After a month-long hiatus, the Call of Duty League has returned with the Dallas Home Series, which kicked off earlier on Friday, April 10, with an online format.
The Dallas Home Series marked the first event of the year that utilized the online format amid the COVID-19 concerns that already ushered many other esports organisers to either cancel, postpone or change the format of their events from LAN to online. Call of Duty League organisers also announced earlier last week that all CDL events for the remainder of the season will be played online, in response to the ever-growing fear of the coronavirus.
Although all events switched to online play, the format will remain mostly the same, with the only difference compared to previous events being the changed schedule, which will see the Call of Duty Home Series run from Friday to Sunday, instead of being a two-day tournament.
Dallas Home Series welcomed Chicago Huntsmen, Florida Mutineers, Los Angeles Guerrillas, Paris Legion, Seattle Surge, Toronto Ultra, Minnesota RØKKR and the hosts Dallas Empire, who got seeded into two double-elimination (GSL) groups of four with all matches played as a best-of-five (Bo5). The tournament is set to run up until Sunday, meaning there is still a long road ahead of the eight CoD teams before one reaches the summit and gets crowned as the champions. That being said, we already got to see a glimpse of what is to come this Friday when the four opening fixtures were played.
Friday, April 10 - Dallas CDL Home Series results
Florida Mutineers vs. Toronto Ultra - Group A
The opening fixture in Group A saw Florida Mutineers clash with Toronto Ultra in what was their first meeting of the season. All the eyes were on Florida Mutineers, who entered Dallas CDL without Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson, who found himself benched and although Mutineers were still regarded as the stronger team, they failed to deliver.
Florida kicked off the series with a comfortable 250-122 Hardpoint win on Ramaza, but got completely stomped in SnD (0-6). Florida rallied in Domination on Gun Runner and picked up a close 174-156 win, however, failed to seal the series in map four, as they suffered a shock 230-250 loss in Hardpoint. The fixture came down to the second SnD of the series, where Florida managed to put up some more resistance compared to their first attempt, but still fell short 3-6. Toronto came out ahead with a shock 3-2 win, which earned them a meeting with the hosts in round two of Group A fixtures.
Rammaza Hardpoint: 250-122 (Florida)
Gun Runner Search and Destroy: 6-0 (Toronto)
Gun Runner Domination: 174-156 (Florida)
Hackney Yard Hardpoint: 250-230 (Toronto)
Rammaza Search and Destroy: 6-3 (Toronto)
Final score: Florida Mutineers 2 - 3 Toronto Ultra
Dallas Empire vs. Los Angeles Guerrillas - Group A
Dallas Empire and Los Angeles Guerrillas met in the second Group A fixture of the day, in what was billed as a one-sided affair, and it ended up being exactly that. The hosts got off to a flying start and picked up a commanding 25-169 Hardpoint win on Gun Runner, yet fell short in SnD, where it was the Los Angeles outfit who came out ahead with 6-3. Game three was Domination on Hackney Yard, where Dallas got off to a strong start and secured a 116-84 lead, at which point Guerrillas forfeited the match. The fifth and final game was Hardpoint on Hackney Yard, where it became clear Guerrillas did their homework and studied Dallas, which allowed them to remain competitive, but eventually, they fell flat and lost with a narrow 244-250.
Gun Runner Hardpoint: 250-169 (Dallas)
Arklov Peak Search and Destroy: 6-3 (Los Angeles)
Hackney Yard Domination: Dallas win (Dallas)* forfeit
Hackney Yard Hardpoint: 250-244 (Dallas)
Final score: Dallas 3 - 1 Los Angeles Guerrillas
Seattle Surge vs. Paris Legion - Group B
The opening match of the day saw Seattle Surge take on Paris Legion, in what ended up being an exciting five-map series, where Paris managed to edge out a narrow win. The series started with Seattle picking up a comfortable 2015-171 Hardpoint win on Hackney Yard, to which Paris responded with 6-1 SnD triumph on St. Petrograd. Tied at 1-1, Seattle and Paris split the third and fourth map, winning Domination (163-154) and Hardpoint (250-164) respectively. After securing a commanding 250-164 Hardpoint win on Azhir Cave, Paris were set to seal the series with SnD on Gun Runner, yet met a lot of resistance from Seattle, who did not go down without a fight. However, it was the Frenc saquad who proved to be slightly better and came out 6-5.
Hackney Yard Hardpoint: 250-171 (Seattle)
St. Petrograd Search and Destroy: 6-1 (Paris)
St. Petrograd Domination: 163-154 (Seattle)
Azhir Cave Hardpoint: 250-164 (Paris)
Gun Runner Search and Destroy: 6-5 (Paris)
Final score: Paris 3 - 2 Seattle Surge
Chicago Huntsmen vs. Minnesota RØKKR - Group B
Many people were eagerly awaiting Chicago Huntsmen's fixture, seeing how the boys in green gained renown of sort, as a weaker team online, however, they were anything but weak this Friday. The first map of the series was Hardpoint on Rammaza, which proved to be an incredibly close game. The teams went back and forth, yet it was Chicago who pulled away with a narrow 250-239 score. SnD on St. Petrograd proved to be just as close and exciting as the first map, but it was Chicago who once more edged out a narrow 6-5 win to secure a commanding 2-0 series lead.
It was now or never for Minnesota RØKKR, who needed to bounce back and they showed their drive to win with an incredible performance on Domination, but as it was the case with the first two maps, the Minnesota outfit fell short (143-150), meaning they got dealt a painful 0-3 loss against one of the strongest teams in the league.
Although Minnesota suffered a clean sweep, the final score does not do them justice. RØKKR proved they can swim with the big fish and if they can continue playing at the same tempo, they are bound to make a deep run at the Dallas CDL Home Series.
Rammaza Hardpoint: 250-239 (Chicago)
St. Petrograd Search and Destroy: 6-5 (Chicago)
Gun Runner Domination: 150-143 (Chicago)
Final score: Chicago Huntsmen 3 - 0 Minnesota RØKKR
Scheduled fixtures for Saturday, April 11
Upper bracket: Toronto Ultra vs Dallas Empire - 11:30 PST
Lower Bracket: Florida Mutineers vs Los Angeles Guerrillas - 14:30 PST
Upper bracket: Paris Legion vs Chicago Huntsmen - 10:00 PST
Lower Bracket: Florida Mutineers vs Minnesota RØKKR - 13:00 PST