The Call Of Duty League 2022 Major III powered by Bell is here and it looks incredible, hosted by Toronto Ultra at the magnificent looking Mattamy Athletic Centre. This was an amazing event, and in the match for a literal crown (the trophy Toronto created for the Major), Seattle Surge flexed and beat Atlanta Faze, who lost their Grand Finals in as many tries. There’s a lot of Call Of Duty to go over, so let’s get right into it.
Atlanta Faze vs Seattle Surge
Actual: 3-2 Seattle Surge
- This was quite a breakdown. Faze had ample opportunity to have made this one a 3-0, and honestly should have at least made it a 3-1. But the Tale of Two Tuscans occurred, with the squad falling apart in the final moments of each to drop a 2-0 lead and go into a final Desert Siege S&D where you had no confidence they would be able to beat Seattle. The momentum completely shifted, and Faze dropped to the loser’s bracket.
- What really confuses me was Faze’s insistence on breaking a point rather than rotating early and getting a hold. They are a phenomenal breaking team yes, but they’re also one of the best holding teams in the league. Playing fundamentals will benefit you, and as we’ve seen with London, it’s a steep dropoff if you rely on the break. The Tuscan Hardpoint was literally at 224-144 going into P4 church, and Faze continued to try and play scrap and break in. The fact Seattle gained 106 points to Faze’s 21 is a travesty that one of the best Hardpoint teams in the game shouldn’t struggle with. Their P5-P1 was especially atrocious, allowing Seattle to out-rotate them from a hill Seattle literally had to sit on to stay in this one and then allowed them to hold it for 40 entire seconds without a single break.
- I could sit here and smack Faze on the turning point of the game, the Control they blew up 13-5 lives with a four down with only 10 seconds left, but Arcitys ace deserves some love. The leader of Faze watched Pred take out two of his teammates in seconds in the round 11, and proceeded to eat Seattle’s lunch, instantly downing two and catching Sib and Accuracy playing their spots. He was roaring, and you just wish they could have capitalized on that momentum.
- Optic may hold the 5-0 on Faze this year, but Seattle has a ridiculous energy they bring versus Atlanta you don’t see them have almost any other time. This team matches up really well versus them, Pred and Mack being able to pace the tiny terrors, Sib having an impact similar to Cellium along with the pinpoint shots, and of course the veteran Accuracy having the composure to call plays. They haven’t always been this consistent, but so far this tournament they’ve put it together.
- The Control was truly the turning point for Seattle, and it’s not even that it would’ve been a trip to the losers bracket if they dropped it. It was that they made an incredible call with 20 seconds left, taking down all of Faze and stacking the point with ten seconds left. They made Atlanta have to react, and with the ticks clicking through at an insane speed Faze couldn’t get close to the point to even attempt to clutch up.
- The Desert Siege was a blowout, but the Tuscan Hardpoint showed us some incredible fundamental play by Seattle that even got us there. I spoke about it in the Faze paragraphs, fundamentals will not only outdo slaying, it can lead you to more slaying. Before we got to the final P1 on that map Sib and Pred were both negative in kills, even though it was only by a kill. After the setup Faze more or less didn’t get another meaningful kill, and Seattle didn’t spend a second off of the point. Rotate, setup, and good things can happen.
Toronto Ultra vs Los Angeles Thieves
Actual: 3-1 Toronto Ultra
- Toronto is feeling that home crowd buff. Similar to the Minnesota series however, this one was a lot closer than the 3-1 score may lead you to believe. A lot of it was due to the Control, but Ultra finished this one outslayed by 9 kills, and still clutched up. They play together so well, and it sets them up to close out tough matches. Weirdly it’s taken until now for them to be able to make the Hardpoints happen, which is something that requires a lot of teamwork.
- I keep saying it, if you want this team to get back to its prime, let Bance be annoying, and he was today. His clutch in the 4-5 round versus Octane was so close, with Octane within a second of defusing the bomb. It’s the kind of thing he does, getting in the back, going prone in corners. It’s incredible people don’t automatically guess he’s doing them when you haven’t seen him for a second on the map.
- The most important player in this one was definitely Cammy, and he didn’t disappoint. He finished 87/77, with some amazing multikills to push LAT out of the tournament. His best play was arguably the round 11 clutch on Berlin, getting behind Octane and Drazah in the 1v2, dropping Octance, and wasting Drazah’s time on the long hall stairs heady to allow the bomb to stay down for the map win.
- This may have been a disappointing end to the tournament, but it wasn’t a disappointing finish. Not many might have thought the Thieves would have even made it into the top 4, and even though they somewhat continued the trend of a good series and then a bad one, they might be rounding into shape to contend in Major IV.
- The biggest thing they have to do is keep figuring out the way these roles need to work. Kenny to the SMG hasn’t been clean, and if anything he generally plays better when they get on AR heavy maps where you can pull three automatons out and let Envoy be the lone MP-40. If they want to make waves and stay in the run for Champs (they’re barely ahead of Minnesota and Florida for the final spot), they’ve got to get the roster solidified. Kenny being -25 in kills will cost, as it did today.
