CDL 2021 Predictions: Opening Weekend

Posted on February 7, 2021 - Last Updated on February 12, 2021

Following an exciting Kickoff event, the Call of Duty League 2021 season is about to begin in true form, with twelve teams gearing up to face-off for the ultimate prize. This season promises to be an exhilarating one, with five million dollars of prize money on the table and some sizeable rivalries already shaping up as we move ever closer to the opening weekend.

We’ve been introduced to new personalities and have warmly welcomed the return of the veterans, but only time will tell how they all perform against one another. In the Call of Duty Kickoff Classic event, we saw a dominating performance from OpTic Chicago, newly-founded for this year’s CDL, rising from the ashes of the Chicago Huntsmen.

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OpTic’s 3-0 victory of LA Thieves, their prominent rival for this season, only served to cement them as serious contenders for this year’s trophy and the $1.2 million jackpot prize. However, Dallas Empire, last year’s victors, also pulled an incredible performance out of the bag in the Classic, securing a 3-0 win over the New York Subliners.

There are some tantalising match-ups scheduled to take place between the 11th and 14th February, but who is likely to stake a claim to victory in these early bouts?

Minnesota Rokkr vs. Los Angeles Thieves

Thursday, February 11th – 15:00 EST

The first match of the opening weekend doesn’t feature the most exciting teams, but both do have a considerable amount to prove. It’s the first true appearance for LA Thieves in the CDL, who took their spot out of the hands of OpTic LA after the close of last year’s season. Although, LA Thieves has already lost a little ground, succumbing to a crushing defeat at the hands of OpTic Chicago in the Kickoff Classic event.

Rokkr, on the other hand, won its pre-season match against Toronta Ultra, but it was a closely fought battle. It should be a balanced fight, but Rokkr does have a secret weapon in Preistahh, transitioning from industry giant FaZe. Ultimately, we predict that LA Thieves will flex their fresh muscle to score a victory in this opening bout.

Result: LA Thieves

Seattle Surge vs. Dallas Empire

Thursday, February 11th – 16:30 EST

This might be one of the easiest opening matches to predict, with reigning champions Dallas Empire taking on the team that held the joint last position at the closing of the 2020 CDL season. There’s a mighty team behind Dallas Empire, consisting primarily of champion and Call of Duty veteran, Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter. During the Kickoff Classic, Empire thrashed the NY Subliners 3-0 to secure an effortless victory.

Seattle Surge didn’t fare as well in the Kickoff Classic, ultimately losing to the LA Guerillas after a valiant fight. Although, Seattle Surge has now been reinforced by Pierce ‘Gunless’ Hillman, a veteran with untold raw talent. However, this probably won’t be enough to save them, and we can see Dallas sliding into the top spot in this match-up.

Result: Dallas Empire

Paris Legion vs. OpTic Chicago

Friday, February 12th – 15:00 EST

OpTic Chicago dominated its Kickoff Classic matchup against the LA Thieves, dashing to a 3-0 victory and scoring some incredible bragging rights over its main industry rival. It’s no secret that OpTic is one of the biggest names in Call of Duty, and as a team, that reputation needs to be upheld.

Paris Legion might have won its Kickoff Classic matchup against the London Royal Ravens, but it didn’t show the best performance on a general scale. Legion’s performance in the inaugural season of the CDL was lacking, and new signing Matthew ‘Skrapz’ Marshall suggested there may have been some early communication issues among the team.

Result: OpTic Chicago

Los Angeles Guerillas vs. Atlanta FaZe

Friday, February 12th – 16:30 EST

This face-off has the potential to be one of the closest-fought battles of the opening weekend, with both teams fighting valiantly during the Kickoff Classic event. However, LA Guerillas does have an edge it acquired by actually beating its opponent, whereas FaZe suffered a loss at the hands of the Florida Mutineers.

Although, the Mutineers made for an extremely capable competitor, boasting a higher finishing position last year over the Guerilla’s opponent, Seattle Surge. Furthermore, FaZe has picked up legendary AR veteran Arcitys this year, who could certainly bolster its ranks.

