We’ve had a short break in the Call of Duty League (CDL) 2022 Season between Major 2 hosted by Minnesota ROKKR in early April, and the upcoming Major 3 hosted by Toronto Ultra coming soon in Mid-June. This break is being filled however with the upcoming Pro-AM Classic that the CDL is hosting which starts this coming Thursday, May 5th. After some teams performing differently than expected at Major 2 and some unexpected injuries, there have also been quite a few roster changes to various teams. The biggest variable in the Pro-Am specifically is that there are 4 teams not in the CDL that have qualified to play as well from placing Top-4 in the Major 2 Challengers event. These teams are in order of placing at the Major:
- Toronto Ultra Academy NA (Hicksy, Mohak, Scrappy, Vikul)
- Team War (Denza, Maple, Wardy, Weeman)
- Toronto Ultra Academy EU (Beans, Furiious, Rafi, Vortex)
- Strike X (Gunsii, Ramby, Fire, SiLLY)
Today, we will be giving our expectations for the Pro-Am this coming weekend, and which teams we believe will make it out of their groups to the bracket this weekend!
There are four different groups with four different teams in each group that goes round-robin style, the top two teams from each group qualify for the quarter-finals bracket, where It is then single-elimination from there. Here are the teams in each group laid out (new players/substitutes are bolded):
- Atlanta FaZe (Simp, aBeZy, Cellium, Arcitys)
- Seattle Surge (Mack, Sib, Pred, Accuracy)
- Toronto Ultra (Cammy, Bance, CleanX, Insight)
- Strike X (Gunsii, Ramby, Fire, SiLLY)
- Florida Mutineers (Skyz, Owakening, DavPadie, Vivid)
- Minnesota ROKKR (Standy, Attach, Priestahh, Havok)
- OpTic Texas (Scump, Dashy, Shotzzy, General)
- Toronto Ultra Academy EU (Beans, Furious, Rafi, Vortex)
- London Royal Ravens (Nastie, Afro, Zer0, Gismo)
- Los Angeles Thieves (Octane, Envoy, Drazah, Kenny)
- New York Subliners (Crimsix, Hydra, Neptune (?), Paulehx)
- Team War (Denza, Maple, Wardy, Weeman)
- Boston Breach (Nero, Capsidal, TJHaly, Methodz)
- Los Angeles Guerrillas (Asim, Spart, Slasher, Huke)
- Paris Legion (Temp, Jimbo, Gravity, John)
- Toronto Ultra Academy NA (Hicksy, Mohak, Scrappy, Vikul)
Below are all the matches that will be happening in order, as well as how we believe each match will go score wise. They will be running four live-streams so they can have four matches happening at once and have the qualifiers for main-bracket finished for the weekend.
- Atlanta FaZe (2) vs. Seattle Surge (3)
- OpTic Texas (3) vs. Toronto Ultra Academy EU (1)
- Florida Mutineers (3) vs. Minnesota Rokkr (1)
- Toronto Ultra (3) vs. Strike X (2)
- Los Angeles Thieves (2) vs. New York Subliners (3)
- Los Angeles Guerrillas (2) vs. Toronto Ultra Academy NA (3)
- Boston Breach (3) vs. Paris Legion (0)
- London Royal Ravens (2) vs. Team War (3)
- OpTic Texas (1) vs. Florida Mutineers (3)
- Atlanta FaZe (3) vs. Strike X (1)
- Minnesota Rokkr (3) vs. Toronto Ultra Academy EU (2)
- Seattle Surge (3) vs. Toronto Ultra (1)
- London Royal Raven (3) vs. Los Angeles Thieves (1)
- Los Angeles Guerrillas (3) vs. Paris Legion (1)
- New York Subliners (1) vs. Team War (3)
- Boston Breach (3) vs. Toronto Ultra Academy NA (2)
- OpTic Texas (3) vs. Minnesota Rokkr (2)
- Atlanta FaZe (3) vs. Toronto Ultra (1)
- Florida Mutineers (3) vs. Toronto Ultra Academy EU (1)
- Seattle Surge (3) vs. Strike X (1)
- Boston Breach (3) vs. Los Angeles Guerrillas (1)
- Los Angeles Thieves (3) vs. Team War (2)
- London Royal Raven (3) vs. New York Subliners (1)
- Paris Legion (2) vs. Toronto Ultra Academy NA (3)
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Below, we are going to list the groups again, but ranked with who we believe will qualify for top-8, and who will not make it out of the groups stage based on their above predicted performance:
Seattle Surge: Although Atlanta FaZe are in the same bracket as Seattle Surge, there is no other team I believe that has a better chance of taking FaZe down in the qualifiers other than Surge. They have not only been able to consistently take down FaZe (which no other team can), but they have been making the right moves with their roster to stay stacked. Unfortunately, they didn’t place super well at Major-2 (5th/6th), but this was partially due to Mack getting sick. I’m optimistic they will have a solid run, going either 3-0 or at least 2-1.
