Call of Duty League Teams 2021 Power Rankings: Who Is the Best?
The Call of Duty League has been a whirlwind of excitement, tragedy, and chaos during the 2021 season. Only the second season of this franchised format from Activision, the Call of Duty League teams 2021, came into their own, revealing some expected performance and surprising upsets.
CDL 2021 Season Feels Thankfully Different Than 2020
Overall, I would say that the Call of Duty League teams 2021 and the season as a whole felt, fortunately, different from the inaugural season in 2020. This was expected because we switched games and developers from Modern Warfare/Infinity Ward to Black Ops Cold War/Treyarch.
However, more importantly than that, though, there were changes in the rosters and performances that resulted in some unexpected teams making a comeback this year to do well. Though some teams did just as well as predicted, there were enough surprises to keep the year interesting.
There was tragedy in equal measure, though, as we saw the 2021 season try and test even some of the most beloved squads in the Call of Duty franchise. Teams that previously did well, including our reigning champs, experienced failure and stumbling on a whole new level.
Whether it was real life intervening into the competitive scene or simply the growing pains of a new game and new teammates, several teams suffered inconsistency and missteps along the way. In many ways, I would personally argue that this was the most inconsistent year in a long time.
Though the switch from LAN early on to online disrupted the 2020 season, the teams adjusted quickly and stayed the same until the end of the year. On the other hand, this year saw teams go from amazing to terrible to great to terrible again and vice versa.
This was a widespread issue. It did not help that LAN returned towards the end of the season, further disrupting the season but mostly helping every team at the same time to do better.
Call of Duty League Teams 2021 Power Rankings
With all of that said, creating the Call of Duty League teams 2021 power rankings this time around was much more difficult than it was last year. It was even more challenging than creating the best to worst teams predictions at the beginning of the season.
Be sure to check out that list and come back here to see how the teams shook out in the end. I was right about some, but others were disappointing and did not do as well as hoped. It is also insanely different from the Power Rankings that I had for the 2020 season.
How I came up with this Call of Duty League teams 2021 Power Rankings list has to do with many factors, namely the final standings for the season, the performance in the CDL Stage 5 Major tournament, the final result of the team itself, how consistent they were throughout the season, leadership/roster issues, and more.
Remember that I am purposefully making this Call of Duty League teams 2021 power rankings list before the championship. At the time of writing, the champion is unknown. It could still be any of the top eight teams. I am doing it this way to cement who I think is the best overall team of the normal 2021 season, ignoring the playoffs where anything could happen.
Let’s look at every team from the 2021 season in our Call of Duty League teams 2021 Power Rankings and find out who I think is the best of the year. Hopefully, next year, we will finally have more teams on this list to shake it up more than ever before.
12. Los Angeles Guerrillas
Kicking off this list, we have the worst team of the 2021 season, which is the Los Angeles Guerrillas. This team had potential coming into the year, even though I ranked them last, with some pretty impressive showings in the first two stages of the year.
It was enough to make it seem like the Guerrillas could do better this year. There were times I wondered if they were the better Los Angeles team, too. But then the team slowed down in progress. The leadership made the terrible decision to drop Vivid (unless he chose this, but that seems unlikely), which goes down as one of the worst player drops of all time.
From there, the Guerrillas dropped off entirely and showed nothing—no signs of progress, performance, or anything. Further changes to bring on great players like Cheen did little to help an arguably already sunken ship. Even when it was clear that they would not make it to the playoffs, the other three eliminated teams kept trying, but the Guerrillas seemingly gave up. This is a team in need of yet another reboot next year, but, hopefully, one on our No. 5 team level.
11. Paris Legion
While the Guerrillas were terrible this year, I do not consider the Paris Legion in the same category. They are not good, either, but they at least tried this year, which only makes their position at the bottom of the standings for the season all the more tragic.
Paris Legion opted for a new team this year and built around old Skrapz from the Royal Ravens. In the end, I think that the final roster of Skrapz, Aqua, Temp, and Zaptius was decent and their best of the season. They showed such signs of life even after realizing they would not make it to the playoffs.
Before that, though, the Legion was one of the messiest teams of the year with poor performance that was consistently bad across almost all five stages. That said, I appreciate the positive ending for the team and wish all of the players the best. I hope Zaptius gets picked up by a better team next year where the young player can more properly show his skills.
