Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic Preview and Match Predictions

by in Call of Duty | Jan, 18th 2021

Activision has finally revealed the start of the 2021 season for the Call of Duty League, and it is beginning with a preseason event. The 12 teams in the league will begin their competition against one another for the year in the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic preview event that is happening soon. 

Call of Duty League Kicks Off With the Kickoff Classic Event

The Call of Duty League is one of the most exciting esports leagues in the entire industry. It had a messy but impressive inaugural season last year in 2020, despite all of the issues that came with that problematic year. But it has likely learned from what happened last year and will improve this year. 

There are so many changes happening this year, from the return to four players per squad, rather than the five that we had last year, to the fact that we are playing on a Black Ops title again with the recently released Black Ops Cold War game from Treyarch. 

Some many changes and distinctions will set this year apart from last year. It all starts with the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic preview event that is coming up soon. That is where we will get the chance to see the league’s action once more after months of waiting. 

Unfortunately, it will not be the real start of the 2021 season but rather the preseason event that will warm everyone up for what will happen in the coming weeks and months. That said, it is an important event for several reasons. 

After all, it is the first event where we will be able to see teams like OpTic Chicago and LA Thieves make their debuts after changing up their branding entirely. Then, every team roster is different from last year, even if it was just releasing one player from the starting lineup. 

It will be an exciting event to look forward to. We have all of the details about the first event of the 2021 season in our Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic preview, including the schedule, where to watch, what to expect, and our overall match predictions. 

Start Date and Match Schedule

For starters, where and when will you be able to check out the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic preview event? The start date for the event is Jan. 23. 

This two-day event will be the beginning of the preseason for the Call of Duty League and give teams a chance to show off their skills. Presumably, the event will be held entirely remotely, but the league officials haven’t said whether that is the case.

Regardless, there will not be an audience or fans in attendance with the pandemic going on, so there will only be one way to watch the matches as they happen, and that is through the live stream. There are a few places that you will be able to watch the event, from what we know thus far. 

Presumably, this season will follow the previous season and allow fans to watch the matches through the official Call of Duty League website as they happen through the official companion app for mobile devices. But you can also watch it more easily through YouTube. 

The league’s YouTube channel should be hosting all of the matches live there. It seems that the exclusivity deal for YouTube Gaming and Activision for the only place to stream the Call of Duty League events is continuing from what we had last year. 

During the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic preview event, six matches will happen in total. There will be three on each day, spread out enough not to fill the event schedule too much. All 12 teams will be in attendance in this special opening event for the league. 

Each team will only participate in a single warm-up match, so there will only be six matches in total. These matches were determined by the fans who voted on them, so many of the matchups are amazing ones that we are very excited to see, as they will further existing rivalries and potentially stir up some new ones. 

The first day of the event will feature three matches, starting with the Dallas Empire and New York Subliners at noon PT. That will be followed a little while later by the Los Angeles Guerrillas and Seattle Surge match at 1:30 p.m. and then closing out the day with the Atlanta FaZe and Florida Mutineers match at 3 p.m. PT. 

The second day will follow the same schedule but feature three different matches. Noon PT on Sunday will see the London Royal Ravens take on the Paris Legion, followed by the Toronto Ultra and Minnesota Rokkr match at 1:30 p.m. The weekend’s final match will be the OpTic Chicago and LA Thieves showdown at 3 p.m. PT. 

Day 1 Preview and Predictions

There is a lot to look forward to in the upcoming Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic preview event, starting with the first day. As always, we will give our predictions for what is going to happen during the first three matches and a breakdown of the teams going up against one another.

Starting with the New York Subliners and Dallas Empire match, this is one of the top three most exciting matches of the event right here. Dallas Empire is the current world champion for the inaugural season of the league, while the Subliners are among the strongest teams coming out of the 2020 season.

Both of these teams are perhaps the most consistent out of everyone. While other teams faltered quite a bit in the initial season, both were either steady where they were in the case of the Dallas Empire or constantly improving while everyone else was messy, in the case of New York. 

But more important than their records are the teams themselves. Dallas will remain the same as they did in the first season except without Clayster, which was a controversial move, in our opinion, as we would have let someone else go instead. 

