Call of Duty Academy: 106
The Call of Duty League is in full swing right now as they head down the stretch of the 2020 CDL regular season. There was a slight delay in the season after their in-person tournaments were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the transition to online competition was seamless.
The league has played four tournaments online so far and will continue to compete online until it is safe for events to return to a tournament venue. We will take a look at how the league stands at the moment before their next tournament, the Minnesota Home Series from June 12 to June 14th.
The Call of Duty League switched to franchising for its teams going into the 2020 season. Teams would no longer represent an organization directly, but would rather represent a city with a mascot, like a traditional sports team. The move was lucrative for Activision, as each organization had to pay $25 million for a team in the CDL.
The shift to online competition has had serious ramifications for the league so far. In a normal tournament setting, the players for each team in the gameplay directly on the same server, so they all experience the game the same. In an online setting, a person’s distance from the server for the game is extremely important, as proximity to the server gives an advantage over others.
The natural hierarchy of the league has remained relatively stable, but a few shifts have come because of the move to online as well as roster changes. These rankings are based on the official CDL team rankings, based on the team’s total CDL points, as well as factoring in recent performance.
|Team||Ranking||CDL Points||Head to Head Record (W/L)||Roster|
|L.A. Guerillas||12||30||3/11||Blazt, Vivid, Spart, Decemate, Aqua|
|Seattle Surge||11||40||4/12||Octane, Slacked, Pandur, Proto, Apathy|
|Paris Legion||10||60||6/10||Kismet, Louqa, Denz, Zed, Shockz|
|Toronto Ultra||9||40||4/8||Methodz, Mettalz, Cammy, Classic, Bance|
|N.Y. Subliners||8||60||6/12||Mack, Accuracy, Temp, Attach, Zooma|
|Optic Gaming L.A.||7||70||7/11||Dashy, Chino, Slasher, Kuavo, TJHaly|
|Florida Mutineers||6||100||9/8||Fero, Frosty, Havok, Skyz, Maux|
|London Royal Ravens||5||80||8/9||Dylan, Seany, Skrapz, Zer0, Wuskin|
|Minnesota Rokkr||4||120||12/10||Alexx, Asim, Silly, GodRX, Assault|
|Chicago Huntsmen||3||180||16/4||Scump, Prestinni, Formal, Arcitys, Envoy|
|Dallas Empire||2||150||13/6||Huke, Illey, Shottzy, Clayster, Crimsix|
|Atlanta Faze||1||170||15/2||MajorManiak, Abezy, Simp, Cellium, Priestahh|
Tier 3: Bottom of the Pack
12. Los Angeles Guerillas
The Los Angeles Guerillas are the forgotten Call of Duty team in Los Angeles. The switch to franchising placed two teams in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Guerillas, and Optic Gaming Los Angeles. The Guerillas roster was filled with a bunch of leftover players who were not selected by other teams and were considered one of the bottom teams coming into the year, while the roster of Optic Gaming is filled with superstars that have an established footing in the Call of Duty scene. The Guerillas do not have many fans and are seen as a basement dweller for the time being.
Through the first seven events of the 2020 CDL season, the Guerillas have participated in six of the seven events, and have only won three matches total. In the 14 series they have played, they have a 3-11 record in total and have a 20-37 map record. They have not been competitive in any tournament so far, and are usually bounced by Saturday.
The roster for the Guerillas has changed significantly since the beginning of the year. The original roster of Saints, Aches, Aqua, Decemate, and Lacefield only lasted for a few weeks into the season before changes were made.
They added some young talent to infuse into their roster with hopes that they will improve for the end of the year. They added Blazt, Vivid, and Spart to replace Aches, Lacefield and Saints. So far, the new roster has only won one series in total, but have been competitive in their losses and look better than the original roster.
Roster: Blazt, Vivid, Spart, Decemate, Aqua
CDL points: 30
11. Seattle Surge
The Seattle Surge is one of the teams that have been the biggest letdown so far compared to their preseason hype. The roster of the Seattle Surge is filled with World Champions and other veterans of the Call of Duty scene, but Seattle has been bounced out of every tournament early. The worst part is, they don’t look that competitive when they do lose.
They are lost on Search & Destroy, and every Respawn game mode is a gamble between Seattle and its opponent. Seattle struggles to win series because they cannot compete in Search & Destroy, and has to win every single respawn mode.