10. London Royal Ravens
Next up, we have a team in a category above Paris Legion, despite being only 10 points higher than them in the standings. Do not get me wrong, London Royal Ravens were overall a bad team this year, but they finished the year much stronger than anything they showed previously.
That strong finish is enough to hand them this spot, which is technically the same as their standings position as well. Like Paris, they did not have a good season at all for most of the year. Until Stage 5, I was honestly going to put Paris Legion above them.
This was because of the very stupid decision to drop all of their players except Seany last year. The fourth-place finish from this team could have continued this year, but they decided to start over and paid the price. But, in the end, the roster turned out to be solid, with Afro being an exceptional standout player in Stage 5. Even more than Zaptius, I cannot wait to see where this player goes next, so someone out there on a better team gives him a chance in 2022.
9. Florida Mutineers
From there, we do not go to the Seattle Surge as you might expect, but, rather, the Florida Mutineers. I struggle with the Mutineers as a fan of them and Owakening especially, but this was not their year. I think the team did a much better job last year.
Tragedy struck with the passing of Fero last year, which left the team without direction in a way. It took a lot of time for the team to grow and find its footing, and it did in the end, but this ended up causing mixed results. I would argue that Florida is, no doubt, the most inconsistent team this year.
They could defeat anyone on this list at any moment, even in a sweep, but they could just as well lose to every single team on this list. If you told me they would make a run at playoffs and win it all, I would believe you, but I would also believe you if you told me they were eliminated in the first round three to zero. You never quite know which Florida you will get. They lack direction much of the time. I’m not sure you need a new team next year with them, but perhaps new leadership.
8. Seattle Surge
I put Seattle Surge above Florida because they have arguably shown more consistency than Florida and performed better in the end. Seattle was the worst team for most of the season but then came out of nowhere to do amazing when LAN play began.
This happened at the Stage 4 Major, continued in Stage 5 despite no chances of making the championship, and went even further in the Stage 5 Major for a top six finish after eliminating Paris, London, and even Atlanta FaZe, and coming close to taking out OpTic as well.
This shows that, had the 2021 season been all on LAN in another timeline, Seattle would have potentially been a top five or six team, if not better. This is tragic and, while I think LAN could help them next year, I ultimately want to see the unbelievably talented Octane join a much better team next year that is not built around him but simply a teammate.
7. Los Angeles Thieves
In the end, the Los Angeles Thieves land in the exact spot on this list as they are in the standings. This was not what I expected, as I struggled the most with the Thieves and the next team. This is because of the issues that the Thieves had for much of the season.
This team has gone through more roster changes than any other team in the league this year. They did not include my boy Drazah in the starting lineup at first. They had Temp, they kicked SlasheR for a bit, they had the world champ Huke, they brought people in and out constantly, and then they landed with their final Stage 5 roster.
This roster is, in my opinion, the strongest one of the year. In such a short time, the roster of Kenny, SlasheR, Drazah, and the return of John to pro play is excellent. If this team had so much more time to grow and improve together, they could have been a powerhouse. Here’s hoping that this roster sticks together next year and we can have a top team in 2022.
6. New York Subliners
Ah, the New York Subliners. Without a doubt, this was the hardest team to categorize on this list. Everything in me wanted to put them higher. At times, I wanted to put them much lower on this list. I found that they just made sense here in the middle in the end.
The Subliners are a team that I hoped would be our champions this year. Admittedly, I do not think that will be the case. Like Florida, too much tragedy and disappointment have struck this team with ZooMaa’s injury, losing or dropping Accuracy and Attach, and all of the internet and real-world issues that have struck the team.
With all of that said, the core team of world champ Clayster, who I still feel was unfairly dropped, Mack, Asim, and Hydra are unbelievably talented. I think Hydra is likely the best rookie of the season. Even Diamondcon has done a phenomenal job stepping in for a champ is irreplaceable.
It sucks that this team struggled so much in the end as they have been capable of being a championship-worthy team. I have not seen the playoffs yet, but I feel that they have little chance of winning at this point. With Clay leaving for a time, the decision for him to come back (especially with the possible real-world drama) or keep Diamond will likely continue to have this team be inconsistent. I’m not sure what the answer honestly is for this team next year, but I hope that we see them have a better season in 2022.
