The first COD League Major in the Vanguard hosted by OpTic Texas has come and gone, with OpTic pulling out a clutch 5-2 win over Atlanta FaZe in the finals and bringing the OpTic franchise the first trophy for them in Call of Duty since Black Ops 4! Not only did OpTic Texas finally get their team together and pull off some insane wins, but teams like Paris Legion proved themselves by winning their first match, and after such a dominant start we see Seattle Surge tied at the bottom at Major 1. Let’s briefly go over the teams’ official placements and scores at the event before getting into the Power Ranking:
1st: OpTic Texas 4-0 (14/19 Total Map Wins)
2nd: Atlanta FaZe 4-2 (16/26 Total Map Wins)
3rd: London Royal Ravens 2-2 (8/17 Total Map Wins)
4th: Toronto Ultra 2-2 (7/17 Total Map Wins) 7/10 of their maps lost were in Hardpoint
5th/6th: LA Thieves 2-2 (10/17 Total Map Wins)
5th/6th: Boston Breach 2-2 (8/17 Total Map Wins)
7th/8th: Minnesota ROKKR 1-1 (4/7 Total Map Wins)
7th/8th: Paris Legion 1-1 (4/9 Total Map Wins)
9th/10th/11th/12th: Florida Mutineers 0-1 (2/5 Total Map Wins)
9th/10th/11th/12th: LA Guerrillas 0-2 (2/8 Total Map Wins)
9th/10th/11th/12th: New York Subliners 0-1 (0/3 Total Map Wins)
9th/10th/11th/12th: Seattle Surge 0-2 (2/8 Total Map Wins)
A few other notable points and statistics to note from the event:
- Toronto Ultra didn’t win a single Hardpoint map at this event.
- Cellium dropped a 1.80 K.D in S&D on Day 4 of the Major (VIA. Breaking Point).
- Dashy had a 1.31 overall K.D at the event, with a 1.53 in S&D (VIA CDL Intel).
- Dashy had a 9.0 K.D on Berlin S&D vs. London in Winners Finals (VIA CDL Intel).
- Although NYSL went 0-3 at the event, they had to play LA Thieves in their only bracket match. LA Thieves is one of the top hardpoint teams in the game at the moment, and NYSL almost clutched up, with their final score being 230-250. Notably, they have some potential with Royalty, but it isn’t clear if that was the true problem.
- NYSL was the only team to not win a single map at this event, with the next worst-performing teams being Seattle Surge/LA Guerrillas both going 2/8 map wins.
- Paris Legion played their first-ever matches with GRVTY on their roster, a proven Challengers legend, and played much better in Hardpoint than usual and managed to beat Seattle Surge 3-2.
- These teams all lost 0-3 to a team at this event: Boston Breach vs. Atlanta FaZe. Seattle Surge vs. OpTic Texas. LA Guerrillas vs. Minnesota ROKKR. New York Subliners vs. LA Thieves. Toronto Ultra vs. Atlanta FaZe
With those notes and the stats out of the way, let’s get into our power-ranking of how I believe these 12 teams will perform leading up to Major 2.
Prev Rank: 10th CDL Points: 20
LAG continue to struggle game after game to make solid footing, which is surprising considering how stacked their roster is and most of the players’ individual performance. Despite all of LAG’s potentially, they lost both of their matches to London Royal Ravens in a close 2-3, and to Minnesota Rokkr in a destructive 0-3 fashion. Personally, I feel LAG is lacking someone to keep all of the players calm and collected when things start to go downhill. They just don’t look like they are even enjoying themselves is what many fans have said on Twitter. Slasher had a pretty poor showing at this event, but I don’t know if he is necessarily what needs to change for the roster to become successful. Regardless, LAG is placed at the bottom of our power ranking until they start to show some more consistency in their matches.
#11: New York Subliners
Prev Rank: 4th CDL Points: 10
NYSL is the team we all want to do better but just isn’t there yet. To be brutally honest, I’m not completely sure what is missing, but I feel like C6 or Clayster may be the next roster move if things continue to go downhill. After replacing Neptune for Royalty, they did end up winning one of their qualifying matches but haven’t shown much consistency in getting higher scores. Regardless, NYSL is still struggling to keep it strong throughout their full games, and have been playing a pretty poor Hardpoint this season. Neptune, I don’t believe was the problem with their roster, and Hydra definitely isn’t as he is the only consistently positive player. While I do have NYSL currently at 11th, I believe they have one of the highest ceilings to improve at this point with two veterans, the new recruit, and of course Paco.
