Call of Duty League Stage 1 Groups A and B Revealed

by in Call of Duty | Jan, 25th 2021

The Call of Duty League is finally getting well underway. We now know a lot more about how the 2021 season is going to work. We have the real schedule for the entire year now available, detailing everything in the Call of Duty League Stage 1 and beyond that. 

Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic Determined Stage 1

Before the Call of Duty League Stage 1 competition gets underway in the next couple of weeks, the year’s event was the Kickoff Classic. Having no real impact on the season as a whole, it was just a weekend of scrimmages where teams could practice against one another. 

Each team had a single match to play across the two days. The community themselves chose that. The fans could vote for their favorite match-ups and figure out who the teams were that they wanted to see up against one another during the weekend. 

In the end, there were some impressive match-ups like Paris Legion and their rivals London Royal Ravens, New York Subliners and Dallas Empire, and the newly formed LA Thieves against their eternal rivals, the equally newly formed OpTic Chicago. 

Those matches have played out now. Even if no points were at stake just yet in the Call of Duty League, the results have been decided. But through that event, the first stage for the year has been determined. We now know everything that we need to know about it. 

Activision has been pretty weird about the Call of Duty League Stage 1 and the rest of the schedule this year, doling out information in little bitty chunks throughout the last couple of weeks. We find out a little bit about the season and then a little more, but it hasn’t been complete yet. 

Every time that we have talked about what is newly announced in the season, there is always something else that we don’t quite know enough about. This caused the season to be a mystery, but now it is much less so with the reveal of the Call of Duty League Stage 1. 

Call of Duty League Stage 1 Group A Revealed and Breakdown

As you likely know, every single stage in the season will feature different groups with different teams featured in them. With the Kickoff Classic this past weekend, we found out about the Call of Duty League Stage 1 groups that will be here for the next good while. 

There are two groups in Call of Duty League Stage 1. They are going to compete against one another. The first group, Group A, is the alpha group that features the No. 1 team in the league at this time: the current world champions from 2020 Dallas Empire. 

The group selection happened during the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic event, where we got to see the 12 teams with their representatives appear and select the teams in each group. When it comes to selecting groups, it is based on a reverse snake draft style.

In this way, it starts with the top two teams. In this case, it was Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe who were put into separate groups. The No. 1 team picks a team. That team is put into the other group. Then it goes to No. 2, who will pick someone for Group A. 

It goes to Group B, who was selected by the first team. They pick someone for Group A. It keeps going back and forth like that, with teams picking for other groups until they are done. All 12 teams are split into these two groups. 

We get that it sounds very confusing. Even the official group selection for Call of Duty League Stage 1 was pretty confusing from its sound, but it makes sense in practice. Through this method, Group A was determined. This is the alpha group led by the current world champions Dallas Empire.

Overall, Group A is, ironically, not necessarily the alpha group you might have expected it to be. Here is the full list of the six teams in Group A:

  • Dallas Empire
  • LA Thieves
  • Minnesota Rokkr
  • London Royal Ravens
  • New York Subliners
  • Seattle Surge

This group looks pretty lit, but there are some issues with it, of course. Dallas, LA, Rokkr, Seattle, and New York are all fantastic teams from a glance, but some just haven’t been able to prove themselves yet. Seattle, LA, and New York did not live up to the Kickoff Classic hype. 

This could change, though, once the competition starts. Regardless, we have high hopes for both the current champions Dallas Empire and Minnesota Rokkr, so this group will likely be challenging as the weeks go on. 

Stage 1 Group B Breakdown

The other group, Group B, was started with Atlanta FaZe, the No. 2 team in the league. This is a more stacked group than the first one from what we know so far. You can find the full list of the six teams that are in Group B below:

  • Atlanta FaZe
  • OpTic Chicago
  • Florida Mutineers
  • Toronto Ultra
  • Los Angeles Guerrillas
  • Paris Legion

The thing to keep in mind here is that while the group doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as the first one with only three, maybe four teams, that are interesting, they have proven much more than the Group A counterparts have been able to thus far. 

Atlanta FaZe, OpTic Chicago, Florida Mutineers, and maybe Toronto Ultra are the teams to look out for here. However, results speak for themselves. They have shown us that there is more to this team than meets the eye. We have the No. 2 team, of course, in Atlanta FaZe leading the group.