Atlanta FaZe: Although Atlanta FaZe has been struggling to obtain 1st place at the recent events, I have no doubt they will not only have a dominant run confirming the main bracket for them, but they will also give Seattle Surge a run for the 3-0 slot.
Toronto Ultra: As a Toronto Ultra fan, I really hope they will perform better, but at this point, they could even potentially lose to Strike X (who is in no way a bad team, but with how destructive this Toronto used to be, it’s disappointing). I’m not completely sure what isn’t working with the roster, but none of the players are playing at the level they are 100% capable of achieving. Because of that, it is hard to put faith in Toronto Ultra at the Pro-Am when they have to take down either Seattle Surge or Atlanta FaZe to have a chance at making it out of groups.
Strike X: Strike X made an incredible run at the Major 2 Challengers tournament, achieving 4th place overall at the event. They have two former-CDL pros, SiLLY who played for LAG and ROKKR, and Fire who played for Paris Legion, then went to the well-known Challengers roster WestR. They also are teaming with two Challengers slayers, Gunsii and Ramby who have been playing well with this team. While the roster is pretty stacked, I’m not sure if they will be able to have a solid chance at beating FaZe or Surge.
Florida Mutineers: Going from being highly critiqued by almost all observers to having an impressive Major 2 performance taking down OpTic Texas with ease. I believe the Florida Mutineers are finally learning how to play together better, and focus on the objective more. It is also noticeable that AR player DavPadie has continued to improve greatly playing with his team, which I think has helped even out the team a lot more.
OpTic Texas: OpTic Texas has had an interesting season, to say the least. They started the 2022 season slow, but dominated all of Major 1 with ease, making everyone believe the OpTic Dynasty could be back. After a successful Major 2 qualifiers, putting them in a great spot but they would lose 0-3 to Seattle Surge, and would later lose to Florida Mutineers 1-3, two matches they were expected to win. Now to make matters harder for the OpTic crew, iLLeY is out on a thumb injury and is being temporarily replaced by a substitute, General. This means that if they weren’t already mentally in a rough spot placing 5th/6th at the last event, they are sure to be facing an uphill battle at the Pro-Am.
Minnesota ROKKR: Let’s be real, Minnesota ROKKR have had a bad season. Averaging 9th place, and having a high placing of 5th-8th at the Kickoff event, they have been down bad. They have finally made a roster change for the first time since Cold War, putting MajorManiak on the bench, moving Priestahh from SMG to the AR position, and picking up Havoc who has been killing challengers. I am for the first time in a long time optimistic Minnesota Rokkr has a solid chance at winning matches, not only because Havoc is undeniably a top-tier player, but because Priestahh has proven to be better on AR in the recent titles. I have Minnesota Rokkr going 1-2, but I believe they could upset this list and takedown OpTic Texas, qualifying 2-1.
With OpTic being vulnerable without iLLey and Rokkr having a good roster change, this is their chance to pop off!Toronto Ultra Academy EU: Admittingly, Toronto Ultra Academy EU is the team I know the least about out of all 16, so my knowledge of their long-term play isn’t there, so I will refrain from making any serious analysis on them. I think they have unfortunately been put in a grouping with multiple teams that have a lot to prove at the moment (Mutineers finally winning matches, Rokkr and OpTic both having poor performances at Major 2), so that will potentially make it rough for them to be less experienced at offline events. It has also been announced that Harry will be replaced by Rafi just two days before the event, which is a very questionable choice not sticking it out until after the event, but we will see how the new changes go!
London Royal Ravens: The London Royal Ravens up until the actual Major 2 event have been doing great, getting 2nd place in both Major qualifiers and 3rd at Major 1. Unfortunately with a few different upsets, they got 7th/8th at Major 2. I still believe they will have a successful Pro-Am run, but it won’t be flawless.
Team War: This is the first of the four qualified teams I’ve mentioned that I believe will actually qualify. I think LAT and NYSL are both in very vulnerable positions, NYSL making roster changes left and right, and LAT not being able to close out game 5s. Team War had an awesome run at Major 2 Challengers, and I think they will showcase gameplay that a lot of pro-league teams aren’t prepared for or used to playing.