#10: Paris Legion
Prev Rank: 11th CDL Points: 10
By the grace of the COD Gods, Paris Legion didn’t place bottom 4 at the first major! Their games were not only entertaining to watch but showed what seems like a lot of growth in all their players working together. Adding GRVTY to their roster seems to have filled a few holes they had, and they managed to take down the 2nd seed at the event, Seattle Surge. They also had a strong showing against the new terrors of the league, Boston Breach, which definitely gave them a boost of confidence that I believe their whole franchise needed at this point. I think they’ll continue to improve throughout the season, and with GRVTY being a Challengers player who is used to playing online and winning, I think their showing in the qualifiers will also improve. Paris Legion is a franchise we don’t want to count out just yet this season, and I’m hoping we will see some upsets similar to Seattle Surge at the Kickoff Classic.
#9: Minnesota ROKKR
Prev Rank: 9th CDL Points: 30
Minnesota ROKKR is one of two teams I didn’t change my placement on for this list, and I think that makes sense. ROKKR had a destructive opening match in the losers bracket, beating LAG 3-0 and showing they aren’t a bottom-tier team. They then proceeded to get rolled by LA Thieves, which I don’t think was entirely surprising. ROKKR has so much potential but seems to just fall through the cracks at some crucial moments. I believe consistency is the biggest thing Rokkr is lacking, as you see players like Attach and Standy either top or bottom of the leaderboard, and it seems rarely like an in-between. I’m hoping to see Rokkr continue improving, because they definitely have since the Kickoff-Classic, and it shows just by watching the rounds they are now winning in S&D, but I can’t confidently say they can handle the big dogs like FaZe, Optic, or Thieves in a bracket.
Prev Rank: 8th CDL Points: 20
Watching the Mutineers play is the closest to an emotional rollercoaster you will experience in COD League, as they are in a similar boat to Rokkr where they are just lacking the consistency to close out their games. Mutineers I put slightly above Rokkr however, because of the slaying ability Mutineers bring to the table. They had some of the closest games at the event, eventually falling to Boston Breach in an extremely disappointing S&D Game 5 for them. Davpadie has been showing some strides towards a potential rookie award, but this event was definitely a rough one for him as he went double negative in both S&D games. Vivid also seems to be hit or miss, unfortunately. Owakening is currently the only truly consistent player on the Mutineers, holding one of the best K.D’s in the league overall, but is it helping his team win? The Mutineers have made serious improvement, even winning their Control matches now with a 4-2 record. If they want to truly start winning, they need to work a bit harder on their S&D rounds so they aren’t barely losing 4-6 or 5-6, and they need to figure out if Owakening is going to be sticking with the SMG or Main AR Roll. If he is going to be a Main AR, then even with Davpadie as good as he is, Mutineers may need to make some roster adjustments.
#7: Seattle Surge
Prev Rank: 2nd CDL Points: 30
After an extremely successful start to their Vanguard season, the Seattle Surge have definitely slowed down a bit on their path of destruction. To be completely fair to Seattle Surge on their first match at Major 1, they had to play OpTic Texas who ended up winning the event by a landslide. Losing to Paris Legion though? That one has to sting a bit for this squad. They started off extremely strong in their match against Legion by winning Hardpoint 250-138. After a heartbreaking 5-6 loss on S&D, I think the team started to lose some composure. Although they were taken down roughly this week, I think this will just fire them up more to come back even stronger in the qualifiers. Their roster works well together, Accuracy is a solid IGL, and the rookies Sib and Pred are still learning the LAN scene. Seattle Surge has dropped down 4 spots for me, but they are still a team that must not be taken lightly, or you might just have an Atlanta FaZe upset on your hands.
#6: Boston Breach
Prev Rank: 7th CDL Points: 40
Boston Breach continue to improve rapidly as a squad and as individual players while the league goes on. Capsidal, who during the qualifiers and Kickoff-Classic was an absolute menace, definitely slowed down a bit more at this event. That being said, whenever he slowed down, TJ, Methodz, and Nero were all there to pop off. As COD Esports fans, the level of gameplay Boston Breach is achieving right now with two new players is insane to see, especially with Methodz being on the sidelines since Modern Warfare. I believe Breach are in a similar situation to Seattle Surge where they have their slow games, and they definitely have their strong ones. That being said, it can be argued Breach should have lost to Mutineers in that Game 5 S&D, but they didn’t, and they showed up for the rest of the event even after an almost brutal final blow to their first major. At this point, Breach just needs to start learning more about the competition as other than TJHaley, most of them haven’t played against these pros in years or ever, and to also have Nero/Capsidal warm up a bit more to the open stage!
