With the Vanguard regular season in the books, it’s time to break down the top five teams heading into COD Champs.
Related: [Although Falling Short, The New York Subliners Defied the Odds at Major 4]
5. Toronto Ultra
Toronto Ultra could easily be higher on this list, but a T6 finish bumps them to the fifth spot on the list.
Even though the Ultra has had its ups and downs throughout the year but remains a championship contender for every event.
Before the year started, the Ultra was seen as a favorite to win Champs alongside the Atlanta FaZe. But poor performances made the community change their opinions of them, and the team even considered roster changes.
Regardless, if the Europeans get hot at the right time, the Ultra could be a sleeper pick to go all the way like they did last year.
4. OpTic Texas
After their dominant performance at Major 1, it seemed that OpTic would be a contender for the rest. Unfortunately, due to injuries and overall poor performance they haven’t been able to achieve that same success.
During the Major 4 qualifiers, OpTic didn’t play like themselves, again.
But on LAN, OpTic is a different beast.
Starting in the losers bracket, OpTic rode their SND skills to big wins over the Minnesota ROKKR and Toronto Ultra to have a chance to play on Sunday. Unfortunately, they were bounced in the next round by FaZe in four maps. With Champs coming up, look for OpTic to go for broke in the year’s last event.
3. New York Subliners
It’s still weird to put the Subliners this high on the list, but they earned it.
New York proved to the world, against very bad odds, that they are still here to compete.
Throughout their weekend, NYSL won all their matches until the Grand Finals relatively easily. Taking down top teams like the Flordia Mutineers, LA Thieves and Atlanta FaZe twice.
After cementing their spot in Champs, New York is getting hot at the right moment. Their gameplay is getting better, and their chemistry is also growing rapidly. After some small tweaks, Crim and the boys should definitely be a team to watch heading into COD Champs.
2. Atlanta FaZe
FaZe’s streak of finals appearances was finally broken during Major 4, but that’s nothing to them.
After falling short in Major 4, it was the first time they didn’t see a grand final this year. Regardless, FaZe should still be considered a top team in the CDL, if not the best team. Their consistency throughout the year is something to marvel at, especially with the ever-growing competition and teams “learning” their strategies.
Heading into COD Champs, don’t be surprised to see Atlanta FaZe holding up the trophy at the end of the year.
You could even argue that they could be #1 on the list, but one other team deserves a higher ranking.
1. LA Thieves
The LA Thieves have finally lived up to the hype they had in the preseason.
Going under the radar throughout the qualifiers stage, LA Thieves were the sleeper pick to win the event.
Earning a spot in the winner’s bracket, the Thieves made their run to the finals look easy. Running through teams like the Atlanta FaZe twice and Toronto Ultra to secure a spot in the grand finals.
Matching up against the New York Subliners, the Thieves knew they were the better team. After going down a few maps initially, it looked like New York would run away with it.
But they were able to bring it back to hoist the Major 4 trophy, making them the best and hottest team heading into COD Champs.
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