CDL Kickoff Classic 2021: Results & recap
Call of Duty League is officially back for 2021 and before the full season swings into action, all 12 teams will compete in the Kickoff Classic — a six match exhibition event to celebrate the league’s first anniversary.
- LA Thieves lose first CDL match in 3-0 sweep vs. OpTic Chicago
- 2020 CDL Champions Dallas Empire dominate NYSL
- Four of six Kickoff Classic matches go to Game 5
The 2021 CDL regular season doesn’t start until February, but Call of Duty fans got an opportunity to see teams’ updated lineups for the first time this weekend at the Kickoff Classic, where each team competed in special show matches picked by the fans.
The Kickoff Classic ran over two days on January 23 & 24, with three matches each day. Like a large part of the 2020 season, this event will took place online.
CDL Kickoff Classic recap
The Kickoff Classic gave fans their first chance to see CDL teams compete in the returning 4v4 format, and it was 2020 Champions Dallas Empire and OpTic Chicago who staked their claim to be counted as favorites heading into the Atlanta FaZe Home Series.
Clayser’s first match against his old squad didn’t play out as he had hoped, with Empire sweeping the New York Subliners’ updated roster, which lost ZooMaa to a thumb injury that will keep him out of action for a prolonged period. The highly anticipated OpTic Chicago vs. LA Thieves match turned out to be a fairly comfortable return to action for the Green Wall, who swept Nadeshot’s side in their first competitive outing.
Elsewhere, Minnesota ROKKR won the “Battle of the North” against Toronto Ultra, while the widely-criticized Paris Legion side put on an impressive performance to beat London Royal Ravens in a tense Game 5 S&D.
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CDL Kickoff Classic Schedule
Saturday, January 23
|Dallas Empire 3-0 New York Subliners||12:00 PM||3:00 PM||8:00 PM||7:00 AM (Jan. 24)|
|LA Guerrillas 3-2 Seattle Surge||1:30 PM||4:30 PM||9:30 PM||8:30 AM (Jan. 24)|
|Atlanta FaZe 2-3 Florida Mutineers||3:00 PM||6:00 PM||11:00 PM||10:00 AM (Jan. 24)|
Sunday, January 24
|London Royal Ravens 2-3 Paris Legion||12:00 PM||3:00 PM||8:00 PM||7:00 AM (Jan. 25)|
|Toronto Ultra 2-3 Minnesota ROKKR||1:30 PM||4:30 PM||9:30 PM||8:30 AM (Jan. 25)|
|OpTic Chicago 3-0 LA Thieves||3:00 PM||6:00 PM||11:00 PM||10:00 AM (Jan. 25)|
CDL Kickoff Classic team lineups
The CDL Kickoff Classic saw a number of new rosters make their competitive debuts for the first time, with all 12 teams forced to drop a player following the decision to revert back to 4v4 after spending two years playing with 5 members of each roster.
For 2020 Call of Duty League Champions Dallas Empire, the switch lead to James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks departing the roster just days after securing his third ring. Empire fans didn’t have long to wait to see him back in action though, as his New York Subliners squad was voted by fans to be their Kickoff Classic opponent.
Sunday saw the triumphant return of a H3CZ-owned OpTic to Call of Duty, as they faced off against the team owned by one of OpTic’s all-time greats, Nadeshot’s LA Thieves. Atlanta FaZe faced a tough task against Florida Mutineers, while it was an all-European affair for the London Royal Ravens and Paris Legion.
|Atlanta FaZe||Simp, aBeZy, Cellium, Arcitys|
|Dallas Empire||Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY|
|Florida Mutineers||Skyz, Havok, Owakening, Slacked|
|London Royal Ravens||Seany, Alexx, Dylan, Zer0|
|Los Angeles Guerrillas||SiLLY, Assault, Vivid, Apathy|
|Los Angeles Thieves||Kenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp|
|Minnesota ROKKR||Attach, Accuracy, Priestahh, MajorManiak|
|New York Subliners||ZooMaa, Clayster, Mack, HyDra|
|OpTic Chicago||Scump, FormaL, Dashy, Envoy|
|Paris Legion||Skrapz, Classic, AquA, Fire|
|Seattle Surge||Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony|
|Toronto Ultra||Methodz, CleanX, Cammy, Bance|
Image Credit: Activision Blizzard