The New York Subliners are on the right track. Pun intended.
After three straight semifinal appearances, the Subliners finally reached a Call of Duty League home series final and won it in decisive fashion -- 3-0 over the Chicago Huntsmen. The only matchup the Subliners lost this past weekend was a five-map set against the Huntsmen in group play. The Subliners' win gave them 50 CDL points and vaulted them over the Minnesota RØKKR, who have been decidedly off track for several weeks now, for the fifth spot in the CDL standings.
The Toronto Ultra are also notably on the right track, as they reached their second semifinal appearance of the season and beat the Atlanta FaZe 3-2 to get there. With the league announcing the start of Champs on Aug. 19, there's only two weeks left for teams to get back on track, and for some teams, only one week left to earn points.
Below is how our staff voted to rank the 12 teams after this past weekend's home series. Each participating staff member ranked the CDL teams from No. 1 to No. 12, and the results were aggregated to determine the list below. All player stats are courtesy of Atlanta FaZe stat analyst Austin O'Neil.
1. Florida Mutineers
Season record: 17-8 | Week 11 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
New York's home series title might mean there's a new contender in the league, but Florida is still right on track at No. 1 in our power rankings and could contend for the No. 1 spot in CDL points with another title in this weekend's event. With London, New York and Dallas also competing, a championship would all but assure the Mutineers' universal recognition as the best team in the CDL.
-- Sean Morrison
2. Atlanta FaZe
Season record: 23-6 | Week 11 record: 2-2 | Change from last ranking:
I really feel like a broken record sometimes when I talk about the Ultra and FaZe as teams. With the Ultra, it's finding momentum behind a variety of players. For FaZe, it's not underestimating opponents. But now we have a new gripe -- Search & Destroy.
Yes, Atlanta beat Paris, as it should, but could the FaZe have beaten Toronto? Not the way they've been playing Search & Destroy. Atlanta is supposed to be a good S&D team, yet it dropped two maps to the Ultra, and Chicago simply walked all over the FaZe in the semifinals 6-1.
This is the opposite of progress. In the past three home series, Atlanta is 9-9 on Search & Destroy, with five of those 18 games going to a map-deciding 11th round. Atlanta is clearly trending downward in Search & Destroy, and if teams exploit that, then it won't just be the Ultra grabbing wins against the FaZe.
-- Darin Kwilinski
3. Dallas Empire
Season record: 17-10 | Week 11 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
Dallas is on track to remain in the top four of the CDL standings. In fact, it's guaranteed to be seeded no lower than fourth for Champs. However, the Empire would surely like to crack the top two. Along with the Mutineers, they each have two weekends left to earn points, unlike the Huntsmen and FaZe who each have only one remaining. It has been a while since the Empire won a home series, and this weekend is their best chance to pick up a third title and 50 CDL points. Look for Ian "Crimsix" Porter, James "Clayster" Eubanks & Co. to be at their very best, in particular if they end up facing the Mutineers. The Empire kick off this weekend's home series on Friday against Paris.
-- Brian Bencomo
Check out the rest of the Call of Duty League schedule.
4. Chicago Huntsmen
Season record: 20-7 | Week 11: 3-1 | Change from last ranking:
The Huntsmen seem to be back on track despite their 3-0 loss in the final of the New York home series thanks to the marked improvement of Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson.
Prestinni was the conduit for many of Chicago's improvements on Search & Destroy and seemed to only get hotter after his standout S&D against the London Royal Ravens in the first series of the tourney for the Huntsmen. He also put the final touch on Chicago's decisive sweep of the Atlanta FaZe during the semifinals with a 1.47 K/D in Domination on Hackney Yard.
The loss to New York might be tough for fans to bear, but a tournament win in the team's first matchup against Atlanta, and wins against the Subliners and Royal Ravens in pool play show Chicago is heading in the right direction. Though the assault rifle meta might derail some of the Huntsmen's plans, it should be a simple enough adjustment for a team with so much veteran talent.
5. New York Subliners
Season record: 12-15 | Week 11 record: 4-1 | Change from last ranking:
New York isn't just on the right track -- it's riding a futuristic space train painted Subliners yellow, careening toward the top of the standings. This was the week that New York finally put it all together, and a fully armed and operational Subliners squad is terrifying to behold. Aside from a close loss to the Huntsmen on Friday, the Subliners stomped their competition with Lamar "Accuracy" Abedi, Dillon "Attach" Price, Donovan "Temp" Laroda, Makenzie "Mack" Kelley and Thomas "ZooMaa" Paparotto firing on all cylinders. Right now, does any team want to face New York? Not likely.
-- Joe DeMartino
6. London Royal Ravens
Season record: 10-13 | Week 11 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:
The Royal Ravens are one of the most visibly hyped teams heading into their matches. It's possible a direct correlation can be drawn between the Marshall twins head-bobbing to their warmup music and repeated Hardpoint victories.
That Hardpoint energy made this series tough to watch, as London fizzled out in prolonged rounds of Search & Destroy, losing all steam by the time Domination rolled around, ultimately costing them their second straight group-stage elimination. Currently, Bradley "wuskin" Marshall was the only player on the London squad with a positive overall K/D in Domination (1.31) during the NY home series.
