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The Huntsmen’s Bumpy Road to Championship Sunday

The first two days of CDL Seattle are complete and the Huntsmen’s journey to Championship Sunday was a very bumpy road. Chicago are in familiar territory as they advance to the semifinals and play the New York Subliners. Despite Chicago’s roster change they continued to prosper and beat some of the top teams in the world.

Prestinni Settling into the new Roster

There was justifiably a lot of positivity surrounding Chicago’s roster change. Despite sitting at third place in the standings, could Prestinni be the catalyst to push Chicago over their current plateau? Although it is too early to tell, the matches are going well for the Huntsmen. Overall, Prestinni struggled early in the respawns against the Paris Legion, but excelled in the Search and Destroy. Friday started off with a few shaky respawn performances from Prestinni. In the Hardpoints Prestinni went a combined 46-70 and in Domination he went 20-23. Yet, Preston provided fans with a reminder of what he is capable of when he dropped a 2.0 K/D in the Search and Destroy. However, come Saturday Prestinni had a much better performance overall.

Courtesy of Twitter

After the Legion match, Prestinni reflected on his performance. In an interview he admitted that he “could not stop sprinting”. Prestinni is a player who boasts his fast-paced gameplay, albeit sometimes a little too fast. It is no doubt Preston took his advice to heart. Against the Minnesota ROKKR on Saturday Prestinni’s gameplay was impressive to watch. In the Hardpoint he went 33-27, 10-9 in the Search and Destroy and 22-21 in the Domination. Prestinni shook off the rust quickly and looked very comfortable on the map.

The biggest factor the team needs to control is the chaos Prestinni creates. While extremely helpful at times, and at other times it can put the team out of position. Take for example the Azhir Cave Hardpoint against the ROKKR. On the third set of rotations the score was 242-211. Prestinni flanked behind the ROKKR back line to turn them around. When he did this, however, he flipped the spawns and lost Cave East spawns for Chicago. While this type of chaos can benefit the Huntsmen, it can also lead to mistakes down the line. Once the team is together for longer, their gameplay will become more cohesive.

Volatile Respawn Performances

Throughout group play the Huntsmen won most of the respawns by the skin of their teeth. All three Hardpoints were won by an average margin of 26 points. Although Chicago lost the Domination to Paris by 35 points, their Domination against the ROKKR was a convincing 53 point victory. Chicago went from looking very dominant to unorganized in some of the respawns. The consistency the Huntsmen typically produce was not as potent as usual. Most of this is likely attributed to the team being together for merely a week. Given time, Chicago will likely play much more cohesively and adapt to their newest member.

Chicago shot themselves in the foot a few times. The Huntsmen did the hard work to rotate and get spawns for the new hill. Unfortunately, Chicago would then lose the key gunfight to hold spawns or would not capitalize on their early arrival to the hill. Additionally, Chicago held the spawns for the money hill, but would push too far on the map and relinquish these spawns. These mistakes are likely attributed to degradation in team comms. Chicago has five top tier players, four of which have rings. Sometimes actions they take actions that appear to be muscle memory need to be communicated with the team. Fortunately for Chicago, at the end of the day all that matters is the final win and the total points they accumulate.

Business as Usual

Scump and Formal Smack Talk
Photo courtesy of Call of Duty League

Despite some of Chicago’s bumps in the road, they are still accumulating a significant amount of points. This is Chicago’s fifth straight semifinal. The team is looking great even though they made a roster change earlier in the week. Chicago faces mounting pressure on Championship Sunday to see if the team can make a final. As the season progresses Chicago will accumulate more reps and be a problem heading into Champs at the end of the season.

Featured image courtesy of the Call of Duty League

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