New York Subliners: NYSL this season are the LA Thieves of last season, where they cannot stick to a roster to save their life. After committing to dropping Clayster for Paulehx, it seems they are having more issues and are parting ways with Neptune according to a Crimsix’s live stream. Again. So their 4th at this moment is unknown? Royalty (former NYSL player) was playing for a challengers team at Major 2 that didn’t qualify for the Pro-Am, and Clayster’s status on even wanting to play with them is to be determined. It’ll be interesting to see who they decide to stick it out with, and where the roster will go after this event.
Los Angeles Thieves: Los Angeles Thieves are a team that kind of hurts to watch play. They are clearly all talented, but it just isn’t working out with their current squad it seems. After their successful qualifiers run for Major 1, they haven’t been able to get further than top-6 at an event, and even managed to get dead last 12th place in Major 2 qualifiers, being the only team to go 0-5. I don’t know what LAT needs to bring their team back to life, considering at the beginning of the season they were doing great, but they need it to start kicking in soon or finally make some tough changes.
Boston Breach: Boston Breach have been such a fun team to watch, consistently showing how good they are as a group and placing between 3rd-5th. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to break the cusp from a top-5 team quite yet, but getting out of groups shouldn’t be a big problem. I see Boston Breach having a rather easy time against Paris Legion and Toronto Ultra Academy NA. LAG will be the hardest team they have to face, but looking at the two times at Major 2 they played, Boston won 3-0 in Winners Round 1 and lost 2-3 in Losers Finals after an extremely sad S&D. That being said, I think more often than not Boston Breach beats LAG.
Toronto Ultra Academy NA: Toronto Ultra Academy NA had a truly great run at Major 2 Challengers, showing the scene that Toronto Ultra not only can dominate the pro scene but also grow upcoming talent, which is something you love to see! Coming off this high of winning Major 2 is going to be giving them a lot of confidence going into this event, but unfortunately for them, they get placed up against Los Angeles Guerrillas in round 1, which I do think it’s possible they will not qualify as they are facing the only other team at the event who are coming off the same winning high, as LAG just won Major 2 with a giant upset on numerous teams. Their match against LAG I think will be the decider on which two of them qualify, and I also think that it will be a heavily one-sided match as both teams are momentum-driven, it just depends on which one will get that momentum first.
Los Angeles Guerrillas: I have really mixed opinions on how Los Angeles Guerrillas are going to perform. They are a great team, don’t get me wrong, but they had two main things going for them at Major 2, being Spart was a player most people hadn’t played against on Vanguard yet, and people didn’t know his Volk setup which obliterated people on all mid-range maps. That class is now public, and Gunless is unfortunately still unwell, meaning Spart is on the main roster and has been for all their practices, so people will know how he plays. I don’t doubt LAG will put up a good fight, but as mentioned above, I think there is a high possibility they could lose to Breach and Ultra Academy NA. What LAG still does have going for them is they just won a freaking Major with a substitute after being ranked low in power rankings most of the season. The matches they have against Breach and Ultra NA Academy I think are going to be some of the closest we have in the qualifying rounds.
Paris Legion: Man this is rough for Paris. Amid lots of roster changes, they have finally started putting up more of a fight, and now they are put in a bracket with both Major 2 winners and Boston Breach. Let’s just hope they use this event as a learning opportunity to try some new potential strategies on good teams.
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Group A 1st Seed – Seattle Surge
Group B 1st Seed – Florida Mutineers
Group C 1st Seed – Team War
Group D 1st Seed – Boston Breach
Group A 2nd Seed – Atlanta FaZe
Group B 2nd Seed – OpTic Texas
Group C 2nd Seed – London Royal Ravens
Group D 2nd Seed – Toronto Ultra Academy NA
The main bracket would be laid out as below moving forward:
Honestly, I think this is one of the most balanced starting brackets we could have for the Pro-Am. Some teams definitely have a more unfavorable start (like Florida Mutineers who would have to play Atlanta FaZe), but overall having matchups of Seattle Surge vs. OpTic Texas (rematch from Major 2), London Royal Ravens vs. Boston Breach (rematch from Major 2), Team War vs.
Toronto Ultra Academy NA (both the teams that qualified for the Pro-Am and made it out of groups), to then end off with the powerhouse Atlanta FaZe and the recently improved Florida Mutineers.
Who do you think is going to win it all? Do you think my predictions are close to what will happen? Let us know on social media what you are thinking, and good luck to everyone playing!
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