In the fourth online event of the year (after the COVID-19 outbreak), the Call of Duty League “travelled” to Seattle to engage in the Surge Home Series in an event comprised of the London Royal Ravens, Paris Legion, both LA teams (OpTic Gaming LA and LA Guerrillas), Chicago Huntsmen, Minnesota Røkkr, New York Subliners and, of course, Seattle Surge.
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The first day of the Seattle Home Series kicked off with a 3-1 victory from Chicago Huntsmen over Paris Legion in dominant fashion, not giving the frenchmen (whose losing streak now amounts to four matches) a chance. Prestinni’s addition to the Huntsmen roster seems to be working, as they have once again easily found their way into the second match of group stage.
The second match was a back-and-forth battle between the London Royal Ravens and the LA Guerrillas which went the distance, with the former ultimately taking the 3-2 victory in a strange series, as none of the matches was particularly close. The Royal Ravens’ victory bids good for their latest incorporation, Zer0, whereas LAG sit now in a bottom-last 12th place with a 2-10 record. If the Florida Mutineers Home Series semifinal between OGLA and Toronto Ultra was one of the best series of the season, the third match was, at least, equal with it, pitting giant-killers Minnesota Røkkr against Florida finalists OpTic Gaming LA. Despite the latter having had an impressive performance in the last event, Røkkr rose up to the challenge to take a victory which included two nailbiting S&D Round 11s (one victory apiece).
The closing match of the day, albeit not as tense as the previous two, brought some interesting tactics to the scene. Hosts Seattle Surge faced the rising New York Subliners in a match which saw Enable back on the Surge’s starting lineup. The change, however, wouldn’t last long, as Seattle brought in Pandur to substitute him for the Search and Destroy. Nevertheless, for the second time, another change was made, and Enable returned to his starting position to help the Seattle squad win their only map in a 3-1 defeat.
Highlight of the day:
After losing a Game 5, Round 11 against Minnesota, Slasher (and, to a lesser extent, Dashy) vented out his frustration against the CDL servers, which, sadly, don’t seem to be working as well as they should.
Want to know why there was a huge delay?? because im being forced to play on 100+ ping because their texas server is CONVENIENTLY UNPLAYABLE. PATHETIC. Someone needs to be held accountable.
The second day of the event brought elimination matches with it, though two teams had first to clinch their spot in the semifinals. The first match pitched the Chicago Huntsmen against the Minnesota Røkkr, who looked forward to improving their performance after a nailbiting match against OGLA on Day 1. The match was a tight contest, but the northern team couldn’t bring themselves to knock down the Huntsmen powerhouse, who punched their way into Sunday with a quick 3-0. The second match had a bit of a piquant not to it, as Zer0 would be facing their ex-teammates from the New York squad. The New York Subliners, looking for a second consecutive semifinal, had to face probably the strongest London Royal Ravens we’ve ever seen. The match was strictly business and the Ravens demolished New York 3-0 to clinch the second spot in the semifinals.
The first of the four elimination matches saw OpTic Gaming LA matched up against one of the two European teams, Paris Legion. The former came from an enraging defeat to the Røkkr on the previous day, while the latter desperately needed a win to keep their callenger status alive. OGLA, however, were having none of it and overcame their first-map-loss to make quick work of the Legion and move onto the second elimination match with a 3-1 result.
The second do-or-die match was the last chance hosts Surge had to prove they weren’t done. On the other corner of the ring stood the LA Guerrillas, who looked to end the 4-0 losing streak they held against the Seattle team. Even though they say third time’s a charm, fifth worked as well for the Los Angeles side, as they took a 3-1 victory to advance to the last elimination round, only a step away from their first ever semifinal. Seattle Surge made an early exit of their own Home Series and now sit second-from-last in the CDL standings, only above their LAG rivals.
Moving on to the battles for the semifinals, OpTic Gaming LA faced Minnesota Røkkr in a rematch from their Day 1 loss. The result, however, was everything but similar, and OGLA swept them in dominant, 3-0 fashion (despite Minnesota having had an 80-point lead in the Hardpoint) to grab the first semifinal spot. This result will surely cast doubts over whether the Røkkr truly are “the fourth best team” (after an uncontested Atlanta-Chicago-Dallas, in no particular order, top three) in the League or they just struck the right keys at the beginning.
The last semifinal contender would be decided in a Los Angeles VS New York match in which the Guerrillas needed a win in order to finally reach a Home Series semifinal. No luck for them, though: the Subliners proved too strong and beat them 3-1 to secure their spot in the second semifinal (and doing so for the second time this year).
Highlight of the day:
The LA Guerrillas ended a negative 4-0 loss streak against the Seattle Surge in convincing fashion in their first elimination match (although they eventually fell to the NY Subliners).
Championship Sunday kicked off with a battle between OpTic Gaming LA and the London Royal Ravens, the former looking for their second consecutive final whereas the latter aimed for their first. Even though the series was heavily stacked in favour of the Ravens after two dominant maps, OpTic Gaming LA clawed back to draw the game even. However, the London team proved too strong in the Game 5 S&D and booked their spot in the final after a superb 6-1 performance.
The second semifinal saw the Chicago Huntsmen face the New York Subliners yet again, after having gone the distance with them (and having been denied the reverse sweep) in the Chicago Home Series group stage. The Huntsmen, however, were too strong for the New York team, who fell 3-1 in a tight series.
The final was a half-expected series: no one doubted Chicago were one of the heavy favourites, but it is equally true no one expected the Royal Ravens to get this far (especially after not having made it out of group stage since their own Home Series). Furhtermore, the final was a battle made of battles: it was the battle for the Seattle crown, true, but also the battle between EU and NA, the battle of the twins (Skrapz and wuskin, the Marshall brothers VS Arcitys and Prestinni, the Sanderson brothers), the battle of the “Dylans” (Dylan VS Envoy), the battle of the signings (Zer0 VS Prestinni)… Unfortunately for the European squad, the Huntsmen were having none of it and took a convincing 3-1 victory to become the third team (after Dallas and Atlanta) to win a second Home Series. The match, however, was closer than the scoreline suggests, and if the Ravens can keep up this form, they can soon find themselves among the very best of the League.