With the inaugural Call of Duty League opener just weeks away, fans will soon see who are the major contenders for the first CDL championship. Most of the attention has either gone to the Dallas Empire or the Chicago Huntsmen. However, there is a team hardly discussed and that is the Seattle Surge.
Who Are the Seattle Surge
The Seattle Surge consists of Damon “Karma” Barlow, Ian “Enable” Wyatt, Sam “Octane” Larew, Josiah “Slacked” Berry, and Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov, while coming off the bench is Casey “Pandur” Romano and Nicholas “Proto” Maldonado. The team is under Luminosity Gaming, which has a long history of having generally successful teams in major COD events. The highest placing Luminosity has at a COD Champs event is third place. Now taking into account every Seattle Surge player’s average placing during Black Ops 4, the team averaged a top seven placing. They have some winning chemistry, previous world champions, and a successful organization running it. But, even so, can the team really succeed with a star lineup like theirs? The answer, on paper, is yes but there might be some hurdles along the way.
Karma’s Looming Health Issue
Karma recently took a 1-week hiatus from streaming because of an unknown health issue. Very little has been publicly said but if that issue is reoccurring, then the team can really suffer. Karma’s health issue could especially be important considering that teams will be flying across the US and even overseas. The team still has bench players that they can count on, but losing a player like Karma will hurt any team.
Call of Duty League Competition
Teams currently have been fairly consistent in their scrims. Unfortunately for the Seattle Surge, they have been average. During the first two weeks, they were one win above .500 in scrims. In the month of October, the full team competed in two separate online tournaments where they finished top 4 and top 16. Even just recently in Karma’s December 4th stream, the team went 2-4 in scrims vs Chicago, a powerhouse in the league. Competition is fierce and Seattle have not cemented a solid record since Modern Warfare’s release.
With several changes happening to the league and the game, fans cannot assume performance will be the same. Teams develop as the season progresses and, with that being said, the Seattle Surge definitely have what it takes to be a prime candidate to be crowned COD champs in 2020. If the players find their rhythm, create chemistry, and get through some other looming obstacles, we might see Karma and Co win a ring in 2020.