Result: Atlanta FaZe

Paris Legion vs. Los Angeles Guerillas

Saturday, February 13th – 15:00 EST

This match will be the first of the opening weekend that features two teams who have already played a game. Of course, this leaves the door open for either a dip or a climb in morale, depending on how their first match-up ends. We’ve already predicted that Paris Legion will lose their first match, as will the Guerillas, meaning both teams will need those all-important points.

However, we do predict that Legion won’t fare too well in this group overall, and the LA Guerillas were bottom of the table last year – they have something to prove. It isn’t an overwhelmingly exciting match-up from either side, but we have to award this win to the Guerillas.

Result: Los Angeles Guerillas

Toronto Ultra vs. Florida Mutineers

Saturday, February 13th – 16:30 EST

The Mutineers have bought a very strong team to compete with this season, and they’re still soaring from the hard-fought pre-season victory against Atlanta FaZe. However, Toronto Ultra is one of just two teams to retain the same roster from last year, meaning the camaraderie and communication is likely to be much more effective.

This match is the only game for both Toronto Ultra and Florida Mutineers this weekend, so they’ll both have a hell of a lot to prove, but we give this overall victory to the Mutineers.

Result: Florida Mutineers

New York Subliners vs. Los Angeles Thieves

Saturday, February 13th – 18:00 EST

Both the Los Angeles Thieves and New York Subliners lost 0-3 in the Kickoff Classic, but they fought against equally powerful opponents. There’s no secret that LA Thieves has a lot to prove following its official emergence into the CDL this year. Nadeshot bought his way into the CDL and he’ll want to make that investment worth it, so his team will be playing for more than just a victory.

Subliners, on the other hand, have faced some pre-season difficulties that shook the team up before they’d even got started. The team itself was formed just three weeks before the season was due to commence, and overall, it’s a very young unit. The final crushing defeat came in January 2021, when team veteran Thomas ‘ZooMaa’ Paparatto was forced to retire.

Result: Los Angeles Thieves

Seattle Surge vs. London Royal Ravens

Sunday, February 14th – 15:00 EST

The first match-up of the Valentine’s Day showing is an interesting one, with both teams showing similar performance in the Kickoff Classic event. However, the Royal Ravens edged out Surge in overall gameplay and teamwork. Admittedly, there is a potential issue for the Royal Ravens, with team member Trei ‘Zer0’ Morris being located several thousand miles away from his teammates.
As long as Zer0’s connection remains stable, there’s no reason why the Royal Ravens couldn’t dominate this match. However, Seattle Surge has a huge amount to prove, having finished bottom last year. If they can cause a huge upset and defeat Dallas Empire in their first match-up of the season, it could be the boost they need to swarm the Royal Ravens.

Result: Seattle Surge

Minnesota Rokkr vs. Dallas Empire

Sunday, February 14th – 16:30 EST

This is a simple battle between two powerhouses that will have both already played a match in the CDL 2021 season by the time they face off against each other. Although Rokkr finished mid-table last year, it’ll be interesting to see what the team can do against the might of Dallas Empire.

However, we don’t see C6 and co falling short in this match-up, despite Rokkr’s force being bolstered by the skill of Priestahh. It’s not the hardest result to gauge, and we think the best team here is clear.

Result: Dallas Empire

OpTic Chicago vs. Atlanta FaZe

Sunday, February 14th – 18:00 EST

There’s likely no other match taking place throughout the opening weekend that will draw the numbers of this one: OpTic versus FaZe. This is a battle between two of the biggest brands in gaming today. OpTic gave an incredible opening performance in the Classic while FaZe lacked somewhat, but FaZe did win the regular season in 2020.

Therefore, FaZe has chops, and the team will want to climb the table once again as quickly as possible. However, OpTic has welcomed back veteran Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell with open arms and he’s been an absolute force thus far. Of course, FaZe also has a new and powerful force in Arcitys. It’s a hard one to call.

Result: OpTic Chicago

Grant Taylor-Hill Avatar
Written by
Grant Taylor-Hill

Grant is a freelance writer and gamer from Surrey, England. He is an avid 'omnigamer' but plays primarily on PC, enjoying a diverse collection of games. His favourite esports title is Call of Duty, and he backs Dallas Empire in the CDL.

View all posts by Grant Taylor-Hill