Following a month-long break, Call of Duty League is finally back with its fifth event of the season, as eight teams get ready to duke it out at the Dallas Homestand series.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the event will be held entirely online, meaning the CDL Dallas will be the first Call of Duty event of the season that will not be hosted on LAN. Having said that, until the pandemic slows down, all the upcoming events are slated to also be played online, which might help some teams perform better, given that some squads tend to see better results in online matches.
Despite the changed format, however, the balance of power in the league will remain mostly intact, meaning that Call of Duty teams which performed well up to now are bound to see success in months to come as well. Here we will look at our power rankings, where we will rank all 12 CDL teams based on their overall performances, potential and ultimately their chances of hoisting the inaugural CDL title.
12 Los Angeles Guerrillas
A team filled with young and promising talent seemed like a squad team for a while, and some even had them ranked higher than their Los Angeles rivals - OpTic Gaming, but the fact of the matter is that Guerrillas are not in a spot they would like to be. At their Home Series in Los Angeles, Guerrillas lost to OpTic (2-3), which instantly makes them worse than their city rivals, which is not a good starting point. What's more, they have yet to win a single best-of-five (Bo5) match since they edged past Florida during the launch weekend. Guerrillas have a lot of work to do and little time to do it, which makes them the worst team in the league in our books.
11 Toronto Ultra
In all fairness, there are arguments to be made New York Subliners should be sitting at this spot, however, due to the fact how underwhelming Toronto have been performing this season, they deserved to be ranked at #11. As many would agree, Toronto Ultra are one of the biggest disappointments of the CDL, seeing how strong their roster looks like on the paper, but their results show a different picture.
It's worth noting that they had a couple of close matches this season and did, in fact, push Chicago Huntsmen to five series during Atlanta Home Stand, but their failure to pick up more than one win against Seattle Surge during the Launch Weekend makes it hard to praise this team too much.
10 New York Subliners
Talking about disappointing results, New York Subliners are a team you would want to see succeed and based on the talent they field, you would expect them to do so, but the reality is that Subliners boast with the lowest win % on LAN out of all teams in the league, and are slowly shaping up to be the biggest disappointments of the season.
Currently sitting rock-bottom in the league standings, Subliners only win came against Paris Legion during CDL London. Since then, however, they suffered a 2-3 loss to London Royal Ravens, a 0-3 revenge defeat against Paris Legion and during Los Angeles Home Stand picked up a 1-3 loss to Dallas Empire and 1-3 against Florida. Some more roster changes are needed for this team for them to rise up, as it seems like bringing in Nick "Happy" Suda as a replacement for Trei "Zer0" Morris did little to help their performances.
9 Seattle Surge
Despite their poor start, Surge seem to be improving, but that does not necessarily mean they are cut out to be considered as one of the top teams in the league. It's still a bit weird to see a team filled with such talent perform so poorly, especially with all the expectations many people had for them before CDL kicked-off.
So far, Surge have picked up only two wins and even those two were against Los Angeles Guerillas, which is not really something to write home about. They did, however, see some better success since they swapped out Ian "Enable" Wyatt for Casey "Pandur" Romano, but they still have a long road ahead of them before we can look at Surge as a serious threat for the CDL title.
8 OpTic Gaming
At #8 spot we have OpTic Gaming, who had a shaky start of the season, but their swap of Brandon "Dashy" Otell to SMG and Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat to AR seems to be working wonders for this team, as they managed to pick up wins against Los Angeles Guerrillas (3-2) and Minnesota RØKKR (3-0) during LA Home Series, which secured them a top-eight placement on the overall standings.
Although that alone can hardly be a solid enough argument to have them placed at our No.8 spot, it's also worth noting that most of their losses came against significantly stronger teams, so perhaps we should give them some slack for their iffy displays so far.
7 Paris Legion
Another spot that could be occupied by either Paris Legion or London Royal Ravens, so perhaps No.7 and No.6 spots should be viewed as equal. Nonetheless, Paris Legion are without a doubt one of the biggest positive surprises of the season, as they were billed as the weakest team coming into the 2020 CDL, but the French team did not need long to prove the doubters wrong.
During the Launch Weekend, Legion picked up two wins against OpTic (3-2) and London Royal Ravens (3-0), which got their wheels spinning and helped them pick up another two during Atlanta Home Series, where they demolished Toronto Ultra (3-1) and New York Subliners (3-0), to end the series with additional 20 CDL points.