Seattle was the first team to make a roster alteration this year, benching a longtime veteran Enable for a rookie, Pandur. The move did not help the team win more games and Pandur’s stats mirrored Enable’s. The move did not work and ultimately Seattle reverted the move during last weekend’s tournament, the Seattle Home Series.
The anchor and main AR of Seattle, Octane, is one of the five best players in the world right now. He consistently has the best stats at every tournament that Seattle plays in and drags the team to the victories they manage to get. He plays one of the most difficult roles on the team and plays it flawlessly. In Hardpoint, he controls where the team spawns and moves to give his team advantageous positioning. He controls entire sides of the map on his own during Domination. He constantly wins gunfights against SMGs from close range even though he has an AR, which is one of the toughest parts of competitive Call of Duty in Modern Warfare.
The captain of the team, 3-time Call of Duty World champion, Karma announced his retirement on June 3rd, and will move into a coaching role with the team. Karma is one of the best Call of Duty players of all-time and he will be missed competitively, but Seattle may benefit from the new blood on the roster. Karma’s replacement, Proto, was one of the better young players during Black Ops 4 and played well on the Amateur scene this year. Karma was not performing well this year and said he did not enjoy playing Modern Warfare, so maybe the break from competing will be the right choice for him going forward.
Roster: Octane, Slacked, Pandur, Proto, Apathy
Coaches: JoeyNubzy, Karma
CDL Points: 40
10. Paris Legion
Paris Legion has been an enigma this year. Prior to the beginning of the season, Paris was projected to be the worst team in the league by far. The team was not able to practice adequately because of the player’s locations around the world at the beginning of the season. They did not have a roster that was full of household names in the Call of Duty community, so they were projected to fail.
In the opening tournament of the season, Paris shocked the entire league and reached the finals before bowing out against the Chicago Huntsman. Paris looked comfortable and confident in the game and looked to be one of the best teams in the game, alongside the other giants of the league. The following weeks after the opening tournament, Paris was competitive and reached the final rounds of the Home Series Tournaments consistently, but never reached the finals again.
The move to an online league proved to be detrimental for Paris and the reason why they are this low on the rankings. Paris has only won one series in the four tournaments since the league moved to the online format, and they look largely noncompetitive. The dual AR setup that dominated on LAN servers proved useless on the online battlefield, and Denz and Louqa do not look natural on the map together anymore.
The Paris players live on the West Coast of the United States, and only 1 of the 5 dedicated servers for the league is on the West Coast. More often than not, they are playing on a game with 100+ ping against players living right next to the server with less than 30 ping. This results in a definite disadvantage for Paris in a majority of their matches and is the probable reason for their massive decline once the league moved online.
Going forward, Paris might need to look to change their starting roster, after inconsistent performances across the board the past few weeks. The current meta of competitive Call of Duty calls for 3 true sSMG players with 1 flex player on either AR or SMG, and 1 true AR player. Paris has 3 AR players 1 flex and 1 SMG trying to fit into the meta, and are struggling because of it. They need to make changes to their personnel if they want to compete again. Also, Paris needs to pray that the final tournaments are played on LAN servers.
Roster: Kismet, Louqa, Denz, Zed, Shockz
Bench: Breszy, Phantomz
Coach: Joshh, Op2
CDL Points: 60
9. Toronto Ultra
The expectations for Toronto Ultra were relatively low entering the regular season, and so far, they have lived up to those expectations. Ultra has had a few moments of brilliance and upset some of the top teams in the league, but have not made it far in a tournament so far this year and do not seem to be a threat for the World Championship this year.
Toronto has the largest roster in the entire CDL, with 10 active players signed. Each team can only have 5 players that participate, but Toronto has rotated each of the 10 players into the lineup to test out different combinations. They have come to a consensus on a core for the team and will look to develop the other players on their roster who remain in a reserve role.
Toronto is behind Paris in the standings in terms of CDL points, but I have them ranked ahead because they have been trending upwards recently while Paris has been trending downwards. In the last tournament that Toronto participated in, they reached the semifinals of the tournament, before being knocked out by Optic Gaming Los Angeles. In the tournament, Toronto defeated both New York and Minnesota, who are ranked ahead of them. If Toronto can continue to show this level of play on a more consistent basis, they will move up the rankings and out of this tier.
