It's time to lay it all out on LAN.
The Call of Duty League has now wrapped up its final weekend of qualifier matches for the stage one Major and the results could not be further from what everyone expected. This is the first qualifier in the history of the CDL to have a massive meta-shift in the middle of it as the M4 was booted out and replaced by the TAQ. The change proved to be the turning point for some teams and the downfall of others, leaving multiple squads in the middle of the pack at 2-2.
Only the Toronto Ultra and Minnesota RØKKR managed to escape the dreaded 2-2 curse by going 3-1 to finish with a tie at the top. The New York Subliners have finally started looking like a team, the London Royal Ravens took a nose dive in performance, and the Vegas Legion broke its 16-game losing streak to usher in a new year. Here is a breakdown of four of the main takeaways from the final online qualifier matches before the first LAN event.
Christmas came early for the Legion as they were gifted with their first win as an organization in 219 days. The organization has become known as one of the worst in the Call of Duty League but a recent revamp before the Modern Warfare 2 season changed the narrative. Signing promising talent to the roster was all the organization to break their 16-game losing streak, ironically beating the one team who had previously been undefeated.
The Legion looked like a different team against the Minnesota RØKKR. They started off with a solid Hardpoint win before taking the Search and Destroy and finishing out the series with a heart-pounding 250-248 win to secure the 3-1 victory. While Legion will still start in the lower bracket at the first Major, a win may be all the team needs to bounce back.
One of the most anticipated rosters of the off-season was the newly formed New York roster. But fans quickly curved their expectations with the team having back-to-back hard losses during week one. All it took was an added week of scrims and a meta change for the Subliners to change for the better. Wins against Boston Breach and the Los Angeles Guerrillas put New York in the middle of the pack at 2-2 overall. It may not be the cleanest of starts, but it might be another momentum to give them a better showing at Major one.
Minnesota RØKKR and the Toronto Ultra teams finished the Major one qualifiers at 3-1 and enter the first tournament as the No. 1 seeds. Despite the true battle of the North the weekend before going to the RØKKR, the two eventually ended up back at the top together when the dust settled. The newly formed rosters look poised to showcase their skills on LAN and will be the teams to keep an eye on in Raleigh.
Both teams looked solid throughout the qualifiers but not untouchable. Ultra had a close match against the Atlanta FaZe and the RØKKR were embarrassed by the Vegas Legion. With the new meta shift, the teams will have to regroup and tie up any loose ends before the Major.
London seemed to be ready to have yet another impressive season during the first weekend of qualifiers but took a turn for the worst with the meta change. They started undefeated with wins against the New York Subliners and L.A. Guerrillas but lost their footing and gave up two losses to the Seattle Surge and OpTic Texas this weekend. The team now sit in the middle of the pack at 2-2 but look much shakier compared to other teams with the same scoreline.
If the Royal Ravens want to soar to the top of the leaderboard again they will have to tighten their playstyle in the week leading up to Major one. A good run on LAN could be the turning point that the roster needs to get started in Modern Warfare 2.