The only problem with this team is their inconsistency, as they sometimes look like a top-four team, but then fall flat and seem like a mid-table squad. We don't know where exactly this team will end the season, but one thing is for certain - Denholm "Denz" Taylor is a beast on AR and arguably one of the best AR players in the league.
6 London Royal Ravens
While there is no denying Bradley "wuskin" Marshall is performing exceptionally well, the problem with Royal Ravens is that the remainder of the squad failed to impress, which begs the question when and if his teammates will rise to the occasion and help Royal Ravens reach for the top spots in the league.
We have them sitting slightly above Paris simply because Ravens seem like a team that has yet to reach their peak, which suggests they will improve and if other players can play at the same pace as wuskin, we can expect a deep playoffs run from them. They're still miles from the likes of Chicago and Atlanta, but it will be interesting to see where this team ends up.
5 Florida Mutineers
A couple of months ago, we wouldn't have had Mutineers sitting so far up our power rankings, but after their finals appearance at Atlanta Home Series, this squad deserves to be considered as one of the top-five teams in the league. We would even have them ranked higher up, but based on their performance at CDL Los Angeles, where Mutineers lost to Atlanta (0-3) and Dallas (0-3), it wouldn't be fair to Minnesota to have Florida placed above them.
The biggest question surrounding this team, however, is what will happen with Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson, who has found himself benched from the team during LA Home Series, which might have played a part in Mutineers' failure to win a single map against Dallas and Atlanta and if the reports prove to be true, Florida just might continue their journey through the season without the reigning Call of Duty world champion.
4 Minnesota RØKKR
Minnesota RØKKR are the only team in the league to have taken down the Atlanta FaZe, and made it to the finals of Los Angeles CDL, where they took Dallas to five maps (2-3), which alone proves Minnesota are not a team to be underestimated.
There are even arguments to be made Minnesota should be ranked above Dallas, but solely due to the fact that Empire came out ahead in the LA CDL grand finals, we must give Ian "C6" Porter and his crew an edge, even though the difference is much smaller than it may seem. Minnesota RØKKR have proven themselves as a serious threat for the title with their recent showings, now the only question is how high they can go.
3 Dallas Empire
There was so much hype surrounding this team before CDL kicked off and finally, after months, Dallas finally won an event, when they defeated New York Subliners (3-1), Florida Mutineers (3-0), OpTic Gaming (3-1) and edged past Minnesota (3-2) in the LA CDL grand finals.
Their 0-3 loss to Atlanta FaZe in the Group B finals proved Dallas might not be ready to be ranked as the top team in the league just yet, but with their solid performance throughout the event, Dallas have proven they are more than ready to go toe-to-toe with the top two teams and threaten the 2020 CDL title. it's also worth noting that Dallas made it to the finals during London CDL, so there is no questioning their quality this season.
2 Chicago Huntsmen
The fan-favourite team that did not need long before they started to make serious noise in the CDL are without a doubt one of the main favourites to pocket the CDL title. With a perfect 2-0 run through the Launch Week and title from the London Home Series, Huntsmen have established themselves as one of the top teams in the league.
So far this season, Huntsmen lost only twice - against Florida Mutineers during Atlanta CDL and against Atlanta FaZe themselves, but made short work of Dallas Empire, in London, which rightfully sits Seth "Scump" Abner above their Dallas rivals.
What makes Huntsmen a scary team is the raw talent they bring to the table and the motivation these players have to be nothing short of the best will push the Chicago roster to be the best they can be. But until they take down Atlanta Faze, they will be sitting at our No.2 spot.
1 Atlanta FaZe
Atlanta FaZe were regarded as one of the top teams heading into the Call of Duty League and they surely lived up to the hype. The young and talented roster which has been reported nearly unbeaten in online scrims has been tearing through the league from the get-go with a 26-7 record on LAN and a 79% win rate - by far the best in the league.
The team looks to be nearly perfect, with a strong core of players, who not only shine in-game, but also love to play with each other, which not only makes FaZe's synergy much better but also makes this team much stronger as a result. As it seems, FaZe have no visible flaws, however, we have seen before they tend to struggle against teams who play at a bit slower and more calculated pace, such as Minnesota RØKKR, so it remains to be seen how will FaZe fare should they meet RØKKR again in a deciding match or if others team switch out their strategy to mimic that of Minnesota.