Call of Duty League power rankings -- Atlanta FaZe No. 1 after opening weekend

The Atlanta Faze lived up to preseason expectations, going 2-0 in Week 1 of the Call of Duty League. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The inaugural season of the Call of Duty League kicked off this past weekend in Minnesota, with every team playing two games. After months of speculation about which teams would be the best and who would pop off, we finally have some results. The Atlanta FaZe and Chicago Huntsmen were who we thought they were. The Paris Legion were better than most expected, and the Minnesota RØKKR showed up for their hometown fans. Meanwhile, the Dallas Empire had a rough weekend, to say the least, and the Los Angeles Guerrillas thought they got robbed.

Here's how our staff voted to rank the 12 teams after Week 1. Each participating staff member ranked the CDL teams from No. 1 to No. 12, and the results were aggregated to determine the list below.

Atlanta FaZe

1. Atlanta FaZe

Season record: 2-0 | Week 1 record: 2-0

Atlanta did what a lot of people thought they would do, which is go undefeated to start the Call of Duty League season. The Subliners match is worth noting only for the utter domination through most of the match, but where the FaZe showed their mettle was against the Dallas Empire.

Players such as Chris "Simp" Lehr, second among all players in K/D (1.58), and Michael "MajorManiak" Szymaniak, with a league-best 14 K/D in Search and Destroy maps, were expected to show up this weekend. However, against the Dallas Empire on Azhir Cave, it was a team effort that pulled the FaZe over the finish line. That first map would have been a one-sided Dallas win, had the entire FaZe team not pulled 20-plus frag grenades by the middle of the game, allowing Atlanta to scrap for the victory. The FaZe also had the benefit of being able to review a VOD of the Empire's match the previous day, which set the team up for success on the second map, Arklov Peak. The third map, Hackney Yard, turned into garbage time.

Combining smart study and play with everyone pulling their weight, winning against teams we expect them to beat, and crisp and coordinated play, the FaZe are looking to be the scariest squad in the CDL.

-- Darin Kwilinski

Chicago Huntsmen

2. Chicago Huntsmen

Season record: 2-0 | Week 1 record: 2-0

Peirce "Gunless" Hillman, Seth "Scump" Abner and Matthew "FormaL" Piper are a scary trio, but Alec "Arcitys" Sanderson was the top player in K/D on Hardpoint (1.74) and fifth in Domination (1.33). The Huntsmen leaned on him in their 3-1 win over the Dallas Empire in the CDL's opening match. If Arcitys continues to flex into different roles (sniping instead of FormaL?) and keeps opponents guessing, it'll be tough for any team not named Atlanta to beat Chicago.

-- Sean Morrison

To see the schedule for the rest of the Call of Duty League Schedule, click here.

Minnesota Rokkr

3. Minnesota RØKKR

Season record: 2-0 | Week 1 record: 2-0

Controversy aside, the RØKKR proved to be a capable, albeit sometimes jittery, team as they hosted their opening weekend. A slow start against the Los Angeles Guerilla can be chalked up to the use of a banned perk, but it certainly set a tone that the RØKKR didn't recover from until after the second map, when they were awarded a win. Although concerning, Minnesota ultimately bounced back, but was it because of the awarded map or the team's mental fortitude?

It was agreed upon by casters and analysts that Adam "GodRx" Brown needed to get hot early, which he did against Toronto, but it was really Adam "Assault" Garcia -- fifth overall in K/D (1.27) on the weekend -- who stepped up. His kill streak of five at the end of Hardpoint on Hackney against the Ultra was the key to that map victory, and he had an overall solid performance against L.A.

In the end, all we really know is that the RØKKR can contend with the (current) middle-of-the-pack teams. They'll need to prove two things before they move higher: first, that a map loss or two doesn't stall them, and second, that they can win against the top-tier teams in the league.

-- Kwilinski

To see rosters for all of the Call of Duty League teams, click here.

Paris Legion

4. Paris Legion

Season record: 2-0 | Week 1 record: 2-0

Paris took the polls listing them as one of the worst teams in the Call of Duty League and proceeded to render them all completely irrelevant, taking a close match from Optic Gaming Los Angeles and completely routing the London Royal Ravens. Denholm "Denz" Taylor sits ninth in the league overall, with a 1.17 K/D, and is second on hill time. Not that they need it, but the Legion have some good luck going into Week 2 of play. They'll take on the 0-2 Subliners on Feb. 8 in London.

-- Joe DeMartino

Dallas Empire

5. Dallas Empire

Season record: 0-2 | Week 1 record: 0-2

The Dallas Empire went 0-2 during launch weekend, but the schedule-makers didn't do them any favors, as they opened their season facing two of the best teams in the league: the Chicago Huntsmen and Atlanta FaZe. The bigger takeaway for them this weekend, though, was Ian "Crimsix" Porter's rant criticizing Infinity Ward for releasing a patch just days before competition began. Crimsix was not alone in criticizing the competitive integrity of the league. The Guerrillas' Patrick "ACHES" Price called out the league, too. Will Crimsix's rant be what fuels Dallas in the coming weeks? We'll have to wait and see how they perform when they face Seattle in a couple of weeks and how they handle another potential matchup against the Huntsmen that weekend.