However, the New York Subliners were the team to be able to pick up the current world champion Clayster for this new season. As such, they are the only two teams with current champions on them. This showdown will be interesting as the Subliners have also changed up some only to have Mack and ZooMaa return with Hydra’s fourth member. 

Hydra is a rookie and could potentially be an excellent asset for the Subliners as the few rookies truly were the stars of the show in the 2020 season. But he is unproven for now, so it makes deciding the winner of this match a difficult one, especially since this is everyone’s debut with Black Ops Cold War professionally and with the new four-man squads. 

As such, I would like to give this win to New York as I favor them over the Dallas Empire this season but just based on last year and the fact that we don’t know how the Subliners will work together this season, I have to give this one to the Dallas Empire. 

The second match of the event features the two teams at the very bottom of the leaderboard for the 2020 season: Los Angeles Guerrillas and the Seattle Surge. Both teams made some widespread changes across the board, but will they be enough this season?

In all honesty, I think that the Seattle Surge have a more superior team just from a glance because of players like Prestinni and Gunless, both of which are excellent. I appreciate the Guerrillas making some changes but, ultimately, I have to give this one to the Seattle Surge. 

And the last match of day one is Atlanta FaZe versus Florida Mutineers. It isn’t a rivalry that we know, so it feels like they were just thrown together since they didn’t have anywhere else to put them. Both teams have made some small but important changes this season. 

I think that the Mutineers have a bit more to prove this season, even with the MVP contender Owakening, while the great Arcitys join the three returning FaZe players. It will be a win for the FaZe unless the Mutineers’ rookies can step it up. 

Day 2 Preview and Predictions

The second day of the event features three more matches for fans to check out, beginning with the London Royal Ravens and Paris Legion match. This is one of the top three most anticipated matches just because of the existing rivalry between the teams and how it increases this year. 

The only two European teams in the league already had some beef with each other, but that increased with the addition of Skrapz on the Paris Legion team after being dropped or leaving the Royal Ravens. In our opinion, the Paris Legion has a better team overall. 

As such, I have to give this one to the Paris Legion even though I would have favored the London Royal Ravens last year. I do think that the Ravens made a poor decision, dropping everyone but one this season after how well they showed they could work together in their dream team-worthy playoffs run last year. 

The second match of the day is the Toronto Ultra and Minnesota Rokkr one, another matchup that is just likely leftovers as neither of these teams has a rivalry with one another that we know. But this should be an exciting fight nonetheless. 

The Toronto Ultra was one of the best teams in the entire league last year. Even though they were inconsistent many times, they deserved the wins they got in the 2020 season. However, the Rokkr was one of the worst teams around.

But the Rokkr have somehow managed to get perhaps the best roster out of the entire Call of Duty League this season with a mix of players from the New York Subliners and the Atlanta FaZe. It is an incredible roster that, if working well together, could be the best team in the entire league this season.

Without a doubt, I have to give this one to the Minnesota Rokkr. If they lose this fight against the Toronto Ultra, I think that will show that they aren’t the team that I think they are, so they have to win here. 

The event’s final match is perhaps the most anticipated one of all, and that is the OpTic Chicago and LA Thieves match. These two teams have beef since many called the former OpTic Gaming LA team the “fake OpTic” but that isn’t the case this year. 

OpTic is now with the former Chicago Huntsmen team, and now 100 Thieves are the only new organization this year, taking over the new LA Thieves team. Both rosters are excellent, and the leaderships are equally so. It will be a tough match and one that will probably be the closest of the weekend.

I have to give this one to the one team that I believe has the slightly better roster this year: OpTic Chicago. The loss of Dashy is an unfortunate situation for the LA Thieves and, so long as those four can work together, I think they will have a slight edge over the Thieves. But even still, we predict that it will be a very close match. 

What’s Next for the Call of Duty League 2021 Season?

The end of the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic preview event is only the beginning of the 2021 season. This season is only getting started as this event isn’t even the beginning of the actual competitions. That will happen next month with the Opening Weekend. 

Like this one, all 12 teams will compete against one another to get an early start in the leaderboards this season, much like what happened with the Minnesota Launch Event last year. Details are scarce at this time about the event and what will happen. 

Fortunately, the Kickoff Classic should be where we will find out more about the 2021 season schedule and what will happen at the Opening Weekend next month. Be sure to stay tuned soon for more details about when and how the true league action will begin this year. 


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