League of Legends
Call of Duty
The Call of Duty League returned from a month-long hiatus with the Pro-Am Classic tournament over the weekend. Four qualified amateur teams and all 12 CDL squads traveled to Columbus, Ohio to compete on LAN against one another in the first shot Challenger teams had to face pros on LAN in the CDL’s three year history.
The event itself was fairly entertaining to watch, even though only one amateur team made some noise. As the matches went on, fans started to learn more and more about the 12 CDL teams ahead of CDL 2022 Major III. After everything teams showed this weekend, here’s what we learned at the Pro-Am Classic.
1. General should be on a starting roster
OpTic Texas came into the weekend believing that Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal would be good to play after revealing he’s been dealing with a thumb injury. However, after the team’s first match, iLLeY felt he couldn’t go on, leaving substitute Jordon “General” General to fill his place. General has been competing and winning at a high level in Challengers this season, but he was now up against the big dogs.
Still, General kept pace with the pros just fine. OpTic managed to defeat Minnesota and Atlanta with General playing and came close to defeating the LA Thieves in the semifinals. General showed time and time again he deserves to hang with professional players, and some bottom-tier rosters should give him a call.
2. New York found their roster
There are few teams in the CDL’s history that have had as many early roster changes as the New York Subliners in 2022. After a roster shuffle that left Travis “Neptune” McCloud and James “Clayster” Eubanks on the bench, NYSL went with a new-look roster that seems to be complete. Paul “PaulEhx” Avila and Matthew “KiSMET” Tinsley are now on the roster and, together, they helped NYSL capture the Pro-Am Classic victory.
KiSMET fills out the objective role nicely after spending all of this year in Challengers. Meanwhile, PaulEhx was slaying continuously playing in the Main AR role. NYSL looks like a true contender for future Major titles with this roster.
3. There’s untapped potential in Challengers
In addition to OpTic’s General, multiple other Challenger players showed their worth at the Pro-Am Classic. Specifically, the players on Toronto Ultra Academy NA proved they have what it takes to compete in the league. The academy team made it out of pool play and, while they didn’t last long, multiple players on the roster bested CDL pros time and time again.
It might be too late for multiple Challenger players to make a mark on the 2022 season. However, going into the offseason, CDL teams should take a long look at the Challengers scene, because there are several players who can make a difference on the right roster.
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.