-- Brian Bencomo

Los Angeles Guerrillas

6. Los Angeles Guerrillas

Season record: 1-1 | Week 1 record: 1-1

Every good story needs a villain. ACHES and the Guerrillas were the targets of the Minnesota crowd's antagonism throughout opening weekend. Not only did the Guerrillas face the hometown RØKKR, but the Guerrillas' outspoken leader added fuel to their ire. From his criticism of practice conditions favoring the RØKKR to trash-talking with the crowd to walking out with a "RØKKR got a free W" sign after the Guerrillas were penalized for selecting a banned perk, ACHES was at the center of it all. Despite the adversity, the Guerrillas bounced back from the penalty and loss on Friday by picking up a 3-2 win over the Florida Mutineers on Saturday.

-- Bencomo

London Royal Ravens

7. London Royal Ravens

Season record: 1-1 | Week 1 record: 1-1

A lot of people had the Royal Ravens low in preseason rankings, so it came as a massive surprise when they made light work of the New York Subliners in Saturday's first match. It was the first 3-0 sweep of the season, with Bradley "wuskin" Marshall looking like a stud with a 2.09 K/D for that match and a league-best 1.60 K/D for the weekend. It raised expectations for the team and made those of us in the stands look like we jumped to conclusions when the Ravens couldn't get the job done against the Paris Legion the next day. London ran into trouble vs. the Legion after a slow start on Hardpoint, and blew a 4-0 lead in Search and Destroy. All eyes will be on the Royal Ravens in Week 2 heading into their London homestand on Feb. 8-9, and with the crowd on their side, I think they take a match from the Toronto Ultra pretty easily.

-- Elizabeth Baugh

Toronto Ultra

8. Toronto Ultra

Season record: 1-1 | Week 1 record: 1-1

Scrappy? Composed? Tough? Pick another synonym, and you're not too far off when describing the Toronto Ultra's first two matches. They put together a 1-1 weekend with a hard-fought win against Seattle and a closer-than-it-looks loss against Minnesota; the 3-1 scoreline against the RØKKR doesn't tell the whole story. The Ultra showed great composure on Hackney Yard during Hardpoint, despite losing 250-220, traded blows on Grazna during Search and Destroy before taking a 6-3 map win and fought hard on Hackney (again) during Domination. The only map that the Ultra lost convincingly against the RØKKR was Hardpoint on Azhir Cave.

What does this all mean? Well, it means the Ultra have the tools to compete with teams that are currently middle-of-the-road, but they can't rely on the consistency of Anthony "Methodz" Zinni to build them up when they have the inconsistency of Daniel "Loony" Loza bringing them back down.

-- Kwilinski

Florida Mutineers

9. Florida Mutineers

Season record: 1-1 | Week 1 record: 1-1

The Mutineers made sure to let everyone hear about it on social media when they beat Seattle on Friday -- and then promptly threw away a match against the L.A. Guerrillas on Sunday. An unbelievable Search and Destroy loss after being up 4-1 on Map 5 showed more of what this team is than a win over a worse-than-expected Seattle. That said, Florida looked sharp on Hardpoint, and Chance "Maux" Moncivaez showed that he could be one of the breakout players in the CDL this year.

-- Morrison

Seattle Surge

10. Seattle Surge

Season record: 0-2 | Week 1 record: 1-1

Coming into the weekend, I would've bet on Seattle overperforming rather than putting up the performance we saw in Minneapolis. This roster is stacked with talent, but Ian "Enable" Wyatt and Damon "Karma" Barlow disappeared this weekend, leaving Sam "Octane" Larew to ineffectively shoulder the load for the Surge. Clearly, something isn't clicking for a team that should be in the top half of teams in this league.

-- Morrison

New York Subliners

11. New York Subliners

Season record: 0-2 | Week 1 record: 1-1

This wasn't how the team from one of the biggest sports markets in the world wanted to begin its existence. The Subliners managed to take just a single map during the opening weekend -- though that map was against the FaZe, which is about the only thing the Subliners can point to as a positive. The less said about their 3-0 loss to the Royal Ravens the better. New York will have to start winning duels at a significantly higher rate if they want to turn things around.

-- DeMartino

OpTic Gaming LA

12. OpTic Gaming LA

Season record: 0-2 | Week 1 record: 1-1

It was a disappointing opening weekend for OpTic Gaming Los Angeles. OGLA not only lost against an impressive Huntsmen squad consisting of several former OpTic players but also fell to a Paris team widely regarded as one of the weakest in the league coming into the weekend, though that opinion has clearly changed. Still, OpTic's 3-0 loss to Chicago wasn't even close. They were dominated in the first two maps against Chicago -- 250-176 on Hardpoint and 6-2 on Search and Destroy. L.A. made it close in Domination, briefly taking a lead late, but they couldn't hold on. They'll have a few weeks to regroup before resuming play during the Atlanta homestand Feb. 22-23.

-- Bencomo

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