Roster: Methodz, Mettalz, Cammy, Classic, Bance
Bench: Loony, CleanX, Brack, Mayhem, Lucky
CDL Points: 40
Tier 2: In the Mix
8. New York Subliners
The Subliners were another team that had lofty expectations coming into the year due to the immense talent on their roster. The core of the roster is based around Attach and Zooma, a legendary duo that have been together since 2016. They had other veterans that have won championships and been all-stars in the past in Accuracy, Temp, and Zer0.
However, the team came out of the gates slowly. They could not win a series and were one of the bottom three teams in the league. The team played too slow and the superstars on the roster were not excelling on the new Call of Duty.
A week after the league moved to the online format, Zer0 was benched, as the team moved towards a roster with more SMG players. They brought up one of their bench players, Happy, to fill in, but still didn’t improve. They had to sign a rookie from the Amateur scene, Mack to revive the team.
Since Mack joined the roster, the team has been extremely competitive in the last three tournaments and reached the semifinals in each of those tournaments. Mack has been the best player on the roster consistently since he joined, and is one of the best players league-wide. Mack is one of the best slayers in the CDL, and consistently gets multi-kills in crucial situations and lead New York in kills.
New York is trending upwards and has looked like a top-5 team in recent tournaments. Hopefully, they continue to show the good form and continue to climb the lists.
Roster: Mack, Accuracy, Temp, Attach, Zooma
Bench: Happy, Censor
CDL Points: 60
7.Optic Gaming Los Angeles
Optic Gaming is yet another team that was expected to be a top 5 team coming into the year that was lackluster to begin the year. Everyone on the original roster was a champion coming into the year including two world champions Slasher & JKap. TJHaly, Dashy, and Kuavo are all in their 3rd year and have been superstars in their first two years.
However, they were yet another team that did not adapt to Modern Warfare well and struggled at the beginning of the year. In their first tournaments on LAN, they could not win a series and did not seem to grasp the game as well as the other teams in the league.
Optic Gaming made a switch to their roster as well, benching JKap for Chino. The move has seemed to help the team, as they reached the finals of their second-to-last tournament and the semifinals of the last tournament. They have seemed to figure out how to play the game at an elite level and let their individual talent shine.
Slasher has been one of the best AR players in the league this year, as he has been for his entire career. There are many times where he is the sole reason why Optic wins a map or series, and his innate ability to be in the right position 24/7 is the main reason why. The other players on the roster have been superstars in the previous Call of Duty games, but they need to take a back seat and support Slasher in order to succeed.
Optic Gaming has been trending upwards, similar to New York, but has more talent on the roster and has gone further in tournaments, which is why they are ranked ahead. These two teams have had a very similar path so far this year. I think Optic is set up better for the future, but both teams could be top 5 teams by the end of the season.
Roster: Dashy, Chino, Slasher, Kuavo, TJHaly
Bench: JKap, Goonjar
CDL Points: 70
6. Florida Mutineers
The Florida Mutineers have exceeded expectations to this point, and are one of the four teams in the league to win an event, along with Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta. Florida has been one of the most consistent teams this year, making it deep into the Home Series tournaments with consistency.
Florida’s main AR, Skyz, is one of the best players in the game. He burst onto the scene last year as a star in Black Ops 4 and carried his play over to be a top 10 player in Modern Warfare. The rest of the roster is filled with other solid players that have star potential and can carry the team at a moment’s notice.
Havok, Frosty, and Fero are a three-headed beast that plays aggressively in front of Skyz, and creates lanes for the team. At the team’s peak, the 3 main SMG players are able to fly around the map and create chaos and allow Skyz and Maux to move around the map as needed.
That was the recipe for success for them when they defeated Atlanta, Chicago, and Minnesota en route to the Dallas Home series victory in April. When the team has struggled against the teams higher in the rankings, the SMGs have been lackluster. They need to be consistent in order to Florida to establish themselves as a top 5 team in the league.
Roster: Fero, Frosty, Havok, Skyz, Maux
Bench: Maniac, Owakening,
CDL Points: 100
5. London Royal Ravens
London has been up and down throughout the year, and has made multiple lineup switches, but seems to have finally found their roster for the future. At the last tournament, London bullied their way through the bracket to the finals, before succumbing to Chicago.
