Three things we learned from CDL Major III
Pred at Major III
Provided by CDL

Three things we learned from CDL Major III

A thrilling and telling event

The third major of the 2022 Call of Duty League season concluded on Sunday with a surprising winner. The Seattle Surge took down Atlanta FaZe in the grand final of Major III to win their first championship in the CDL.

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Seattle had to beat Atlanta, the league’s top team, twice in the same day to accomplish the feat. While the Surge’s win certainly taught fans not to bet against the team from the deep, there were some other takeaways from Major III, too.

1. Atlanta has grand final demons

No matter which way you try and swing it, Atlanta’s season still can’t be called a success yet. Despite leading the CDL in points and money earned this season, they have yet to win a grand final. This is despite being in all three of them at each major event.

For whatever reason, FaZe seem to fall apart at the seams when they get to the final series of the tournament. Seattle tore through them on several maps, and the same happened last major against the LA Guerrillas — and the one before that against OpTic Texas.

FaZe will be a contender come Champs time, but it might be difficult to pick them to win the event if they fall short again at Major IV.

2. OpTic Texas need iLLeY back

While Byron “Prolute” Vera was a marvelous fill-in for OpTic Texas during Major III and the qualifiers, it’s clear OpTic aren’t the same team without Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal. He’s their in-game leader most of the time and provides the spark the team needs when they start to get down in a series.

For example, it seems unlikely Texas would have fallen apart after Brandon “Dashy” Otell fell off the map in Search and Destroy against LA with iLLeY on the stage with them. After Dashy fell off the map, OpTic lost three straight maps and looked like a shell of themselves.

Of course, iLLeY is still recovering from his thumb injury, so Texas will give him as much time as possible to come back fully healthy. However, if iLLeY needs to be out for an extended period of time after Major III, then OpTic need to find a way to replace his leadership.

3. The CDL needs to find a way to bring in viewers

During the grand final of Major III, the main Call of Duty League YouTube channel was garnering anywhere between 45,000 and 55,000 viewers. Pair that with a co-stream from Call of Duty and that puts the grand final at an average of around 56,000 viewers during the biggest match of the tournament. That’s an abysmal viewership number, even without OpTic Texas or LA Thieves playing in the match.

The viewership for the CDL in 2022 has been steadily declining since the first event, and Major III was no different. While the viewership largely depends on whether or not OpTic is playing, Major I and II still had nearly double the viewers of Major III even when Texas wasn’t playing. It’s unclear what exactly the CDL can do to bring in viewers but the current numbers are far behind other esports.

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Joey Carr
Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 7+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.