5. Minnesota Rokkr
Then we come to my favorite team in the league: Minnesota Rokkr. It is quite unbelievable that the team I ranked dead last in 2020 is now one of the top teams in the league. This is the improvement I wanted to see from Seattle, Florida, Paris, and other teams that did not happen overall this year.
But, at least, Minnesota is an organization that proved that anyone could start over fresh and make something beautiful happen. Whether they were dropped or chose to leave, the outcast squad of Priestahh and MajorManiak from Atlanta and Accuracy and Attach from New York created something magnificent.
In the end, the addition of newcomer Standy was an unprecedented decision and someone who is my argument for the second-best rookie this year. This squad did a banger job in the Stage 5 Major, finally reaching the point we were hoping for.
In many ways, they are the Subliners of this second season, constantly improving over and over slowly until they reached a point of excellence. They truly have a chance now of being champs this year. Even if they do not, they are the team to watch next year. I did not rank them higher because I do not want to get too excited yet over just their Stage 5 performance.
4. Dallas Empire
Would you believe that I would rank the current reigning champs at the time of writing this fourth on this list? Last year, they were the No. 2 team in the normal part of the league, without a doubt. They earned that spot and the overall championship in the end.
But 2021 was a struggling year for the squad, including Crimsix above everyone else. Even the former rookies struggled. The leadership crumbled, making poor decisions after poor decisions. Fortunately, the team recovered at Stage 4 and had a terrific run in Stage 5.
I would argue that the Dallas Empire here at the end of the season is potentially matching what they had last year, but the rest of the season outside of Stage 1 was a mess. We may never truly know or understand everything that happened with Huke this year or why they made the poor decision to drop Clay last year, but there is no doubt that the arrival of Vivid was the one silver lining.
Vivid is a player that I have long praised as one of the most underrated in the league. He is shining as the best and most consistent player, in my opinion, on the Dallas team right now. Here’s hoping that they respect that heading into next year.
3. OpTic Chicago
The other major team that has struggled this year is OpTic Chicago. In an uncannily similar way, both Chicago and Dallas struggled for the middle part of the season. Unlike the Empire, though, I think that OpTic at least showed some signs of life and recovered spectacularly.
In the end, I think that OpTic Chicago is the overall better team by and large when comparing the two across all five stages. The performance may say otherwise, but I think that the Chicago we have seen at the end of this season might be a much better team than they were last year.
I would have argued last year that OpTic was unlikely to win the championship. They did not, but this year, I can see it. Finally, this team has grown and proven that it can take down Atlanta and has earned it, making it possible for Scump to get another championship under his belt. Will it happen, though? We will have to wait and see.
2. Toronto Ultra
The second-best team this year is unsurprisingly the Toronto Ultra. While I was conflicted on their choices last year, the squad has become among the most consistent all year long. Though they have seemingly struggled here at the end of the season, I’m not sure that is what it is.
Like our No. 1 team, the other 10 teams above have grown to the point where they can now truly compete with an otherwise untouchable team. Even still, I think Toronto is overall the second-best team in the league by a long shot.
The team has the best synergy and teamwork out of any squad on this list, even beating out Atlanta, and they are calm, cool, and collected at almost all times. Here’s hoping they do not fumble in the playoffs, though, like last year and miss out on showing us the championship-worthy potential that they have.
Best Team: Atlanta FaZe
Without a doubt, the best team this year is Atlanta FaZe. If you expected someone else in this spot, I would have to question if you watched the whole season. They went undefeated for a very long time, they won three of the five Major wins, and they topped the leaderboard consistently without giving anyone a chance to challenge them.
The pickup of Arcitys was an outstanding choice that OpTic may very well regret right now, as this squad is so talented and unmatched. While they did show more signs of weakness in the final stage than ever before, again, that is simply a case of the other teams finally catching up to them.
Only time will tell, though, if they will come out with the championship in the end, but they are poised to likely do so with their easy route to the grand finals. They are still the team to beat this year and could very well be that again next year. I would even argue that they are overall a better and more dominant team than they were even in 2020.