Here come the final week of qualifying matches for the Call Of Duty League’s first Major tournament! It’s been a wild ride, with plenty of storylines that will shape the season, but there are even more this weekend as a few teams fight for position in the standings and for the winners bracket. Let’s take a look at our first matches on Friday and talk about them.
Los Angeles Thieves vs Paris Legion, Feb 18th at 3pm EST
- For the Thieves, you’ve got a chance to rise up the bracket with a win here. It should be done and dusted, but Paris didn’t fall over when LAT played them at the Kickoff Classic. If you want to grab that positioning, you want a 3-0.
- Kenny continuing to raise the bar for himself and stepping back into that superstar role of his is imperative to the Thieves success. When he’s frying, they’re generally winning.
- As much as Octane loves to snipe, I’d like to see Los Angeles working some two AR/two SMG setups. He’s dangerous with it, but LAT hasn’t won a lot of Search and Destroy rounds. Not to mention teams have been able to force him onto the island, making the Thieves a bit one dimensional.
— LA Thieves (@LAThieves) February 16, 2022
- For Paris, you played these guys well at the Kickoff Classic. Force a Game 5 and show you’re competitive.
- As for this squad, Temp and maybe John are the only players worth keeping. Get through the tournament, see if anyone steps up, and move on from 2-3 of them in favor of younger Challengers players.
- There’s not much more to say about Paris sadly. They are who we thought they were, a squad that should always be competing but limited by their ceiling.
Atlanta Faze vs Minnesota Rokkr, Feb 18th at 4:30pm EST
- This is another match you’d like to see Faze come out and swing a left hook on. Minnesota is a much better team than they’re given credit for, so to see Atlanta finish this one 3-1 would show they’re ready to kick some tail at the Major.
- Whatever it takes, use this last week to get Simp going. Last season’s MVP has been strangely behind the pack, sitting at a negative KD for the season so far, with only his match versus the Thieves coming out even. It’s unlike him, but it should be scary to the rest of the league that this may be the worst he looks. After all, even though he’s not looked the best he’s still been making some MVP level plays, proving his understanding of the game hasn’t lapsed at all.
- Even though Simp has struggled, Cellium has taken a jump and might be an early contender for this year’s MVP award. He’s currently sitting at a 1.31 overall KD, with an absurd 2.36 KD in S&D and 1.35 KD in Control.
Definition of a teammate pic.twitter.com/awLVKQBPHB
— Minnesota RØKKR (@ROKKR) February 11, 2022
- This is one of those matches Minnesota desperately needs to win if they want to end up in winners bracket. An upset of Faze not only boosts the confidence level, but makes their match versus the Guerrillas look that much more winnable. 3-2 would give them a good shot at double elimination.
- If they’re going to make noise, Preistahh has to be better than he’s been. He’s had some influential play; he was a huge reason they were able to 6-1 Optic on Tuscan S&D. But he’s disappearing when you need him the most. You need him to step up.
- Besides that, they’ve got to get Hardpoint figured out. They’ve won two out of the six played, and they probably should have lost the Berlin to Optic. You have to win at least one respawn versus top teams, and even if your S&D is on point, you run the risk of losing if you can’t get another mode down.
Toronto Ultra vs Optic Texas, Feb 18th at 6pm EST
- Is this going to turn out like it did all of last season? Toronto had Optic’s number, and their steady mentality meant they got the job done even when the pressure was on. It seems like it takes a lot to rattle Ultra, especially given they just beat Florida without blinking at the fact their MVP level flex Cammy was out sick.
- Speaking of Cammy, will he be good enough to give it a go this weekend? The poor guy tested positive for COVID, and though he could be past the worst of it you could see it affect him during the match. I feel like if he doesn’t want to give it a go, Hicksy jumping in doesn’t diminish this team’s shot this week, even if more challenging.
- I comment on Toronto’s teamwork more than any team in the league, and it wasn’t any more evident than when they stacked that last point beautifully on the final Control round versus Florida. Attacking isn’t the simplest thing to do in that mode, but Toronto time and time again makes it look easy.
- Optic has been on the short end of the stick every time they’ve played Toronto it feels like. If the way Optic has started the year comes through, this won’t end well for them. I feel like they’ll be much more competitive in this match, but one things for sure, they can’t suffer a 3-0. That would greatly hurt their chances at winner’s bracket, if not dash them completely.
- We’ve talked about it before, Optic have to get S&D figured out. They look good in respawns, but even versus Paris they looked like they weren’t sure what each other was doing. That doesn’t work versus top four teams, you have to be decisive or you’re going to get smoked.
- Toronto is good at it too, but grabbing the Control in this series could spell a victory for either team. That being said, I’d still want it more if I’m Optic Texas. You don’t want this to go to a Game 5 S&D, you’d rather finish on the fourth Hardpoint assuming the earlier S&D is a Toronto W.
Stay tuned to Gaming Trend for our takeaways as the season continues, and we’ll do our best to bring you content here and on our YouTube channel! You can follow the league both live and after hours on the official Call Of Duty League YouTube channel right here. If you want to jump into the game, check out CallOfDuty.com, and if you want to know more about it first, check out our review right here.
David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.