Sorry, we had a delay in our takeaways due to technical issues. If you watched the matches yesterday, you know that was a dig at Call Of Duty: Vanguard’s servers, which made the opening match of the final day of online matches take more time to get through than an NFL game. While you could point to some of these problems as possible reasons that cost teams wins, that’s not why we’re here today. Let’s celebrate the end of online matches in Vanguard, even though it means we’re almost finished with the 2022 CDL season.
London Royal Ravens vs Los Angeles Guerillas
Actual: 3-2 Los Angeles Guerrillas
- This one feels stolen, but it also feels like London really should have iced up for a 5th straight 3-1 victory. I didn’t expect them to change anything and win a Control, but after they had spawns for the third P1 right with a near 50 point lead, they let LAG full hold it and win. Sure, blame the delays, blame the ping on the final S&D (and Nastie did), but the Guerrillas were dead in the water. You let the rotting corpse get that second zombie life and it came back to bite them (sorry, too good a pun to pass up).
- The question now of course is how they can perform at the Major. They have a tough draw on LAN to start versus Toronto, not that they’re unbeatable, but they are a championship caliber squad that can show up when on LAN. You want to win this event, but what’s most important is a deep run that solidifies the third seed, or even gives you the second with Optic starting in losers.
- We mentioned it in their last match, the weakness is Control. They finished the Major IV qualifiers 0-5, an abysmal record in an important mode. Even worse, Afro started 14/3, but Nastie and Gismo combined for 2/17 in the same timespan. I mean, they did go 14-0 in Hardpoint and S&D up until the upset today, but you can’t rely on playing every one of those maps perfectly. Eventually someone is going to knock you down, and hopefully they can get things into shape quickly before this weekend.
- Apparently the only time the Guerrillas can win is versus the best teams there are. Not only that, they let London get so far ahead before they mounted the reverse sweep. Now, nothing wrong with that, honestly they probably should have clutched one of the opening two maps, but what we saw in the back half was nothing short of incredible from a team loaded with potential but has been so often missing the mark.
- While it wasn’t a surprise to see LAG win the Control, how they did was kind of mind blowing. For Huke to finish with an overall .90 KD and -9 kills, you’d have never thought he was impactful. That was far from the case, as the man fried over the three rounds of Control. He finished 30/18, with a 1.67 KD, and you’d have thought he couldn’t do any wrong. The only reason he didn’t get a 40 bomb in three rounds was because his team started catching up halfway through.
- Neptune’s four on the P1 hill on Berlin to send it to a Game 5 is up there with the iciest plays of the season. Zero was in LAG’s spawn, and his team wasn’t getting anywhere. You expected him to eventually get cut down, but the man went from even at 24/24 to 30/24, with all six of his kills on the hill non-traded. It was a miracle play, but exactly what this team needs from him to make a move at the Major, which they’ll need since they still are in losers and need as many points as they can get in order to hold down their reclaimed Champs spot. If only they’d been in this kind of situation before…
Optic Texas vs Toronto Ultra
Actual: 3-2 Toronto Ultra
- This team is certainly playing the wrong hand at the worst time. It’s understandable that it may take a little bit of time to reintegrate iLLeY into the line-up, but he really hasn’t been the problem. Honestly, this squad loses to Toronto way more quickly, and maybe even in 0-3 fashion if he’s not there. You can point at a lot of things, but I feel like they’re not playing fundamental Call Of Duty and instead trusting a bit too much in their individual gunskill. They do have a lot of that, but when the lights come on, you’re going to need more than that.
- Something that doesn’t completely click is how they’ve completely fallen off the map in Control. You can always point to all the subs and iLLeY yet again, but you shouldn’t suddenly not be able to win what was your best mode that you nearly set a record in. Worst still, Optic hadn’t ever lost this one, and Scump had looked godlike on it. Instead he dropped a .72 and Shotzzy a .64 KD. After letting Toronto open it up by bullying them to a first round offensive win, it felt over.