But then we have the new and improved OpTic Chicago looking to win this whole season if they can. There’s also the Florida Mutineers, who have started the season by showing off they are not playing this year by taking out Atlanta in a very close match. The LA Guerrillas might be our dark horse this year. Lastly, we have Paris Legion, who defeated the No. 4 team from last year.

There are many early winners in the second group, which is the one to watch for sure. The matches they will have will be brutal and a real idea of who will be going to gun for Dallas Empire’s throne this year. We will have to wait and see for now, though. 

How the Stages Work in the 2021 Season

The Call of Duty League Stage 1 is the first of five that will happen throughout 2021. This year’s season will be divided into five stages, with four weeks that make it up. Three weeks will follow the Home Series Weekend events schedule from last year, culminating in a Major tournament on the fourth weekend of the stage. 

What’s weird is that the Home Series Weekends will be a little bit less exciting this year, but they will be more like the standard leagues that we see in other sports like the NBA and NFL, where you have a schedule of teams looking forward to fighting each other and gaining traction along the way. 

If a team is in a group, they will battle in five matches, one against every other member in their group, before the Major happens. Some teams will have two matches a week while others will only have one, but everyone will fight against everyone in their group at some point. 

So, with Atlanta FaZe and OpTic Chicago together in Group B, for instance, this ensures that we will not have to wait until the end of the season yet again to watch them fight each other for the first time like it happened last year. 

Every match that a team wins in the Home Series Weekends will get 10 points for the season. The points will determine the seeding for the Major tournament at the end of the stage, where all 12 teams will compete against one another for a massive selection of points and prizes.

Which Teams to Look for This Stage

With all of this said, here are the teams that we think that you should be looking out for in the first stage of the Call of Duty League 2021 season. This stage is the hardest to predict and make assumptions about since there is so little known about the season.

We have seen each team only do one match period. For some teams, they were up against teams that are likely their weakness or, in the case of New York Subliners, were likely not ready to jump into the fight with their pal ZooMaa now retired from Call of Duty suddenly. 

We don’t know about these teams, like which ones won on a fluke or how they will do in the end with Black Ops Cold War as the main game for competition. It matters if teams can nail their Control game since that was the mode that killed many teams.  

There are some teams to watch out for this stage that could do quite well for themselves. There are the obvious ones like Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe, so we will ignore them for now as they are likely to do well regardless.

But it is worth mentioning that OpTic Chicago is like a different team now. They feel more aggressive and dominating, truly stepping into the roles they seemed to want to be in 2020 but never truly got there or stayed there for as long as they needed to. 

Then there are the LA Thieves, a stacked team and coming off of a good 2020 season but not a great start against Chicago. From there, there is Minnesota Rokkr and Florida Mutineers. Both have excellent teams that are powerful. We expect great things from both of them this year.

And lastly, there is New York Subliners. I believe in this team, despite everything that has happened to them, and I believed that they were the most consistently improving team of last year. They had a rough start, but I want to believe they will channel that again, grow week after week, and eventually be one of the strongest of the entire league. 

Atlanta FaZe Home Series Weekend Will Begin the First Stage

The Call of Duty League Stage 1 will begin with the Atlanta FaZe Home Series Weekend, where some teams will compete in two matches while others will compete in one match. Four days of matches will happen here. This will be the team’s first chance to gain some points. 

Ten matches will happen during Week 1 of Stage 1, and some great ones will happen here. Though the last weeks of Stage 1 look a bit more exciting, there are some definite moments to look forward to. Here are a couple of the matches that we look forward to. 

Minnesota Rokkr vs. LA Thieves will kick off the Home Series Weekend and looks to be an exciting one. I am an OpTic Gaming LA fan and, therefore, LA Thieves one, too, but Minnesota Rokkr has an incredible team with some of my favorite players like Attach and Accuracy. 

This match will be an important one as it will tell us the better of the two likely and which team might be a real contender for challenging for the world champion title. Another exciting match is New York Subliners and LA Thieves, as both teams have something to prove.

Minnesota Rokkr and Dallas Empire is a curious one. If Rokkr can take down Dallas, that would be a great upset. And last but not least, easily the most exciting match of Week 1 is OpTic Chicago and Atlanta FaZe. FaZe was the better team in 2020 but has that changed with OpTic Chicago now very different from what it was before? We’ll have to wait and see.


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