The LA Thieves’ CDL 2021 campaign hasn’t seen a lot of success so far. While they’ve done their part in acquiring major talents like Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland, their overall roster management hasn’t helped LA’s situation in the league.
Anthony ‘NAMELESS’ Wheeler sees Huke as one of those franchise players that any team can build around. While this remains true even after the 21-year-old’s stint on Empire, NAMELESS thinks LAT could have been more diligent about adding him to the team.
“The management side at Thieves was pretty sloppy, during this time,” NAMELESS explained. The decision to pick up Huke was great, but plugging him in too quickly wasn’t ideal.
There’s going to be a learning curve after inserting players into an active rotation, regardless of who they are. When LA brought on Huke in early May, they were already one of the league’s top teams — albeit not considered a true contender.
But their results actually dipped in the aftermath of bringing on the 2020 World Champion, and it’s not hard to figure out why.
“Your team was in its honeymoon, you’re trending upwards, and you gotta see it through with the roster that you had,” NAMELESS said of bringing Huke into the team so soon.
LAT has had a rotating four-man squad that was built around Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly, Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat, and Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Williams, along with a mix of up-and-coming talents like Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan and Carlos ‘Venom’ Hernandez.
Despite efforts to improve, their best overall finish came in CDL’s Stage 1 at 3rd-4th. LA has never placed higher than 5th-6th place in a Major this year.
But just before LA signed Huke, it wasn’t all bad. They had just routed the New York Subliners 3-0 in the Stage 2 Major before being eliminated by the eventual champions, Toronto Ultra.
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There was something brewing in that formula, and not really an ideal time to completely change the scheme with a superstar talent in Huke. While the former Empire gem is considered a huge upgrade for LA Thieves, it’s going to be a process before the move pays real dividends.
LA Thieves look like they’re going back to a tried-and-true trio of Kenny, Slasher, Drazah, while bringing in John for his CDL debut in Stage 5. While Huke remains a top-tier CDL talent, NAMELESS suggests LA will have to scrim and strategize more thoroughly before bringing him back into the fold.