CDL Champs 2022 is the biggest event of the Call of Duty season and the weekend ahead will be undoubtedly full of thrills. A world champion will be crowned and 28 players’ dreams will be smashed in front of a packed house at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The top eight teams remaining feature 32 of the best players in the entire league, and they’re all going to bring their A-game starting on Aug. 4.
With so much on the line and the best talent Call of Duty has to offer all in one place, it’s safe to say there will be some fireworks. While every match and player bears watching, there are three players that fans should pay attention to above all else. These players are an integral cog in whether or not their team succeeds, putting more of a spotlight on them to perform at CDL Champs.
The top three players at CDL Champs 2022
1. Kenny – LA Thieves
Coming off of an improbable Major IV victory, the LA Thieves come into Champs as one of the favorites. LA was a middle-ground team for most of the season, leading up to Major IV. The major difference in why they were able to turn things around so drastically is Kenny “Kenny” Williams. Kenny had a fairly average season up until Major IV, hindering the Thieves’ ability to compete with the top teams in the CDL.
At Major IV, he showed what he could truly do, which was a major reason why LA was able to win Major IV. At Champs, Kenny will need to deliver a similar performance in the Thieves have any hope of earning their first world championship. Kenny’s performance throughout the tournament and how it affects LA bears watching at all times.
2. Shottzy – OpTic Texas
This entry is somewhat obvious for fans of the Call of Duty League since Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro is one of the most prolific performers in the franchise. He’s been known to have the best POV out of any player in the league, and for good reason. His movement, gunplay, and overall skills are incredible to watch. However, over the last month or so, Shotzzy has been struggling to stay consistent for OpTic Texas.
Whether it’s on Bocage Hardpoint or in Control, Shotzzy has been finishing on the bottom of the leaderboard more often than ever. This, in turn, has cost OpTic maps and matches in general. The team certainly hasn’t looked nearly as strong as they did at the beginning of the season, and Shotzzy’s inconsistent play is partly to blame. If Shotzzy can come to life and play as he has in the past, then Texas might just be unstoppable. If he turns in another average/sub-par performance, though, you won’t see OpTic make it too far.
3. Gismo – London Royal Ravens
The London Royal Ravens is a darkhorse favorite to win CDL Champs. The EU squad has had an up and down year. They look like an unbeatable roster at certain times and then relegate to a team that has a hard time beating the Paris Legion. For the most part, they have failed to show up on LAN, with their highest placement thus far being third. However, that third placement was at Major I. In the past three majors, they’ve finished in 7-8th twice and 9-12th once. One large reason for these off placements has been Joey “Gismo” Owen’s play.
Online, Gismo looks like a top player in the CDL. He’s a killing machine for London in the online qualifiers, leading to the Ravens receiving high seeds. When it comes to LAN and playing in front of a crowd, though, Gismo becomes a completely different player. His KD online is a night and day difference from his KD on LAN. For the Royal Ravens to even have a prayer at CDL Champs, they need Gismo to solve his LAN woes.
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.