Call of Duty League Champs began with a clash of coastal squads, and the Seattle Surge took down the London Royal Ravens to start CDL Champs on Thursday.
The Surge and Royal Ravens both came into Champs looking to rebound from poor performances at Major IV. Neither team won a series at the last major, and they match up extremely closely with one another. As one might expect from the Vanguard season, the series between the Surge and Ravens came down to a nail-biting map five. After a series full of jaw-dropping moments, Seattle took the first victory at Champs and move on in the winner’s bracket.
It was a much-needed win for the Surge, who will truly benefit from the confidence boost of winning their first match. However, the series was about as close as it could be, with a photo-finish on Berlin Hardpoint being the highlight.
Seattle Surge win fierce battle with London
The Seattle Surge started off the series in the best way imaginable. One of their all-stars, Amer “Pred” Zulbeari, showed exactly why he earned that distinction in 2022.
He began 8-0 in kills to deaths and never looked back, finishing the map one Tuscan Hardpoint with a 34-15 performance. Fellow Surge all-star Daunte “Sib” Gray also had a nice map with a 27-20 line. London never truly had a shot to win this Hardpoint, as they trailed by over a hundred points at different times.
However, that didn’t deter the Ravens. In the next map on Desert Siege Search and Destroy, the Ravens came out firing. Trei “Zer0” Morris was the catalyst for London’s dominant S&D win over Seattle, finishing 11-4. The Surge only managed one round win. Surprisingly, that was more round wins than they won on the following map in Berlin Control.
Thanks to the heroics of Marcus “Afro” Reid, London shocked Seattle on Berlin, winning the Control in 3-0 fashion. The Ravens came into this match 2-6 on Berlin Control while the Surge were 6-4. If London can keep performing like that in Control, they become a dangerous team at Champs.
Unfortunately for the EU squad, they were on the losing side of Berlin in the following map. Seattle battled back from 50 points down to take a thrilling Berlin Hardpoint. The finish on P1 was one of the best Hardpoint endings of the year, as seen below.
THE FINAL TIDE GOES THE WAY OF THE @SeattleSurge 🌊
Game 5 is next GET IN HERE 🚨 https://t.co/wmB1gxuPFf#DrownThemOut | #CDLChamps pic.twitter.com/UVtYMjXAMy
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) August 4, 2022
The final map of the series was Berlin S&D. London has struggled on this map and mode all season long, and that trend continued in this series. The Surge exposed the Ravens after going down 3-1, as they began playing much faster and London simply didn’t adapt. They continued to play slow and allowed Seattle to get first bloods round after round. The Surge won the map by a score of 6-3. They won the series 3-2 and move on to round two of the winner’s bracket where they’ll face the winner of Atlanta and NYSL.
Meanwhile, London drops to the losers bracket after its first match for the second straight event. They’ll need a miracle run to make it to the grand final of Champs.
Upcomer will be recapping every Champs match this weekend, so stay tuned to keep up with all of the 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.