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. I can’t say today was necessarily phenomenal Call Of Duty; no one made it to a 3-2 and the only upset happened right away. But we watched as teams we expected to be tougher on day one showed us they haven’t fallen off in a litany of matches today. The question of course will be how they handle the pressure tomorrow. Before we get there, let’s check out Day 2’s matches.
New York Subliners vs London Royal Ravens
Actual: 3-1 London Royal Ravens
- If I’m New York, this is embarrassing. New York has never won a match at a Major this year, only looking good in the LANs that don’t count for CDL points. With the insertion of PaulEhx and Kismet leading to some good online matches but lackluster LAN results, what else can this team do? Is there really anywhere you can point, or is this team unsalvageable for the year? One thing’s for sure, they’d have to be perfect and have everything fall their way in Stage IV for them to qualify for Champs.
- Not sure what happened to Crimsix and Kismet in this one. They looked so uncomfortable compared to the online matches where we watched them clutch up. Maybe it was the map sets, but Crim being -21 kills in the Hardpoints isn’t good, and Kismet going 10/27 on the final one is even worse.
- If they’d just found a way with the man advantage in the last round of Bocage S&D. Afro skated around bottom grandmas and gave his team time and a kill, and somehow in the chaos it became a 1v1 with no time left for the Subliners to get a kill and defuse. Crimsix gave it his all with a 12/6 statline, but they couldn’t handle the aggression of London.
- The player of the match is easily Afro, no cap. The man finally looked like himself, and his 31/19 on Tuscan was insane. He didn’t look like he could be touched, let alone killed. With the score ending up 250-192, any let up on the gas could have sent it to a Game 5, and Afro didn’t press stop.
- They probably want to veto Gavutu in this tournament, but I’m not sure any Control map is going to be good for them at the Major. This particular team is 2-3 in the mode, but New York blasted them 0-3. What was even more odd, even on a map that tends to have less engagements, you didn’t have a player better than 12 kills and a .77 KD. That will definitely lead you to a 0-3 loss.
- This team admittedly gets a really tough draw, going from a reeling New York to an angry Optic Texas. One thing is for sure, if they want to win they need to get the AR heavy maps vetoed, and vetoed quickly. Zero and Harry aren’t going to be able to hang with Dashy and Prolute.
Optic Texas vs Los Angeles Guerrillas
Actual: 3-0 Optic Texas
- No offense to LAG, but you kind of expected Optic to come out and get this 3-0. If they hadn’t, honestly, even if they had a tough 3-2 victory, I’d have doubted the resolve of this squad. But, they did exactly what I thought they would, making LAG look silly in route to the dub.
- Dashy was obviously the man of the hour, even with a 0/5 on the Search and Destroy. He dropped a 37/27 on the Hardpoint, and an even more insane 35/13 on the Berlin Control for a 2.69 KD. LAG too often just wandered into his slate reflector’s view, because you know the dude sitting in the back pre-aiming. Didn’t matter, they still couldn’t touch him.
- The biggest play that had to dash the hopes of every Guerrilla’s player was Scump grabbing a 1v4 where he finessed the entire Los Angeles squad and defused the bomb. He has an innate sense of where other players are on the map, and if he gets even a sliver of information you better bet you’re about to be out of the round. He’s one of the best players in Call Of Duty history for a reason.
- Is it too soon to say blow it up? The Major II win just seems so far away and at this point, somewhat flukey. They were playing well, don’t get me wrong, but the momentum they had at that LAN has dissipated along with their Major III hopes in this elimination match. There’s not an easy answer, but the coaching staff is going to have to make some real tough calls.
- The Berlin Control was an exercise in futility in the end. Even with one round win, it seemed like Asim and Huke just sprinted into Dashy’s sights over and over, leading him to an incredible round and them to a 3-0 exit. You can’t win many games when your SMG duo is 29/51 combined, good for only a .58 KD.
- Everybody is going to say it, but things wouldn’t probably be any different with Spart. He is a great player, and deserves a starting spot, but the team was 0-2 after the Major with him, so it’s not like this squad randomly brought Pierce back. Gunless hasn’t been in form, and he’s having to work his way back in, but this match is probably a 3-0 no matter what.
Toronto Ultra vs Paris Legion
Actual: 3-1 Toronto Ultra
- The play everyone will remember from this one, the fastest ace you’ve ever seen. CleanX ran into zig on Tuscan in the third round of the Search and Destroy and caught every single Paris player waiting in field to attack the bomb site. He got perfect timing, they were weak from the previous challenges, and within 4 seconds he cleared them all off the map. He finished that one an incredible 14/3, and he deservedly just kept running at Paris after that round.
- As good as Toronto was in Hardpoint in Stage III (7-2), they lost both versus Faze and dropped one versus Paris. Not to be mean to Legion, but Ultra should be head and shoulders better, so it’s a bit silly they lost even a Bocage to them. Just a reminder that Toronto is still weak here and has to step it up if they want to make the deep run.
- All that and Bance still was -12 in the kills department. As much as they need him to perform better, he did stay alive during an insane final Control round. Toronto invested their glide bomb without much time left, and along with a few kills all stacked the point. The calculated risk paid off, but three of them died suddenly. Bance made the smart play to lay down at the L barely on the point and finished the last segment before Paris knew what happened.
