Chicago Huntsmen toppled the Dallas Empire in the first match of the Call of Duty League and with that left a huge statement and set the bar high for all other teams with their complete dominance of one of the most hyped-up teams heading into 2020 CDL.
The 2020 Call of Duty League kicked off on Friday, January 24, with an exciting fixture featuring Chicago Huntsmen and Dallas Empire, who are regarded as two of the strongest teams in the league. All the trash-talking between the two squads in the days leading to this match, however only added to the hype to the already heavily-anticipated clash between two of the CDL titans, who entered the match with a point to prove.
What made this clash even more exciting is the fact that these two teams field several former teammates who faced each other, most notably the Chicago Huntsmen's Seth "Scump" Abner and Matthew "FormaL" Piper who reunited with their former teammate Ian "Crimsix" Porter, with whom they won the 2017 Cal of Duty World League Championship while playing under OpTic.
Suffice to say the emotions were running high in this opening fixture of 2020 CDL and it was fairly evident that it was going an exciting match even before the players took their seats.
The Call of Duty fixture kicked off with Hardpoint on Azhir Cave, where Huntsmen and Empire produced exactly what we expected - a thrilling fight, which eventually ended in Huntsmen favour who won 205-209. Scump. in his own style, did not hesitate to take this opportunity to jump out of his chair and taunt Dallas Empire who sat across the stage, adding some more oil on the fire.
Chicago pushed Dallas on the backfoot with a dominant performance in game one, but quickly found themselves in the same position, as they suffered a crushing 1-6 defeat in Search&Destroy game on Arklov Peak, where Dallas put up a very clean performance to tie the series at 1-1.
Game three saw Huntsmen and Empire reunite at Hackney Yard for a Domination match, which saw Chicago take the reins back into their own hands and kept Dallas back throughout the whole game, ultimately securing a convincing 202-157 win.
The Domination match was an absolute power move from Huntsmen, who decimated Dallas Empire in all aspects of the game. Matthew "FormaL" Piper was just phenomenal, with a 10-kill streak, getting triples and quads left and right, while Empire were looking lost and unable to find an answer for the piping-hot Huntsmen. While the whole Dallas team underperformed, we can't ignore the obvious - Anthony "Shotzzy" Cuevas-Castro had one of the worst and most embarrassing performances in his career and arguably one of the most painful performances we have ever seen in CoD esports history.
With a dominant win on Domination, Huntsmen seemingly found their rhythm as they closed out the series with another spectacular display on Gun Runner where the sides faced off in a Hardpoint match. The game ended with 250-173 win for Huntsmen who secured their first 10 CDL points of the season.
Alongside the 10 points, Huntsmen also earned themselves the bragging rights over their biggest rivals, which might be slightly more valuable for the Chicago squad, especially following all the trash-talking they received from Crimsix, who was forced to eat his words following a complete trashing his team received from “The King” and Huntsmen. With this win, Scump also backed up his claims he made earlier in December, when he claimed that Dallas won’t be as dominant on LAN as they were online.
It was a perfect way to kick off what is considered as the biggest Call of Duty tournament in history, which was also the first time CoD fans got a taste of competitive Modern Warfare. While a spectacular event, it had its own problems, most notably the 30-minute delay due to technical difficulties.
Adding to the delay, the CoD community were not all too satisfied with the newly implemented 3rd person view, regarded by many CoD fans as an unneeded addition, which makes watching the CDL far less enjoyable.
CoD community also expressed their desire to see statistics of each player during the match and while that may be a simple fix for the cod caster, it's yet to be seen whether we will see the said feature implemented before the second week of CDL, which is set to take place in London on February 8, 2020.
Full results from Launch Week - Day 1:
Chicago Huntsmen 3-1 Dallas Empire
Seattle Surge 2-3 Florida Mutineers
Los Angeles Guerillas 1-3 Minnesota RØKKR