Chicago Huntsmen: Back On Top
With the Atlanta FaZe not in attendance at the Copper Box Arena, the London home series was the prime opportunity for the Chicago Huntsmen to cement their place as outright points leaders of the Call of Duty League. The first tournament winners of the season looked in fine form, defeating rivals, the Dallas Empire, in group play and in the grand finals to take home the first prize.
The highlight from the Huntsmen came in the grand finals, with Pierce "Gunless" Hillman left in an improbable one-versus-three clutch situation on Arklov Peak Search & Destroy. Gunless managed to take down one player who was covering the defuse, eliminate another who was approaching the bombsite and the third and final player who was a split-second away from securing the round for the Empire.
Aside from the heroics from Gunless, Chicago looked a very well-rounded team despite the Paris Legion giving them a good run for their money in the latter stages of the tournament. All eyes are now on Atlanta, where a potential showdown between the Huntsmen and the FaZe is on the cards. Will we finally get to determine which is the better of the two North American juggernauts?
London Royal Ravens: So Close, Yet So Far
Everything was in place for the London Royal Ravens to take home their first tournament victory of the season. The crowd were in fine voice, the team were playing well and after reverse sweeping the New York Subliners to qualify for the knockout bracket, the potential of going all the way could not have been greater.
After their win against New York, the Royal Ravens went to war against a very strong Dallas Empire team. Both teams went blow-for-blow, with London coming away the victors in the opening two maps of the series, sending the crowd into pandemonium and the Empire on the back foot. Dallas immediately responded with two convincing victories in games three and four to force a game five showdown on Piccadilly. The double sniper rifle composition on the attack proved too strong for London, as Dallas completed the reverse sweep, sending the home crowd out of the tournament and the crowd into stunned silence.
Seattle Surge: Change Is Due
Despite the Seattle Surge securing their first series victory at the tournament, it was all down to Sam "Octane" Larew to drag the rest of the roster to the finishing line. Sub-standard performances from Ian "Enable" Wyatt and three-time world champion Damon "Karma" Barlow didn't help the issue either.
Picking up points at every possible opportunity seems to be very difficult for the Surge despite the sheer wealth of talent and experience that is on the starting line-up. Seattle won't be competing in Atlanta, giving them some much-needed time to refine strategy and attempt to recover what has been two weeks of poor performances against teams that they should be taking down.
If the Los Angeles home series does not go to plan, what next? There are two talented substitutes currently on-loan competing in Call of Duty Challengers so perhaps it is time to consider some form of change before this slow start to the season carries on.
The London Crowd: Excellent As Always
The London crowd at Call of Duty events never ceases to fail, creating all forms of chants, sending beach balls flying into the rafters and supporting Call of Duty esports regardless of which team is competing.
There were a few times where some sections of the crowd did begin to shout the locations of the opposing players when London were playing which is something that should not be happening at all. Perhaps a warning should have been issued in an attempt to protect the competitive integrity of the game?
Despite that little hiccup, the UK crowd once again put their North American counterparts to shame. Expect even more from the crowd at the second London home series, which takes place in June.
The Call of Duty League circus rolled into the Copper Box Arena in London for the second event of the season and the first using a tournament format. In this article, we recap what was another exciting weekend of Call of Duty League action.