- All you can really do is shrug, because you wonder if this team really expected more than this. The only bad thing is there is a lethargy hanging over this team you’d hoped would disappear with Temp’s fire and passion, but even he seems to be succumbing to it with the news of him wanting to hit the bench in the last week of qualifiers. Maybe the move to Vegas will signal ownership finally getting more invested, but it’s hard to gauge.
- You at least have to tip your hat to them taking the opening Bocage. This is their map, one they can make as mixy as possible which gives them a shot. What also worked to their favor was their apparent mastery of the M1928, with the team arguably pooping on Toronto with a 101 point win. Having GRVTY and Temp combine for +25 kills helps as well.
- The numbers weren’t as off as much as they have been with the squad on LAN. Every one of them dropped over 10k in damage, and Jimbo and John were only -12 kills combined, so they were only outslayed by 1 kill. Sure, they had a buffer after the Bocage, but they’re promising statistics.
Minnesota Rokkr vs Boston Breach
- What the Bocage?! That was a Hardpoint for the ages, with the map coming down to time, but not before we watched multiple lead changes and ended on 245-244, an insane score. Standy made a fantastic flank, and apparently remembering Tuscan hopped back on the hill and hid to make sure time ran out.
- You’d be forgiven if you tuned out from the the match to do something else with Rokkr up 4-0, and of course it suddenly got interesting with Boston grabbing three straight rounds. Rokkr adjusted, and two relatively quick rounds later it was a 6-3 win. The last round was clinical, with Minnesota in perfect positions that left Methodz alone in a 1v4 where he was only able to get one before leaving the map for good.
- Looks like Minnesota’s investment in Havok continues to pay dividends. It was a bit dicey, with the number one seed immediately dropping to losers versus a squad that you’d think had no right in beating them. But Rokkr didn’t just roll over, sending Boston home in a convincing 3-0 fashion. The SMG duo (including Standy) finished with a combined 1.34 KD and +40 kills, icing whatever chances Boston had.
- They didn’t have their coach with them due to visa issues, but you’d think with the veterans on this team they could rise to the challenge. Unfortunately after all they seemed to do was get close, then let Minnesota steal away the momentum as soon as they gained it. Look at the Hardpoint and S&D in particular, every time Boston looked to have figured it out, Minnesota responded. The Bocage can be looked at as kind of flukey, but Boston hasn’t shown that killer instinct yet you need to have to compete for championships.
- In my opinion, it was Capsidal getting shut down that ultimately cost Boston a chance to move forward in losers. He was 59/79 with a .75 KD, and only 7889 damage. Damage isn’t necessarily a statistic he needs to over perform in, but with all those stats out front, his forays behind enemy lines were being found out and he was being effectively traded. You can see that in the non-traded kills, with only 32 of his respawn kills being that way, a low number for a player like Cap.
- I’m not sure where the road goes from here. As of the beginning of the tournament at least they were sitting in the fourth spot for Champs. LAG fell out before they did and they won’t move up, so that’s a good thing. But Seattle will almost certainly move ahead of them, and depending on if Minnesota, Toronto, Florida, or LAT makes a run they could be as low as 7th after this event (if my maths right, could be 6th). That’s a lot of ground to give up, and they’ve got one more Major left to make sure they don’t drop all the way to eighth, or worse, out of Champs.
Optic Texas vs London Royal Ravens
Actual: 3-0 Optic Texas
- Always nice to get a rebound day. Dashy is rounding into form, and even though London put up a tough fight, Optic played their game to move on in the loser’s bracket. Honestly, things couldn’t be looking better, with them facing the loser of Faze vs Thieves. They’ve got to feel good going up against both of those squads considering they’re 5-0 against Faze and LAT threw a game just to avoid them.
- The S&D certainly came down to some phenomenal plays by Scump, along with London choking this one hard. Down 5-1 Optic started making some good reads and playing more decisively, allowing Scump to build up streaks and somehow win 5 rounds straight to grab an extra map victory. It was arguably the dagger, because they rolled after this one.
- Control continues to be Optic’s ace up their sleeve. Even though the Royal Ravens are awful at this mode, you still have to put effort in versus any pro team in the CDL, and Optic made it look easy. It was a swift 3-0, with Optic putting up +32 kills and making London look silly for the entirety of it. Dashy was 26-10, showing he’s built for this game’s Control.
- At least they were competitive. Most of us assumed Optic would probably win this one, even though London looked really good versus New York. I’d point more to New York having a bad weekend rather than London having a resurgence though, because they looked bad against Optic. You won’t see a much bigger choke than that Bocage S&D, although this is the same team that let Boston full sail them on Berlin.
- If you take any positives out of the match, it’s that you got Afro looking like Afro again. He was the only one close to even at -4 kills, but he was the biggest reason they were in it. Nastie had a good match too, but he reminds me of Nero, very hot and cold. You need another superstar on this team next to Afro, and it stinks the situation with Gismo has ended up the way it did given his potential.
- London exit this one similar to Boston, except earning ten CDL points to at least keep them somewhat afloat in the standings. They’re another squad that has a precarious perch at third in CDL points, but they’ve not been nearly as competent as Boston. I still think they should make Champs, but there will have to be some improvement during Major IV if they want a decent seed, because they will probably drop at least one or two spots when Major III is done.
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