Prev Rank: 12th CDL Points: 80
Okay. So placing London Royal Ravens at 12th on my last power-ranking was definitely a mistake I won’t make again. LRR had, with no better words, an unbelievable fucking weekend. Ending at 3rd not only for the event but also in overall CDL points in the league, LRR have stepped up way past what many were expecting. Gismo and Nastie went completely crazy for their first LAN CDL Major, and gave EU some hope they *maybe* they will get a CDL trophy this year. London only inevitably fell to Atlanta FaZe in the semi-finals of the event. I’m not placing LRR higher for a few reasons, mostly because while they did make it far, they lost pretty commandingly to FaZe/OpTic, and actually almost lost in the first round to LAG. We will find out in this coming month if LRR has what it takes to stay top of the pack, or if this was just a truly incredible showing for the squad that isn’t likely to happen again.
Prev Rank: 5th CDL Points: 60
LA Thieves continue to make a strong appearance in the 2022 season with their powerhouse roster. They had a really strong win over NYSL and ROKKR, but fell to the top dogs Toronto Ultra (2-3) and ATL FaZe (2-3). LAT at the moment I think is on the cusp of becoming a top-2 team in this league. The players they have, the coaches, the amount of money, and the love for COD from an org like 100T means they have the resources to continue improving. Nobody is truly falling short either, the matches they lose are close and are normally a team difference rather than individual players not pulling their weight. Even Drazah, the most questionable player on the LAT roster since the start of this season being lined up with the likes of Octane, Envoy, and Kenny, has proven to be a top-tier player who can hold his own and deserves his spot on their team. Thieves really have to focus a bit more on winning S&D, as that’s where Toronto bodied them (2-6 and 3-6 respectively). LAT has to be one of, if not THE BEST Hardpoint team in the league at this time. Truly excited to see them start improving outside of that mode.
#3: Toronto Ultra
Prev Rank: 1st CDL Points: 50
Toronto Ultra have had a really rough Vanguard season so far. After an incredible comeback in the Cold War season for them, it hasn’t completely transferred over quite yet. Toronto Ultra didn’t win a single hardpoint game in all of their 7 matches (2 against LAT, 2 against LRR, 2 against Boston, and 1 against FaZe). While the teams they played have had great showings in hardpoint, that doesn’t excuse the fact they couldn’t manage to secure one. S&D was the strongest mode for Toronto by far, with Control going mostly depending on how skilled the other team was in it. It’s crazy to watch Toronto have a few games where they all play insanely well together and then fold in a Hardpoint with the other team sometimes up 100+ points. Once Toronto figures out how to play hardpoint properly, I genuinely believe they could move back up to the #1 spot. Even in the few games where players like Insight or Bance were struggling, the squad managed to pull out some incredible wins and achieved 4th at the event.
#2: OpTic Texas
Prev Rank: 6th CDL Points: 95
OpTic Texas FINALLY had the showing all of their players needed to get their spirits up and the newly merged OpTic Texas franchise started! Dashy played some of the best Call of Duty we have seen from him in years, having a 1.31 overall event K.D. Besides Dashy, Illey, Shotzzy, and Scump all played their hearts out to take the win from their home series. With the players, coaches, and resources OpTic has since it merged with Envy, they finally have the possibility to compete with the likes of FaZe and any other team that comes their way. OpTic Texas managed to lose only 5 out of the 19 total maps they played at the tournament, 4 of those losses being to Atlanta FaZe (3-2 and 5-2 wins for OpTic), which is absurdly high in comparison to every other team who played. I think part of the fact that it was their home series helped them win with the stakes being even higher, but I believe this has also permanently turned a new leaf for this squad that we will see wreaking havoc.
#1: Atlanta FaZe
Prev Rank: 3rd CDL Points: 100
Unsurprisingly, Atlanta FaZe are near the top of the list again. Although they placed 2nd at the event and lose 2-5 in the finals to OpTic, a large portion of their matches were close. All of the games FaZe lost at the event were close, they just didn’t close it out properly. FaZe also went flawless in the qualifiers for the tournament, and besides OpTic at the Major and Seattle Surge at the Kickoff-Classic, FaZe are still undefeated in the 2022 season! I think they had a rough go at this event and lost a lot of the momentum that OpTic seems to have gained at the event. Arcitys also had numerous computer issues that resulted in pauses, resets, and other issues that can take a toll on a player over time. I believe FaZe will go flawless again in the online qualifiers and make it to the top 3 of the next major event without worry as long as Abezy can continue to slay out, and Simp can keep bringing it back to his previous performance standards.
The second Major is going to be hosted by Minnesota ROKKR and is set to take place March 31st – April 3rd. It will be an exciting few weeks leading up to the next major, and I think we will see quite a few upsets in the qualifiers. Let us know what you think on Twitter, and be sure to follow us for more esports news!