A big weekend for a New York squad and the ending of a huge winning streak are this week's highlights in Who Won the Weekend.
Winner: New York Subliners (Call of Duty League)
When the Atlanta FaZe and Chicago Huntsmen were finally slated to meet each other for the first time all year in this tournament's semifinals, they dominated the conversation around the New York Subliners home series. New York's appearance in the bracket stage of their own tournament was an afterthought, especially since they had made it to semifinals in previous tournaments. Since Makenzie "Mack" Kelley joined the team, the Subliners' performances had improved immensely as a team, they just hadn't broken through enough in their gameplay to take home a title. Their general Call of Duty League narrative had gone from a team with immense talent that wasn't playing well at all, to a team with immense talent and a Rookie-of-the-Year contender that still wasn't showing onstage (a virtual stage, of course) what they apparently were showing in scrims.
This weekend, the New York Subliners finally proved what their scrim opponents and players have been saying about them all year: they could easily be title contenders.
New York also won their home event in style (becoming just the second Call of Duty League team to win their own tournament, the first being Atlanta FaZe back in Atlanta in the halcyon pre-pandemic days) with two 3-0 sweeps to cap off their victory. They seemed calm under pressure, especially in late hardpoint breaks to ultimately take two map ones, first against Toronto Ultra and then against the Chicago Huntsmen. New York's adjustments against the Huntsmen, who narrowly beat them 3-2 in the upper bracket Group B qualifying round, were particularly impressive. Most importantly for the Subliners was that multiple players stepped up at varying times, making their run through the entire event a true team effort. There are highlight plays available for every member of the Subliners, but the most important thing is that if one player was struggling on a particular map or at a specific point, the rest of the team was there to back them up and they recovered to show up big later on. -- Emily Rand
Honorable Mention: 100 Thieves, LCS
I will fully admit, I went into this weekend thinking a VALORANT team would win the weekend. I even pre wrote a little blurb on G2 (who won the Vitality Open), and Gen G (who took the Pulse Invitational) and how they are the "kings of EU and NA" yada yada you get the idea.
Then 100 Thieves ruined absolutely everything by selfishly ending Cloud9's undefeated season in the LCS.
Jokes aside, 100 Thieves look like a team reborn. Roster changes in June that saw Jungler Juan Arturo "Contractz" Garcia return to the LCS and Support Philippe "Poome" Levoie-Giguere making his LCS debut. The team is 3-1 since the shift, including victories over Flyquest and the no-longer-undefeated Cloud9.
I spoke with C9 toplaner Eric "Licorice" Ritchie after the game and he said that since the shift in personnel, he could definitely see 100 Thieves being the second best team in the LCS. It would almost be poetic that the Thieves would steal that spot after not coming close in recent times. They still have a ways to go, but all signs are pointing up at the moment, and beating the undisputed kings of the LCS is a terrific statement. It's also good enough to snatch the honorable mention slot away from the winners of two VALORANT tournaments this weekend (especially Gen G, who also beat a Cloud9 team on Sunday). -- Arda Ocal