Despite the lack of stellar matches when compared to opening weekend, second week of qualifier matches for the Call of Duty League Stage 1 Major is over. Some teams earned their first win of the CDL season while others continued to dominate in their own regard during week 2.
As always, there are several takeaways from the matches played. Teams such as Toronto Ultra and Atlanta FaZe solidified themselves as top three contenders while the previously winless OpTic Gaming proved they have what it takes to live up to Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro’s high expectations for the roster.
1. Toronto Ultra’s teamwork is a league above the rest of the CDL
At the start of 2022, no one really knew how far along the Toronto Ultra were in terms of practice for Vanguard. The team didn’t really scrimmage all that much and were a fairly large question mark at the beginning of the season. However, fans from last year knew the Ultra would still be a strong squad solely because of their teamwork. This staple of the Ultra’s lineup was on full display over the weekend.
Toronto’s Scottish star Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan was feeling unwell on Sunday before Toronto faced off against the Florida Mutineers. This thrust rookie Charlie “Hicksy” Hicks into a starting role for the series. Despite no one on Toronto finishing with a positive KD, they still won the first Hardpoint by a single point. They eventually won the series 3-0, even as Hicksy finished with subpar stats.
The team’s success just goes to show what a foundation of teamwork can do for a roster.
2. OpTic Gaming prove they can be a top team
While OpTic did face off against the winless Paris Legion, they put on a noteworthy performance on Saturday. It seemed like each member of the talented roster finally found their groove together, all performing well alongside one another. Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal started to go off in respawn while Brandon “Dashy” Otell stepped up in S&D.
Paris certainly isn’t the bar to measure a team’s strength by, but there are no easy wins this season. OpTic put their rocky first two matches in the rearview mirror and decimated the Legion, 3-0. Their real tests are still coming, though, as they have to play Toronto and Boston next weekend.
3. It might not matter who New York puts in the lineup
Let’s preface this by saying new Subliners player Matt “Royalty” Faithfull played on 80+ ping in New York’s match this weekend while stuck in Toronto, hundreds of miles away from his teammates in Texas. This makes it somewhat unfair to judge his individual performance.
However, New York’s performance as a whole was all over the place. James “Clayster” Eubanks continues to turn in poor statistical finishes, which he acknowledges, while Ian “Crimsix” Porter is trending in that direction as well. Their respawns are especially concerning, with the roster only showing some promise in Control so far.
The Subliners are playing with a new roster, so some bumps in the beginning are expected. Just from watching their matchup with the LA Thieves, though, more of a change than just swapping SMG players might be needed, sooner rather than later.