Following the first event in Minnesota, the London Royal Ravens were a question mark for analysts and fans alike. During that launch weekend, the team won their initial series against the New York Subliners, a team that was predicted to do quite well. Although the team won that first series in a dominant fashion, 3 maps to 0, they came out flat the next day. On Saturday, the team dropped the next series against the Paris Legion, although this time it was the Ravens getting swept 3-0 instead.
Despite experiencing both a dominant win and devastating loss, the Ravens had hope heading into their homestand. With the infamous London crowd backing them, the squad had the energy they needed to get through the weekend. From the targeted chants towards the Ravens’ opponents to the hype from their big plays, the London crowd lived up to their reputation of being notoriously rowdy.
As for living up to expectations, the Ravens did that and more. Unlike the launch weekend of the CDL, the London event was set up as a tournament for the teams that attended, as the Atlanta Faze, the Florida Mutineers, the Minnesota ROKKR and OpTic Gaming LA all did not attend. The tournament set up had two groups; Group A and Group B. The winner of these groups would move to the semifinals, while the losers would play in the loser’s bracket.
Their first match of bracket play was against the Toronto Ultra, a series in which they won 3-1. Despite dropping a map, the Ravens still looked dominant and had control throughout the series. Following his massive performance in Minnesota, a weekend in which he dropped a 1.60 Kill/Death ratio, Bradley “Wuskin” Marshall carried his insane play into the initial series. During that launch weekend, Wuskin had the highest KDR of any professional player this weekend, earning him the title of star player for the CDL launch weekend.
The only map the team dropped was domination on Gun Runner. Domination is a game mode that is still relatively fresh in strategy. Activision implemented a change in which capturing flags now must be neutralized before being fully captured. Many teams have had different approaches as to how to play around this change, but no strategy has shown to be completely successful yet.
Their next match was against a familiar opponent in the New York Subliners. After a slow start to the series, the Ravens found themselves down 0-2. However, the Ravens showed adversity and battled back to take the series 3-2. This win is a great sign for Ravens fans, as not only did they not get down on themselves and give up after losing two maps in a row but ended up rallying back for the win.
Clearly, the series went down to the wire, as the teams went to a map 5. On this search and destroy map 5, two key players for the London Royal Ravens had massive performances in Skrapz and Dylan. The duo went off for a combined 30 kills in a mere 10 rounds.
However, ultimately the Ravens lost in the semifinals in heartbreaking fashion. This time, the team went up against the Dallas Empire, a team that’s known to have one of the most talented rosters in the league.
The Ravens were up 2-0 over the Empire, but Dallas took the series 3-2. The Empire won the final map 6-5, as this series needed a round 11 winner take all to decide the victor.
Once again, this weekend Wuskin found himself among the top players in overall Kill/Death ratio, boasting a 1.37. A number below his 1.6 during the Minnesota weekend, but one that was insane for any player, let alone Wuskin who wasn’t considered to be one of the top pros heading into this season. The Ravens may be an ‘underdog’ to some. Analysts and fans weren’t high on the roster heading into the season.
However, the Ravens proved just how explosive they can be in their 3-2 comeback over New York. Despite coming up just short of the grand finals and a match against the Chicago Huntsmen, the future looks good for the London Royal Ravens.
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