CDL Seattle gave Huntsmen fans exactly what they wanted: Chicago have been crowned champions once again. On only four days of practice, Chicago managed to surpass their plateau and win CDL Seattle. FormaL was a beast all weekend and earned the third-highest K/D ratio of the tournament at 1.22. Combining the veteran success with Prestinni’s high-octane gameplay created the perfect storm.
Group Stage: Paris Legion
The Huntsmen played the Paris Legion yet again to kick off CDL Seattle. This was a huge match for Chicago given it was Prestinni’s debut. The Legion were hungry to try and pave a path to the semifinals and capture some CDL points. Chicago played lights out in the Search and Destroy, but produced less convincing respawn performances. Although it was not completely smooth sailing, Chicago prevailed with a 3-1 series victory.
Azhir Cave Hardpoint (250-203)
Although the Huntsmen have played this map closely throughout the season, they still only have one loss. Chicago started with the less favorable spawns, but received some good fortune on Cave East rotation. Paris was too spread out on the map, which resulted in Chicago gaining favorable spawns and accumulating significant time. Through the first set of rotations, Chicago gave up significant times on hills three and four, finding themselves down 44 points. Heading into P5 it was a nailbiter at 201-203. The Huntsmen simply outplayed the Legion on the final hill. Chicago set up an impenetrable outer wall of gunfire with FormaL and Arcitys watching over the hill. Paris did not contest a single second of time on the final hill.
Saint Petrograd Search and Destroy (6-2)
Prestinni shined bright and lead the Huntsmen to victory with his dominant 2.0 K/D on map two. Legion won most of the opening gunfights, but Chicago stayed calm, cool and collected. The Huntsmen appeared to stick to the game plan they had going into each round and held strong positioning on the map. Despite getting first blooded, the Huntsmen’s positioning allowed them to get picks and escape with their lives. The match was pretty even at 3-1 when Scump took all of the wind out of the Legion’s sails winning a 1v2 with bomb planted. After the Huntsmen went up 4-1, then did not look back and took the second map 6-2.
Gun Runner Domination (136-171)
The Huntsmen committed a few too many errors in the Domination. Through the opening few minutes the Huntsmen did a great job of holding the B and C flags and accumulated a ~25 point lead. The Huntsmen gave up some map control to end the half and only held a four-point lead. In the second half, the Huntsmen could not get much going. Chicago could not hold two flags or switched the spawns. The team got picked one by one and unfortunately could not a coordinated push and paid the price.
Hackney Yard Hardpoint (250-236)
The second Hardpoint was pure chaos. Through the first set of rotations, the Huntsmen did a great job of securing a majority of the time on money hills. Upon earning a 165-79, mayhem began to unfold on the map. Paris managed to earn the favorable spawns on the second hill and snowballed quite a bit of time. After a very scrappy end to the second set of rotations, the Legion decreased the deficit to 27 points. Chicago was 17 points from a series win, but Paris threw everything and the kitchen sink at Chicago. Chicago earned the spawns for the second hill and immediately lost them, which meant winning on the first hill was imminent. Paris had Chicago quivering in their boots as the score reached 239-236. Chicago managed to get nine of the last ten kills and ice a very shaky map.
Qualifier A: Minnesota ROKKR
Per usual when these teams play, the match is action-packed and down to the wire. With the Huntsmen still out for blood, this was a step up in the competition for the new roster to take on. Minnesota were eager to prove they are still a top-three team. The difference-maker? Chicago’s precision and poise down the wire helped them clutch up on this matches’ biggest moments. Chicago walked away with yet another 3-0 series victory against the Minnesota ROKKR
Azhir Cave (250-233)
The match started off with smooth sailing for Chicago. Despite the unfavorable spawns, Chicago broke Cave East early, snowballed hills three and four and jumped out to a nearly 70 point lead. Another five hills complete and through the second rotation on Cave East, the Huntsmen were controlling key money hills and enjoying a 58 point lead as a result. Minnesota was accumulating lots of time on Soccer Field, which is where the Huntsmen really tripped up. Instead of rotating to Cave West, the team opted to push for scrap time and lost the key rotations. The result? A 192-210 deficit.
Chicago bounced back and controlled Cliff Path leading 242-211. Here is where the Prestinni factor enters the situation. Instead of opting to hold Cave East spawns, Prestinni flanked around the back to create chaos on the map. Unfortunately it was only ROKKR in the hill and the Huntsmen now lost Cave East spawns. Chicago fought tooth and nail, contesting and contesting, but unable to get those precious eight seconds. FormaL and Prestinni combine for five kills, icing the game and leading the team to a narrow victory.
Gun Runner Search and Destroy (6-5)
Some things never change, including the ROKKR choking S&D leads against the Huntsmen. The Search and Destroy was an extremely fast-paced, even battle. There was some sloppy play on both sides. Scump earned his second 1v2 clutch of the weekend in round two, Chicago relinquished a 1v4 round from Alexx a few rounds later. After Chicago failed to effectively trade out kills in rounds seven and eight, the Huntsmen were down 3-5. The difference-maker? FormaL and Envoy. Heading into round nine FormaL was 4-7. Upon earning four kills in round nine and closing out the game strong FormaL was 10-8. Envoy continues to be a problem on the map and earn sneaky kills with his creative positioning and routes, leading to a 14-8 performance. Once again, Chicago earned yet another 6-5 Search victory against Minnesota.
