Call of Duty League Stage 4 Week 1 Preview and Predictions: OpTic Chicago Home Series
The Call of Duty League is now directly in the middle of the second half of the 2021 season and it is time for the competition to really heat up with the start of the fourth stage. Stage 4 will begin this week with the first week of competition known as the CDL Chicago Home Series event.
Call of Duty League Stage 4 Begins This Week
Stage 4 is the second-to-last stage of the 2021 season and, as such, is the place where teams really need to finally settle into place with the roster and changes that are going to be with them for the last part of the season. Changes after this point just do not make a whole lot of sense. That is why so many teams are making changes heading into this stage, with the LA Thieves, Seattle Surge, Paris Legion, and more all making huge shifts in their rosters to try and cement their place in the league this season. This means that this week is largely going to be unpredictable at times.
This is especially due to the fact that the first week of the competition is known as the CDL Chicago Home Series. Though hosting does not mean much other than the team is guaranteed to play two matches that week, it could indicate that we could continue to see improvements from OpTic. The CDL Chicago Home Series will mark the first week of the group stage, which is following a structure similar to that of the previous stages that we have had. There are three weeks of normal weekly match play where teams compete against the others in their group, leading up to the Major.
Teams who do well in their group will end up in the upper bracket while the teams who are at the bottom of the group will find themselves in the bottom bracket for the Major. With only so much time left in the season before the playoffs, we expect teams to get wild this week. Fans can watch the CDL Chicago Home Series live as always on the official Call of Duty League YouTube channel as the matches happen or check out any of the matches that you miss after the fact. Here’s what you need to know about this week’s set of matches before they begin.
Current League Standings
Before we head into what is to come, it is important to take a look at what is behind us. With the conclusion of the third Major and the second tournament win this season by the Atlanta FaZe, the standings have shifted some to allow for some teams to rise and fall compared to the rest.
There are teams that once dominated the leaderboard for the season that have now fallen to lower positions and others that have risen considerably through the Major and past stage. You can find the full list of the 12 teams in the league and their respective points listed below from first to last:
- Atlanta FaZe: 340 points
- New York Subliners: 240 points
- Dallas Empire: 230
- Toronto Ultra: 225
- OpTic Chicago: 200
- LA Thieves: 170
- Minnesota Rokkr: 140
- Florida Mutineers: 120
- Los Angeles Guerrillas: 90
- London Royal Ravens: 70
- Paris Legion: 60
- Seattle Surge: 50
As you can see, there are some changes compared to what we had prior to the third stage. For one, Dallas Empire is no longer sitting nice and pretty in the second place position as the New York Subliners have now usurped that spot from them. The Subliners did what no other team has been able to do thus far and took the top spot next to Atlanta. The points are so close, though, that it is hard to tell who will be next to FaZe at the end of the season. After Dallas still has a chance if they are able to recover and improve the way that OpTic did in the Major.
Furthermore, the gap between Minnesota Rokkr and the Florida Mutineers has closed considerably. The newfound strength of the Mutineers has propelled them from near the bottom of the leaderboard into the top eight and we cannot wait to see if they can continue this in Stage 4. The London Royal Ravens have also moved up through the ranks some and could be doing the best that they have this entire season. With only a few matches separating them and the Guerrillas, we could see London finally pull itself out of the hole it has been in. The fight for the top eight teams in the playoffs is catching fire right now.
Stage 4 Groups
While the standings are important, so are the groups that the teams will be competing in for this stage. The Stage 4 groups are rather similar to the ones that we had in the third stage with some minor changes here and there, but it seems that the top two teams did not want to break the status quo too much.
The first group is led by the team that won the most recent Major and the team to beat: Atlanta FaZe. They are leading a group that is potentially the group of death once more, with OpTic Chicago, LA Thieves, Minnesota Rokkr, Paris Legion, and Seattle Surge also there. The second group is led by the runner-ups from the most recent Major and that is the New York Subliners. They are joined by some also excellent teams in Toronto Ultra, Florida Mutineers, Dallas Empire, Los Angeles Guerrillas, and the London Royal Ravens.
Both groups have potential to be deadly as everyone in the first group minus Atlanta will be fighting to be in those top three positions, but only two will be able to join FaZe there. Meanwhile, the second group has teams that are unpredictable and could show us some surprising upsets or losses. We do not know what to expect from Toronto after they have been a dominant force in the league for an entire stage now, and we do not know what is happening at all with the current champs in the Dallas Empire. Then there are Florida and London who are trying their best to improve. Hopefully, our CDL Chicago Home Series preview and predictions for the matches will help to clear this up some.
CDL Chicago Home Series Day 1 Preview and Predictions
As always, the first week of the group play will include four days of matches with 10 in total happening across those days. It will begin Thursday, May 27, and end on Sunday, May 30. The first day of the CDL Chicago Home Series on Thursday will kick off with only two matches, but one of them is exciting.
The first match to kick off Stage 4 will be the Paris Legion versus the Atlanta FaZe. I do not expect much from this match, in particular, even though Paris has been making some changes ahead of the stage. The addition of Zaptius is great news since he was unfortunately removed from the London roster, which may have been a mistake on the Ravens’ part. That said, this change on its own will not likely be enough to take down the juggernaut that is the Atlanta FaZe, at least not in the way that the Legion has performed recently. As such, I do expect this one to go in favor of the group leader, Atlanta, who is currently untouchable in the standings.
