Atlanta FaZe came into CDL Champs as the number one seed in the tournament. They finished with far more CDL Points than any other squad and they certainly earned that top seed. However, Champs 2022 might be the only event this year where being the number one seed was a negative thing.
Why? FaZe had to face off against the red-hot New York Subliners, who rode a huge Major IV run to make Champs as the eighth seed. NYSL is one of the best eighth seeds of the year, being favored ahead of higher-ranked seeds like London and Boston. While FaZe went down early, they managed to pull off a reverse sweep against the Subliners.
This was the first time Atlanta and New York had played since May, where FaZe bested the Subliners during the Major III qualifiers. The two teams are completely different this time around, especially New York who boasts a newfound swagger. That swagger only got them two map wins, though.
Atlanta FaZe put a dagger in NYSL
The final match of day one at Champs 2022 started on Gavutu Hardpoint. This map heavily favored Atlanta since they have been dominant on the map all season long thanks to the AR work of McArthur “Cellium” Jovel. NYSL was able to completely shut down Atlanta for most of the map, though. Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez dominated the map with the MP40, eventually finishing with 31 kills. The end of the map was a thrilling experience on P1, with Atlanta nearly pulling off a 100-point comeback. The Subliners were able to weather the storm, though, and take a 1-0 series lead.
The next map was Tuscan Search and Destroy, a map FaZe has struggled on at points this season. Meanwhile, NYSL has looked great on Tuscan and that trend continued today. HyDra once again clutched up for NYSL, making a few game-saving plays, including a 1v1 win against Chris “Simp” Lehr early on in the map. HyDra and Paul “PaulEhx” Avila both dropped 10 kills for New York. Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris also finished with 10 kills for FaZe but it wasn’t enough in the end. Atlanta simply couldn’t clutch up in key rounds.
With the Subliners up 2-0, the series moved to Tuscan Control, Atlanta’s most dominant map/mode. It’s rare to see FaZe lose this map, and the Subliners were certainly no match for them in this game. Atlanta dominated every round, winning one offensive round and destroying New York in two defensive rounds. Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson bounced back in Control with 22 kills after a shaky first two maps.
While Atlanta still trailed in the series, they returned to Tuscan for the map four Hardpoint. The last time NYSL played this map, it was the game-clinching loss against LA Thieves in the Major IV grand final. Still, New York certainly held an advantage over Atlanta in terms of previous performances. FaZe have infamously found new ways to lose Tuscan Hardpoint in the past.
This time around, however, Atlanta found a way to win. FaZe finally rotated to new hills correctly and on time, and managed to outslay the Subliners and win the map by 40 points. aBeZy took over Tuscan, dropping 39 kills and over 4,000 damage.
Did you expect us to end Day 1 of #CDLChamps any other way?@ATLFaZe force a Game 5! Will there be a reverse sweep? #EZAF
Watch now on https://t.co/wmB1gxuPFf pic.twitter.com/RRfVTgycSG
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) August 5, 2022
Like every other match on Thursday at Champs, this series went to game five. The deciding Search and Destroy was on Berlin, which has been one of FaZe’s best S&D maps this season. Their overall record on Berlin is 11-4 while NYSL is only 4-4. With a trip to winner’s bracket round two on the line, Atlanta FaZe absolutely dismantled New York. They fell back to what’s worked on Berlin in the past for them, and it worked, to say the least. FaZe played for first bloods, attacked the B bombsite on offense, and were rarely down in the life count for too long. Once again, aBeZy was the catalyst for Atlanta, dropping 12 kills in the map.
The win pushes Atlanta forward at Champs, and they have a date with Seattle Surge in winner’s round two. New York drops to the loser’s bracket to face the London Royal Ravens.
We’ll be recapping every CDL Champs match throughout the weekend on Upcomer, so stay tuned for more action.
Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.