The 2022 Call of Duty League season is nearly upon us, with teams preparing for four weeks of online play and the first meaningful LAN of the year. The CDL Kickoff Classic, as meaningless as many players seem to view it, was a fun way to get a glimpse of new rosters before the grind truly begins.
Seattle Surge took everyone by surprise and climbed all the way up to the Kickoff Classic grand final. Meanwhile, Toronto Ultra proved they are still one of the best teams in the Call of Duty League by taking $30,000 home after winning it all. Everyone else, including the new Boston Breach squad, is still finding their way in 2022.
Call of Duty League 2022 preseason power rankings
We expect these Call of Duty league 2022 preseason power rankings to change drastically when the first weeks of Stage 1 are behind us in February. These rankings are based off of 2021 placements, roster moves, scrimmages and the Kick Off Classic.
Toronto came out strong at the first LAN of the 2022 season. The team went through no changes in the offseason outside adding a new substitute. The Europeans seem primed to repeat their success from last season with the same level of incredible teamwork they put on display match after match.
— Aron Garst
Seattle Surge reach the No. 2 spot on our rankings after holding the 11th and 12th spot for the last two years. Now that they have signed up and coming talents like Amer “Pred” Zulbeari and Daunte “Sib” Gray, the team has done a 180 in terms of performance. They were able to take down the likes of the London Royal Ravens, New York Subliners and Atlanta FaZe to make it to the grand finals of the Kickoff Classic. While they were not able to finish what they started, the team still looks scarier than some of the other rosters currently.
— Danny Appleford
The reigning champions seemed like the clear-cut best team heading into the Kickoff Classic. However, they looked like a lost puppy on the map when they faced off against Seattle Surge. Chris “Simp” Lehr has gone on record to say that the event didn’t mean much, but Atlanta looked fallible for the first time in a long time. It is worth mentioning, though, that FaZe also lost their match in last year’s Kickoff event and that season ended with them winning it all.
— Joey Carr
New York Subliners
New York is the new super team after adding Florida’s Travis “Neptune” McCloud and Dallas’ Ian “Crimsix” Porter in the offseason. Despite the tournament not meaning much to a number of pro players, New York looked promising after barely sneaking past Boston and then shutting out Minnesota Røkkr.
LA Thieves have one of the most star-studded rosters that the Call of Duty League has ever seen, but they struggled with online play before the start of the new year. It was a huge question mark whether or not they would perform at the Kickoff Classic and they delivered as expected. They took down Paris and OpTic Texas before pushing the Toronto Ultra to a game five hours before they would win the whole event.
OpTic Texas have one of the most exciting rosters in the CDL this year, but that didn’t translate to a win on LAN against LA Thieves. OpTic were wiped in the Search and Destroy and looked inconsistent at best in both Hardpoints. They did have one of the best Control maps of the tournament, but they certainly need some improvements if they want to be in contention this season. Search and Destroy needs to be the main area of focus for the roster moving forward.
It’s finally that time. The return of Anthony “Methodz” Zinni is here and I’m hopeful that we’ll see the longtime veteran and streaming sensation put on a show at future LANs. Boston got knocked out early at the Kickoff but I doubt that placement means much with a whole season’s worth of trophies ahead of them.
Florida shocked the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas, when they took down the high-profile LA Guerrillas roster in four maps to start the 2022 season. Florida looked unstoppable with Joseph “Owakening” Conley now manning an SMG and rookie David “Davpadie” Maslowski on main AR. However, Florida’s success didn’t last long; they lost 1-3 against the eventual champion Toronto Ultra. The Mutineers will need to beat a top team before they can crack the top half of these rankings.
The Minnesota Røkkr were one of the few teams to not make any changes to their roster in the offseason. While the team was able to perform fairly well throughout the course of 2021, they look lackluster so far in Call of Duty: Vanguard. They were swiftly 3-0’d by the New York Subliners on their first day at the Kickoff Classic. Hopefully they improve as the season goes on.
The LA Guerrillas attempted to create a superteam in the offseason with more stars than they’d ever had in the team’s history. However, having players that have performed well in the past does not guarantee they will perform well together. This may why LAG only won one map at the Kickoff Classic before being sent home.
London Royal Ravens
The dual rookie method didn’t work out as well for the London Royal Ravens as it did for the Seattle Surge at the Kickoff Classic. While Seattle took home second place, London bowed out of the event with a first round sweep to that same Surge roster. No one player on London played particularly badly, though Trei “Zer0” Morris had the lowest Kills/Deaths at the event. It seems that, moving forward, the key for the Royal Ravens is for them to match the sheer gunskill that the top teams in the CDL possess.
While I would have loved to see Paris pick up some other talented players in the offseason, I’m a fan of second chances and this team is a walking second chance. Players, both backups and starters, from Dallas, LA and New York are all coming together on this roster. They have a lot to prove going forward.