The newest addition to the roster, Zer0, seems to have been the answer to London’s problems in terms of a flex player. They had four capable SMG players, but no one that could play an AR alongside their main AR, Wuskin, on larger maps. Other teams were able to exploit them in respawn modes, causing London to falter.
Zer0 slid perfectly into the role as the flex, and could play as either an SMG or AR as London needed, and the team surged. Zer0 was added to the roster only 4 days before the last tournament, and they should only get better with more practice.
Another reason why London moved up in the power rankings was because of Wuskin’s breakthrough as a Sniper in Search & Destroy. Wuskin has been a top 5 player all year long as the main AR for London. He has been at the top of the league in K/D ratio and overall kills for the entire year.
At the Seattle Home Series, Wuskin proved once again that he is one of the best sniper players in the league. Throughout the tournament, Wuskin racked up 26 kills in total with the sniper, the next closest player was at 12. Wuskin completely shut down other teams in Search & Destroy and it was practically a guaranteed victory for London. The only map that London won in the final series against Chicago was Search & Destroy, and Wuskin led the server in kills as London steamrolled Chicago.
If London can continue to improve on their previous performance with their new player, they can challenge the teams at the top of the league and possibly win tournaments. The key will be if the SMG players, Dylan and Skrapz can play well to allow Zer0 and Wuskin to dominate in the AR role.
Roster: Dylan, Seany, Skrapz, Zer0, Wuskin
Bench: Rated, Jurd, Madcat
CDL Points: 80
4. Minnesota Rokkr
The Minnesota Rokkr have consistently been one step away from winning a championship throughout the year. Out of their five tournaments this year, Minnesota have reached the semifinals four times and the finals twice, but have not been able to get over the hump and win a championship.
Minnesota has one of the best flex players in the league, GodRX. GodRX has been one of the best slayers this season, and leads Minnesota in K/d ratio and kills. He is also the sniper for Search & Destroy, and is the reason why Minnesota is one of the better Search & Destroy teams in this second tier.
The main AR, Assault, has been consistent and is the anchor of the team. He thrives in Hardpoint, and is top 5 in the league in Hardpoint kills and time on the Hardpoint. He is limited to just the M4A1, but thrives with the gun in his hands.
The SMG players have also played well for Minnesota, but need to step up in big series to carry them over the edge and win a championship. The SMG trio is led by Alexx, who is a consistent slayer in respawn modes and an entry player on Search & Destroy. He plays fast alongside Asim, and leads the team in engagements.
Asim plays as the entry player in respawn modes, meaning he dies a lot, but his pace is crucial and he picks up key kills on rotation consistently in respawn games. If he struggles, the team struggles. He and Silly, the team’s other flex player, need to play better against the top teams in the league if Minnesota wants to win a tournament. When they have faced the likes of Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta, Asim and Silly were nonexistent, and the team faltered.
Roster: Alexx, Asim, Silly, GodRX, Assault
Bench: Ttiny, Exceed
CDL Points: 120
Tier 1: Championship Caliber
3. Chicago Huntsman
Each of the teams in Tier 1 has won 2 tournaments so far this year, and Chicago won the first tournament and the most recent tournament, respectively. At the beginning of the year, the team got off to a fast start along with the Atlanta Faze and dominated every team it faced.
They have defeated their rival, the Dallas Empire, 3 out of the 4 times they have faced this year, and are primed for a rematch this upcoming tournament. However, they have struggled against other teams this year once reaching the knockout stage of a tournament. They have lost to Minnesota, Florida, and New York in elimination games, and have lost series in which they were favored.
The team is well-rounded and is led by Envoy, their main SMG player, Envoy is not the entry player with the MP5, but plays with his teammates and leads rotations on Hardpoint. He kills everything he sees and consistently walks away with two or three kills after breaking the other team’s Hardpoint.
Accompanying Envoy is Scump and Prestinni, who are also two world-class SMG players. Prestinni plays with his foot on the pedal, applying constant pressure to the other team, allowing his teammates to slay behind him. Scump is the captain of the team and the backbone of the roster as well. He plays alongside Envoy as an MP5 player, and is a crucial player for their Search & Destroy.
Scump plays as the entry player on offense and on an island on defense, and locks down entire sides of the map. He always seems to be positioned correctly, and he always rescues Chicago in Search & Destroy. In Chicago’s recent tournament win, Scump clutched three separate 1v2 rounds that proved critical in those series, which helped Chicago secure the tournament.
