the inaugural CDL championship in 2020. The Dallas-based lineup currently sits in second place among the overall standings, though they’ve yet to secure a Major victory this season.
Wish them the best, another challenge for me and im here for it.
— Empire Huke (@Huke) April 23, 2021
In Stage 1, they finished in second place, losing 5-2 to Atlanta FaZe. A month later in Stage 2, Dallas finished in third place after being knocked out by the eventual winners, Toronto Ultra.
While the results certainly haven’t been bad, the team still believes there’s room to improve. Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt recently argued that Empire has “regressed” in 2021. With some new blood in the lineup, maybe now they have a chance at closing out a first-place finish.
“Appreciate all the love,” FeLo followed up on Twitter. “I have a lot to prove and an amazing group of people around me to do it with. Time to get to work.”
Coming off a recent stint with NA Challengers team ‘EastR,’ FeLo helped lead the charge to a first-place finish in Stage 2 of the Elite season.
Appreciate all of the love, I have a lot to prove and an amazing group of people around me to do it with.
Time to get to work ❤️ 🔥 https://t.co/sz4qrLLKbe
— Empire TFeL (@FeLo) April 23, 2021
Whether or not the adjustment will pay off, we’ll just have to wait and see. Many have already begun questioning the move online, with Joe ‘MerK’ DeLuca even wondering if the shuffle had to do with something outside of the game.
Empire has just two full days to properly merge FeLo into the starting lineup. Their next series pits them against Ultra in what’s sure to be a heated rematch after the Stage 2 Major.
New Dallas Empire starting lineup
- Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter
- Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro
- Indervir ‘iLLeY’ Dhaliwal
- Tyler ‘FeLo’ Johnson