LA Thieves CDL 2021 preview: Pushing to escape OpTic's shadow - Dexerto
Call of Duty

LA Thieves CDL 2021 preview: Pushing to escape OpTic’s shadow

Published: 11/Feb/2021 14:02 Updated: 11/Feb/2021 17:35

by Brad Norton


For the Los Angeles Thieves, their first year in the Call of Duty League is all about stealing the spotlight and proving themselves as an elite contender. But will this squad that largely struggled in 2020 actually be able to exceed expectations?

As the new kids on the block, Nadeshot’s reentry into the world of competitive CoD comes with high expectations. No one quite put the scene on the map like the former captain of OpTic Gaming but this time, his success relies upon a completely new team.

Throughout 2019, 100 Thieves put together one of the strongest lineups, taking out back to back event wins and a second-place finish at Champs. After a year on the sidelines, the organization is back and hoping to replicate that success in the CDL.

With two of their original players back again and some familiar faces joining them, the Thieves could burst onto the scene as a top contender. But if the newly formed lineup can’t gel early on, it could be an uphill struggle all year for the fresh squad.

LA Thieves CDL 2021 roster

Player Previous Team
Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat OpTic Gaming LA
Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda New York Subliners
Kenny ‘Kenny’ Williams OpTic Gaming LA
Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly OpTic Gaming LA
Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan (Substitute) OpTic Gaming LA

Wiping the slate clean with the LA Thieves

OpTic Gaming LA on stage
Call of Duty League
Three members from the 2020 OGLA roster have a chance at redemption with the LA Thieves.

While the focus is on the new brand entering the league, 2021 means more than that to the players involved. SlasheR, Kenny, and TJHaLy are all coming off a lackluster year under the now-defunct OpTic Gaming Los Angeles banners. Aligning with the LA Thieves is their chance to right their wrongs and remind everyone of their talent.

Their highest placement throughout the year was a top-two finish in Week 7. Though a majority of their appearances left them at the very bottom of the standings in 2020. Internal issues, role swaps, roster shuffles, and everything in between contributed to this messy year.

Now, these players are able to start from scratch with everything they need. It’s a brand new title, they have a supportive organization backing them, and they have Temp by their side to help steer things in the right direction.

On paper, this team should be a clearcut recipe for success. These players should be able to prove that 2020 was an outlier. 

History of individual success

Slasher raising a trophy
SlasheR is a former world champion.

Kenny was the breakout star of 2018. He emerged as the hottest prospect under Team Kaliber, winning multiple events against all expectations. SlasheR is a veteran of the scene, having competed at the very highest levels for as long as anyone. He knows what it takes to help guide a championship-tier team, having secured his first ring in 2016.

TJHaLy had an incredible stretch from WWII through to Black Ops 4. Throughout these two titles alone he secured four major event wins and had impressive showings at almost every other event with Rise Nation and OpTic Gaming.

Meanwhile, Temp made a name for himself in Advanced Warfare as one of the hottest up and comers. While his sole event win came recently in Week 11 of the inaugural CDL season, he’s been a force for a number of years now.

Individually, the promise of this stacked lineup is there. It’s just a matter of getting everyone onto the same page and realizing that full potential.

Will they able to steal the show in 2021?

While three of the four players are familiar with one another, the team still needs to click in an entirely new title. Their first showcase in the Kickoff Classic against OpTic Chicago didn’t exactly highlight their strengths.

“Losing to OpTic is pretty much the worst thing that could happen,” Nadeshot said in a February 10 video. A complete shutout saw the Thieves fumbling in their first official series together. “We forgot what we needed to be doing,” Kenny explained. They were slow on rotations in Hardpoint, unable to get anything going in Control, and they were simply outstruck in the SnD.

But this first showing doesn’t “tell the whole story,” according to Nadeshot. Similar to the likes of Atlanta FaZe who also lost their Kickoff game, it’s proven to be a great wake up call for the squad.

If they can turn things around from this point forward and come out firing on all cylinders, LA Thieves “should be the best team in the game,” according to TJHaLy.

