Call of Duty

Minnesota ROKKR release 7 players from CDL roster ahead of 2021 season

Published: 7/Sep/2020 22:07 Updated: 7/Sep/2020 22:56

by Albert Petrosyan

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In a surprising set of moves, the Minnesota ROKKR have dropped their entire roster from the 2020 Call of Duty League season following the announcement that the CDL will be 4v4 in 2021.

In a series of tweets that began very early in the morning on September 7 and extended into the afternoon, the ROKKR announced each individual player’s release from the organization.

This not only includes all five starters but their two substitutes as well. There are rumors that the league will lower each team’s minimum player-count requirement from seven to five (four starters and one sub), which might have made several of the Minnesota pros expendable.

MINNESOTA ROKKR DROPPED PLAYERS

  • Justin ‘SiLLY’ Fargo-Palmer
  • Adam ‘GodRx’ Brown
  • Adam ‘Assault’ Garcia
  • Alex ‘Alexx’ Carpenter
  • Obaid ‘Asim’ Asim
  • Kaden ‘Exceed’ Stockdale
  • Devin ‘TTinyy’ Robinson

The timing of these announcements isn’t a coincidence: as per the league’s offseason roster rules, any player not signed to an extension between September 6-13 automatically becomes a free agent, which was the case for all seven players.

Following the final tweet, which declared Asim’s departure, head coach and general manager Brian ‘Saintt’ Baroska posted a video on Twitter explaining the franchise’s decision to let go of the entire roster.

“The way we finished the season is not what anyone wanted and when things like that happen, you really have to consider making some changes,” he said.

However, Saintt didn’t rule out the possibility of one or more of these players returning to the ROKKR in some capacity for the 2021 season, since any one of them could technically re-sign with the team even if their original contract wasn’t extended.

“That being said, don’t be too surprised if you see a familiar face on the roster, whether it be in a substitute or starting position,” he commented. “Just because we decided to not extend their ‘plus-ones’ doesn’t mean we’re not interested in bringing any of them back.

As of right now, we have some really ambitious plans for our roster going into the 2021 season. Hopefully, we can share some things soon.”

ROKKRMinnesota ROKKR were one of few teams fortunate enough to host an actual CDL LAN event this season.

The Minnesota ROKKR started the CDL’s inaugural 2020 campaign as one of the league’s better teams, holding the fourth position in the standings for well over the first half of the season.

However, they were impacted the most by the midseason shift to an online format and finished the regular season on an eight-match losing streak, barely squeaking into the playoffs as the eighth seed.

That string of poor performances led to a hotly-debated roster change, as early MVP candidate GodRx was benched in favor of Exceed. Despite the switch, their results didn’t improve as they lost both of their postseason matches and finished 9th/10th.

ROKKRCould we see any of these players return to the Minnesota ROKKR in 2021?

What’s next?

Well, the long and the short of it is that, as things stand, the ROKKR could be heading into the 2021 Black Ops Cold War season with a totally brand new starting lineup, unless they do decide to bring back at least one of their former pros.

As per league rules, however, players cannot negotiate deals with new teams until September 14, and since Saintt said that they want to give everyone a chance to explore their options, it’s likely to be at least a week until Minnesota announce any new signings.


As always, you can keep up with all of this offseason’s roster changes, player signings, and more via our Call of Duty League Rostermania hub. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter @DexertoINTEL for all the latest news, team changes, and more.

Call of Duty

How Paris Legion missed CDL’s golden opportunity

Published: 20/Jan/2021 17:03

by Jacob Hale

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Paris Legion were the last team to announce their Call of Duty League roster and, while coach Dylan ‘Theory’ McGee tells us he’s confident in his squad, it’s hard to believe they made the most of their opportunity.

Don’t get me wrong: the players they’ve pulled together have all shown their ability throughout the course of their careers. These are players that have won championships in the past and competed at the top, as well as a young gun who, right now, is an unknown entity… But has looked more than capable of holding his own in the amateur ranks.

Paris Legion’s 2021 CDL roster

  • Ulysses ‘AquA’ Silva— AR
  • Nicholas ‘Classic’ DiCostanzo — SMG
  • Luis ‘Fire’ Rivera — Flex
  • Matthew ‘Skrapz’ Marshall — SMG
  • Dylan ‘Theory’ McGee — Coach

So Classic, Skrapz, AquA, and Fire will be donning the Paris colors heading into the 2021 CDL season — and this is definitely a roster worth talking about.


Watch Now: Best Cold War Players in Call of Duty League S2


Paris Legion: Too little, too late?

Paris’ slow decision-making was a huge talking point for both Call of Duty fans and players without a team. This begs the question: did the Legion miss a golden opportunity when constructing their roster?

Notably — and not unmissed by literally everybody involved with the CDL — Paris were the very last team to announce their roster. For a long time, it was unclear how long we would have to wait, with other teams already fully announced and scrimming to learn the game inside out.

