With LA Thieves being one of the notable teams to struggle at the recent CDL Stage 1 Major, Reverse Sweep’s Enable and Pacman explain what the team’s issues are and how they can be fixed moving forward.
LA Thieves have certainly come back to earth a bit after their hot 4-0 start in the CDL 2021 season. A one-sided 3-0 defeat to Dallas Empire in the final match of Super Week cost them the top spot in Group B, followed by a stunning upset sweep at the hands of cross-town rivals LA Guerrillas in the first round of the Major.
While they did take care of business against the struggling Toronto Ultra in the Losers Bracket, a subsequent 3-1 loss to OpTic Chicago saw them finish tied for 5th/6th – a decidedly lower final placement than what many would have predicted for the CDL’s newest team.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) March 4, 2021
Why LA Thieves are struggling in CDL 2021
According to 100T member Enable, his org’s CoD squad is a bit “hit or miss” at the moment: “They’re streaky; sometimes they’re like ‘wow, this is exactly how you need to play, do this every time,’ and then they have a lot of times where they’re just ego-challenging everything and not making smart decisions.”
Enable’s Reverse Sweep co-host Pacman, however, had a less generous way of describing LAT’s recent performances: “That’s a really nice way to say that. LA Thieves kinda suck for what they should be, and you’re not going to look at their roster and tell me this is acceptable.”
The question then becomes: how can this team’s super-talented and stacked squad begin to live up to expectations? While the answer may not be so simple and cut-and-dry, there are some things they can do to help rectify their current situation.
“The whole team needs to just buy into that way of thinking, having that playstyle,” Enable said, referring to Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat’s “greatness or nothing” attitude. “Because if you don’t, not only are you going to get games like you got in the Major, but it’s going to create some tension with Austin.”
Should Kenny switch to an SMG role?
As for Pacman, he believes that at least part of the solution could lie in a shuffle of roles within the roster. One player that both analysts focused on was Kenny, who starred as an SMG slayer in his rookie year with Team Kaliber before transitioning to a more assault rifle role in recent years.
“Kenny is disgusting, but I think he should be running a sub [SMG],” he said. “When he came onto the scene, he won back-to-back tournaments as an SMG. When you look at the other top teams, Atlanta has Simp and aBeZy, Dallas has Shotzzy and Huke, OpTic has Scump and Envoy – Kenny is right up there, he has the potential to be one of those guys, if not better than all of those guys. And I feel like you’re taking away from that potential you could have.”
“I’m not saying make a team change or any drastic things like that, but I just think you should try it and see how it works.”
Right now, it’s very much a ‘time will tell’ situation for the Thieves, who will look to turn their season around quickly when Stage 2 kicks off on March 18.
Which group they’ll be placed in and who they’ll have to face remains to be seen – the Stage 2 Group Selection takes place on March 12 at 10AM PT / 1PM ET.