We won’t have to wait long to see them in their first proper match for 2021 either. The LA Thieves are kicking off the new season on February 11 with a showdown against the Minnesota ROKKR.

Call of Duty

CDL Super Week Day 3: OpTic back to winning ways, Empire & Thieves escape upsets

Published: 25/Feb/2021 1:35 Updated: 25/Feb/2021 1:40

by Albert Petrosyan


The Call of Duty League has combined Weeks 2 and 3 of Stage 1 into one massive Super Week of matches, and everything you need to watch and follow the event live can be found below.

  • OpTic 100-point club Ultra in confident victory.
  • TJHaLy puts up rare numbers as LA Thieves improve to perfect 3-0.
  • Empire clutch up in five-map thriller to avoid upset vs Royal Ravens.
  • Day 4 preview: ROKKR vs NYSL, OpTic vs LAG, FaZe vs Mutineers

Due to the inclement weather in Texas and other parts of the United States causing power outages for a lot of pro players, the CDL opted to combine the Week 2 and 3 matches into Super Week.

Seven straight days of matches will see all 12 teams in action at least three times, and with the Stage 1 Major looming around the corner, this will be the final opportunity for teams to improve their seeding for the $500,000 tournament.

CDL Super Week: Stream

The CDL streams all of its matches exclusively on YouTube, which is where you can also find replays of matches that have already been completed.

CDL Super Week: Schedule

Day 3: Wednesday, February 24

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Royal Ravens 2-3 Empire LON 250-160 (Moscow) DAL 6-3 (Moscow) DAL 3-2 (Garrison) LON 235-228 (Garrison) DAL 6-4 (Miami)
Match Replay Thieves 3-2 Surge LAT 250-231 (Checkmate) SEA 6-4 (Raid) LAT 3-2 (Raid) SEA 250-222 (Moscow) LAT 6-0 (Moscow)
Match Replay OpTic 3-1 Ultra CHI 250-68 (Checkmate) TOR 6-4 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) N/A

Empire & LA Thieves escape upsets, OpTic back to winning ways

Having already suffered an upset loss at Opening Weekend, Dallas Empire barely avoided back-to-back such defeats in their match vs London Royal Ravens. Despite getting completely dominated by the Subliners the day before, London pushed the defending champs to a fifth map before ultimately coming up just short of their first win of the season.

LA Thieves found themselves in a similar situation against the Seattle Subliners, who, just like London, were swept the day before. A back-and-forth affair saw the match pushed to a game five, but that was the most resistance that Surge could offer as LAT dominated the final S&D 6-0, thanks to some historic numbers put up by TJHaLy.

The third and final match of the day saw OpTic Chicago back in action for the first time since their Opening Weekend loss to FaZe. Faced with a stiff test in Toronto Ultra, the Green Wall started off with one of the most dominant Hardpoint wins in CDL history, putting Ultra in the dreaded ‘100-point club.’

The series settled down and got a bit closer after that but OpTic ultimately edged out the victory in four maps, improving to 2-1 on the season while Toronto dropped to 1-2.

Day 4: Thursday, February 25

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 26)
Game 1 ROKKR vs Subliners 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Guerrillas 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 FaZe vs Mutineers 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 5: Friday, February 26

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 27)
Game 1 Thieves vs Royal Ravens 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 Ultra vs Legion 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Subliners 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 6: Saturday, February 27

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 28)
Game 1 FaZe vs Legion 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 ROKKR vs Royal Ravens 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Ultra vs Guerrillas 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 7: Sunday, February 28

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Mar 1)
Game 1 Subliners vs Surge 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Mutineers 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Thieves 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Past scores & daily recaps

Day 1: Monday, February 22

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Guerrillas 1-3 Mutineers LAG 250-133 (Crossroads) FLA 6-3 (Miami) FLA 3-2 (Garrison) FLA 250-172 (Garrison) N/A
Match Replay Ultra 1-3 FaZe ATL 250-247 (Raid) TOR 6-3 (Raid) ATL 3-0 (Raid) ATL 250-128 (Garrison) N/A

Mutineers get first win of 2021, FaZe stay unbeaten

After losing their season-opener at CDL Opening Weekend, Florida Mutineers’ new-look lineup got their first win of 2021 with a 3-1 victory over LA Guerrillas, who now sit at 1-2. LAG won the first map in dominant fashion before the Mutineers ripped off three straight maps to secure the series.

