New York Subliners push to “next level” in CDL 2023 Major 1 triumph
The new-look New York Subliners is firing on all cylinders, taking down the Seattle Surge in dominant fashion to win CDL Major 1. It’s a huge turnaround for NYSL, who were forced to rebuild in a dramatic off-season, but found all the right pieces.
The New York Subliners had a spectacular finish to the 2022 season. On the brink of missing CDL Champs, The Subliners climbed from 11th place to eighth after a heroic second-place finish at Major 4 in front of its hometown crowd. It was the bright spot on an otherwise disappointing year.
Things were looking up, but then the roster dramatically imploded in the off-season.
The organization turned a new leaf straight away: Matthew ‘Kismet’ Tinsley and Paco ‘HyDra’ Rusiewiez returned for CDL 2023, reinvigorated by fresh faces around them. Preston ‘priestahh’ Greiner and Cesar ‘Skyz’ Bueno proved to be the missing links, joining from Minnesota ROKKR and Florida Mutineers.
All four players entered 2023 with something to prove, and everything fell perfectly into place at CDL Major 1.
If you told someone before the start of the CDL 2023 season the New York Subliners would win Major 1, you may have received a weird look. But this isn’t the same unstable NYSL team you knew before.
Skyz, HyDra, Kismet, and priestahh aren’t just great players. They form a cohesive unit with good chemistry on and off the battlefield. Whether it be Skyz and Kismet singing on stage during a match, or Skyz showing off his dance moves between matches, the “vibes” are different in 2023.
“If you met me last year, you probably wouldn’t even know me,” HyDra told Dexerto. “Last year, I was not even talking, and the vibes were so off.
“Right now, I can just be myself, be more confident, and have a normal conversation with my teammate without it being weird. Like, no one is going to yell at me if I do something bad in-game. Like someone will say something but with respect.”
NYSL struggled to find consistency in Major 1 qualifiers, placing ninth, but everything changed on the main stage. They were seemingly unstoppable — sweeping the ROKKR and LA Guerrillas on Day 1, then dispatching Florida on Day 2. The Seattle Surge put an end to their blistering start, but they grinded through the lower bracket to prove their worth in their first event since the implosion.
They pushed through Vegas Legion and Atlanta FaZe, before getting their just desserts against Seattle in the grand final.
On day two, New York finally dropped a map but still dispatched Florida 3-1. Seattle sent the Subliners down into the losers side of the bracket, but it would be HyDra and company having the last laugh.
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Kismet couldn’t be stopped in the final series, going 93-87 and earning the MVP award.
“I am super confident in what I do. I know I’m one of the best players to do what I do,” he said. “The thing that separates me is I can do that, but I also do the dirty work and anything I can to set my teammates up.”
HyDra showed why he earned the nickname “French Phenom,” putting up a 1.14 KD performance against Seattle. Priestahh had received backlash on social media for his performances over the last two seasons, but Kismet came to his defense after his mega Major 1 performance.
“I keep hearing it and it’s kind of annoying me,” he said. “I was one of the biggest advocates to get Preston on the team.
“I played him in BO4, and I thought he was one of the greatest players. I played him last year, and I thought he was insane, but he didn’t have the right fit.”
Skyz finished with the best KD at Major 1, and fully stepped into his role as a main AR. He played with a confidence level that made him impossible to take down.
“I feel like I was good, but these coaches unlocked me. They are taking me to the next level I need to be at as a main AR.”
It was clear in the second half of 2022 NYSL had the potential to be a top team. New York shook up its coaching staff by promoting Ehsan “DREAL” Javed and brought in Kismet. Both changes were fundamental in the team making its Champs qualification run.
New York kept the momentum heading into 2023. Troy ‘Sender’ Michaels has been in the Call of Duty community since 2008, and spent last season as a coach on OpTic Texas. He was brought on the coaching staff for NYSL, and is hungry for success with his new squad.
“My goal is a ring, I want a ring. I have been doing this way too long playing and coaching and I want to actually win Champs.”
NYSL took the first step in making that championship dream come true, and enter Stage 2 qualifiers with the belief they can take on anyone. After all, they made miracles happen last year, and this new-look Subliners roster are proving to be the full package few expected.