The Los Angeles Thieves have made a roster change ahead of the Call of Duty League’s Stage 2 Major, promoting substitute Drazah to the starting lineup in place of veteran leader SlasheR.
Following their 4-0 start to the season, LA Thieves have been one of the worst teams in the league, going 1-4 in Stage 2 to finish last place in Group A and start the upcoming Major in the first round of the Losers Bracket.
On April 5, the organization announced that they’ve opted to bench SlasheR in favor of Drazah for the $500,000 knockout tournament, which takes place April 7-11.
“Drazah has been playing incredibly well in Challengers with multiple event wins under his belt this season,” they tweeted. “We’re excited to see him play on the big stage this week as we give SlasheR some time off.”
LA Thieves starting lineup for CDL Stage 2 Major:
- Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Williams
- Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly
- Carlos ‘Venom’ Hernandez
- Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan
Our starting roster for the Stage 2 Major will be:@Kuavo@TJHaLy@Vxnxm@Drazah_
Drazah has been playing incredibly well in Challengers with multiple event wins under his belt this season. We’re excited to see him play on the big stage this week as we give Slasher some time off.
— LA Thieves (@LAThieves) April 5, 2021
At this point, it’s not yet clear what Thieves’ plans are for the long term. Their announcement does leave the door open for SlasheR to return for Stage 3 after his “time off,” but if Drazah performs well enough in his place, this move could end up being permanent.
Drazah has yet to feature for LA Thieves this season; while he was a starter for OpTic Gaming Los Angeles for the latter half of 2020, he was relegated to the bench once the franchise was acquired by 100 Thieves.
That said, he has had great success in the Challengers division this year, winning the eighth CDC Cup, first NA Open, and the Elite Stage 2 Playoffs.
This is the latest in a series of roster changes Thieves have had to make this season. After a difficult start to Stage 2, they opted to bench Temp in place of the rookie Venom, who was signed from top Challengers side, WestR.
Due to a medical emergency involving Kenny, Temp made a very brief return to the lineup for the final match of the Guerrillas Home Series – an 0-3 loss to their crosstown rivals LAG – but he’s been sent back to the bench for the Major.
Now, they’ll be desperate for even the tiniest amount of improvement heading into the $500K event; their first match is on April 7 against Paris Legion, with the loser getting eliminated with zero prize money and CDL Points.