For Call of Duty fans the wait was worth it. Now that the CDL is back in full swing, CDL Chicago is coming up this weekend. The field is packed with some of the top teams in the league. Fans are in store for an exciting weekend. In recent weeks, the Huntsmen have stagnated in terms of their early season success. There are a few key building blocks that will propel Chicago past their current plateau which include improved Hardpoint rotations, hotter Search and Destroy starts and raking up more time on money hills in Hardpoint.
Rotate, Rotate, Rotate
Early in the season Hardpoint was the Huntsmen’s bread and butter. They won most of the opening Hardpoints and had a near perfect win rate. As part of Chicago’s rise to the top, early rotations were one of the key contributors. It is worth noting that sometimes the Huntsmen do not rotate early to key hills, but their sheer gunskill is sometimes strong enough to break into that hill and earn a decent chunk of time. Unfortunately in some of Chicago’s Hardpoint matches this occurred too much and ultimately led to their undoing. Two key maps emerge from CDL Dallas: Paris Legion Hardpoint on Gun Runner and Florida Mutineers Hardpoint on Azhir Cave.
Paris Legion Gun Runner Hardpoint
This map was full of its ups and downs for the Huntsmen. Chicago built an early lead because of key rotations and gunfight wins. However, as the match went on, the Huntsmen witnessed their lead evaporate as they were outclassed by the Paris Legion. The difference? Early rotations. On the last two hills the Huntsmen were outscored 63-9. Whether it was a breakdown in communication or complacency with the lead, Chicago did not play fundamentally strong Call of Duty. Although Chicago got more bodies to the initial point, Paris did the dirty work to rotate around the backside to obtain favorable spawns. Consequently, the Huntsmen could not apply enough pressure on the last two hills and ultimately lost the opening Hardpoint.
Florida Mutineers Azhir Cave Hardpoint
This Hardpoint map was also an extremely close contest. The back-and-forth battle came down to a few key hills. Throughout the course of this map, the Huntsmen lost key rotations to hills two, four and five. Chicago was typically outnumbered or lost key engagements on rotation which handed a great deal of time to the Mutineers. Although on Cave West the team did a solid job of recuperating their losses, the Huntsmen’s luck simply ran out. On the final rotation to Cave East Havok sneaked past the Huntsmen obtaining spawns and securing the victory for Florida. Chicago’s mistakes compounded which made winning this map impossible.
The Huntsmen’s roster is full of players who historically struggled in Search and Destroy so this season fans are witnessing lots of fluctuations in Chicago’s Search and Destroy gameplay. CDL Dallas was no exception for Chicago. Although the Huntsmen went 2-1 in Search and Destroy, they got off to extremely slow starts throughout the weekend.
Chicago was plagued by slow starts in Search and Destroy at CDL Dallas. The slow start occurred immediately in the Huntsmen’s first match against the Minnesota ROKKR. Chicago started down and it quickly got worse. Before they knew it the score was 0-5. If it were not for Envoy’s herculean effort, Minnesota takes the Search and Destroy map easily and the series is even at 1-1. Similarly, Chicago put themselves in a hole with higher stakes in their semifinal match. The Huntsmen lost the opening gunfights and found themselves down 0-3. Although they made a slight comeback evening the score at 3-3, they ultimately lost the map 6-4. It is imperative the Huntsmen start Search and Destroy maps sharper if they are to remain at the top of the standings.
Money Prints Money
In order for the Huntsmen to take control of the standings again, earning key time on money hills is paramount. Early on in the season Chicago dominated the respawn game mode and culminated leads through locking down money hills. As previously mentioned, this was a key contributor to the Huntsmen’s loss in the semifinal. At CDL Dallas Hardpoint on Azhir Cave was not the only instance of Chicago losing time on crucial hills.
In map four against the Paris Legion the Huntsmen played with fire once again. On the last set of rotations Chicago did not win the rotations for hills two and three. Giving up a large chunk of time was imminent. Luckily for the Huntsmen they won the majority of key gun fights subsequently putting out the potential fires. Additionally, in the opening Hardpoint against the Mutineers potential disaster loomed over Chicago. On the second set of rotations Chicago did not adequately rotate to hills two and three once again. The Huntsmen’s saving grace? A 149 point lead they earned through solid rotations and positioning earlier. However, their lead evaporated to 64 points. If Chicago did not build an early lead, this map potentially spelled disaster in favor of the Mutineers.
Featured image courtesy of the Activision