In the second online event of the year (after the COVID-19 outbreak), the Call of Duty League “travelled” to Chicago to engage in the Huntsmen Home Series. In an event comprised of the London Royal Ravens, Seattle Surge, both LA teams (OpTic Gaming LA and LA Guerrillas), Atlanta FaZe, Dallas Empire, New York Subliners and, of course, Chicago Huntsmen, it was the Empire that rose above the rest and took home their second ever CDL event win, becoming the first team to do so.
The first day of the Chicago Home Series kicked off with a 3-0 victory from Atlanta FaZe over the London Royal Ravens who, with Seany as their latest addition, did everything they could to slow down the unstoppable force Atlanta have been since the first day of the season. The match, however, should bring at least a smile to London fans, as all three games were very tight, and any team could have had the upper hand. If the Ravens keep their pace going, sooner or later they will find a way into the later rounds of more events.
The next two matches weren’t anything outside of what was expected, with Seattle Surge winning (yet) another 3-0 series over the LA Guerrillas and Dallas Empire, beating a convincing OpTic Gaming LA 3-1.
The closing match of the day, however, made everything pale in comparison. Hosts Chicago Huntsmen faced heavy underdogs NY Subliners. The former were already Home Series champions (back in London) while the latter were tied last with only one win to their name. But the Subliners came out strong and swept Chicago off their feet with a quick 2-0 lead and, even though the Huntsmen clawed back to even the series at 2 games apiece, the Subliners closed out the 3-2 victory in a convincing Game 5, sealing the biggest upset of the weekend.
Highlight of the day:
Atlanta FaZe’s Simp absolutely dominated the Azhir Cave Hardpoint with a record-breaking 49 kills.
With a record 49 kills in Hardpoint, @SimpXO shows why he’s one of the best in the league!#EZAF | #CDL2020
The second day of the event brought elimination matches with it, though Dallas and Atlanta had first to clinch their spot in the semifinals against Seattle and New York, respectively. The first match started with a strong Hardpoint win for the Surge, but they couldn’t keep up, and a quick three maps followed to seal the deal and send Empire into the semifinals. The second match proved to be more interesting, as FaZe came in as heavy favourites, but the Subliners had defeated hosts Huntsmen to get to the match. The series went the distance and, ultimately, Atlanta prevailed on Game 5, knocking New York to the lower bracket after a more-than-worthy fight.
The first of the four elimination matches saw the LA Guerrillas matched up against their LA neighbours, OpTic Gaming LA. The former sat (tied) bottom-low in the standings with only one win, while the latter stood only one position above, tied with two other teams. While OGLA had reverse swept the Guerrillas the last time they clashed at their home series, LAG exerted their revenge and beat OpTic in a convincing 3-1 match.
The second do-or-die match was the last chance hosts Huntsmen had to prove they weren’t done. After a back-and-forth Hardpoint in favour of the hosts, the series went into a frenzy: Chicago slammed London in the S&D and the Ravens stomped them in return in Domination before settling down for a convincing Hardpoint and a series win for the Huntsmen.
Moving on to the battles for the semifinals, Seattle Surge faced the LA Guerrillas yet again, and yet again they proved their worth with a dominating 3-1 win to kick the Guerrillas out of the Chicago Home Series. This yields mixed results for both teams: on the one hand, this is the furthest Seattle has gotten in any Home Series; on the other, their match record against “non-LAG” teams is of 0-9. As for the Guerrillas, even though the player changes that took place two events ago (right before their own LA Home Series) are working well, and they seem to have the upper hand over their LA neighbours, they are still at the bottom of the standings after a meagre 10 CDL points (albeit tied with another three teams).
The last semifinal contender would be decided in a Chicago VS New York rematch in which the hosts needed a win in order to keep their run at their own Home Series. Although the series started with a dominant Subliners Hardpoint win, Chicago soon took the reins of the series and clinched their spot in the semis with a 3-1 which included a nailbiting Domination that saw the Huntsmen take the lead from the New York squad a mere 5 seconds away from the end of the game, sending Benson into overdrive.
Highlight of the day:
NY Subliners surprised FaZe (and the world) by 100-point clubbing the Atlanta team in a series in which they unfortunately couldn’t secure the win.
Championship Sunday kicked off with what seemed to be the easiest match of the two semifinals with Atlanta FaZe facing Seattle Surge in their way to the finals. The first Hardpoint was a FaZe or, more accurately, a Simp massacre as the Tiny Terror went on a tear and made all of Surge’s efforts useless. The Seattle squad, nevertheless, bounced back and secured a tight S&D that went the distance, even in spite of being the team with the worst S&D record of the League (1-11). However, no matter how valiant Seattle’s efforts were, the best team prevailed, and Atlanta smashed their way into the finals with two dominant wins.
The second semifinal saw Dallas Empire face their biggest fear, the Chicago Huntsmen, against whom they were 0-3. Forget about the fear; the deed was done as swiftly as possible and, with a shattering 3-0, Chicago was out of their own Home Series.
The final seemed to be a good one, set up to go the distance and provide the fans with a good dose of entertainment. Atlanta FaZe came in as the heavy favourites, bearing an impressive 11-1 match win-lose ratio. However, they had shown recent signs of weakness, going to a Game 5 with the NY Subliners and losing an S&D against the Seattle Surge. Dallas Empire, on the other hand, came into the match as the underdogs, but the underdogs that had just swept the hosts. The final lived up to the fans’ expectations, as Dallas continuously had the upper hand over FaZe and, despite Atlanta’s best efforts to counter the Empire (bringing the S&D to a Round 11, which they won), ended up defeating them in a dominant 3-1 victory crowning them Chicago Home Series champions and the first team in the League to become champion twice.
Highlight of the day:
Simp broke his own record kill by one, dropping the first (and last?) 50-bomb of the year in FaZe’s victory over the Surge.
The first strike comes from @ATLFaZe thanks to yet another record-breaking performance from @SimpXO to take the Azhir Cave Hardpoint from @SeattleSurge.