Day 2 of the Call of Duty League Championships has ended, and it was another day rife with unfortunate disconnects from game lobbies affecting results. Here is a look at the highlights and lowlights from the second day of CDL Champs.
With all the player disconnections affecting results, how seriously should we be taking the tournament at this point?
Emily Rand: I was so angry after the London disconnect that I was shaking with rage, and I cannot begin to imagine how frustrating that must have been for the London Royal Ravens and the affected player, Trei “Zer0” Morris.
People are continuously talking about how this is a franchised league, that people have millions of dollars invested in this, that there are millions of dollars up for grabs in this tournament. Putting all of that aside, I honestly cannot fathom the anger that players must have knowing that they are going into every match playing their best only to be kicked off of the server and have their opponents win a now-four-on-five match. It invalidates all of a player’s efforts. It invalidates all of a team’s efforts. And ultimately, it invalidates the results of the tournament, which isn’t something that the losing or winning team wants.
honestly ive had the worst year as a competitor and to finally feel like im hitting some good form and trying to show it off at champs and this happens.
— ¿Zer0? (@Trei) August 20, 2020
If I’m London, I’m throwing controllers across the room; and even if I’m the Toronto Ultra, I don’t want to be advancing through the bracket this way. It does affect how seriously I will take this tournament.
Arda Ocal: Here is the paradox: Champs has millions of dollars on the line, and it is the pinnacle of Call of Duty competition. Of course, we must take it seriously no matter how it is being played. This is where the best battle the best.
How seriously we take it in 10 years is the question. It will be discussed for years to come, especially with the issues that have arisen.
The situation stinks. Pausing the game is not an option. The rules are rigid. Some refs haven’t been up to snuff. Some rulings have been tough pills to swallow. And now, online connectivity issues (which are bound to happen in an online tournament, of course) cause a team to be on the brink of elimination through no fault of its own.
That said, despite the hiccups inherent in an online version of Champs, the playoffs were always going to happen. Between broadcast and sponsor obligations, massive franchise investments for teams and the first year of a new era, of course it was going to continue despite a pandemic. Other leagues have made the same decision; I don’t fault CDL at all for doing so as well. In fact, I applaud a lot of what it has done. It also doesn’t help the cause (and Emily has been beating this drum all season) that Infinity Ward doesn’t seem to particularly care about esports (some would say it a lot more strongly than that).
Will I take the tournament seriously? Yes. I pray for no connectivity issues anymore. Am I optimistic? No.
Who has a better chance of taking out a top-four seed: Toronto or New York?
Rand: This is nothing against the Toronto Ultra. I feel badly for them because their series was compromised and people will doubt their performance on Thursday. No one wants to win the way that Toronto won, especially when they already have proved that they can go toe-to-toe with the best in the Ultra’s victory over Atlanta in their home series. However, before this tournament began, I had already picked the New York Subliners as a dark horse to take the entire tournament, and I’m sticking with that after their win over Minnesota. They’ve already proved they can beat the Chicago Huntsmen if they’re playing at their best. And if the Huntsmen are going to drop a game before going on a presumed tear through the losers bracket, I’m betting that it would be against New York.
Ocal: PLAN THE PARADE ALONG YONGE STREET. WE’RE CELEBRATING A CHIP!
… but seriously, do NOT plan a parade. We’re still in a pandemic. New York did look like the better team on the day, but I won’t sleep on Toronto. The Ultra have a tough test next against the Florida Mutineers, but they have shown some brilliance, especially lately, so I’m still reppin’ the 6ix right now.
Do the London Royal Ravens or Minnesota RØKKR have a better chance of coming out of the losers bracket?
Rand: The London Royal Ravens, for sure, provided that their mentality hasn’t been completely destroyed by Thursday’s match — and I wouldn’t blame them whatsoever if it was. The Royal Ravens did not look bad at all against Toronto, and it was always going to be a close match between them and the Ultra.
Meanwhile, despite the addition of Kaden “Exceed” Stockdale over Adam “GodRx” Brown, Minnesota’s problems continued to look the same. Since going online, the RØKKR haven’t been able to finish out close maps or close series, and they too often give over advantages to their opponents in the final minutes or seconds of a map.
Ocal: +1, London. The RØKKR still look like a team that hasn’t fully figured it out and is on a path to an early 0-2 exit from the tournament. That said, they have a great coaching staff with terrific minds for the game, so hopefully one game with Exceed in the lineup was what they needed to build that chemistry and game-plan their way to a deep Champs run.
Who will look better on Friday: Chicago or Florida?
Rand: This is a tough one, but I’ll admit that in my initial bracket I had Chicago losing early to the Subliners, then running through the losers bracket. I’m sticking with this assessment despite Florida’s most recent performance. The Mutineers have had a lot of time to prep, and historically — through the online portion of this season, which is an admittedly small sample size, but enough of one — Florida has been able to turn it on when on the virtual stage.
Ocal: I’m gonna say Chicago. I feel like they have a chip on their shoulder and have something to prove. They also will be the team that shows off its championship pedigree the most, when each team has its back against the wall. Florida are still the favorites in my mind, but Chicago will “look” better. I feel like the Huntsmen have a fantastic opportunity to turn heads against New York.
Player of the day
Rand: I’m going with Dillon “Attach” Price of the New York Subliners. His closing performance against Minnesota was great to watch — and a nice series of play to close out what was a pretty rough day of COD.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) August 20, 2020
Ocal: For all that he went through, I’m picking Zer0. Before the connection issues, he was frying with a 1.73 kills/deaths ratio on Domination, 2.0 KD on Search and Destroy and the No. 4 spot in overall KD in the playoffs so far. Then, that happens. You hate to see it.
— to www.espn.com