Call of Duty League Stage 1 Major Preview
The Call of Duty League is ramping up strong this 2021 season and will be hosting its first tournament of the year this week. Known as the Call of Duty League Major, this unique tournament is the first of several that will happen this year and offers some of the season’s most anticipated action.
Call of Duty League Stage 1 Major Is Here: When and Where to Watch
After the Super Week last week, the Call of Duty League Major is happening this week. We have our preview ready here for you to check out. The Major is a tournament that will feature all 12 teams from the league’s 2021 season competing against one another in a high-stakes, prize-filled event.
There is a healthy amount of cash on the line for the teams who compete during this event, so we expect the performances to be the best of the season thus far. As such, fans may not want to miss out on any action that will happen this week.
Fortunately, like just about everything else in the league this season, you will be able to watch all of the action live on the official Call of Duty League YouTube channel. If you’ve been watching matches this season already, chances are that just opening up YouTube will see the livestreams recommended for you.
Matches will happen throughout the week for around five days, beginning later today, Wednesday, March 3, and going throughout the week until Sunday, March 7, when a winner is crowned for the first tournament of the year. To help you prepare for that, we have everything you need to know about it here in our preview.
Major Format, Bracket, and Groups Explained
The Call of Duty League Major is the first of its kind in the league, concluding the first stage of the season with a jam-packed tournament of epic proportions. All 12 teams are here, but they are not starting the event on equal grounds at all.
The first three weeks of the stage have all led to this where the teams will show who is the best. Everything that happens matters in the 2021 season, unlike last year, so the matches you have seen to date have made the difference in where teams will start in this event.
The Call of Duty League Major is somewhat similar to how the playoffs went last year, featuring a seeded tournament with two brackets: an upper winners bracket and lower elimination one. Teams are divided up between the brackets, depending on the points that they currently have.
For every win that a team got during the first three weeks of stage 1, they received 10 points and rose or fell through the leaderboards. Each team was put into a group and then had to do matches against that group, with everyone completing five matches in total.
That means that 50 points were up for grabs in total. Atlanta FaZe successfully reignited as the only current undefeated team in the league once again. That could very well end, of course, as we head into this event.
Six teams are in the Call of Duty League Major’s upper bracket, while the remaining bottom six teams are starting in the eliminations one. Teams who lose in the upper bracket will move to the lower one, where they have a second chance to win it all, while lower bracket teams who lose are immediately eliminated from the competition.
When it comes to the Major’s bottom bracket, the six teams are London Royal Ravens, Florida Mutineers, Toronto Ultra, Seattle Surge, Paris Legion, and the Minnesota Rokkr. Those last two, Paris and Rokkr, are the top teams of the bottom bracket to get a one-round goodbye where they can sit back and relax during round one.
As for the top six league teams in the upper bracket, we have OpTic Chicago, New York Subliners, Los Angeles Guerrillas, Los Angeles Thieves, Dallas Empire, and Atlanta FaZe. Like the bottom bracket, the last two teams, Dallas and Atlanta, have a one-round goodbye getting them closer to the first-place trophy.
Call of Duty League Major Predictions: Day 1
The Call of Duty League Major will not all happen on the same day, with matches divided up over the next five days. In general, there are around three to four matches that will happen on any given day, except for the first day, today, which will have a much shorter schedule compared to the others.
Round one will kick off today, Wednesday, March 3, and feature only two matches in total. That is because they are only for the first two bottom bracket matches. So, while there won’t be much action today, we will at least get to see two teams be immediately eliminated from the competition.
The Call of Duty League Major will kick off with the first match-up of Toronto Ultra and London Royal Ravens. As you will see in these early rounds, Activision made it so that teams are mostly competing initially against teams from the opposite group whom they haven’t had a chance to play against this season thus far.
Such is the case with Toronto and London, two teams that have a lot in common this season. They were both good in the 2020 season and even great at times, but they are not who they once were this year. While Toronto is mainly intact with its roster, London is the total opposite, but the results are similar.
