With the regular season of the CDL coming to an end, we only have the Playoffs and championships to look forward to. Here is a mock bracket of the playoff with an explanation for the overall standings for each squad below.
Disclaimer: These are opinionated rankings. If I am wrong, good. I enjoy having my predictions and expectations blown away. The rankings are based on my view of each team and assessment of their performance during the season.
Atlanta FaZe has always been a fearsome force in this league, and I don’t think that will be changing anytime soon. While the recent series haven’t seen them secure a title, the history that this team has had since the start of this league is nothing but dominant! Even without securing titles, you will never not see FaZe in the semi-finals.
The Chicago Huntsmen have faltered a bit since the meta change and focus on Subs, but you can’t discount the world champ talent on this team. The Huntsmen have proved they belong in the finals time throughout the season yet Atlanta has been more consistent and able to adapt to changes in the game. These two squads have always been neck and neck, and this is the time to decide who is dominant over the entire CDL.
Dallas Empire has always been a team in the top five but recently found themselves even stronger than ever with the home series victory a few weeks back. Yet there ‘should’ not be any ping issues in the playoffs, which gave them an advantage to win their title. Aside from that, potential League MVP Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas is an unmatched slayer in respawns which puts them in third place.
Being from New York, the Subliners will always be number one for me, but considering their rough start to the season with multiple roster changes (New York Substitute-liners), they didn’t rank top four in the regular season. But with the addition of Mackenzie “Mack” Kelly, the Subs have been steadily growing in team strength. The victory at their home series solidified that NYSL is a team to be taken seriously.
Florida Mutineers is the third-placed team in the CDL but ends up in 5th/6th due to the fact that this team is simply inconsistent. Some days they 3-0 one squad, and another they are 3-0’d right back. While there is a great amount of talent with the Mutineers, its strength changes everyday. The pick up of Joseph “Owakening” Conley was a great move at first, but as time goes on, he seems to be lacking compared to the rest of his team.
Toronto Ultra seems to have had a switch flip in their gameplay. During most of the season, I wrote off the Ultra as a low-tier team, but they proved me wrong in their home series. Taking down Chicago Dallas and FaZe proved this was a new team. Cleanx and Cammy are two strong players that hold Ultra together. It is possible that this team may even go further if the Ultra hold onto their momentum.
The Bottom Half
London Royal Ravens have always been a mid-tier team, and this has not changed my mind during the season’s close. Given the match up between them and Paris, I believe they will win, but nothing else leads me to believe they can go the distance. This team, along with Paris, have always seemed to exist in the CDL but never made a major impact.
OpTic Gaming LA similar to Toronto Ultra has had a resurgence in their play. While it is not to the level that Ultra have had success, this team is still earning match wins. Their current form is, in my opinion, stronger than the Minnesota RØKKR, which puts them just above that team in the 7th/8th place.
The Minnesota RØKKR are 8th in the season, but their outlook is worse. With the drop of Adam “GodRx” Brown, in exchange for Kaden “Exceed” Stockdale, the team chemistry might take a hit. Minnesota was a fearsome team on LAN, but the transfer to online found the RØKKR earning loss after loss. If Exceed proves to be a great addition, they might be able to push into the range of 5th/6th but not much more.
Paris Legion is the other squad that seems to just exist. This team had a great run at the London home series but found themselves losing to the perils of online play. Paris may find a win or two in the CDL finals, but the outlook for this team isn’t good. If they bring the same energy during London where they defeated the Guerillas, Subliners and London, we might find them moving forward. In the face off against London, if the Royal Ravens can manage to win one map of S&D, that will be the end of Paris’s run.
The Seattle Surge has had some of the worst luck in the league and found themselves at the bottom of both the CDL regular season and the playoffs. While the team has had some issues with online play, one of the best players in the game, Sam “Octane” Larew, is on the team. Seattle has made semi-finals appearances but never earned a finals spot during the entire season. Perhaps this team will have better luck in the next game.
The Los Angeles Guerillas… what can I say about this team aside from the fact that they have one more loss than Seattle. LAG along with the Surge have only earned 5 match wins. That is a 5 match difference from the 10th place team. I have no expectations for this team. The only advantage presented for the Guerillas is that they are facing OGLA who aren’t an amazingly strong team either. This squad I have no doubt will be eliminated in the first round of matches.
The CDL Playoffs will begin on August 19th with a best of five match between the Guerillas and OpTic Gaming!