Call of Duty League 2021 officially kicks off this weekend with our first home series matches. The offseason was full of roster changes and new teams being introduced into the league for the upcoming season. With in person events hopefully coming back soon, fans are hoping the rivalries will return and restore the CDL to its glory that many fans love. With all the changes comes power rankings, and this is the first installation of our Call of Duty League power rankings. Throughout the season it will be expanded but for our first month of play, teams will be ranked in a tier system.
Before the season gets going, my heavy favorites are Chicago Optic, Dallas Empire, and Atlanta Faze. Dallas and Atlanta are returning their rosters that made them champions and runner-ups last year in the CDL. Dallas is returning their entire roster, outside of Clayster due to rosters shrinking to four, and Atantla only added talent with their addition of Arcitys.
These two teams really could be in a tier of themselves, but the talent of Chicago Optic makes it necessary to have three teams here. Chicago returned two members from their team last year, Scump and Envoy, while returning two former members in Dashy and Formal. Having the old team back together should help Optic gel instantly and be ready for Week 1. Expect these teams to hang around the top all season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see two out of three in the grand finals.
Tier B consists of LA Thieves, Minnesota RØKKR, FLorida Mutineers, NY Subliners, and Seattle Surge. The five teams all listed here have the talent to win, but will need to prove themselves before anything due to new rosters. For the benefit of teams like Florida, LA, and Minnesota, the talent that they have is top tier. If they can mesh well together, then you should see them hang around the top of the CDL rankings week-in and week-out.
Seattle added good talent for this season, but after a pitiful performance last year, I won’t believe in them until I see them perform at a stage tournament and actually compete consistently. New York might be a stretch to have them in the Tier B range, but when you add a back-to-back champion in Clayster, it’s hard to say they don’t have a chance. This group of teams I believe will be the most interesting to watch as they all can make noise, but could also crumble completely before the season’s end.
Sitting at the bottom in Tier C we have London Royal Ravens, LA Guerillas, Toronto Ultra, and Paris Legion. There’s nothing wrong with these teams, but they are either too new without star talent, or just not good enough to compete for championship Sunday. The European scene is slowly improving, but having a roster full of international stars hasn’t shown that it works yet for competitive Call of Duty. Many of these teams will just switch with each other at the bottom of the rankings each week.
With all of this being said, this season has a much different feel than last year’s Call of Duty. There’s a solid chance that rookies could make big leaps this season and teams could make surprise runs. Stage 1 for the CDL is going to give us a solid gauge for the rest of the season. A faster paced game gives more opportunity for the stars to shine and for big plays to be made. No matter how bad your team is, this year will be far more enjoyable than CDL 2020 could have ever been. Tune into the Call of Duty League on YouTube to watch matches live and enjoy the CDL 2021 season.
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