Fans of the Call of Duty League – the biggest esports tournament for the franchise – were treated to the commencement of the season this weekend. At the CDL Kickoff Classic, all twelve of the League’s teams took to the stage for the first time this year to do battle. Through a brief, four-stage, single elimination bracket, teams fought for immense bragging rights and the chance to secure an early, $30,000 prize pool. When the dust had settled, it was Toronto Ultra that stood victorious.
Last season, Toronto Ultra put up a remarkable performance, going so far as to win a Major. The team was one of just three to pull off that trick throughout the entire year, and overall, the Canadian side’s skills proved to be a sore spot for the tournament favourites. Now, it seems as though Ultra has something to prove in 2022, having already defeated Florida Mutineers, LA Thieves, and Seattle Surge.
Let’s break down the entire weekend.
The Year For Disruption
In 2021, Atlanta FaZe became one of the most dominant teams in the history of Call of Duty esports. Featuring some of the greatest COD players of all time, the squad almost effortlessly swung into the top spot, securing win after win. This year, however, it seems as though the team has lost a little of its fire. In its first match of the season, FaZe fell short against Seattle Surge, a low-ranking team from the 2021 season. Following the loss, FaZe’s Arcitys was left less than impressed by the reaction of the fans…
In fact, Seattle Surge would then go on to defeat the New York Subliners, which now features the veteran talents of both Crimsix and Clayster. There are high hopes in store for NYSL this year, especially considering it could be the final season for either competitor, as they’re both getting on in years.
Elsewhere, another team that performed slightly below par last year was the LA Thieves. Again, like Seattle Surge, it seems the LA Thieves is seeking something of a comeback for the 2022 Call of Duty League season. Through the Kickoff Classic, the Thieves steamrolled over Paris and the newly-formed OpTic Texas, before falling to Toronto Ultra.
Big Things Are Coming
For many of the teams in the Call of Duty League roster, this season will likely be business as usual. However, the likes of OpTic Texas and the new Boston Breach teams have plenty to prove. Coming up from the remains of OpTic Chicago and Dallas Empire, Texas now features the talents of Shotzzy, iLLeY, Scump, and Dashy, a formidable team by any standards. On the other hand, Boston Breach has taken on board Methosz, TJHaLy, Nero, and Capsidal.
Although, in its very first fixture in the CDL, Boston Breach fell short against NYSL, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Ultimately, the Call of Duty Kickoff Classic was a fantastic glimpse into the action that lays in wait for fans this year. While viewership is expected to be a little lower, the Call of Duty betting opportunities are still widely present where this tournament is concerned. It’s the only COD esports action you’ll see all year – so enjoy it while it lasts.