The Call of Duty League’s Stage 4 Major is in the books and with a short break ahead of the fifth and final Stage, our Reverse Sweep crew of Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt, Jonathan ‘Pacman’ Tucker & Katie Bedford are here to break down all the biggest storylines.
Another Stage went the way of Atlanta FaZe as the dominant squad took out all comers during CDL’s highly anticipated LAN return. While it was an impressive display against a surging Dallas Empire, the Stage 4 Major didn’t quite go according to plan for others.
Just days removed from the offline event and our Reverse Sweep crew is here to break everything down.
Atlanta FaZe making a case to be the next CoD dynasty
There’s no other place to start than with Atlanta’s continued dominance. Three out of four Majors have now seen the FaZe lineup crowned victorious. At what point should the community start considering them as the next CoD dynasty?
For both Pacman and Enable, “it’s already that time.”
“If there was ever gonna be another super team after the OpTic dynasty, it’s this team right here,” Enable said. “Even when they get tested, their floor is the finals this year. No matter how bad they look, they’re gonna be top three at worst. It’s crazy.”
With the first seed for Champs already all but locked in, they’re miles ahead of the second-place team. The Stage 4 Major was just another display of their unmatched “consistency,” according to Pacman.
Dallas Empire’s Stage 4 ‘glow-up’
Despite only just joining Empire a few weeks ahead of the LAN return, the Reverse Sweep team was more than impressed by Vivid’s performance at the Major. “When you join a new team, if you don’t live up to expectations, you’re gonna get cooked,” Enable said.
Fortunately for Vivid, “he proved everyone wrong. He was fantastic and I think he’s only going to improve with [Empire].”
While Pacman agreed, he also addressed Shotzzy’s impact at the event and how he’s pushing Empire into real “contender” form. “When you watch him, he’s the craziest POV. He’s the only one outside of FaZe where you’re like, this guy might be the single best player.”
“His POV is truly like art,” Enable added.
OpTic Chicago’s Top 4 curse continues
On the opposite side of the equation, OpTic’s CDL woes continued at the Stage 4 Major. After falling short once again, it’s finally time for a roster shuffle, according to Enable.
“They just need to make a change if they want to win in this game. They’re all great players, but they just don’t mesh. I think their overall ideology of how to be successful in Cold War, they all have different opinions.”
Despite back-to-back wins against Seattle and Minnesota, OpTic fell short in two series against Empire, ending with a 1-6 map count with their rivals. “LAN didn’t change anything at all,” Pacman explained. “It didn’t make them better or worse.”
Could Toronto Ultra be Europe’s best team ever?
Another Stage, another great showing for the Toronto squad. While they couldn’t quite replicate their early Major victory, Ultra still secured a third-place finish after falling in a map five against Empire.
With all of their success in the 2021 season, are they now the best European team in CoD history? It’s a tough argument to make, Pacman and Enable both agreed on.
“It’s hard with the format change,” Enable explained. “I would love to see this Toronto team in a tournament setting.” Meanwhile, Pacman dropped the likes of Red Reserve and Splyce into the mix. However, Ultra might be close to edging them out due to “longevity.”
If they can get top two or a win in Stage 5, they would be “hands down the best team that’s ever come out of Europe,” Enable added.
Most clutch moments of the Stage 4 Major
As with any big CoD event, the Stage 4 Major certainly brought some memorable plays. This time around, Enable highlighted Empire’s reverse sweep over Ultra as one big moment.
From getting “absolutely bodied in the first two maps,” to clawing it back and winning the series, it was the standout moment for his money. Echoing that sentiment, Pacman went with one specific play from that series that turned the tides. “I’m gonna give it to Shotzzy winning the 1v1 against Insight in the 4-4 round,” he said.
All the while, Bedford was astonished no one touched on perhaps the most clutch play of the year. “How can you not be hyped about Arcity’s shooting a Cruise Missile out of the sky?” she joked.
MVPs of the Stage 4 Major
For the most impressive players in the first offline event in 2021, it was tough for anyone to pick outside of the FaZe lineup. Both Pacman and Bedford settled on aBeZy while Enable went with Simp once again.
“When they were losing and they were down, aBeZy turned up,” Pacman said. Yet Enable argued that was Simp’s role. “Whenever FaZe needed someone to gain back momentum, it was always Simp,” he countered.
“I think he’s the best player in the game. We’ve never seen anything like Simp since Scump.”
Least Valuable Players of Stage 4 Major
Last but not least, the crew talked through their most disappointing players of the Stage 4 Major. For Enable, even with a fourth-place finish, he had to give his LVP award to FormaL.
“After the way he presented himself on social media going into this, he didn’t play too hot. That’s not the FormaL we all know.”
“I’m gonna go with Florida,” Pacman followed up. “They didn’t do anything.” Ultimately, their lackluster performance has them as “the biggest loser from this LAN,” he said.
Moreover, Bedford gave her LVP award to someone that didn’t even play. “I have to go with Huke,” she added. “It’s just unacceptable. You come in and you don’t even play the game. So disappointing.”
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