CDL Stage 4 Major and Return to LAN Preview and Predictions
It is now time for the Call of Duty League 2021 season to have the most important event this year: the CDL Stage 4 Major. This tournament is the fourth one in the season thus far and the most crucial moment of the season until this point for multiple reasons.
CDL Stage 4 Major Sees the Return of LAN Play
Not only is the Stage 4 Major the second-to-last tournament of the normal season for the Call of Duty League, but it is also the place where we will see the long-awaited return of LAN play. That is right; local play is making its comeback in the league for the first time in a very long time.
For a vast majority of the CDL’s lifetime across its two main seasons, the competition has been, by and large, online-only. Players and teams had to coordinate and compete remotely from their locations, making for a much safer but less-than-ideal situation for the league.
That said, it is now time for the return of local play on a huge stage with high production value once more in the CDL. The United States is recovering more and more with the number of vaccinations growing. Hopefully, all medically allowed players to get a vaccine can, and other measures taken for those who could not.
The teams and players will meet up once more in person for the first time since the LA Home Series, where the LA Guerrillas and the former OpTic Gaming LA teams hosted the event in early March 2020. That was just before widespread lockdowns. We have not seen a major in-person event like that since then.
All of the teams will be competing at the Esports Stadium in Arlington (Dallas-Fort Worth area) in Texas for this event, which just so happens to be home to the current reigning champs Dallas Empire. It is unknown if future LAN events will occur here, but it would not be too surprising.
Though the event will be happening in person and there are a lot of CDL fans in the nearby area, we, unfortunately, have to inform you that there will be no live audience in attendance for safety reasons. But you will be able to continue watching live online on the official league YouTube channel.
When the matches end, there will be on-demand videos of the matches on the league channel to watch anytime that you would like.
Current League and Group Standings
Before we jump into our CDL Stage 4 Major preview and predictions for the four days, it is important to go over the current state of the teams. The 12 teams are nearing the beginning of the end of the 2021 season, with the second-to-last Major before the playoffs.
There is only more stage left in the season after this, which means possible points for the leaderboard are severely limited after this. This is one of the last few chances for teams to show up and shake up the leaderboard once and for all, like what teams like New York Subliners and Toronto Ultra did in past Majors.
You can find the current leaderboard standings after the conclusion of the recent LA Thieves Home Series (we’ve come full circle, haven’t we?) ranked from first place to last place below:
- Atlanta FaZe: 390 points
- New York Subliners: 280
- Toronto Ultra: 265
- Dallas Empire: 260
- OpTic Chicago: 230
- Los Angeles Thieves: 180
- Minnesota Rokkr: 170
- Florida Mutineers: 150
- Los Angeles Guerrillas: 90
- Paris Legion: 80
- London Royal Ravens: 80
- Seattle Surge: 60
As you can see, the leaderboard is pretty set in stone at this point, barring some crazy events with Atlanta FaZe likely coming out on top at the end of the normal season. That said, everything past the first place spot is pretty much still open for anything to happen.
The teams in the second through fifth place spots are so close to one another, with sixth through eighth coming up. And then the bottom four teams are rather close together that any one of them could still show up with a Cinderella story run in the CDL Stage 4 Major and come out in the top eight.
And then, there are the two groups in the fourth stage that competed over the last three Home Series events. These groups directly influenced the outcome of the tournament brackets for this Major. Group A saw Atlanta dominate once more with an undefeated streak to get a one-round bye in this tournament.
But besides them, Chicago and Minnesota were able to pull off decent comebacks in their rights, each landing a spot in the winners bracket. This leaves Paris Legion, LA Thieves, and Seattle Surge in the bottom bracket, with Legion getting a one-round bye.
In the group of death, Group B, Toronto Ultra narrowly came out on top in the end after their unmatched win against the Subliners last week to win the group and earn a one-round bye. Meanwhile, New York Subliners and Dallas Empire will be the other two teams in the upper bracket.
Despite Florida’s great run in the stage, they did not make it to the upper bracket but will have a one-round bye at least. And then London and the Guerrillas round out the tournament in the bottom bracket as well.
CDL Stage 4 Major Day 1 Preview and Predictions
Now that we know where everyone is at this point, it is now time for our CDL Stage 4 Major match preview and predictions. The tournament will occur over four days, beginning on Thursday, June 17, and ending with a winner determined on Sunday, June 20.
Many matches will happen every day of the event, so fans have a lot to look forward to. The one wrench in all of my predictions is LAN, as some teams do better or worse in this setting. We could see some huge changes in this tournament. It all begins with the first four matches of the event, including the first two matches from the bottom bracket and the first two from the winners bracket.
The first match of the entire event will see the two last-place teams on the leaderboard duke it out: London versus Seattle. This is sure to be an exciting match since they both only had one win in the fourth stage. We expect both teams to show up in full force.
It is currently hard to say which team will win, but I think Seattle is the key here. While London had an unsurprising win over the Guerrillas, Seattle’s one win was against Chicago in perhaps the biggest upset of this entire season. The team shows a bit more promise at this time, so I’m going to have that be the reason why I predict Seattle will win this one.
