CDL 2021 is entering week eight and after an exciting second major fans are more than ready to get back into action. Stage two provided us with a new champion in the Toronto Ultra, plays like we’ve never seen before in professional COD, and hints of finally returning to in person events before the season is over. Stage three is shaping up to be one of the best we’ve ever seen, so before the fun can be enjoyed it’s time to see where the league stands before action.
1. Atlanta Faze
I know Atlanta didn’t win the entire thing this time around, but they made it to their second straight majors final and didn’t drop a single series until the final match where they were forced to play cold due to a new format. They’ve been the only team to show consistency all season and I truly believe if them and Toronto played again they’d beat them. I’m not ready to take them off the top spot until I see more than one team beat them.
2. Toronto Ultra
If you find someone you know who picked Toronto to win it all then you either were from Toronto or can see into the future. It was nice of the CDL to provide us with a Cinderella story after March Madness ended. After dropping from the winner’s bracket due to a 1-3 loss against Atlanta the Ultra didn’t let anyone get even close to beating them again. Dropping LA Thieves 3-1, Minnesota ROKKR 3-1, Dallas Empire 3-1, and then Atlanta Faze 5-3 to win it all is a spectacular run that helped solidify the Ultra are real. They start the next stage in Group A which though tough I would say is the easier of the two groups. I expect momentum to keep rolling and the Bance bounceback train to keep them winning this stage.
3. Dallas Empire
Dallas suffered two losses to be knocked out of the major and they were to the teams who eventually met in the finals. The team struggled, at least according to themselves, in the second stage but seemed to have figured out once the major came around. They still aren’t the Search and Destroy team they need to be yet, but they are showing signs of improvement. It was a good sign that the talent level was able to show up.when it mattered. I’m going to make the prediction now that they win Group A.
4. Minnesota ROKKR
ROKKR may have not won the entire thing, but they surely had the most once in a lifetime plays I’ve ever seen in a COD tournament. After losing a round of Control to Dallas Empire with 0.1 seconds on the clock they turned around and knocked Optic Chicago out of the tourney in a game 5 round 11 SND victory. ROKKR was highly touted coming into this season and were honestly disappointing until this major. The team now is taking care of business in all three game modes. Even though I said Group A was the weaker of the two groups both are still stacked. ROKKR could struggle to land that winner spot in Group A due to the level of play, but I’d hate to be the team that has to play them on the loser side if that’s where they start in the next major.
5. Optic Chicago
The team seems to have themselves stuck in a loop this season. They have all the talent in the world and start to finally click, but then get themselves knocked out by a ridiculous play. I have honestly never seen a team lose like they did to the Minnesota ROKKR. Now they start the third stage in Group B which is filled with top talent and every team that showed signs of improvement near the end of the second stage. I had made a prediction that owner HECZ would make a roster change if things didn’t work well in the second major, but the roster seems to be sticking together for now. Stage three is going to turn out to be a prove it stage for Optic and the way the team reacts is something to keep an eye on. The question for fans is though, who could be swapped out and actually get them to the next level?
6. New York Subliners
After not winning a single match in the second major it would be fair to say the Subliners were a disappointment. I believe their results were more due them being cocky than teams leapfrogging them in skill. Outside of Clayster the roster is still relatively young so moments like this are bound to occur. I still think the roster is talented enough to be elite and should be respected as so. With a good week break after the major expect a good bounce back. Something to keep an eye on though is a roster change. If the team were to keep falling then a sub from the NYSL academy team would not be shocking as they’ve been the most elite amatuer team by far this entire year.
7. Los Angeles Thieves
The team is showing improvement finally. Making the run they did was shocking and even had some people scared after the caster Maven said he’d get their logo tattooed on his rear end if they won the whole thing. There’s still more to be seen though to decide if this was just a lucky run to a top six finish or a corner has finally been turned for the team.
8. Seattle Surge
Seattle starts the third stage in Group B. With matches against the London Royal Ravens and LA Thieves promised it means they probably would need to sneak out a victory against either Optic Chicago, Atlanta Faze, or NYSL to secure a winner’s bracket start. They still are showing improvement and this could be the stage where it all clicks for the roster. I’m making my prediction now that we will see them in the winner’s bracket after an upset victory of NYSL at some point.
- London Royal Ravens
- Florida Mutineers
- Los Angeles Guerrillas
- Paris Legion
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