While some were annoyed about the speed at which Paris were making their decisions, many of us saw it as the team taking a big opportunity to see which players were the best, waiting it out to find the form players and take advantage.

Lo and behold, that wasn’t quite what happened. With Challengers teams and individual players shining in Black Ops Cold War, the Paris roster seems to pale in comparison.

Coach Theory on forming Paris Legion

The reaction to Paris’ team was as expected. It looks very much like a group of misfits lumped together and told to make it work. While other CDL teams are formed with a mixture of cohesion and raw talent in mind, with partnerships that have been proven to work, this is one that has boggled the minds of fans.

Speaking exclusively with Dexerto, Paris coach Dylan ‘Theory’ McGee explained how he put together the team. “To me, I started with the best player available in my opinion which was Skrapz,” he said of the Brit. “From there, I wanted an AR who has competed with the best in Championship situations and Aqua fit that perfectly. He might be overlooked by the casuals, but his talent is unreal and I hope it gets displayed the way I think it will throughout the season.”

Explaining the acquisition of Fire, Theory had similarly high praise. “Everyone has taken notice of the swing in young potential the last few years, so we took a chance on the young gun Fire. His coachability and potential while only competing for six months was extremely impressive.”

Finally, Theory says that “nobody brings more to a team than Classic,” calling him a “proven winner on multiple titles and the ultimate role player and teammate.”

While McGee speaks so highly of his team, and it’s hard not to buy into his enthusiasm, there’s no denying that this is a mix of players nobody could have seen coming, and one that expectations aren’t set particularly high.

Team Kaliber CWL trophy Theory kenny accuracy chino
MLG
Theory (far left) knows what it takes to win championships, and hopes this Paris side can do so too.

Call of Duty League’s crushing pressure

Plenty of rumors have spread regarding Paris’ decision-making. In particular, the suggestion that they were simply looking to spend as little money as possible.

These four players are already on the back foot. While fans waited with bated breath before the Paris Legion announcement, they immediately wrote off this side once it came out — and the pressure was instantly on these players to prove their legion of doubters wrong.

They’re joining a franchise with a terrible record in its first season, and are already being looked at by many as bottom-of-the-pack fodder before the season is even underway.

In Activision’s Call of Duty League, we’ve seen how one bad season can impact a player’s career. Huge names such as Jordan ‘JKap’ Kaplan and Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt retired after Modern Warfare, despite being top players previously.

And my fear is that one poor season with Paris Legion could be the icing on the cake for some of these players. So it’s important that this band of CDL castaways hit the ground running, to ease the pressure as much as possible.

Paris Legion CDL 2020
Call of Duty League
The 2020 Paris Legion team had an extremely disappointing season, going months on end without a win.

What about the alternatives?

Perhaps the biggest cause for concern is that there were so many good, viable options in the run-up to Paris’ roster finalization. With all the time they had, so many of us expected them to simply scout out the cream of the crop that remained.

If you look at the Challengers Cups, WestR have won every North America tournament so far. Proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’re ready to rub shoulders with the biggest names in the Call of Duty League.

Similarly, there are a number of top pros sitting out that have arguably been more impactful than some of the Legion members of late. Skrapz’s brother Bradley ‘Wuskin’ Marshall had a solid Modern Warfare season — undeniably better than that of fellow main AR, AquA, who struggled to get much going with LA Guerrillas.

Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan played for OGLA in the latter months of the 2020 season and helped turn that team’s fortunes around. He’s currently occupying the bench for LA Thieves, but surely he’s the exact type of up-and-coming star that could slot into a team such as Paris?

And if Paris were looking for viable slaying competitors from Challengers, Fire is a genuine talent and will have a great career ahead of him, but it’s unclear why he would be first choice. The WaR team of 2020 proved themselves as the best Challengers team in Europe. Surely the likes of David ‘Dqvee’ Davies and Marcus ‘Afro’ Reid would have been worth a call, if not that WestR side?

Atlanta FaZe academy squad CDL 2020
Twitter: ATLFaZe
The former Atlanta FaZe Academy side, currently dominating Challengers as WestR, could definitely go toe-to-toe with CDL’s finest.

Paris Legion… The underwhelming underdogs?

This isn’t all to say that the Paris team will be bad. For all we know, they could turn out to be a sleeper team that storms the league. I for one quietly expect them to perform much better than the last Paris Legion iteration and turn a few heads in the process. Theory is similarly confident, hopeful we can “get back to LAN events where we can see players in their true form.”

That said, the amalgamation of talent on this lineup simply seems random with no clear identity to it. While Paris Legion could have brought in the best Challengers team on offer, they opted for a group that can’t provide much positive fanfare and set low expectations for the coming season’s performances.

Paris had the opportunity to make a nuclear signing and become the underdogs that Call of Duty fans love to cling on to. But instead, they picked up a roster that is similarly as uninspiring as the brand itself.