Call of Duty League Inaugural Season 2020 – Early Power Rankings
Over one month has passed since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released giving CoD fans and players a chance to get comfortable with the new maps, new game modes and new weapons which have found their way into the 16th installment of the series. But while CoD fans enjoy the endless battles on the battlefields and are already enjoying the first season of the newly released title, Call of Duty pros are hard at work, practicing new weapons, exploring maps and preparing the strategies for the inaugural Call of Duty League, which will open its gates on January 24, 2020, with the opening event in Minnesota.
While there are still two months separating us from the opening event of 2020 CDL, the teams and their lineup have already been revealed, giving us a brief insight of how the 12 franchised teams will look like and how will they compare with each other. So let’s take a look at our early power rankings of 12 CoD teams for the inaugural Call of Duty League.
12. Paris Legion
Looking at the Paris Legion team, their roster seems to be lacking some serious quality which would make us believe they can contest the title. Their best player is probably Matthew “KiSMET” Tinsley, who was a solid player in CWL, yet we have some doubts he will be as solid in Modern Warfare. CoD: MW, unlike Black Ops is a much slower game that won’t do him any favors, considering he is an aggressive player. The same goes for Paul “Breszy” Breszynski and Zach “Zed” Denyer. Having a very good strategy will play a pivotal role in this teams’ success, but as we see it, Paris Legion will struggle. We are, however, ready to see them impress and prove us wrong, but when push comes to shove, they have no chance of breaking into the top five teams.
11. Los Angeles Guerillas
As we see it, LA Guerillas seem like a hit-or-miss team. Patrick “ACHES” Price and Jacob “Decemate” Cato joined the team from Team Envy, which had a rather poor season in 2019 CWL. Unlike with Paris Legion, LA Guerillas will in our eyes benefit from the changed style of play in Modern Warfare, but there are still a lot of question marks surrounding this team, the biggest one being how well will ACHES perform. He is one of the best CoD players in history and if he can deliver, Guerillas could have a fairly successful inaugural season. That said, the rest of the team looks kind of average and considering how stacked the league is, LA Guerillas will need to produce a miracle to make something happen.
10. Los Angeles OpTic
Los Angeles OpTic are a team that have everything a championship team needs. Their roster is absurdly good, filled with exceptionally talented and experienced players who seem to fit in perfectly into one team. If we break down their team, LA OpTic have two former OpTic members Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly and Brandon “Dashy” Otell on top of 2018 esports console rookie of the year, 2018 CWL Pro League All-Star and 2019 CWL runner-up Kenny “Kenny” Williams. Adding to the already stacked list, we have Kenny’s former teammate and 2016 World Champion Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat and two-time World Champion Jordan “JKap” Kaplan.
That being said, despite all the talent and potential this team has, there has been some turmoil in the squad even before the season started. To put it into a perspective how bad things are – we would have OpTic in our top three based solely on the players they have, but considering everything that is happening, they are rightfully at our number 10 spot. Not only have OpTic not been doing well in scrim matches, but there are also reports players got themselves at each other, which went so far that OpTic stopped scriming all together. OpTic failed to convince us they are a team rather than five individuals who play for themselves and while it’s shocking to see OpTic anywhere out of top five, this right here is the reality of OpTic’s situation. Adding to that, OpTic have not yet announced a coach, which makes us wonder who will they use to guide them and if they found the right person, will that someone help them get back on track?
9. Toronto Ultra
What exactly were Toronto Ultra thinking when they assembled their team is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure; they have 10 players to pick from, which does provide them with more options and a chance to find the right combination of five players, that can finish somewhere mid-table and possibly upset some stronger teams. Daniel “Loony” Loza and Anthony “Methodz” Zinni will be most likely the top two players, who add a lot of quality to the roster with their skill and experience. That being said, it’s Carson “Brack” Newberry who will need to do most of the work in this team, or so it seems. He is a solid player who can carry a team to solid results. That, however, in our eyes won’t be enough for Ultra to finish high this season. All in all the team looks only “OK”, considering every player on the team was only decent last season, with exception of Brack.
8. Florida Mutineers
With 2019 CWL champion Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson on the team alone, Mutineers are in our eyes a team well above Ultra, Guerillas and Legion. He is without a doubt one of the best players in the scene, capable of taking on multiple roles and adding some flair to any team he plays in. Alongside him, we will see Chance “Maux” Moncivaez and Cesar “Skyz” Bueno, who are both very solid players and Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom, who has had a very solid season last year. All things considered, Mutineers are a strong team that looks very solid throughout and while we can’t rank them higher before we see them in action, they are a team no one should sleep on. A title-winning run is most likely out of their reach, but they are more than capable of causing a handful of upsets.
