Why the LA Thieves Huke gamble failed | CDL Reverse Sweep Review Show

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Stage 4 of the Call of Duty League is now underway as the OpTic Chicago Home Series kicked things off with a bang for week one. Our Reverse Sweep crew of Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt, Jonathan ‘Pacman’ Tucker, and Katie Bedford are here to break down all the biggest moments.

From Atlanta FaZe demolishing OpTic to LA Thieves nail-biting win over Seattle Surge, there was no lack of excitement through the CDL’s return in Stage 4.

Just a few weeks remain before the return of LAN events and it’s safe to say things are only heating up.

With the Chicago Home Series all wrapped up and week two fast approaching, join the Reverse Sweep team as they run through the biggest storylines.

Did Vivid’s debut go according to plan for Dallas Empire?

After a brief stretch with FeLo in Huke’s place, Empire finally settled on Vivid to round out the starting lineup. Their first week together didn’t quite blow the roof off, however. A narrow 3-2 win over London and a 0-3 showing against Ultra has Enable and Pacman hesitant they’ll be a top team towards the end of the season.

“It’s so hard because we’re at a point where you don’t have time,” Enable stressed. “[Vivid] could be a bit rusty but it goes to show the issues at Dallas in general. I think the team just isn’t there.” 

Pacman agreed, arguing while Vivid is a “solid pickup,” Empire itself “just doesn’t look fantastic. This doesn’t look like a team that’s going to be competing for championships.”

Atlanta FaZe dominates OpTic Chicago

With a 3-0 blowout over OpTic, FaZe proved once again that they’re simply ahead of the curve. All three maps were fairly lopsided and FaZe even closed things out with a sweep in the Control map to boot.

Ultimately, this same result might continue through the rest of the year, according to Pacman. “[FaZe is] probably the only team that has better individual gun skill than OpTic. So when their teamwork is also getting shown up, and they’re losing individual [fights], you can see the difference. It’s like running into a brick wall.”

“Role for role, FaZe just beats them,” Enable added. After their first loss to FaZe earlier in the year, he argues that OpTic “got in their own heads.” With this mental barrier in place, they’re still a “top team” but “they’re not anywhere near FaZe.” 

Will LA Thieves stick with TJHaLy for the rest of the year?

Another roster that has mixed players in and out of the starting four a great deal, could LA Thieves finally be set in stone? After a week with Huke, TJHaLy returned to the starting lineup for the Chicago Home Series, helping to secure a 3-2 win over Seattle.

“They definitely look better with TJHaLy in the lineup,” fellow 100 Thieves member Enable said. “He didn’t play the best but giving them a couple more games will help determine if they didn’t lose a step.”

With one more week of practice, Pacman believes they could get right “back where they were” prior to testing out Huke. If they struggle to do so, “there might be another change before Champs,” according to Enable.

Best moments of the OpTic Chicago Home Series

As for the standout moments in week one, Pacman went with Florida’s game five clutch against Toronto. In their first match of the week, they took the former champs all the way to Miami for a final S&D showcase. Ultimately, Florida was able to “clutch up when they needed to.”

Similarly, Enable looked to another clutch for his moment of the week. Instead of Florida, he went with his boys in the LA Thieves who came away with the map five win over Seattle. “Starting with a win and getting that confidence with TJHaLy” will be vital moving forward.

“I just want to give praise to Bance,” Katie added. Despite toying with the idea of retirement earlier in the year, the Ultra star has turned things around in a big way. “I was worried he wouldn’t be able to keep up the momentum but he’s done just that.”

MVPs of the OpTic Chicago Home Series

While there were plenty of sweeps this week, some players stood out in the closer matchups. For Enable, his MVP of the week went to Havok who helped “push Florida into that contender-tier. He got a lot of flak when he first came back to the team but he’s looked good.”

“I’m gonna go with Asim,” Pacman said. While NYSL only had one series this week, it was yet another win to solidify their spot towards the top of the standings. “Every time I see NYSL play, I’m left with the impression that Asim is their most consistent player,” he explained. “It sounds like he’s the perfect teammate.”

Least Valuable Players of the Chicago Home Series

To round things out, the Reverse Sweep crew rattled off the least impactful players of the week. After a historically poor performance against FaZe, Enable gave his LVP pick to FormaL: “[OpTic] got absolutely bodied by FaZe.”

“One of the reasons was how much better Arciy’s played than FormaL. I believe he set the CDL record for lowest K/D in a series. Maybe he’s past his prime.”

For Pacman, he went with the entire Paris lineup once again. While he highlighted Skrapz in particular, it was more of a team effort that led to this LVP award. “Maps are just over before they start,” he said. “That team is almost getting to the point where it’s depressing to watch.”

Last but not least, Katie settled on iLLeY instead. Despite lifting Empire to a championship in 2020, “we haven’t really seen a hint” of that earlier form in 2021. Another fairly lackluster week has him at the bottom of Katie’s list.

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