Hackney Yard Domination (176-123)
The Domination was far less eventful than the first two maps. Chicago started off with the bad spawns and still managed to create absolute madness on the map. Neutralizing all flags and flipping spawns lead to a 71-65 lead at the half. In the second half it was all Huntsmen as the kill feed lit up green. The Huntsmen held A&B flags for nearly three minutes straight. Combined with a few neutralizations of C and the Huntsmen steamrolled their way to a 53 point victory
Semifinals: New York Subliners
If it is action fans were looking for than the Subliners match did not disappoint. With a spot to the finals on the line and a significant amount of CDL points at stake, both teams brought their A-game. The Huntsmen were simply too much for New York to handle and Chicago emerged victorious 3-1.
Ramazza Hardpoint (250-209)
The Hardpoint was an extremely close contest for most of the map. Through the first set of rotations, each team held downtime on the money hills and resulted in a 120-119 lead for New York. Where the Huntsmen inched ahead was on rotation to the second hill on the second set of rotations. With 30 seconds left Envoy pushed up the outside of the map to get behind the Subliners and securing the spawns for Chicago. On this hill the Huntsmen widened their lead to 51 points and did not let off the gas for the remainder of the map.
Gun Runner Search and Destroy (6-4)
Recently the Huntsmen have played Search and Destroy very closely. Through five rounds Chicago traded round for round and were up 3-2. In round six, Chicago were a bit too quick for New York and caught them in poor position going up 4-2. While through eight rounds it was Envoy and Prestinni carrying the Huntsmen, ending the map at 19-9, it was Scump who sealed the deal in classic fashion for Chicago. Despite the bomb being planted, Scump won his third 1v2 of the weekend by destroying Accuracy and Mack and securing map two for Chicago.
Hackney Yard Domination (125-177)
The Huntsmen were completed crushed in the third map. The opening minutes were very disorganized with the spawns constantly flipping and flags being neutralized. While Chicago’s deficit was only 27 points at the half, things deteriorated quickly. In the second half, the Huntsmen lost control of the A flag and better spawns quickly. After this the kill feed was mostly yellow and the Subliners’ lead grew. Although Chicago was blown off the map, they admitted this was due to their extremely limited Domination practice leading up to CDL Seattle.
Hackney Yard Hardpoint (250-201)
Per usual with Huntsmen Hardpoints, both teams were neck and neck at 128-126 for Chicago after the first set of rotations. The Huntsmen played fundamentally sound Call of Duty and secured the spawns for Tire Shop which increased their lead from four points to 44. After two back and forth hills, Chicago was up 232-201 heading into Dock Building. The Huntsmen’s set up was simply too strong to break and Chicago broke through their plateau and booked a spot in the finals.
Finals: London Royal Ravens
The time was finally here: Chicago made it to their first finals since CDL London. This match was for London’s first title of the year and Chicago’s second title which would put them in a category with only the Atlanta FaZe and Dallas Empire. Arcitys really popped off in this series, dropping a 1.66 Hardpoint K/D and 1.85 Domination K/D. Chicago proved they are still a top team to beat in the CDL and took the crown 3-1.
Ramazza Hardpoint (250-202)
Chicago came out of the gates strong accumulating large amounts of time on hills one and three and earning a 55 point lead. Although Chicago gave up a majority of time on Electronic Shop, they refused to let anyone in on Barber Shop, keeping the lead at 58 points. A sloppy Construction hill put the Ravens within 20, but Chicago’s setup and gun skill was simply too strong on the final hill and they closed out London to take map one.
Arklov Peak Search and Destroy (2-6)
Unfortunately there is not much to highlight for Chicago in this map. The Huntsmen simply did not have an answer for Wuskinz, who went 8-2. Wuskinz shut down and cut off so many parts of the map that it made it difficult for the Huntsmen to execute their gameplans. Additionally, Arcitys could not get anything going and only went 1-7. All in all, the Huntsmen struggled to trade out kills and were not able to play as a cohesive unit.
Gun Runner Domination (155-154)
This map was complete and utter mayhem. The first half was made up of lead changes and constantly flipping of spawn flags. Neither team could get too much momentum going with the largest lead totaling 17 points for London. To start the second half, Chicago picked up some momentum when they held a two-cap for roughly 1.5 minutes. With a minute and half left in the half Chicago held a 18 point lead. Unfortunately for Chicago they split pushed B and C flags trying to get a neutral and failed. It was 153-148 with 15 seconds left and with the map evaporating before Chicago’s eyes, Prestinni pushed to neutralize C. Simultaneously Envoy captured A and in the last few seconds the Huntsmen took the lead and won by one point.
Hackney Yard Hardpoint (250-160)
The Huntsmen took over in the final map of the tournament. Chicago set up an impenetrable wall on the fifth hill of first rotations and earned a 55 point lead. With 20 seconds left on Warehouse, Scump snuck through into Tire Shop and disrupted the spawns, but London ultimately claimed the majority of time on this hill. After this, the kill feed lit up green and the Huntsmen were unstoppable. The Royal Ravens could barely enter the remaining hills. Scump and Arcitys went for a combined 61-30 and denied the Royal Ravens a chance to take things to a map five.
Featured image courtesy of the Chicago Huntsmen