Call of Duty League Champs 2022 is now just days away, and fans are chomping at the bit for the action to begin. This is the culmination of the 2022 season and the end of Vanguard in a competitive sense. Regardless of how players and fans feel about Vanguard, it has provided the foundation for a massively entertaining season full of upsets, different event winners, and incredible/hilarious moments.
As always, there are several storylines that will come to a head at Champs. The 100+ matches from the past four majors certainly weren’t for nothing and laid the groundwork for the conclusion of the 2022 season. From possible upsets to rivalries being renewed, Champs should be an event for the ages. Below, fans can see what storylines could culminate at Champs 2022.
1. OpTic vs. LA Thieves
The OpTic/LAT rivalry is only a rivalry because of the two teams’ owners. Matt “Nadeshot” Haag, the owner of LA Thieves, was a prominent figure on OpTic Gaming for the first half of the 2010s. He helped grow the brand to what it is today, and helped OpTic win multiple Call of Duty championships along the way. When Nadeshot formed his organization, 100 Thieves, and secured a spot in the CDL, everyone knew the LA Thieves and OpTic would always have a rivalry.
That rivalry could see one last matchup at Champs; OpTic Texas and the LA Thieves both have to win their first-round matchups to play each other in the second round. Both teams are favored to win their respective matches. LA is coming off a huge Major IV victory while Texas is looking to rebound from a shaky past couple of months. If the two teams do end up playing against one another, it will drop one team to the loser’s bracket. That’s usually the kiss of death at Champs, as few teams who come from the loser’s bracket end up winning the event.
2. Seattle Surge’s constant rebound
While most teams in the CDL have had an up and down year, no squad has experienced that rollercoaster more than the Seattle Surge. They went from winning Major III to not winning a single match at the next major. This was preceded by the squad finishing second at the Kickoff Classic to performing terribly at Major I where they lost to Paris.
Throughout their year of inconsistency, one thing has remained consistent: their ability to rebound after a poor showing. Seattle didn’t win a single match at Major IV, as they started in the loser’s bracket. This came directly after they won Major III. If the Surge continues their trend of bouncing back after bad performances, then they have a true shot at winning Champs 2022. The rest of the roster will need to match the high-octane pace that Amer “Pred” Zulbeari sets, though. If the team can’t perform around Pred, they can kiss their chances of making it far goodbye.
3. Crimsix at Champs
There’s some debate as to who the greatest Call of Duty player of all time is. Seth “Scump” Abner, Damon “Karma” Barlow, and James “Clayster” Eubanks are all worth arguing. If we just go by event wins, however, then Ian “Crimsix” Porter is the GOAT without question. Crimsix has more event wins than any other player. He’s also made it a point in his career to show up when it matters most. New York needed to come in second or higher at Major IV to make Champs. Crimsix made sure it happened.
Now NYSL is facing off against the favorites to win Champs, Atlanta FaZe, in the first round. Crimsix has not placed lower than third at Champs since World War II and always seems to perform well on the biggest stage. The Subliners’ matchup with FaZe will likely determine if Crimsix has another Champs run in him. Of course, even if New York drops to the loser’s bracket, we wouldn’t count them out of making a miraculous run to get to the grand finals. You simply can’t ever count Crimsix out at Champs.
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.