After the second major and the opening weekend of Stage 3, a power shift seems to finally be occurring at the top of the league. After seeming unstoppable for weeks, Atlanta Faze have finally shown weaknesses and top teams around the league are taking advantage of it for now. We are entering a new era of CDL 2021 where the team from up north will be the team to beat for the foreseeable future.
1. Toronto Ultra
Last week, I had Ultra ranked second in our power rankings. I was still timid to knock Faze from their top spot until more than one team was able to beat them and I wanted to see a team beat them in a best of five series. After watching Faze drop 2-3 to the New York Subliners and seeing Ultra dominating Dallas Empire and Florida Mutineers, it’s time for a new king.
Since Week 2 of Stage 2, Ultra have been an elite team and showed this is not just some fluke. They rank second in Search and Destroy, second in Control, and fifth in Hardpoint. Then to add on a 2-0 start with an absolute route of Empire, with a new member or not, shows that the Ultra are here to stay and the top spot will need to be taken from them.
2. Atlanta Faze
It’s impressive that this Faze team is so talented that them being ranked second seems like a disappointment honestly. They are still elite in respawn modes where they rank first in both of them since Week 2 of Stage 2. They have a 6 percent higher winning percentage in both Control and Hardpoint than the second ranked team in those modes.
Beating them is still a difficult challenge, but they’ve been a monstrosity at Search and Destroy. Only Paris has been worse at SND than Atlanta over the last few weeks of matches. Atlanta has had a 36.5 percent round win rate, 41 percent first blood rate, and a Kill/Death ratio under .8. Being elite at only two modes can win you matches against the bottom of the league, but Atlanta is trending in a bad direction when it comes to playing the elites like Optic Chicago, NYSL, Toronto, and Dallas. Things more than likely will be fine for Atlanta, but the cherry on top seems to be rotting just a bit.
3. Optic Chicago
A two-spot jump for the men of the Green Wall this week after an impressive 2-0 showing in the first week of Stage 3. Optic has been the point of discussion for fans the entire season, whether it’s been for disappointing play or losing in ways no one has ever seen, but still they’ve shown how good they are. Over the past four weeks of play, Optic has ranked first in SND, fourth in Hardpoint, and 10th in Control. That Control stat looks concerning on the surface, but if you take their stats for each week this season, they have been a consistent top-2 performer in Control. This recent slide seems to be more of a fluke than an actual trend that would be cause for concern. What has been a great sign for the team is the return in good play from Dashy and Envoy. Fans know that Scump will always play his role and Formal will perform when it matters. Over the last four weeks, Envoy has been a top 20 player in both SND and Hardpoint while Dashy has been top 20 in SND and a top 3 player in Hardpoint. As mentioned, the Control trend should correct itself, but I believe this team is turning that corner to being elite again.
4. New York Subliners
I mentioned in our Week 8 power rankings that even though I had NYSL as sixth in the rankings, they really just needed a break to get back to the form they had been showing. Fans only got to see them in one match this weekend, but that match was the best possible showing, as they took down Faze 3-2 after falling down 1-2 to them after three maps. All five maps were as close as you could have them be, but a showing of resilience against an elite team in the league is good for NYSL.
5. Dallas Empire
Dallas decided to make a sudden decision to bench their young stud Huke last week to move FeLo into their starting lineup and it came with mixed results. After defeating Paris 3-1 to start the weekend, Dallas dropped their match against Toronto 0-3. It’s hard to determine correctly if the move that was made was correct, because anyone can be brought up and help dominate Paris Legion. Dallas has been floating around as an above average, but not team team for the last month of play. They’ve ranked sixth in SND, seventh in Hardpoint, and fourth in Control. Obviously Dallas has shown up in the Majors when it matters, but this week should be a good test to see how this move to start FeLo plays out. Empire leadership is going boom or bust here and I actually think we could see a bust.
6. LA Thieves
This week LAT started Kenny, TJ, Drazah, and Venom after a disappointing major run to end the second stage. Opening week of Stage 3 looked promising as the team took down Seattle 3-2 and London 3-1. This lineup doesn’t have enough data to lean one way too far on them, but starting off 2-0 is never a bad thing. What’s been important for the Thieves is Kenny looks to finally be returning to his previous form. He’s ranked in the top 15 for both SND and Hardpoint over the last month. If he’s able to keep improving, then this team can make some actual noise when it matters.
I still think TJ needs to be benched. He seems to have someone’s family hostage, because he’s not been good recently yet keeps getting to have time on the roster. I don’t think LAT can actually become the team Nadeshot and company want them to be until TJ is benched for an extended period of time.
7. Minnesota ROKKR
ROKKR reminds me a lot of a toxic ex. They keep telling me they’ve changed for the better then just absolutely embarrass me once I finally fight for them. ROKKR’s drop from fourth to seventh is more on the play of the teams who jumped ahead of them than their actual play. In the one match we did get to see this past weekend, ROKKR did not look great against Florida. They lost the match 1-3 and in the two hardpoint round losses they were defeated by a combined 168 points. It almost seemed as if they were still coming off their high from the last major and hadn’t been preparing too seriously off their surprising run. Maybe their run was a fluke or maybe they’ll be able to turn it back around this weekend where they are taking on Toronto and Paris.
8. Florida Mutineers
We have now entered the portion of the rankings I like to call no man’s land, because no team has an actual shot at making real noise when it matters. Florida might be a special case as rumors are swirling that oWakening finally has fiber internet which technically should improve his play until we get back to LAN events. Florida has been up and down all season and last week was just another screenshot of that. They go down 1-3 to Toronto, who is the best team in the league right now, and then defeat ROKKR 3-1. There hasn’t been any true consistency to make fans think they will end up making a deep run at any point in the season.
9. Seattle Surge
10. LA Guerillas
11. London Royal Ravens
12. Paris Legion
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