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The 2021 Call of Duty League has been absolutely wild with the number of new players we’ve seen join its ranks. We don’t have a rookie of the year award here at Upcomer because that would devalue some of the amazing things that players like Jamie “Insight” Craven and Eli “Standy” Bentz have done when they’ve faced off against veterans. Only one player — rookie or veteran — will become the Upcomer Call of Duty League MVP.

These fresh faces are up for our most valuable player award alongside hotshots like Chris “Simp” Lehr. The Upcomer MVP isn’t only about stats or pop-offs, it’s about who made the biggest difference on their team. How far would Atlanta go with Reece “Vivid” Drost instead of AbeZy? Probably far, but maybe not as far without one-half of the Tiny Terrors.

Nominees for the 2021 Upcomer Call of Duty League MVP

Our MVP winner will be announced on August 19.

Jamie “Insight” Craven

Remember the Stage 1 Major? Insight doesn’t. He was the substitute for a Toronto squad that squeaked by London and Minnesota before getting shut out by the Thieves. Once Insight flew from his small town in the UK to the big Canadian city, Toronto’s luck changed. He instantly took the Ultra from a mid-tier team to one of the best in the world by helping them win the first Major he played in.

Toronto Ultra's Insight on LAN
Insight has been the main reason behind Toronto Ultra’s steady play in 2021 | Provided by Call of Duty League

It could be argued that the Ultra could have done the same thing with the talented Anthony “Methodz” Zinni, but they didn’t. Ben “Bance” Bance and other European teammates have gone out of their way to praise Insight and his stats. A 1.14 overall KD, and the fact that he’s the best Search and Destroy player in the game make Insight stand out among a class of rookies who have done more than just rub shoulders with veterans.

— Aron Garst

Chris “Simp” Lehr

In terms of overall stats, there’s been no one better in the 2021 CDL than Simp. He holds the highest individual Kill/Death Ratio of anyone at 1.17. He ranks in the top seven for KD across all three game modes, with his lowest being a 1.12 in Search and Destroy. His Control stats across the board are bonkers, leaving no question as to who the best player in the game mode is.

Of course, an MVP does more for their team than post solid stats. It can be argued that Simp is the central cog that makes the Atlanta FaZe such a powerhouse. Simp’s deadly SMG play is the main reason why McArthur “Cellium” Jovel is able to play at such a high level. He opens up lanes and clears out the objective for Cellium’s AR to go to work at picking players off away from spawn. While Atlanta does have two other MVP candidates in Cellium and Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris, it’s Simp who deserves more of the glory in 2021.

— Joey Carr

Eli “Standy” Bentz

Standy is the equivalent of Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro from the Dallas Empire last year. He came into this season a rookie for Minnesota and quickly became an asset for their team. This was amplified when they won the Stage 5 Major in a wild reverse-sweep of the Toronto Ultra.

Standy should be both the MVP of the season as well as rookie of the year. He currently stands with a 1.07 KD overall, ranking him in the current top ten players in the league. He also sits behind aBeZy for second-highest Search and Destroy first blood at 16%, making him one of the most dangerous players on the map in that particular mode.

— Danny Appleford

Upcomer’s honorary mentions for the 2021 Call of Duty League year

There can only be one MVP every season, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other players who deserve recognition for wild clutches and leadership. Some teams couldn’t pull it together this year due to factors outside the players’ control. Visas, roster swaps and travel restrictions reared their ugly heads throughout the season. 

Paul “PaulEhx” Avila

PaulEhx joined London when their year couldn’t be going any worse. They hadn’t even won a match yet when the Southern Californian wonder flew into North Carolina and turned the team’s luck around, beating both Los Angeles teams and giving his teammates some pride at the same time. His .99 KD may not be as impressive as other top players, but PaulEhx can melt veterans who have been playing Call of Duty for 10 years.

London Royal Ravens on stage at the Stage 5 Major
PaulEhx and squad on stage at the Stage 5 Major in Arlington | Provided by Call of Duty League

It just wasn’t meant to be in his rookie year as London made some weird roster changes throughout the season, even when the team was having some success. Visa issues kept coach James “Dominate” Batz and Marcus “Afro” Reid in the UK, until they were finally resolved before Stage 4. The team didn’t find much success after those changes, but PaulEhx proved that he deserves a spot in the Call of Duty League.

— Garst

Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson

Without a doubt, Atlanta Faze has been the best team throughout the Cold War season. Despite this, Arcitys has been often overlooked due to the sheer amount of talent on his roster. Playing alongside names like Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris and Chris “Simp” Lehr makes it hard to see Arcitys and the work he has done for his team. Since his time on eUnited, he has been a top-tier performer. On Atlanta FaZe, the sentiment still stands even if he is being out-shadowed by the Tiny Terrors.

With a 1.04 KD, Arcitys hasn’t broken into the top ten players overall. However, what he lacks in KD he makes up for in his Hardpoint time, first blood percentage, and his ability to lead his team. Arcitys is the backbone to this team that gets them grounded and able to pull off the consistent plays that they do.

— Appleford

Brandon “Dashy” Otell

It might come as a surprise to some in the community, but Dashy holds the second-highest KD in the entire Call of Duty League. His 1.15 on the season comes just behind Simp’s 1.17 and ahead of Insight and Cellium’s 1.14. The 22-year old may have started slow at the beginning of the year, but he’s been OpTic Chicago’s best player in the second half of the season. He takes over matches constantly, no matter the game mode. His KD is ranked within the top three for respawn modes.

Dashy’s Krig-6 is a terrifying sight for any enemy that comes into his line of fire. What makes him so formidable, though, is his ability to dominate with multiple weapons. He sometimes pulls out an AK74u in Search and Destroy and fries some of the game’s top SMG players. He’s the main reason why OpTic has been able to soar to new heights during the latter stages of 2021 and could be the reason they make a deep run at Champs.

— Carr