Next up, we have the battle of Los Angeles yet again, with the Guerrillas taking on the Thieves. The Guerrillas have not had a single win in this stage (the only team with this issue), so we could see something special from Cheen and the gang, but I’m not holding out hope for it as much as I think Cheen is an amazing player, so I’m giving this one to the Thieves.
Next up, we have an amazing match with the first winners bracket one of Dallas Empire and OpTic Chicago. Both teams saw some comebacks in this stage, so it will be great to see how they stack up against one another. In the end, I think the determining factor is Vivid, like in the past couple of weeks.
He could be the tipping point in this match to allow the Empire to be the winner in the end, but that does require the other three players to do their best. Otherwise, I’ll be honest that, despite the upsetting loss against Seattle, I do think that OpTic is in a better place right now. So, based on this alone, I’m handing this one to OpTic, but it could go either way.
The last match for the day is another heated one, with the Minnesota Rokkr taking on the New York Subliners. Here is the crazy part about this match: these two teams had not played each other since Stage 1, when the Subliners won three to nothing.
However, that means nothing now as the two teams are very different at this time. I would say that the temporary loss of Asim due to visa issues for the Major will be the main factor in this fight. Unless Decemate can make up for the lack of Asim, this could be the opening for Rokkr.
Otherwise, I would probably give this one to the Subliners without a doubt. That said, this will be the first upset that I will go out on a limb to predict as I, unfortunately, think the Subliners will be slightly at a disadvantage in this Major, which sucks as they almost won the last one. I’m predicting Minnesota to get the win here.
Day 2 Predictions
From here on out, we are in the no holds barred territory as there are no matches that have been determined here. That said, I will continue for the rest of the preview with my predictions for what will happen. Feel free to disagree if you do not like my predictions, and be sure to submit them on the CDL website to have a chance to win prizes if you are right!
The second day will continue with four more matches, including the second rounds of both brackets. Next up is the first match for Paris Legion, where they will take on the winner of the tournament’s first match. I’m predicting the Thieves, so we will likely see the Thieves take on Paris.
Oddly enough, one of the only wins for Paris in this fourth stage was against the Thieves in an upset. This could prove problematic for LA since that was a relatively recent loss. If they have learned from it and pick the right maps, they could still win, but I am concerned about this team. I’m going to hand this one to Paris in a possible upset.
Next up, we have the winners of the second match on the first day, taking on Florida Mutineers. I’m predicting that it will be the Seattle Surge who can beat Florida, but I do not think it is much. I’m betting that Florida will win here to move on to the next round.
From there, we hop on over to the winners bracket, where we have Toronto Ultra take on the winner of the Dallas and Chicago match. I’m predicting Chicago will be here, but I do not see this team improved enough to stand up against Toronto, so I think Ultra will win.
And the last match for the day will be Atlanta FaZe taking on the winner of the second winners bracket match, which I predict is Minnesota. I think that FaZe will not have too much of an issue in their first match of the CDL Stage 4 Major and come out on top here.
Day 3 Predictions
This will lead us to the third day, where we will start with some more eliminations in the CDL Stage 4 Major. First up, based on my prior predictions, it should be the New York Subliners taking on the Florida Mutineers first.
This is where it gets complicated as, again, I think the Subliners would be the more likely team to win here, but the lack of Asim will sadly hurt this team. Unfortunately, I will predict it will be close, but Florida will win in the end, leaving the Subliners without a win in this Major.
Next up will be the match of Dallas Empire and Paris Legion, based on my predictions. Paris, barring any crazy upsets, should not be able to win this one, so I’m handing it to Dallas Empire in a probably easy win for them. That will eliminate Paris after getting some points and money in this Major.
From there, we will shift to the next round of the elimination bracket with OpTic Chicago facing off against Florida Mutineers. This one is likely to be a close one and one of the better matches of the event, but I will hand this one to Florida in a narrow victory to keep the Cinderella story going.
The other elimination round match for this day will be Minnesota continuing its run, but now against the Dallas Empire. I think this will be another close match, but I believe that Rokkr could edge it out in the end and win this one, so I’m handing it to them.
Finally, the last match of Saturday will be the winners final of the tournament with Atlanta FaZe and Toronto Ultra. These two juggernaut teams will meet once more, but this time on the stage. That will be the main factor here, but I expect Atlanta to win in the end to move to the grand finals once more.
Day 4 Predictions
Day four will see only four teams left in the CDL Stage 4 Major: Atlanta FaZe already in the grand finals and the three teams that have a chance at defeating them, which are Toronto, Minnesota, and Florida. The first match of the day is the fifth round of the elimination bracket, with Florida taking on Minnesota.
This one could go either way, depending on how these teams do in LAN play, but I will give this one to the Mutineers with a narrow win in the end. This will lead to the eliminations final, where Toronto will take on Florida for a chance to fight against Atlanta.
While I would love to see a new team in the grand finals in this Major since every tournament thus far has seen a new team in the grand finals against Atlanta, I think that Toronto will win this one and probably pretty easily. This will lead to a rematch in the finals of Toronto and Atlanta.
One of them will have another Major win, but which is it? I think that it could go either way. Still, we have seen Toronto do great recovery and improvements after an immediate loss in a tournament unlike any other team, so I expect that Toronto Ultra will win the grand finals in the end for their second Major win of the year and the only other team to do that thus far.