The second match of the day was a battle of the unbeatens as Atlanta FaZe took on Toronto Ultra. The series started back-and-forth, and if it wasn’t for a clutch break at the end of the Raid Hardpoint, Atlanta may have found themselves down 0-2 early.

But things settled down after the second map as FaZe took games three and four quite comfortably to secure the 3-1 victory. The win now gives the boys in red a league-leading three wins, against just zero losses, while Ultra drop to 1-1.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 23

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Mutineers 0-3 Legion PAR 222-220 (Garrison) PAR 6-4 (Checkmate) PAR 3-1 (Raid) N/A N/A
Match Replay Subliners 3-0 Royal Ravens NY 250-151 (Garrison) NY 6-1 (Checkmate) NY 3-0 (Checkmate) N/A N/A
Match Replay Surge 0-3 ROKKR MIN 250-163 (Checkmate) MIN 6-5 (Raid) MIN 3-2 (Raid) N/A N/A

Legion & Subliners sweep their way to first wins, ROKKR stay hot vs Surge

After going 0-2 in the Opening Weekend, Paris Legion finally got their first win of 2021 at Super Week, and what a win it was. Despite being underdogs to the Mutineers, Legion pulled off a shocking sweep that featured a rare Hardpoint ending on time.

Following Paris’ script, the New York Subliners also notched their first one in the win column after sweeping London Royal Ravens in perhaps the most dominant performance we’ve seen so far in 2021.

None of the three maps were close, especially the Control, which saw NYSL shred their opponents from start to finish and not give them even a chance at making any sort of comeback. With the loss, Royal Ravens now sit at 0-2 early on in the season.

Rounding off a trio of Day 2 sweeps was Minnesota ROKKR grabbing their second win in a row after taking apart Seattle Surge 3-0. The series was closer than the final scoreline would suggest as Surge did make solid comebacks in both the S&D and Control, only to fall just short in both.

The win is ROKKR’s second in a row after their upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend. Meanwhile, Seattle falls to 1-2, suffering already their second sweep this season.

CDL Super Week essentials

CDL Super Week: Format & CDL Points

  • Location: Online
  • Prize Pool: N/A
  • CDL Points: 10 per win
  • Maps & Modes:
    • Hardpoint: Checkmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow, Raid
    • Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Raid
    • Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid
  • Matches are best-of-five (HP, S&D, Control, HP, S&D)

CDL Super Week: Teams & Rosters

CDL roster spotlight: Minnesota ROKKR’s new-look lineup delivered an upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend.

All 12 teams are participating in the Week 2 event, split into the two groups that were drawn at the start of Stage 1. All teams within the same group play each other once during the Stage, for a total of five matches.

Group A

Team Roster
Dallas Empire Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY
London Royal Ravens Alexx, Dylan, Seany, Zer0
Los Angeles Thieves Kenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp
Minnesota ROKKR Accuracy, Attach, Priestahh, MajorManiak
New York Subliners Clayster, Asim, Diamondcon, Mack
Seattle Surge Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony

Group B

Team Roster
Atlanta FaZe Simp, Cellium, aBeZy, Arcitys
Florida Mutineers Skyz, Owakening, Slacked, Neptune
Los Angeles Guerrillas SiLLY, Assault, Apathy, Vivid
OpTic Chicago Scump, FormaL, Envoy, Dashy
Paris Legion AquA, Classic, Fire, Skrapz
Toronto Ultra Methodz, Bance, Cammy, CleanX

Make sure to check out our CDL 2021 Season hub for the latest standings, full schedule of all events, a breakdown of the season format, and more.