- That being said, that was some fantastic play on Control. They had +20 kills in the 3-1 on Berlin, proving this map is one to count on in their rotation. Octane, Envoy, and Drazah all had phenomenal stats, with the first two dropping 3500 damage to send it to another Hardpoint.
Toronto Ultra vs Atlanta Faze
Actual: 3-2 Atlanta Faze
- You had to think if Toronto sent this one to the Game 5 it should be all Toronto. Their Search and Destroy was on a roll, with a 9 streak they were looking to continue to the Grand Finals where they hoped to break the record the Guerrillas literally just set a Major ago. Some things don’t last forever though, and Atlanta surprisingly rolled them on Tuscan 6-2, knocking them out of their home tournament. It was somewhat of a shock, especially when you see every player negative with only 17 kills for the whole map along with 29 deaths.
- I’m a bit confused on what happened to Cammy and CleanX in this one, beyond Cellium literally going ham. Both of them combined for a lackluster .81 KD and -39 kills. Cammy also posted under 10K damage and a pretty low amount of engagements, meaning he was either getting put out of position or couldn’t get there because someone kept killing him and flipping his position.
- This was definitely under Ultra’s expectation, after all, it’s your home Major and you hope that energy will help change a map or two. It probably did honestly, and a top three placing shouldn’t make this squad despondent. They regained a lot of their confidence, they’re looking more similar to the Ultra who were dominant last year, and even better they jumped in the standings all the way to fifth after languishing towards the bottom. That’s a win in my book.
- Cellium is very much a front runner for MVP. The man couldn’t be killed, evidenced by him being the only player on his team under 90 deaths… with only 64. He nearly matched his squad’s top kills as well, with 96 which had him at a 1.50 KD. The guy knows every spot on the map and probably knows ones that don’t even exist yet. He’s a COD freak and it’s nice to see him thriving this year on a team of superstars.
- The good news for Faze is they went to a Game 5 and won. For whatever reason a team that was built on S&D has struggled mightily in the mode, but they proved themselves versus a team that was on a 9 streak, including two versus them at this Major. The old saying is that S&D wins championships, and while you can certainly just win the Hardpoints and Controls, you’ll make life easier for yourself to just clutch in Search.
- What’s really blown my mind is watching this team lose yet another Tuscan Hardpoint because they refuse to rotate. This was a lot closer than the match versus Seattle, but yet again I watched Faze spawners immediately sprint to the P5 hill with 11 second left instead of trying to set up for the P1. The score heading into the hill was 227-210, and we had to watch them again beat their heads against the wall of Toronto defenders perfectly set up, although this time without the same buffer they had versus the Surge. It ended the same way in case you were wondering.
Seattle Surge vs Atlanta Faze
Actual: 5-3 Seattle Surge
- What a win! Seattle started hot, winning three straight maps to give them the buffer they needed, even if Faze hadn’t shown to that point they could overcome a deficit. After some close maps, they iced up big time in the Berlin Control that Faze started up 2-0. Those are the moments that make or break you, and Surge won a championship off that clutch moment.
- I’m not saying the rookies are the entire reason they won this one, but the rookies are why they won this one. The firepower Pred and Sib both bring gave them this opportunity, and they will be why Seattle competes for the world championship. We’ve been saying it, all they needed was consistency, and we got that from the both of them. Sib was 157/140 for a 1.11 KD, and Pred was a ridiculous 173/140 for a 1.24 and +33 kills. His presence on the map deleted aBeZy, and Seattle can enjoy a chip because of it.
- The biggest thing Seattle can be excited about is the jump in points. Their lull at Major I that included getting smacked by Paris, along with a tough Stage II left them in a suspect spot in the competition for Champs, and now they’re sitting pretty at third. It’s not an unbreakable position, but a 25 point lead on London at four and 35 points on Toronto gives you a good chance to start in winners, especially since they’re hitting their stride.
- If you’re Faze, you have to be feeling this one. Not that you didn’t feel the last one, and certainly no other team can talk to being so consistent in making it to the Grand Finals, but this is your third straight loss there. Are they probably the best squad in the game? I think so. Optic’s inconsistencies at the last two Majors make them at best 1B in my opinion. Seattle also hasn’t been consistent enough for me to anoint them better than 1C. The question is if Atlanta can break through what may become a mental block for them. I would really want to win Major IV, because a quick exit or worse a fourth Grand Finals loss could stick in their heads going into Champs.
- For Faze a lot of it is consistencies with the superstars. I don’t buy a lot of the talk over the weekend with aBeZy and internal feuding or whatnot, but I do think these guys really don’t like this game and it’s affecting them. Trust me when I say this, when you don’t enjoy something but you’re stuck having to do it, it makes checking out a bit easier when things are going wrong.
- While it does suck to lose, they’ve got to move forward and keep their heads up. There were some encouraging signs from their play in this one, with S&D starting to improve and their Control looking less map dependent. They do have to start playing more fundamentally, and you want to see Simp string together more maps where he’s playing like the MVP we know he is, but they’re sitting pretty right now. After all, they’re at number 1 in the CDL standings and the only team to have clinched a spot at Champs. And that’s without winning a single event. Can’t be too mad at that.
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