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Rostermania is in full swing in the Call of Duty League and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. Just a day after Atlanta FaZe won the Stage 4 Major, teams are already looking to switch up their rosters. Every squad is aiming for one of the eight spots in the Champs bracket.
According to an initial report by @IntelCallofDuty, which was confirmed by Upcomer, the London Royal Ravens and Seattle Surge will have different rosters heading into Stage 4. However, the circumstances behind these roster changes differ drastically.
London Royal Ravens roster to drop Zaptius and bench Zed
After winning four of their last six matches, the London Royal Ravens will replace half of their roster. In turn, they will bring on a former starter and current substitute to fill out the starting four.
The first of these changes is in regard to moving on from Alex “Zaptius” Bonilla, who’s been with the team since Stage 3. Zaptius’ contract is supposedly up and London doesn’t appear to have interest in renewing it for Stage 4. This decision is followed by benching Zach “Zed” Denyer.
In these players’ places, London is bringing back Alex “Alexx” Carpenter, who’s been benched since Stage 2 due to personal reasons.
The Royal Ravens will also promote substitute Marcus “Afro” Reid, who was dealing with visa issues the entire season. As of a recent Tweet, it appears Afro is now eligible to join the rest of the London roster in North Carolina.
— Afro (@AstrosInMyAfro) May 17, 2021
This series of roster moves is questionable, to say the least, as London performed the best they had all year in Stage 3. Their only losses were to Atlanta FaZe, OpTic Chicago and LA Thieves. They even managed to secure wins over the New York Subliners and Minnesota ROKKR.
Decemate to bench himself from the Seattle Surge roster
The next roster move that Upcomer was able to confirm is in regard to Jacob “Decemate” Cato benching himself for Stage 4. The Seattle Surge signed Decemate to replace the benched Daniel “Loony” Loza only two weeks ago. He had been performing well in Challengers and Seattle felt his fast-paced SMG was a good fit for the roster.
Now, however, it appears that Decemate wants to head back to Challengers; this decision forcing Seattle to find a replacement prior to Stage 4. Additionally, this roster move may have been tipped by Surge player Sam “Octane” Larew on May 17 via Twitter.
I gotta write a book when my careers over, I cannot believe the shit that’s happened the last 2 years
— Sam “Octane” Larew (@OctaneSam) May 18, 2021
At this time, it’s unclear who Seattle will bring in to replace Decemate. They still have Loony on the bench, however it’s unlikely that they would turn to him again after such a disappointing showing at the Stage 3 Major.
Stage 4 of the CDL begins on May 27. Teams will need to lock in the roster moves that they have in the pipeline by then.
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.