The Paris Legion Home Series has come to an end and Stage 3 of the Call of Duty League is officially halfway over. As has been the trend of the 2021 season, there were upsets galore in the tournament along with some intense matches that make watching Black Ops Cold War a true joy.
With every passing home series, new things are learned about most of the teams in the league. If 2021 has been about one element, it’s that nothing has remained consistent. That mostly reigned true at the Paris Home Series, as new weapons were brought into the mix and new teams are on the rise.
1. OpTic Chicago can’t stay consistent
One of the bigger large-scale stories from the 2021 CDL season has surrounded OpTic Chicago’s strange play. At times, the roster is clicking on all cylinders and looks unstoppable with their overwhelming amount of talent. However, there are other times where everything seems to go wrong for them, leading to teams with less talent pulling out wins.
This was especially evident at the Paris Home Series, as the LA Thieves walked right over Chicago. As with most of their losses, no one on OpTic played particularly poorly. The lowest KD in the series was 0.82, belonging to Matt “FormaL” Piper, who seemed off the entire series.
The kill-feed belongs to @Kuavo 😤
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) May 3, 2021
OpTic certainly has the capability and talent to win any event they play in but their inconsistent play makes it seemingly impossible for them to make a run in any tournament.
2. The FFAR shows that off-meta weapons could become meta in future events
Perhaps the biggest talking point from the Paris Legion home series was the appearance of off-meta weapons. In the OpTic Chicago vs. LA Thieves match, Brandon “Dashy” Otell and Dylan “Envoy” Hannon both pulled out weapons that haven’t been seen this year.
Dashy, with the FFAR assault rifle in hand, was especially eye-catching, as he made things look extremely easy on the map. The FFAR, most known for its high recoil, was a powerful weapon in Dashy’s hands and certainly got the community talking. The FFAR was even trending on Twitter after the match.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) May 2, 2021
While the surprise picks didn’t work out for OpTic, it will be interesting to see if the FFAR, or the Milano 821 SMG Envoy equipped, will impact the meta moving forward. Other teams could experiment with the guns and we could always see further pocket picks introduced to surprise opposing teams.
3. Atlanta FaZe is vulnerable now more than ever
The addition of Search and Destroy analyst John “x2Pac ThuGLorD” Hartley looks bigger and bigger for the Atlanta FaZe. Why? Because if not for two Map 5 Search and Destroy victories, Atlanta would have ended the Paris home series with an 0-2 record.
FaZe certainly looked stronger in the mode, likely thanks to the help of x2Pac ThuGLorD, but its respawn modes appeared to have suffered in the process. Atlanta is losing more maps than ever, as both the LA Thieves and London Royal Ravens took them to Map 5.
The FaZe players don’t look as comfortable as they once did in the 2021 season. Perhaps other teams have begun to figure them out or it’s something fundamentally wrong within the roster. Either way, Atlanta appears to be more prone to a loss than ever, which could spell disaster in their Stage 3 group that consists of Chicago, New York and LA Thieves.
4. The team to watch in Stage 3 is the London Royal Ravens
The team with the most turbulent 2021 season is beginning to turn things around. The London Royal Ravens, after more than a few roster changes, have seemingly figured out the game they’re playing.
London went 1-1 at the Paris Home Series, beating New York and just barely losing to Atlanta in Map 5. The additions of Paul “PaulEhx” Avila and Alex “Zaptius” Bonilla have injected the roster with new life. Both WestR graduates are performing well so far and have only improved London’s chances of winning any given match.
We love Checkmate Control for a reason.
— London Royal Ravens (@RoyalRavens) April 29, 2021
It remains to be seen whether or not the Ravens will translate this newfound success into any kind of run at the Stage 3 Major. They’re in as good of a position to do so now as they’ve ever been.
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.