The Minnesota Rokkr will be away from the warm toasty blanket of the Armory for the first time in this inaugural Call of Duty League season. They showed the world what they were capable of during Launch Week so they should have some momentum.
However, LANs are always tricky, especially in a league like this where there are home arena advantages left and right. And with arguably the league’s best team (Atlanta FaZe) hosting, their crowd will be ready to bring the noise.
Despite the hostile environment, the Rokkr can take advantage of certain things that can give them an edge in the arena. It’ll just be up to them to deliver when it matters as they did in Minneapolis.
They’ve Played in Neutral Competitions Before
Before the season started, all of the teams including the Rokkr had a chance to get their feet wet playing together. They participated in five online tournaments together in pre-season and won two of them.
Now, playing neutrally is different from playing on the road, but it’s still a good appetizer for away competition. And the fact that they won two of the events and finish runner-up in another, gives a tiny glimpse into how they handle those situations.
Not to mention, every player on the roster has had experiences playing at neutral or road environments, especially the veterans. It’s just a matter of how well their chemistry runs at Gateway Center Arena on Feb. 22.
They Don’t play FaZe in the First Match
Although it should be fun to play the home team in enemy territory, the Rokkr won’t get that chance early on and that may be a good thing. Instead, they will battle it out with the Paris Legion, who has surprised fans so far and is currently one of the league’s top teams.
Yes, that will be a challenge as well, but avoiding arguably the best team in the league in their part of the forest is a bigger enemy. At least for now, that is.
Similarly to the tournament taking place in London, there will be a bracket-style approach in Atlanta, which is different from Launch Weekend. Eight teams will square off, each in their own groups as they battle it out to reach the semi-final rounds.
As mentioned, the Rokkr will take on the Legion first. They will then take on the winner of the match between the Chicago Huntsmen and Toronto Ultra in Group B.
The FaZe will play in Group A and take on Optic Gaming Los Angeles. If they win, then either the Florida Mutineers or the London Royal Ravens will be their opponent.
If both teams get hot, then there’s a good chance that they can meet in the finals. And although there may be a slight advantage to not playing them early, it would be an immensely intriguing matchup.
This certainly goes without saying, but strategizing accordingly will be key to the Rokkr’s success in College Park. One thing that the Rokkr head coach, Saintt, did well in week one was getting the players ready for Hardpoint.
Hardpoint is clearly one of the team’s major strengths and it’s also the first mode usually played. Despite some hiccups with Search and Destroy, their performance in Hardpoint can’t be overlooked.
They don’t have to be flawless in SnD, but it will certainly help their chances. Fortunately for them, Domination is also on their side, as they went 2-0 in week one.
Balancing things out from a coaching standpoint will prove immensely beneficial for the team’s first true road experience. Fine-tuning things to their strategic advantage will not only prove their worth away from home but their status in the league.
Colin Mieczkowski is the Minnesota Rokkr beat writer for The Game Haus and can be found on Twitter @GhostPandaColin. And be sure to follow The Game Haus @TGHEsports for news and updates surrounding the Call of Duty League.