7. London Royal Ravens
On paper, London Royal Ravens look very strong, but we have some concerns about how will the new playstyle suit them, namely Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall and Dylan “Dylan” Henderson. Both were very playing well last season with their aggressive playstyle. That said, Modern Warfare is not a game where aggressive playstyle is as rewarded as it was in Black Ops 4. If they fail to step up, Bradley “wuskin” Marshall and Jordan “Jurd” Crowley will have to pick up the slack, which does bring a certain degree of uncertainty with how Ravens will perform. As we see it, they can potentially be contenders for a high finish if they can remain consistent and with the great coach in Joseph “Joee” Pinnington, Ravens are not to be underestimated.
6. Minnesota Rokkr
Fundamentally, Rokkr have a very solid team, which has the potential to make something happen, and a team that many people might be sleeping on. Adam “Assault” Garcia and Justin “SiLLY” Fargo-Palmer will most likely be the main two players, but we can’t ignore the stacked sub lineup, where Rokkr have two very promising players in Kaden “Exceed” Stockdale and Devin “TTinyy” Robinson. All in all, Rokkr have a very solid roster with players who had good seasons last year and we would not dare to underestimate them. While they do lack some dynamic for us to believe Rokkr are one of the top five teams, if everything clicks, Rokkr just might impress everyone and finish high.
5. New York Subliners
Subliners have an exceptional roster, which could win the championship, however, there is one thing that sets them apart from the top four teams on our list. Donovan “Temp” Laroda, while a very good player tends to implode, which we saw last season. He was in a very strong team, which ended up severely underperforming. There are also some speculations players in the team are not too keen on playing with each other, which suggests Subliners could get into some turmoil if they fail to kick start the season strong. If everything clicks, Subliners could finish with the title in their hands, especially considering all the talent they have in the team plus an exceptional coaching staff in John “Revan” Boble who is arguably the best coach in the scene and JohnPaul “JP Krez” Krez as an analyst. With an exceptional coaching staff, we can expect Subliners to improve throughout the season, the question remains: how quickly can they improve?
4. Seattle Surge
Seattle Surge will enter the inaugural season of CD with an exceptional team, which in our eyes can easily contest the title. With Sam “Octane” Larew, Damon “Karma” Barlow, Ian “Enable” Waytt, Josiah “Slacked” Berry and Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov on the team, it’s hard to see Seattle as anything less than a top-four team in the league. We expect great things from all players, yet we believe it will be Octane who will stand out and dominate. The only concern we have with this team is their strength in Search and Destroy. While very consistent and experienced players, SnD will be their weakness against top teams. That being said, with the right amount of practice, we trust Seattle can contest top spots.
3. Chicago Huntsmen
The problem with this team is not lack of quality, but rather the characters of players in it. Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson, Seth “Scump” Abner and Matthew “FormaL” Piper are all world-renown CoD players, who will be the stars of the team and possibly of the whole league, yet there are some questions about the chemistry in the team. Then there is also some tension between FormaL and Peirce “Gunless” Hillman, who will have to learn to play with each other. That’s not to say Chicago are not one of the top teams in the league from what we have seen, but as we see it, they lack the needed speed and discipline to be ranked higher than FaZe and Empire.
2. Dallas Empire
Dallas Empire consists of players, which we can’t really figure out how strong they will be. Everything in this team seems like it’s a 50/50, meaning they can be very dominant or fall flat at the beginning of the season and spend the rest of it trying to get back up. James “Clayster” Eubanks while a very respected player is not as good as he once was. He had some moments last season, where he underperformed, and a lot of Dallas Empire success will come down to whether Clayster can start performing up to the level expected from him. Ian “Crimsix” Porter is another player who has the potential to be a force to be reckoned with but also has the potential to be “only” good. He is the winningest CoD player in history with 32 Major tournaments, but he is not as solid as he once was. Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal is another mystery, as he has never before played a LAN tournament. While he is deadly in online events, we don’t know how he will perform in CDL. All in all, if iLLeY and Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro can perform up to par, Dallas Empire have the potential to dominate, but before we see them in a LAN tournament, we can’t exactly pinpoint how strong they really are. Looking at how the Empire played in scrims, they look to be very solid and while it’s still very early, Empire without a doubt look like one of the top three teams in the league.
1. FaZe Atlanta
FaZe Atlanta’s young roster is bursting with talent and we can’t imagine a world where they are not among the top three. The team is young and plays incredibly quick compared to other squads. The tempo FaZe will put up will be incredibly difficult for most of the remaining 11 teams to catch up and we believe that will be their biggest advantage this season. We expect the strategy of FaZe to catch many teams off guard. Another thing going for FaZe is that the team will only get better. The coaching staff will play a crucial role in this team. The lack of experience compared to other teams could be FaZe’s downfall, but if they approach games and resolving any issues the right way, FaZe Atlanta are without a doubt one of the three title contenders.