The Call of Duty League is back today with the London Royal Ravens Home Series. The tournament is set up as a 3-day event that streams live on YouTube and averages roughly 40,000 viewers a day. The events are usually hosted in specific cities, but due to COVID-19, the players have been competing from their houses. Out of the 12 teams in the Call of Duty League, 8 teams participate in any given Home Series while the remaining 4 teams are given the weekend off. One thing that may be overlooked by the fans is the amount of work that these players put in on a daily basis. On a typical day, players are practicing for 6-8 hours with their teams on gameplay and then move into more individual practice as the night rolls on. With only 1 more Home Series remaining after this one before the playoffs begin, there are a lot of teams who will be fighting hard to gain points this weekend and move up the standings. Below I will preview each team competing this weekend, and give some betting advice for any bettors out there.
The Dallas Empire return in the London Home Series this weekend 4th in the standings with 190 CDL points. Having been one of the top teams in the league for the majority of the season so far, I don’t expect the Empire to show some rust. Dallas is led by veteran Call of Duty players Clayster and C6 who are two of the most vocal players in the CDL. They are there to support and help out the young studs who play for the Empire. The remaining three players in their starting lineup are Shotzzy, Huke, and Illey. Those three guys are very strong players who can all go off at any moment. With a first-round matchup against Paris, I expect the Empire to win the series easily and advance in the winner’s bracket of the tournament.
This season has not been one to remember for the Paris Legion as they are currently in 9th place with 70 CDL points. Before last weekend, Paris had not beaten a team in a series since April. While they were playing well early on the season, over the last few months Legion have been dominated by nearly every team they were playing. To be quite honest, I’m not really sure if anyone knows what has caused such a big downfall. Out of the three modes that are played in CDL matches, I would say that Search and Destroy is probably the Legion’s best mode at the moment. When teams are struggling like this, most opt to make roster changes, but the Legion have stuck with the same 5 players for the entire season. It certainly seems like they are trying to figure out what is going wrong for them in matches. They might have a chance to win a match in this Home Series, but it will not be their first one when they go up against the Dallas Empire.
As bad as things have been for Paris Legion this season, it has been worse for the Seattle Surge. The Surge have a lot of talent on their team, but they don’t seem to be meshing that well. In their last event they were up 2-0 against Atlanta Faze, who is the best team in the game, and eventually lost the series 3-2. Some of it has just been unlucky, but there has been a good portion of it has been them getting outsmarted or outplayed by the other teams in the league. After a couple weeks off, the Surge return today playing their first matchup against the host team London Royal Ravens. Unless the Surge start to step things up, they will be an early exit in this tournament and be going into the playoffs on the wrong foot. In this series, look for Octane to go huge for the Surge and lead them on a late-season push up the standings.
London Royal Ravens
The Royal Ravens enter their own Home Series coming off a mixed bag of results. Last weekend in the New York Home Series, they went 1-2 in their matches and did not look good in the ones they lost. Hopefully, after a week of practice, they were able to fix some of the issues that prevented them from winning last weekend. Led by twins Skrapz and Wuskin, the Royal Ravens have the ability to beat anyone at any time. At this point in the season, every match is huge, and if the Royal Ravens can win a few in their own Home Series, it will certainly boost morale heading into the postseason. One player to watch for the Royal Ravens in this tournament is Wuskin, who is an MVP candidate at this point in the season. No matter what map he is playing, he seems to always have a positive Kill/Death ratio which is very important. With the top two teams in the standings not participating this weekend, it is really anyone’s tournament, so look out for the London Royal Ravens as they may be looking to make some noise in the London Home Series.
Los Angeles Guerrillas
The Los Angeles Guerrillas enter the London Royal Ravens Home Series tied for last place in the CDL standings with 50 CDL points. That means that they have only won 5 matches the entire season. They have not won a match in over a month, and if they want to have any shot at doing well in the postseason, they really need to play well this weekend. It seems as if they will play one map well in each match, but in order to win, you have to win three maps. One player who has consistently played well for the Guerrillas this season has been Blazt. No matter if the team has been struggling or not, he has certainly done his part in trying to right the ship. Things could not start off tougher for LA this weekend, as they face the New York Subliners, who won the tournament last weekend, in their first match.
New York Subliners
When the new meta was introduced last week, there were not too many teams that were happy about something being changed so late in the season. Instead of complaining about it, the Subliners took it in stride and it paid off when they captured their first Home Series win of the season. And it just so happened to be the one they were hosting. This team is absolutely loaded and they have been playing really well as of late. Led by the veteran presence of Attach and Accuracy, the Subliners will be heading into the London Home Series with all the confidence in the world. Mack, Temp, and Zoomaa, the other three players in the starting lineup for New York all played terrific last weekend, and as a fan of the Subliners, that is all you can ask for. The Subliners are good in all three game modes that are played during CDL matches, which is not something every team can say. Heading into this weekend, I expect New York to do a lot of damage and have no issues competing for another title.
In addition to the Subliners, the Mutineers are another team that can do a lot of damage in this tournament. Prior to last weekend’s New York Home Series, the Mutineers had won two in a row thanks to the standout performance of Owakening. Believe it or not, those were the first two events that he played for the team, and he stepped right in and helped them win. The other four players for the Mutineers are playing at an extremely high level as well. Skyz has the highest K/D in the league right now, and Fero, Frosty, and Havok are all monsters. In their first matchup this weekend, they face Optic Gaming Los Angeles who made 2-midweek roster changes. Although Optic Gaming is a strong team, I think Florida is just too good to lose a match like this.
Optic Gaming Los Angeles
This has been an up and down season for Optic Gaming. They have made countless roster changes throughout the season and brought in two new players this week to compete in their starting lineup this weekend. Although they have had to make multiple changes, there is a core group of three players that have been in the starting lineup for the entire season. Those players include SlasheR, who is an absolute beast, TJHaly, and Kuavo. It is very important for a team to have a core group of players who are very consistent. With the two new additions Optic Gaming made this week, there is a lot of hype surrounding this team. Many people believe this team can do well this weekend and possibly come away with a Home Series title. However, they do not have an easy first matchup. The Mutineers are arguably the hottest team in the game right now, and if Optic Gaming can beat them, it will certainly open a lot of eyes.
Betting Picks for Day 1 Matchups
Moving on, I will now provide some of my picks for those who are looking to bet on the Call of Duty League this weekend.
Dallas Empire vs. Paris Legion
Dallas Empire to win the match -600.
- Dallas should have absolutely no issues winning this series and they should be able to do so in dominating fashion.
- Paris has been struggling for a long time now and Dallas has one of the most talented rosters in the CDL
Seattle Surge vs. London Royal Ravens
Seattle Surge +1.5 on the spread and +140 to win the match
- This may come as a surprise, but I expect Seattle to do well this weekend
- They have Octane, who is one of the best AR players in the game, and with the new Meta benign introduced, it can only help Surge
Los Angeles Guerrillas vs. New York Subliners
New York Subliners -1.5 on the spread and -450 to win the match
- Coming off a title in the New York Home Series, the Subliners should cruise in this matchup
- At the very least, I expect them to win 3-1, but I would not be surprised if they win 3-0
Florida Mutineers vs. Optic Gaming
Optic Gaming LA +1.5 on the spread and +195 to win the match
- This may come as a surprise given Florida’s recent success, but I think Optic Gaming is going to come out strong and shock some people today
- There is a lot of hype around the two new additions that they made to their team this week, and I think they have what it takes to get the upset win