This weekend the Royal Ravens have a chance at another hot start when they open vs. Seattle Surge. If they want to get back on track and take home a trophy at home, all evidence would point to cleaner play on Domination and more hype music.
-- Elizabeth Baugh
7. Toronto Ultra
Season record: 7-13 | Week 11 record: 2-1 | Change from last ranking:4
If we're talking about being on the right track, then the Toronto Ultra get to be part of the conversation. Their best showing of the season comes with a semifinal berth and a win over the Atlanta FaZe. Although Atlanta narrowly escaped its Ultra match 3-2 during the Paris home series, the result went the other way this past weekend.
If it weren't for the Subliners playing tough all weekend, we could have seen the Ultra reach the finals. Alas, progress is progress. It's nice to see the Ultra pick up where they left off last home series -- with other players stepping up. Tobias "CleanX" Juul Jønsson's second showing was nothing short of great. His positioning and timing on the first Search & Destroy against Atlanta was a key factor in that win (a 10/7 K/D doesn't hurt either), and 28 kills with 1:56 of hill time on Hardpoint was huge (Nicholas "Classic" DiCostanzo dropping 34 kills certainly helped as well). The final map, Search & Destroy on Ramaza, showcased different heroes, with Cameron "Cammy" McKilligan and Ben "Bance" Bance taking home 13/5 and 10/5 K/Ds respectively.
This has been what we've been looking for from the Ultra all season -- a variety of players able to step up outside of Anthony "Methodz" Zinni. While the Ultra fell flat against NYSL, overall this team just pops differently with CleanX in the lineup.
8. Minnesota RØKKR
Season record: 12-14 | Week 11 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:1
I called the opening match against the Subliners as one to watch due to the close 3-0 Subliners win the last time Minnesota and New York met (250-249 Hardpoint, 6-5 S&D and 157-150 Domination wins).
Well, NYSL came out swinging and didn't look back, and in doing so concussed the RØKKR so hard they once again went 0-2 in a home series. On paper, NYSL and the Ravens are tough matchups, and the RØKKR did battle back to bring it to five maps against London, but old stereotypes appeared and the RØKKR did what they have usually done in high-pressure situations (two finals in a row, two chokes, anyone?) and dropped the ball. Even when Adam "GodRx" Brown shows up to kick off the match with 35 kills, the RØKKR can't find the momentum.
It really feels as if Minnesota has been spinning its wheels since the Dallas home series in mid-April. The RØKKR are still in the playoff race, but they need to punch at their weight class before they can punch above it if they want any success in Champs.
To see rosters for all of the Call of Duty League teams, click here.
9. OpTic Gaming L.A.
Season record: 7-13 | Week 11 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:1
OpTic appeared to be on track for a couple of weeks but went off the rails during their last home series appearance, in which they went 0-2 including a record-setting 250-49 Hardpoint loss. Since then, OpTic have signed Zack "Drazah" Jordan and Darien "Hollow" Chverchko, who will be replacing Brandon "Dashy" Otell and Martin "Chino" Chino in their starting lineup. Having had the past home series off might be just what OpTic needed to bounce back from their disappointing performance and integrate the new members of their squad.
They're currently tied with Paris and Toronto for eighth in the standings with 70 points. The good thing for OGLA is that they have two weekends left of competition whereas Paris and Toronto each have only one left to put up points. If their new roster clicks, OpTic has a golden opportunity to remain on track to remain out of the bottom four and thus stay out of the losers' bracket for Champs. They'll face Florida on Friday.
10. Los Angeles Guerrillas
Season record: 5-15 | Week 11 record: 0-2 | Change from last ranking:1
The Guerrillas appeared to be on track until this past weekend. After making their first home series semifinal appearance of the season and pushing Atlanta to a Map 5 a couple of weeks ago, L.A. didn't look nearly as good on Friday and Saturday. The one map it took from Atlanta was Search & Destroy, so its strength continues to be that map type. However, the Guerrillas didn't take any maps from Paris, a team that hadn't put up any CDL points since April. After their performance this weekend, it looks as if L.A. is on track to remain in the bottom four entering Champs. With only one week of competition left for them, it would take at least a finals appearance to maybe climb into the top eight. Their opening matchup this weekend will be against the Subliners.
11. Paris Legion
Season record: 7-14 | Week 11 record: 1-2 | Change from last ranking:1
Paris beat the Guerillas, but other than that, the Legion are pretty clearly off track. It has been the same story for the past few weeks -- winning occasionally against the dregs of the league, getting blown out by anyone better than that. At least their final Hardpoint match against Atlanta was close?
12. Seattle Surge
Season record: 5-14 | Week 11 record: DNP | Change from last ranking:
For Seattle, the best part of the next few weeks might be reaching the end of the line. The Surge have the second-best K/D in the league on their team in Sam "Octane" Larew but no other performers who have positive K/Ds, let alone anywhere near Octane's season-long mark of 1.25. The team's struggles despite a roster that seemed flush with talent before league play started are a continued source of frustration, but lucky for Seattle, it needs not pump the brakes just yet -- every CDL team gets a shot at qualifying for the playoffs.
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