Atlanta FaZe secure their second championship at CDL Florida after knocking out Optic Gaming 3-1 in the finals. Atlanta’s 50 point run propelled them past the Dallas Empire, and they now sit in solo first. Expected to emerge victoriously, Atlanta came out with gun’s blazing but weren’t a major talking point from the weekend.
Hosted by the Florida Mutineers, CDL Florida featured eight teams; Paris Legion, London Royal Ravens, Optic Gaming LA, New York Subliners, Toronto Ultra, Atlanta FaZe, Minnesota Røkkr and of course, Florida Mutineers. On Friday, Minnesota 3-0’d Florida and looked to be a contender on Championship Sunday. Unfortunately, after a crushing defeat in bracket play, they were unable to take a single map off of Toronto or New York and were eliminated alongside Florida, London and Paris. A big surprise to the Call of Duty community, Minnesota didn’t look like themselves, especially against the lower tiered teams, who have struggled in past events.
Toronto, New York, Atlanta, and Optic Make it to Sunday
Championship Sunday featured the ninth, tenth and 11th ranked teams, a feat nobody could have expected. Lower bracket teams have started to catch up as top teams fight to stay ahead of the curve. Although some may write off the final four as a fluke, Toronto, Optic and New York made immense strides in all aspects of their gameplay. Toronto, after they benched Daniel “Loony” Loza, were a completely different team. Anthony “Methodz” Zinni had one of his best performances in a while, and the team was clicking on all cylinders.
The key to their success was in their respawns. Even when they were down, they were never out. They won their ones, kept the score close on bad sides and had impressive breaks. Every Search they played was a nail-biter too. Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan hit nasty snipes, and Methodz, who has had some poor Search performances in the past, clutched a few important rounds. Ultimately they fell short in the game five-round 11 vs. Optic Gaming, but the improvement they made was a notable one.
Chino is Back and Better Than Ever
The same can be said for Optic Gaming. For the first time this season, they made it to a Championship Sunday final. Jordan “JKap” Kaplan got benched in favor of Martin “Chino” Chino, and already the team looks much better. Not sure why it took Optic so long to make the switch, but the squad did a 180 this weekend.
They were confident in their gameplay, Brandon “Dashy” Otell went off (as he usually does), and Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly got his groove back. Kenny “Kuavo” Williams and Chino were the ultimate duo the community didn’t know they needed, and the all-star team everyone expected early on is slowly coming to fruition. By their next event, there is a high probability that Austin “Slasher” Liddicoat’s Optic will go the distance again and start their climb up the CDL ladder they have been at the tail end of since the season began.
New York Goes the Distance
As for New York, their performances have been a roller-coaster. They are so unpredictable that the CDL never knows which New York will show up. They came alive at CDL Chicago, which hinted that maybe they were going to be a contender against a team like Atlanta. A slow start to CDL Florida, they bounced back and secured a Championship Sunday spot with 3-0 victories over Florida and Minnesota. Makenzie “Mack” Kelley had an insane weekend. He was a beast, and when he was fired up, nobody was touching him.
New York were able to take a Search from Atlanta after a demoralizing ninja defuse from Donovan “Temp” Laroda; however, a few minor mistakes gave leeway to Atlanta who were the better team at the end of the day.
Optic vs FaZe Final for Old Times Sake
Atlanta played at the level the community expected them to. If it wasn’t Search and Destroy, it was respawns. They switched up their Domination gameplay as seen on Gun Runner, and the series against New York was down to the wire. Atlanta steamrolled through game five and were all smiles heading into the final series.
Optic had a steep hill to climb if they wanted to beat FaZe. They needed to steal map one from FaZe, while still avoiding a slow start from Kuavo and TJHaly. Against all odds, Optic was able to steal map one and headed into Search where Cellium clutched a round 11 1v2. Atlanta held strong on Domination and went to a St. Petrograd Hardpoint where they closed the series 3-1 for their second championship title.
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