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The Toronto Ultra proved they are a top team in the Call of Duty League this weekend. Despite performing poorly in Stage 1 and in the leadup to the end of Stage 2, the veteran gunner led the Toronto Ultra to a slam dunk victory over the Atlanta FaZe after climbing out of the loser’s bracket. They are the Stage 2 Major champions.

Now they’ll have to prove they can keep that crown heading into Stage 3 as the Dallas Empire, New York Subliners and FaZe look for revenge.

The last two weeks of matches have seen teams across the Call of Duty League shake their rosters up by benching veterans in favor of rookies. The LA Thieves put Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat on ice in favor of Zack “Drazah” Jordan, and now they look like a whole new team. Four other teams have made similar changes, and it’s safe to say Upcomer’s Call of Duty League Power Rankings have shifted after the flood of new faces.

1. Atlanta FaZe

Season record: 14-2

Stage 2 record: 6-2

Movement this week:

The Atlanta FaZe are still formidable but no longer seem unbeatable.

The stunning rise of the Toronto Ultra, capped off by a 5-3 series win over Atlanta in the Stage 2 Major final, might be an outlier. Teams get hot, although a run like Toronto’s is tough to come by. But that loss, combined with a 3-2 upset by the Los Angeles Guerrillas on April 2, make it clear that even the FaZe can’t afford an off day in the Call of Duty League.

Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson was uncharacteristically quiet in the grand final with just a 0.71 KD (kills/deaths) ratio against Toronto, and he particularly struggled on Search and Destroy rounds with a 0.74 KD for the stage. The AR player netted out at a 0.89 KD for the event but went cold at the wrong time for Atlanta.

The slipup comes at a tough juncture for Atlanta, and the team ran into a wall in the form of Toronto SMG player Ben “Bance” Bance, who put up a 1.4 KD against a team that had lost only one series all year. How the FaZe and Arcitys respond will decide whether this weekend was a fluke or if Atlanta will be a so-close-but-so-far team for the rest of the year.

— Sean Morrison

2. Toronto Ultra

Season record: 10-9

Stage 2 record: 7-4

Movement this week: +6

Ben “Bance” Bance told his girlfriend he should probably retire after beginning Stage 2 with two losses, but luckily for the Ultra, he didn’t. The longtime veteran was MVP of the Major after leading his team on a wild losers bracket run to the top. Not even the Atlanta FaZe could keep this team from completing their hot streak. Now they’ll need to capitalize on the hype in Stage 3.

The replacement of Anthony “Methodz” Zinni with Jamie “Insight” Craven may have paid off after a lot of scrutiny, although Bance’s three-game-long pop off was the real star of the show. After performing below his own standards in the leadup to the major, he’ll have to figure out how to keep the burners going throughout the rest of the season. Bance will need to find a way to replicate this performance — maybe he can still use the 500+ tweets telling him to bench himself as motivation.

Aron Garst

3. Dallas Empire

Season record: 11-7

Stage 2 record: 5-4

Movement this week:

The Empire have shown they are still a clutch team by going undefeated in round 11s this season, but they haven’t been able to match their prowess from last year’s championship run. The Toronto Ultra got hot at the right time and put a pin in Dallas’s potential grand finals rematch against the FaZe.

Despite losing to both the FaZe and the Ultra, Dallas beat the RØKKR in the first series where they won two Search & Destroy rounds. The no-respawn mode has been a thorn in their side, but Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro put on a show on Raid with a 1.57 KD, leading to a victory. The Empire were able to ride that heat into a second win again on Miami.

If Dallas wants to keep climbing the rankings, they will need to find a way to turn the clutch factor on when it’s needed most — in winners finals.

— Garst

4. Minesotta RØKKR

Season record: 7-7

Stage 2 record: 4-4

Movement this week:

Lamar “Accuracy” Abed is the author of the craziest play of the entire Stage 2 Major. When the match against Chicago came down to the wire, the OpTic lined up for the RØKKR veteran, letting him close out a tied Search and Destroy match with a victorious trio kill. It took him two seconds to kill Matthew “FormaL” Piper, Brandon “Dashy” Otell and Seth “Scump” Abner.

The RØKKR played close with OpTic Chicago, Dallas Empire and the Toronto Ultra, but lost in a close 3-1 match to finish fourth at the Major. While they haven’t been able to get over the hump to a Major victory, the RØKKR have shown consistency when a lot of other teams have collapsed when things got hot.


5. OpTic Chicago

Despite an embarrassing Search and Destroy map against the RØKKR, OpTic Chicago did well enough in the Stage 2 Major to move up the rankings. Photo courtesy of MLG.

Season record: 10-7

Stage 2 record: 4-4

Movement this week: +1

Where do you rank a team that was on the losing side of one of the unluckiest plays in Call of Duty? OpTic Chicago fell to the eventual Stage 2 Major champions, Toronto Ultra, and the Minnesota RØKKR thanks to Accuracy’s three-piece in round 11 of game five.

Chicago didn’t look bad by any stretch of the imagination, with no player on the roster finishing with less than a 0.80 KD throughout the Stage 2 Major. The results simply haven’t matched the roster’s potential, which could either be a hopeful or concerning sign for the organization.

Joey Carr

6. New York Subliners

Season record: 10-7

Stage 2 record: 4-3

Movement this week: -4

The Subliners have just about everything you could ask for talent-wise but are left with some unanswered questions after a 3-0 sweep by the LA Thieves ended their major run earlier than expected.

After finishing Stage 2’s group stage with a 4-1 record, New York looked poised for another deep run at a Call of Duty League major. Instead, the Thieves took revenge for a five-game series loss in pool play in dominant fashion against James “Clayster” Eubanks & Co. It was an uncharacteristic result that left a lot to be desired for Subliners fans, with the team’s Search and Destroy performance standing out in particular.

New York can bounce back from this, and other than its losses to LA has only been beaten by the cream of the crop in the CDL. The question is whether the Subliners can get over the hump against teams like Dallas and fix their approach against more troublesome side cases like the Thieves.


7. LA Thieves

Season record: 9-8

Stage 2 record: 1-4

Movement this week: +2

The Los Angeles Thieves looked like a dumpster fire coming into the Stage 2 Major after their abysmal performance during the group stage. After going 1-4 in Group A and starting at the very bottom of the Major, LA Thieves decided to bench franchise player Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat for Zach “Drazah” Jordan.

No one suspected LA Thieves to make a run in the loser’s bracket with a stitched-together roster, but they did. Every thief popped off in their matches during the Major. All four members dropped a 1.0+ KD overall at the event with Kenny dropping a 1.11 KD overall.

For the sake of the Thieves’ future success, hopefully Kenny and Drazah can continue this dominant momentum into Stage 3.

Danny Appleford

8. Seattle Surge

Season record: 4-9

Stage 2 record: 2-3

Movement this week: -1

The Seattle Surge appeared to be breaking away from the idea that they were one of the worse teams in the game with their performance in the Stage 2 groups. After going 2-3, they netted themselves a 2 placement in the loser’s round at the Major, but even that wasn’t enough.

Despite a 3-1 victory over the Florida Mutineers, they ended up getting steamrolled by OpTic Chicago to exit the Major. While they did net themselves $10,000, they still seem miles behind the top teams. Only time will tell if the new meta, and Peirce “Gunless” Hillman, will continue to favor the Seattle Surge.


9. Florida Mutineers

Season record: 4-9

Stage 2 record: 2-3

Movement this week: -4

The Florida Mutineers certainly are an enigma in the Call of Duty League. Their roster can take down the best of the best when they’re firing on all cylinders. More often than not, though, the team fails to deliver any kind of consistency.

This held true at the Stage 2 Major, where Florida was able to 3-0 the LA Guerrillas but then immediately fell to the Seattle Surge without a fight . Florida needs to get Joe “Owakening” Conley, who finished the Major with an impressive 1.27 KD, some help in order for this season to turn around.


10. London Royal Ravens

It’s hard to place what exactly the Royal Ravens are doing wrong, but they certainly can’t keep up with the best teams in the Call of Duty League. Photo courtesy of the Call of Duty League.

Season record: 2-10

Stage 2 record: 2-4

Movement this week: +1

The problem for London leading out of Stage 2 is that there aren’t many clear paths to improvement.

The team took the LA Thieves, a team that went on to knock out the New York Subliners, to Game 5 during the major, but the Royal Ravens’ 2-4 record in Stage 2 isn’t going to turn many heads. Neither will performances like Thomas “Dylan” Henderson’s minus-51 for the stage, though his aggressive play is part of what makes London go.

Record notwithstanding, every London player outperformed the standards they’d set earlier in the year statistically at the major, with recent edition Paul “PaulEhx” Avila leading the way with a 1.2 KD ratio during the event for the Royal Ravens.


11. Paris Legion

Season record: 4-8

Stage 2 record: 2-3

Movement this week: -1

The Paris Legion completely flopped at the Stage 2 Major in their matchup against LA Thieves. Despite both teams performing poorly in the group stage, LA Thieves were clearly the better team. Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall was the only one on his team to go positive in their losers bracket matchup.

The team has shown glimpses of greatness, but with Luis “Fire” Rivera dropping a 0.54 KD overall at the Major, the Paris Legion definitely needs a roster swap. Florida Mutineers recently benched Josiah “Slacked” Berry, who would be a perfect replacement for Fire on Paris.


12. LA Guerrillas

Season record: 5-9

Stage 2 record: 2-3

Movement this week:

The LA Guerrillas have been the polar opposite of consistency in the CDL. One moment they’re defeating Atlanta FaZe, who hadn’t lost a series the entire year, and sweeping the LA Thieves. These small moments of promise are few and far between, though, as the roster tends to go into a huge slump after winning a match or two.

At the Stage 2 Major, the Guerrillas bowed out not-so-gracefully against Florida, losing 3-0. Justin “Silly” Fargo said it best in a tweet after the match, stating the loss was “like clockwork, literally the worst series we’ve played all year.” There’s certainly potential with the Guerrillas roster, but they might not have enough time to put everything together before management thinks about a roster change.