The second match, however, is a much more exciting one to look forward to: Florida Mutineers versus the Toronto Ultra. While the Ultra did not make it to the finals in the end for the third Major, they still did amazing and reminded us that they will likely soar above Dallas in the standings soon as the third-best team around. I fully expect to see more of that in this upcoming stage, but then there is Florida. This team has improved considerably and had a great run in the Major for one of the bottom teams. I want to see Florida continue to improve and be that team it was last year, so I could see an upset happen here. I like to play it bold sometimes, so here is my bold prediction for this week: I think Florida will win this match.
Day 2 Preview and Predictions
The second day of the CDL Chicago Home Series will also only have two matches on it, but these are both some interesting ones. The first of them is the London Royal Ravens versus the Dallas Empire. This is going to be a test of the two teams and the recent changes to their rosters.
London made some controversial changes recently, removing Zaptius who worked well with former teammate PaulEhx, but were those changes the right ones? After all, the Royal Ravens now have a roster that is closer to what it originally imagined for the 2021 season. At the same time, Dallas has replaced FeLo with Vivid, recognizing the talent of this young player who was unfortunately dropped from the Guerrillas in one of the worst decisions that we’ve seen this year. Vivid could fit right in with the current champs and we hope that he does.
This could actually be a match that I think could have gone both ways, especially if neither team made these huge changes before Stage 4, so it is harder to tell for now. Because of that, though, I will play it safe and predict that Dallas will win and start to improve from here on out. Next up, we have Minnesota Rokkr versus the OpTic Chicago. This is a rematch that we are very much looking forward to as they have had some rather infamous bouts in the past, with one in particular that will definitely go down in Call of Duty history.
It is hard to say what position these two teams will be in. Minnesota Rokkr did not have a good Major at all while OpTic showed signs of life once more. If that continues here, we could see a blowout from Chicago in a return to form for the team. This is especially true given that they are hosting this week’s matches. However, I am going to go ahead and be the possible outlier here and say that we will see more of the inconsistent Minnesota here where they will come out and win this match, but they may not be indicative of their performance for the rest of the stage.
Day three is where the Chicago Home Series really picks up as we get three matches on this day, instead of just two. First up is another Minnesota match as they take on the Paris Legion. Depending on how the Paris roster changes in this stage, we could see a surprise win from the Legion here. That said, I do not think that the Paris Legion will be able to improve enough even with the talent of Zaptius to do much here and I think that it will be close, but that Rokkr will come out on top in this first match to kick off the third day. The second match of the day will be the first matches for both Seattle Surge and the LA Thieves. Both teams have made some important changes to their rosters, with familiar faces rejoining their former teammates in both situations.
However, the Thieves are just simply out of the league of the Surge, and with the return of TJHaLy, we should see a return to the greatness that the LA team experienced prior to the sudden signing of Huke. I expect this one to be a pretty easy win for the Thieves. And the last match to close out Saturday is going to be the LA Guerrillas versus the New York Subliners. The Guerrillas have not made enough changes to show us that they are a team to beat as they have not done well at all since the removal of Vivid. (In fact, I still want to see Huke join them.) Meanwhile, the New York Subliners have found their groove and are a team that is worthy of the championship fight. I do not expect much from this battle at all, other than a potential sweep from the Subliners to close out this day and continue to cement their position as the second-best team in the league.
While many of the days and matches for the first week are a bit tame, Sunday is where it is at. All three matches are going to be possibly wild ones that are unpredictable. First up, we have the London Royal Ravens versus the Florida Mutineers. This is going to be a key moment in this group as these are the two teams that could surprise in the second group and possibly secure a top-three spot for the stage. Both London and Florida have looked great lately, and this battle is going to cement which one of them has a chance to be in the winner’s bracket in the next Major. I think that it could honestly go either way and it really comes down to how London performs earlier in the week with the updated roster that it has. At this time, though, Florida does look like the better team overall, so I am going to predict that the Mutineers will win this one, but it will likely be a close one.
The next match will possibly be a close one as well with the Dallas Empire taking on the Toronto Ultra. This is another case where it really comes down to how the Empire performs earlier in the week. If Vivid is the key to bring the champs together again, this could be Dallas’ chance to shut down Toronto’s attempt to take the number three spot. But if the Vivid acquisition is not enough for Dallas to improve to where it needs to be to defend its throne, then I do think that this is going to be a Toronto Ultra win for sure. Personally, despite being a huge fan of Vivid, I am going to give this win to Toronto Ultra and play it safe for now. The final match of the week will be the marquee one with the familiar rivalry of OpTic Chicago and Atlanta FaZe. Though, at this point in time, it is not much of a rivalry since Chicago cannot seem to beat Atlanta. However, with the possible momentum the team could have here, this might be the place to do it.
However, I am going to go ahead and say that Chicago will not win this match, with Atlanta securing its second win for the week and an early lead in the first group for Stage 4.