CDL Seattle is next weekend and kicks off the second half of the inaugural Call of Duty League season. Fans are hoping Chicago can surpass their previous semifinal plateau. Many questions loom over the Huntsmen heading into the event. These material questions created a fork in the road for Chicago. Some of the directions involve roster inquiries and the starting lineup, strategy for their weaker game modes and how the Huntsmen will fair against the competition.
Who is in? Who is out?
Ahead of CDL Seattle, the Huntsmen still have not announced the official fifth starter. Gunless was sent to the bench and voiced his displeasure over Twitter. While no one outright said it, Gunless has questionable chemistry with previous teammates. During the Black Ops 4 season, Gunless attended a concert in place of scrims and did not attend pre-match scrims. This season, Gunless often yelled at teammates and created tension during scrims. With Chicago’s inability to progress since CDL London, it is not terribly surprising Chicago made a change.
As Chicago reached its current plateau, General has been scrimming with Chicago for the past few weeks. While he does not put up as flashy of performances as teammates such as Scump and Envoy, General holds his own. Additionally, the team environment appears much more laid back with General in the mix. Often during last week’s scrims the Huntsmen were poking fun at each other and constantly laughing. General is being a great team player in Chicago’s time of need. General’s extensive experience and poise are shining bright in these trying times.
Over the past seven days, it has been rumored that Chicago bought out Prestinni’s contract. This is just a rumor; however, what better way to cultivate team chemistry than acquiring Arcity’s duo. The two won a world championship together and the strength of their bond has been well documented. With Gunless on the bench, Chicago are in need of a strong flex/SMG player. Prestinni fits this mold perfectly. A fast-paced player, veteran experience and a cultural fit. It is worth noting Prestinni has been seen playing Warzone with the Huntsmen over the past few weeks. With few days left between now and CDL Seattle, Chicago needs to make a decision.
Can Chicago Reach a Finals?
Chicago’s struggles since their CDL London title are well documented. Given the time off since CDL Chicago and the likely roster change, the Huntsmen have a lot of upside and downside potential. Fans of the old OpTic Gaming/Huntsmen hold Chicago to a high standard. While third place in the standings is nice, the Huntsmen have proved they have first place potential. As each tournament passes by with Chicago failing to make it past the semifinals, the pressure continues to mount. The road to each semifinal has been turbulent at times. The Huntsmen looked dominant at times and in others someone sloppy – digging large holes to climb out of. With a roster change in the cards for next weekend, Chicago needs to be sharp and on top of their fundamentals.
Questions Surrounding the Competition
The competition for CDL Seattle is fierce. Many of the teams involved are coming off their best performances of the season. The first of these teams is the Seattle Surge. After barely accumulating any CDL points in the first few events, Seattle made it to the semifinals of CDL Chicago. Seattle ultimately lost to phase, but looked much sharper in the Search and Destroy which gave them trouble early in the season. Additionally, OpTic Gaming LA experienced similar struggles to Seattle early on. OGLA reached the finals in CDL Florida and gave the Atlanta FaZe a run for their money. Teams that were previously an easier match and now a scary sight to see.
On the other side of things, previously successful teams have fallen from recent highs. The Minnesota ROKKR reached two finals this season and beat some of the best teams in the league. While the ROKKR beat Florida 3-0 at CDL Florida, they then lost to the Toronto Ultra which has routinely struggled this season. Although it is just one tournament, it is worth keeping an eye on. Similarly, the London Royal Ravens have struggled recently winning just one of their last five matches. It is worth noting some of their opponents include top teams like FaZe and the Huntsmen. Yet, in order to compete with the top teams, the Ravens need to start executing down the stretch.
Featured image courtesy of the Call of Duty League