CDL Major IV Preview

Lincoln Ottersbach
Esports Analyst

Nosotros estamos de vuelta en tierra

Nous somme de retour sur terre

WE ARE BACK ON LAND

It doesn’t matter what language you speak, the words are still as beautiful off the tongue. The Call of Duty has returned to land for Major IV. After a year and half of competition online players can stop making excuses about their internet connections and start running their mouths at each other face to face instead of Twitter. Somehow since the league announced the return to LAN gameplay the competitive COD scene has only produced controversy as players have swapped teams, people couldn’t get their passports in time, and an adderall scandal broke out. As Major IV aims to be the best one yet we have your best storylines to follow and bracket predictions for all teams.

Huke vs Empire vs The CDL

After a rough few weeks after being dropped from Empire, brought to the LA Thieves, and benched again, Huke decided to release a video discussing the adderall issues plaguing the CDL. No one was named specifically in his video, but he discussed how his former team, Dallas Empire, made him feel uncomfortable once he stopped taking the drug to help his performance. Of course CDL fans took it how they wanted and started making memes directed at Crimsix saying he’s the reason Huke was addicted to adderall and much more nonsense. The video was more to discuss himself and the major issue he saw in the league he loves, but when your fanbase is built off rapid replies rumors are bound to happen. It’ll be something to watch as these teams play their own matches and Crimsix has said he’s releasing a video after the major to defend himself. 

Formal vs Crimsix

Everyone loves some banter between rivals, but when the two players are former teammates who were part of the greatest dynasty in COD history it makes it even better. Ever since the end of Blacks Ops 4 it’s been obvious the feelings between Crimsix and his former teammates have not been of the nice variety. Fans have speculated what caused the riff and hoped it could be fixed one of these days, but after recent speculation the separation only seems to be growing. Formal seemed to have finally had enough of it after Crimsix replied to a video of Optic players discussing the former dynasty. These two teams meet Thursday at 6 PM ET in the first round of the winner’s bracket. With everyone finally being on stage I promise you’ll want to watch because the shit talking will be phenomenal. 

Contenders

Major IV will be the best major by far and the best of the best should shine with everyone being back on land. Right now I see the top four teams in order as Atlanta Faze, Toronto Ultra, Optic Chicago, and New York Subliners. Unlike the last major, where Optic made a run from the loser’s bracket, there’s not much of a chance of that happening in this major. These top four teams each have their own strengths and weaknesses that should make this enjoyable for fans.

Atlanta Faze

I said these teams have flaws, but I might have lied because Atlanta Faze don’t really have any. What makes this team so scary, outside of the fact only Ultra have given them a fight, is that the last time a truly important tournament was held on LAN three of the four members of  Faze were playing on the same team and won it all. Simp, aBezy, and Arcitiys were all on the eUnited team who won Black Ops 4 Champs and did it in impressive fashion. Simp was in his rookie year and was possibly the best player in the world at the time in just his first season. All four members of the current Faze roster have looked like a MVP at some point this season and with the return to LAN their gameplay should only improve. I’m not guaranteeing Atlanta is going to win Major IV, but if there was money to be bet my money would be on Faze to hoist another trophy.

Toronto Ultra

Ultra has been an outstanding surprise this season after their bad start to Stage 1. Winning Stage 2 and coming in 3rd in Stage 3 the Ultra have shown they are the real deal. One of the few teams to actually defeat Faze, fans have a lot of faith in them coming into Major IV. They start their run as the 2nd seed and start with a bye. The concern is this team hasn’t performed on LAN together like this yet. With no fans the pressure won’t be as looming as it could be, but with expectations running high the Ultra could be seen as frauds if they can’t perform offline. I do expect them to still place top four at the worst, but with the possibility of facing Optic in their first match the wheels could fall off this Canadian train very quickly.

Optic Chicago

I know fans keep saying Optic almost has it figured out, but it seems like now is the time for them to finally breakthrough here. Formal, Karma, and Dashy have all played LAN before in a major while Envoy has shown his promise as well. After a disappointing loss in the group stage to Seattle Surge the team was able to immediately turn it around and dominate the LA Thieves to lock a spot in the winner’s bracket. Their run is difficult as they start with Dallas Empire and then meet Toronto Ultra in round two, but it’s not impossible. They beat Empire in the last Major and took Ultra to a game 5 round 11 before losing after their loser’s bracket run in Major III. The main concern, like all year, will be the consistency. We haven’t seen this team play three straight good matches yet. I expect a top 3 finish from them this major but do not be surprised if you see them in the grand finals.

New York Subliners

If everything was going perfect for New York then it wouldn’t be a surprise to pick them as a longshot winner. They have been playing amazing recently and Clayster would finally be making his return to LAN, but sadly things aren’t perfect. Due to travel and visa issues their star sub machine gun player Asim was not able to make it for the major. The team was able to make a deal with Decemate, who is a top substitution, but adding a player right before a major makes things difficult. You don’t have time to gel and communication is key when trying to win the big matches. They should still be able to beat ROKKR in their first matchup based on talent alone, but having to run into Faze in round two spells a quick disaster. Don’t be shocked if they are the first of the four top teams to be completely knocked out of Major IV. 

Disappointments 

Dallas Empire

Dallas is going to disappoint everyone. This team has far too much on their minds with all of Crimsix’s drama and Vivid making his major debut with the team. They do start in the winner’s bracket, but more than likely will drop their first match against Optic and I could see them dropping another match against a team like Royal Ravens making a nice run through the loser’s bracket. I absolutely don’t see them surviving the loser’s bracket and then beating a team like Subliners, Faze, or Ultra who will eventually drop down their way. The drama is only going to increase for this team once they are sent home. Stay buckled in for the ride. 

LA Thieves

I’m  not even sure this team makes it out of their first game against the Guerillas. Like Empire the Thieves have been in turmoil with the roster being changed constantly and Huke releasing his video on the adderall situation. Maybe the team gets lucky and finally meshes together, but my prediction is CEO Nadeshot is going to have to take a true look at this roster once this major is done and make some drastic changes.

Final Prediction Order

  1. Atlanta Faze
  2. Optic Chicago
  3. Toronto Ultra
  4. New York Subliners
  5. Florida Mutineers
  6. Minnesota ROKKR
  7. Dallas Empire
  8. Seattle Surge (Please Octane)
  9. Paris Legion
  10. LA Guerillas
  11. London Royal Ravens
  12. LA Thieves

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