Toronto has only had one win this season, and that was against Florida (more on them in a little bit), while the London Royal Ravens are the only team in the league with no wins this season. As such, Toronto has the advantage here but not by much in our opinions.
This is a match that could go either way, but London made the sudden decision to bring in Zed to play for Alexx, who had to travel back to the UK for personal reasons. This could boost the team that desperately needs it and even came close to beating the current champions Dallas Empire.
While I would typically say that Toronto Ultra would win this match, I will go out on a limb and say that London wins their first win of the season right here and beats the Toronto Ultra in a very close and entertaining match.
Next up is Seattle Surge vs. Florida Mutineers. Unlike the previous match, we have two teams that are the opposites of one another. Florida was one of the best teams last year, while Seattle was arguably the worst of the league.
Now, both are in similar boats this year, with not the best track records thus far. However, of the four bottom teams here, Seattle and Florida are two of the better ones. This should be a pretty even match and one that could go either way, but I want to see Florida return to its former greatness, so I will give this prediction to them to conclude the first day.
Day 2 Predictions
The second day is where things start to heat up as we get the first couple of matches in the upper bracket and the next ones in the lower bracket. There will be four matches, giving fans a lot of action to look forward to on Thursday.
First up is the first upper bracket match and an exciting one with Los Angeles’s battle once more: the Guerrillas vs. the Thieves. It has been a long time since these two city-sharing teams have competed against one another. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out this year.
Last year when the Thieves were OpTic Gaming LA, these matches were close, but OpTic was the better team overall most of the time. And this year, the LA Thieves are arguably the most exciting team and, though they are ranked below Dallas, I would rank them as the second-best team this year so far.
This tournament and this match, specifically, will be a very important moment for both Los Angeles teams. The Guerrillas have had a much improved year this season, despite only winning two matches. While I am excited to see where they go this year, I think that the LA Thieves will win in a potentially very close competition.
The second match will be the New York Subliners vs. OpTic Chicago. This one is intense and hyped because both teams are some of the best around. New York has yet to capture its glory from last year but it is almost there while OpTic Chicago is arguably a better team than ever before.
This year, Chicago is a very scary team, dominating more than ever before when it comes to fighting just about anyone other than its rival, Atlanta FaZe. As such, OpTic is the favorite to win this one. I am a Subliners fan, and I hope they can win, but my prediction is going to Chicago here.
From here on out, we have undetermined matches since they are based on what happens in those first few matches. But I will go ahead and fully predict what I think will happen this week in the Call of Duty League Major.
Based on what I said on the first day, that would mean that Paris Legion would have its first match of the event against the Florida Mutineers. These teams have fought each other before. Paris won in a blowout three to nothing. But those first two rounds of the match were very close, with Paris barely winning both of them in some risky situations.
Where Paris dominated, without a doubt, though, was Control. If Florida can power up, feed off the win against Seattle, and show up here in full force, they could take both Hardpoints and at least one Search & Destroy from Paris. If they do that, I see this match going to a win for Florida three to two, which is my prediction.
And then that would leave the next match to be the London Royal Ravens and Minnesota Rokkr. Unfortunately, the Rokkr has been put in this bottom bracket, despite being one of the best teams this year. I believe in this fantastic team. I don’t see them losing at all to London in this match.
Day 3 Predictions
From there, we come to the third day where the top two teams, Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe, jump into the competition. Based on my predictions, Atlanta will be going up against the LA Thieves. This match is one that I can’t wait to see since they haven’t battled each other this year.
In my opinion, LA is just behind Atlanta in terms of skill, but I do think that FaZe is still better and will likely win this match. The other match, though, will be OpTic Chicago and Dallas Empire. Dallas is our reigning champs, but Chicago is a team that is potentially better than ever before.
