Seattle Surge coach claims only one team can beat them at CDL Champs — themselves

Ryan Lemay

Pulling the strings from behind Seattle Surge’s curtain, SnD analyst and coach Nicholas ‘Equuip’ Viera is looking forward to a deep Champs run.

CoD Vanguard’s CDL Championship weekend begins on August 4. Seattle does not have fond memories of the competition. The franchise finished dead last at Champs in 2020 and did not qualify in 2021. However, this is not the same squad from years past.

Led by rookie sensations Amer ‘Pred’ Zulbeari and Daunte ‘Sib’ Gray, Seattle put its name on the map after defeating Atlanta FaZe to win Major 3.

Lamar ‘Accuracy’ Abedi and Makenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley complete one of the most compelling teams to watch heading into Championship weekend.

Other CoD titles pale in comparison to Vanguard’s parity. No team has won more than one Major, and the Los Angeles Guerrillas didn’t qualify for Champs after winning Major 2.

There is no clear favorite heading into Vanguard’s finale, but Equuip believes that his team has as good a chance as any other to lift the trophy.

seattle surge
Seattle Surge appearing on the main stage.

Who is Equuip?

Equuip joined the Seattle Surge in March as a Search and Destroy analyst and coach. The standout player had made a name for himself as a heads-up competitor in previous titles and was looking to make his mark as a strategist right away.

The SnD analyst didn’t know what to expect from the job, not talking to any players beforehand, but he soon realized that Seattle had all of the tools to compete at the highest levels.

“The growth this year as players and on an individual level has been astonishing to watch over the year. we know the areas we need to improve in, and that’s what I love about this team.”

The secret behind Seattle Surge’s success

Hailing from Australia, Pred became the first Asia-Pacific-born player to win a Call of Duty Event. He did it in slam-dunk fashion, winning the Major 3 MVP Award. Equuip says he recognized the Australian’s talent immediately.

“Pred is a very confident player. He is always looking for that next step towards improving as a player and teammate overall. There isn’t a single negative thing to be said about him. He has a bright future.”

The rookie SMG has had a breakout season. Pred boasts an impressive 1.09 overall KD and averages a league-best 27.3 hardpoint kills per game. In Control, the Australian averages a league-high 21.2 kills per game.

Sib has been a force in respawn game modes, with an impressive 1.08 overall KD to his name.

What will it take for Seattle to win Champs?

SeattleSeattle’s ‘Pred’ lifting the Major 3 title surrounded by his teammates and coaches.

Success didn’t come early for Seattle. The team finished top 12 at Major 1, top 6 at Major 2, and top 16 at the Pro-Am Classic.

The Surge turned its season around by winning Major 3 but failed to carry momentum into Major 4. The squad finished top 12 and lost in the first round to Boston.

Viera acknowledged that SnD was the team’s weak point at Major 4.

“Before Major 4, we had tough losses and went 1-4 in the qualifiers. We were still confident as a team, but realistically what held us back was ourselves. Overall, we weren’t making the right plays, and we did not play SnD how we did at Major 3.”

Looking ahead, Seattle squares up against the London Royal Ravens in round one of Champs. Whoever wins faces either the red-hot New York Subliners or the Atlanta FaZe squad who would surely be seeking revenge for their Grand Finals defeat at Major 3.

Either way, if Seattle sticks to its game plan, Equuip believes the only team they can lose to is themselves.

“It will take a lot of preparation in these next couple of weeks leading up to Champs, but we know we have what it take, and know we have the talent on our roster to win.”

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About The Author

Ryan is a former games writer for Dexerto. Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer for the Morning Times newspaper before joining Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan.