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The Florida Mutineers came into the Kickoff Classic on with nothing to lose after many analysts, coaches and fans wrote them off as being one of the worst teams of the year. However, that narrative changed when they stepped onto the stage at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Friday.

Florida walked onto the stage first for the introductions and were met with a roar of screams and cheers from the fans in the arena. Their opponents, the Los Angeles Guerrillas on the other hand were met with harsh boos and pointing from those in the front row of the stadium. With a personality like Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat on the Guerrillas, there was bound to be some playful trash talk from members in the audience.

Based on the poll made by BreakingPointGG from the coaches of the CDL, the Los Angeles Guerrillas were set to be the clear favorites of the opening match. Even the analysts on the desk voted 2-1 in favor of Los Angeles. However, Florida decided that this was the perfect time for them to showcase what they had been working on as a team during the off-season.

Florida put LA in the dirt

Hardpoint is always the best way to start off a series with the chaotic intensity that these Vanguard maps bring, and chaos is exactly what we got with the opening map on Bocage. In an intense back-and-forth map, both Guerrillas and Florida took turns taking the lead in the series. It all came down to a few key gunfights on the last hill of the map. After bringing it to 240 – 240 Florida got the final kills to bring them the map one win. The fans were on the edges of their seats the entire map and neither team took over a 40 point lead at a time.

Another map led the team to Search and Destroy, which went a lot quicker than the Hardpoint had. Florida took the win 6-3 over the Guerrillas, who just looked lost around Berlin. It didn’t help that Guerrillas’ Obaid “Asim” Asim walked away from the map without a kill, going 0/7 for the first Search and Destroy donut of the year. With the two map lead in the series, it all came down to a Tuscan Control to see which team would be continuing until Saturday and which would be packing up on day one.

Guerrillas head home on day one

Control being in the game during the Kickoff Classic was a hotly debated topic to begin with. Despite its current state, the CDL announced just a few weeks ago that Control will be playable in competition, with new rules going live on Wednesday. However, the Guerrillas were able to make the best of it as they pushed their way to a round five to take at least one map in the series.

It all came back to Berlin for another Hardpopint, which is where the Florida Mutineers put the nail in the coffin for the Los Angeles Guerrillas. After the final tick of the Hardpoint went in favor of Florida the stadium exploded in cheers for the Mutineers, followed by some chanting as well.

“We are feeling solid, our team has put a lot of time into the game,” said Cesar “Skyz” Bueno in the post-match interview. “I feel like we are one of the teams to put the most time into it for sure. The control we just threw, we have to work on our tight setups. You literally give them one wave and they break. We put in a lot of time, we are really good at Search and Hardpoint but we are looking solid.”