- I’d like to say the Search and Destroy comebacks showed Optic’s resilience, but after they lost the Bocage it seemed more like a team that hung on despite the body blows until the knockout punch came through. So many times in the Berlin it seemed like Toronto threw, especially considering you know how Dashy is going to play every round. They didn’t look better on Bocage, with nearly every comeback round feeling like a miracle. If not for the gift of the missed glide bomb, they’d have gotten trashed 6-1.
- I’d say Toronto needs to hope they didn’t use up all their luck in this one, but I’d have to find a place where they truly got lucky. The S&Ds were really weird, because after going up 5-2 on Berlin they suddenly forgot how to play their fundamentals and let Dashy do whatever he wanted. Then we watched miracle play after miracle play in the Game 5, although Insight chose an inexplicable challenge versus Dashy who had the high ground. In any case, this team has to stop panicking and play tighter when they have the man advantage.
- Insight may have gotten pieced by Dashy, but your sub duo woke up. It wasn’t insane numbers from Bance and CleanX, but they kept showing up when they were needed most. CleanX especially went off with the 16/7 Bocage S&D, and if not for the missed glide we might have heard more about his performance.
- We keep saying it, any additional CDL points you pick up might be the difference. This match was extremely important for Toronto, because they jumped to 160, which kept them ahead of LAT. It also put them into winners bracket… even if they have a toughie coming up versus London.
Los Angeles Thieves vs New York Subliners
Actual: 3-2 Los Angeles Thieves
- This was another long match at the end of a long day, a third 3-2, although not a reverse sweep. We’ve many times beat up this team for their struggles in S&D, but that’s what carried them today. It was dominant too, with two 6-3 wins on Tuscan and Desert Siege. The first one saw Octane and Envoy teaming up to frustrate New York, while the second saw Drazah heating up with massive reads to go 11/3.
- Octane played the hard carry all series honestly. The guy slowed down once, in the Game 5 Desert Siege, and that was because he had the sniper out and Drazah was beaming. Even with that -1 he finished +27 kills, with a 1.36 KD. If he can bring that form into the Major, it’ll really help them out.
- The only bad thing about winning– they have to face one of the few teams they’ve never beaten. Because of the win, they vaulted to fourth seed at Major IV, and Faze is their opponent at the fifth seed. It’s sure to be a battle, but Faze seems to give them fits. At least if they were to lose they draw Paris. The good news though, they grabbed more CDL points and vaulted back to seventh place for Champs. All they need now is a good run at the Major to cement a spot, and maybe even jump Toronto.
- Well, today didn’t go at all how New York would have hoped. Not only did they lose, leaving them stuck at 110 CDL points, but they watched LAG clutch up to go to 145 (who was their best chance of passing), and then Ultra grabbed another 10 as well. The teams you’d have expected to have the best runs have lost matches that have made the standings extremely muddled, but not in New York’s favor. They need a ridiculous run at Major IV to get in, along with other teams dropping the ball.
- You can’t blame anything but some poor execution in the Search and Destroy’s, but New York definitely had their share of issues that didn’t help. Hydra tested positive for COVID the day before, and while he played and was impactful you have to wonder if he’d have been even better if not possibly impeded. Then, according to Crimsix, the AC at the facility cut off after the opening Hardpoint, and I know I couldn’t function well in 80+ degree heat trying to play an intense, points on the line match. Just sucky circumstances, but they did their best.
- It’s funny to think this team actually got the better of the loss in terms of who they get to play at the Major, even if missing the CDL points does make it less likely they make it to Champs. Instead of having to match up against Atlanta Faze, they get to face Minnesota Rokkr, who despite good play haven’t managed to translate it to LAN. If there was a team in the winners bracket New York was hoping to face in order to get their groove on at a LAN where it counts for points, this is exactly who you’d want to play. Beyond that, even if they lose they get Optic, and they’ve had their number so far. If New York bows out early, they have only themselves to blame, especially with the home crowd buff behind them.
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