The flex, Arcitys, is a world-class player and switches between the mp5 or M4A1 depending on the map. He thrives in respawn modes as a player who plays in power positions, overlooking his other teammates. He does not have gaudy stats because he takes a lot of long routes to change the spawns for his team, but they are crucial to map victories.
The main AR, Formal, is the critical player for Chicago’s success. Formal has had his ups and downs throughout the year, and they usually coincide with the success with the team overall. When he is playing well, the team is one of the best in the world, but when he struggles, the team is susceptible to being upset, as we have seen throughout the year. To win the World Championship, Formal will have to reach his full potential on Modern Warfare, which he has done many times before.
Roster: Scump, Prestinni, Formal, Arcitys, Envoy
Bench: Mboze, Gunless, General
CDL Points: 180
2. Dallas Empire
The Dallas Empire are the hottest team in the CDL right now, winning their last two tournaments and beating both Chicago and Atlanta on their path to victory. They have an argument to be the top overall team on the list but remain in second place because of CDL points compared to Atlanta.
Empire’s recent success cannot be attributed to one player alone, but rather to a surge from their entire roster. Unlike some of the other teams that have made recent surges, the Empire did not make a roster change. They did not worry after falling short early in the year, and the faith in their original roster has paid off.
Two of Empire’s key players are rookies, Shottzy and Illey. Shottzy is the main SMG player on the roster, playing aggressively and as the entry player for the team. The role results in a lot of deaths typically, but Shottzy had led the Empire in kills and k/d ratio recently. This surge from Shottzy has allowed the Empire to dominate in respawn modes, allowing them to push them over the hump against Chicago and Atlanta.
Illey is the flex player for the Empire, and is a pivotal player for them in Search & Destroy. Illey is the sniper for the team, and is one of the brightest young minds and makes the play calls for the team. The Search & Destroy has flourished under Illey’s lead, and allowed them to rise to the top of the league.
The other players on the roster, Clayster, Crimsix, and Huke are all stars that are known commodities in the Call of Duty league. They have been consistent players all year and have stepped it up along with the young players to turn the team into a juggernaut.
Dallas are the hottest team in the league and we will see if they can dethrone Atlanta in the next tournament, the Minnesota Home Series.
Roster: Huke, Illey, Shottzy, Clayster, Crimsix
Bench: Tommey, Tisch
CDL Points: 150
1. Atlanta Faze
The Atlanta Faze has been atop the leaderboards since the beginning of the season as well. Faze have won two tournaments so far this year, and have the most consistent roster in the league. 3 of their 10 players are ranked in the top 10 in terms of k/d ratio and Faze dominates other teams because of their firepower.
They are led by their young superstar Simp. Simp broke on to the scene as a rookie in 2019, and led eUnited to the World Championship and earned finals MVP. Simp has not missed a step in his second year and is the league-leader in kills and overall k/d as an SMG player. Simp does it all for Faze, slays in hardpoints and dominations, rotates and gets crucial kills, and shuts teams down with the sniper in Search & Destroy. He is one of the best Call of Duty players, if not the best in the world currently, and Faze will need him to lead them if they want to win it all this year.
Accompanying Simp in the SMG role is Abezy. Abezy is a fast-paced player who applies pressure to the other team 24/7, allowing Simp to roam free. Faze has two flex players on the roster, Priestahh, and Cellium. They switch between the mp5 and M4A1 frequently and compliment each other perfectly. Priestahh plays aggressively with the AR and allows the other ARs to move around the map more freely.
Cellium is one of the best players in the world as well. He plays as the flex role, and leads the team in slaying along with Simp, and is one of the best slayers in the entire league. He makes the right move at every point and makes plays to help Faze win consistently in respawn modes. In Search & Destroy, Cellium is known for getting multi-kills consistently on defense as well as getting entry kills on offense. He is a top Search & Destroy player in the league and is the reason why Faze are the best Search & Destroy team in the league.
MajorManiak is the last player on the roster and is the perfect role player to play with the superstars on the roster. Maniak plays as the main AR for the team, and plays slow and makes the proper rotations. He does not have lots of engagements with other players because the other players on his team kill people before he has to do anything. He doesn’t do too much but plays his role perfectly.
Roster: MajorManiak, Abezy, Simp, Cellium, Priestahh
Bench: Grvty, Jurnii
CDL Points: 170
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