This will probably be one of the best matches of the season right here, but I can see it go two ways. If we get the champs-worthy Dallas here, they will dominate and win this easily three to one or three to nothing. But if this match is close, I think it will go different, so Dallas has to come out swinging.
In that case, OpTic Chicago would win in a three to two match, so I think it depends on if we get the full Empire here. It is hard to say, but I think that the near loss to London and New York and the actual upset loss to Minnesota have shown a slightly weaker Dallas this year.
The Empire had the much easier group overall and should have destroyed the competition but, instead, weakened quite a bit. Meanwhile, Chicago is dominating more than ever before. Because of this, I think it will go in the latter direction with a close match but one that Chicago wins.
If the bottom matches go in the way, I think they will. This would put the New York Subliners up against the Florida Mutineers. In this case, I do think that it will be a win for the Subliners in a not close match at all. From there, we come to the Los Angeles Guerrillas vs. the Rokkr.
While I like where the Guerrillas are going, I think they will fall to the better Rokkr team in a probably close match.
Day 4 Predictions
From there, we come to the second-to-last day of the competition. With only around six teams left in the event, we will have the best of the best that will be here. Based on my predictions, kicking off the beginning of the end for the eliminations bracket, we would then have an exciting match of the LA Thieves and the New York Subliners.
While I like the Subliners and could see them get a win here, I will go ahead and say that the Thieves will win this match. The next match is one of the most interesting ones of the entire league: Minnesota Rokkr vs. the Dallas Empire.
The only team to beat the Empire up until this point in the actual season (not my predictions) is the Rokkr, and they could do it again here. I’m going to go ahead and say that the Rokkr will win this very close and best of the series match to move onto the next round.
This will then leave us with the next match between the LA Thieves vs. the Minnesota Rokkr. The Thieves blew out the Rokkr in the past, which is potentially going to happen here. These are both of my favorite teams, but I think that the Thieves will come out on top.
Day 5 Predictions: Who Will Win It All?
From there, we come to the final day of the Call of Duty League Major. On this day, we will have three matches in total. Each of them looks to be just as exciting and interesting as the last. First up: Atlanta vs. their rivals Chicago, based on my previous predictions.
If Chicago will prove that it is a better team than FaZe, this is the place to prove it. If they can’t, then it is cemented that Atlanta will always beat Chicago. That team will need to avoid them if they wish to win the championship this year.
I think the match will be generally close, but Atlanta will win it in the end and be the winners of the winner bracket to move to the Major’s finals. This will shift OpTic down to the bottom bracket to meet LA Thieves in the eliminations finals.
The Thieves and OpTic will then meet for the first time this year. It could be an interesting one. While it isn’t going to be the most popular choice, here is where I am going to diverge from many other people’s predictions and make some bold choices.
I think that the LA Thieves will come out on top in the end, becoming the only other team to defeat Chicago thus far this season. That would then put the Thieves up against the FaZe for the final match of the event. This match will be similar to the championship match last year.
It is best of nine, meaning the first team to reach five round wins will come out on top. Atlanta choked last year against Dallas and gave us a very uneventful and uninteresting championship match. This is also where we learn if the team has learned from those missteps or not.
I think Atlanta will perform much better here. I think that they could continue their undefeated streak into Stage 2 this season, but I will go out on a limb and say that LA Thieves will show up in full force, becoming the first team to beat FaZe in this match. As for the score, I am thinking five rounds to three for the Thieves to win it all.
With that, we conclude the first stage of the Call of Duty League. The second stage will begin in the future, but no dates have been announced thus far. It will mostly follow the same format as the first one, with three weeks of regular play followed by another Major tournament.
As for the groups for the second stage, they will be led by the top two teams from the Major’s end. In the case of my predictions, that would be Atlanta FaZe and LA Thieves, the latter of which would get the first choice for which teams will end up in the opposite group.
We’ll be sure to let you know when these groups are decided, likely sometime next week, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the Major live if you can. If not, we will be sure to let you know the winners of every match sometime next week.