Our first set of matches for the Major III qualifiers are in the books. Were there necessarily any surprises today? I don’t think so. But I do think some teams showed us just how real they are, and solidified themselves as we make the push past the halfway point to the Call Of Duty League 2022 Championship. Check out what we think below!
Los Angeles Thieves vs London Royal Ravens
Prediction: 3-1 Los Angeles Thieves | Actual: 3-0 Los Angeles Thieves
- Los Angeles is starting to make us look silly for doubting them for only making a role switch. Sure, the two players who switched had the lowest KDs of the team, but if it opens up Envoy to have +13 kills it’s all worth it.
- Speaking of Envoy, that was a special Berlin Search and Destroy. He was 14-3 and a constant pain in the side of the Royal Ravens. What’s impressive is Envoy was 0-2 in the first 3 rounds, so he was 14-1 in the remaining 7 rounds. That means he stayed alive and took out half of the Royal Ravens every round from then on.
- The AR heavy maps are probably going to benefit this squad with how many players they have that can step it up with the Automaton. We even saw Envoy pull it out in the Berlin S&D. It sure doesn’t hurt that the gun got a secret buff of 5 bullets to bring the mag to 30. This is more an observation on how the meta for the league might change, but in any case, it should benefit the Thieves.
- We’ve said it, London is a team struggling with identity right now. They’re working with a new player in Harry, and Zero was working a bit on the SMG (although it doesn’t seem he’s changed over fully). This match didn’t give us any more of a sense of direction for London than we had at the Pro-Am, and that’s not good heading into the second half of the season.
- Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t feel like Afro is having the same impact on the map as he used to. There was a stretch where we saw it in the Berlin Control, but that was it. Admittedly the teams played on Gavutu and twice on Berlin, neither being the best maps for SMGs, but that hasn’t seemed to hurt him on those before. It could be the change in team composition, but something has to be done to get him going again.
- At least the positive is Harry playing decently. He may not be putting up superstar numbers, but holding your own as substitute versus the pros is a good thing. He was 54/49 for a 1.10 KD, and was instrumental in their near comeback on the opening Gavutu Hardpoint.
Optic Texas vs Los Angeles Guerrillas
Prediction: 3-2 Los Angeles Guerrillas | Actual: 3-0 Optic Texas
- They just keep rolling. Many weren’t sure what to expect, but Optic continues to look good even with substitutes. Prolute filled in well, even though he only had a .91 KD. That doesn’t matter as much when you keep Dashy from being out of position, who led Optic with a 1.47.
- While people will look at Dashy and Shotzzy as the more important members of this team, they’d be nothing without Scump. Something about Vanguard has unlocked him this year, and watching him go off on Bocage was kind of mind-blowing. It felt like I turned away for a second and suddenly he had 20 kills. He’s frying, and his resurgence is taking this squad to heights unrealized.
- It was a great match, but admittedly LAG isn’t the squad right now that’s going to test them, no matter the Major II crown. Tomorrow’s bout versus Florida, a team that’s given them fits this year, will tell us a lot more about their resilience.
- The Guerrillas just look flat right now, and it’s not necessarily a surprise. They’ve looked flat for much of the year, with the exception of a few Major II qualifying games and the loser’s bracket of Major II. I don’t want to say the tournament win was a fluke, but it feels like it was driven by the Volk and the drive to win for their sick teammate Gunless.
- What really seems to be holding back this squad is Asim, which is unfortunate because he was the reason they were competitive early on. Yeah, he wasn’t as low in KD as his teammates, but he was worked by Scump on the opening Bocage. His influence on this team can’t be denied, and they need his passion and fire, which is harder to muster when you’re getting blasted.
- As well as he did during Major II, Spart did not look great today. He finished 52/66, -14 kills, and a .79 KD, which was the lowest for LAG. Unfortunate for him, especially since his opponent was also a substitute but playing his first game.
New York Subliners vs Atlanta Faze
Prediction: 3-1 Atlanta Faze | Actual: 3-1 Atlanta Faze
- Faze make things look both so easy yet so hard at the same time. Sometimes it seems like they play a little too much Team Deathmatch, splitting both Hardpoints yet outslaying New York by 19 kills on them combined. Yeah, closer than you’d imagine, but if you watch the maps, New York was out-rotating them. Faze has to rely on their smarts more instead of the gunny.
- That being said, there were two major improvements seen out of this squad, the comeback S&D win and the dominance on Gavutu Control. The S&D was a bit of a mixed bag considering Faze did go down 4-1, but the big development was seeing the team not go down without a fight, clawing back with three straight to make it 4-4. The Subliners finally grabbed one to make it 5-4, but Simp woke up from his 0-7 slumber in the final half to make some huge plays to bring the win.
- For Gavutu Control, y’all have heard me complain about it constantly in this column. Faze look lost on this combination of map and mode, but in this one they showed a motor they hadn’t before. They grabbed an offensive win to start with a great B setup to end it, and two fantastic defenses. The catalysts we’re Cellium and Simp, with Simp absolutely gunning them to the tune of 31/17. If he can start being as consistent as he was in Cold War, look out.
- That was not how you want to start back to matches that count if you’re New York. The Subliners certainly kept it competitive, but after dropping the Search and Destroy 5-6 after being up 4-1, you could see something change in their countenance on the player cams. They stayed scrappy, but you have to think Faze’s turn up in the S&D and beatdown in Control got in their heads.
- Poor PaulEhx did literally everything he could to drag the Subliners to a Game 5. The stat line won’t show it necessarily, 33/28 with a 1.18 KD, but he was nearly unkillable inside the P4 Church hill. If only he could have made it to the hill on that final P1 to contest, maybe Atlanta doesn’t have just enough to close it out.
- Overall, kills aren’t everything, but more is definitely better. The entire squad went negative, with -49 kills on the day. A lot of that happened because of getting crushed on Gavutu Control (besides Kismet’s +7), but it’s a reminder that you can be competitive, but most likely won’t win if you get slayed like that.
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