Dallas Empire is the reigning Call of the Duty League winners, but in a dynamic world that has undergone major upheavals, do they have enough to survive at the top?
The Call of the Duty League teams have changed significantly from year one to year two. Last season, teams were playing with rosters, unaware about how the first franchised season for Call of Duty sports would unfold.
However, with a year of practice now under the belts of most teams, the world has changed drastically.
While the teams at the top of the power rankings stayed the same, including Atlanta FaZe, OpTic Chicago and the defending Dallas Empire champions.
Although the former two encountered several team changes, the Empire merely cut off one player, leaving the center of their roster unchanged.
For others, it was the best decision to defend the title. For some, though, this spells failure and encourages other teams to claim the 2021 CDL title. The big question remains, does the Empire roster have another championship in their sights?
Looking at the chances of the Dallas Empire in 2021
Although no one knows how the 2021 CDL will turn out, it’s obvious that Dallas Empire is one of the strongest teams in the league. It’s hard to claim anything less about a roster including the current MVP, Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, the most prolific player in the history of Call of Duty, Ian “Crimsix” Porter and two new hotshots, Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal and Cuyler “Huke” Garland.
However, the roster lost three-time World Champion James “Clayster” Eubanks. Black Ops Cold War returned to play 4v4, and one member of the roster had to withdraw. Unfortunately for Clayster, he seems to have been deemed the weakest connection. Still, Clayster was a huge part of the Empire’s success in 2020 and the questions about their chances in 2021 without him are valid.
A true leader, the role of Clayster must now be filled by Crimsix. While in-game roles are set, leadership is something that isn’t tangible. It can’t be taught, and it has a real impact on any sports team.
In scrims, Dallas went against OpTic Chicago, Atlanta FaZe, LA Thieves and Minnesota ROKKR. This translated into match wins when the league kicks off for Opening Weekend, but it seems Empire can still keep up with the top teams. Whether or not they can survive, though, is the real question.
Dallas relied on a hot streak at the tail end of 2020 to become CDL champions. They looked awful early in the 2020 season, but Shotzzy and Huke found their groove at the right time.
While the same can happen in 2021, there are a lot more solid teams to be reckoned with than they were last year.
At least half of the league’s teams have a real shot to take the title right now. Dallas didn’t have this luxury in 2020 when only four teams were really in contention. The more solid teams there are, the less chance the Empire has of winning another championship.
All in all, the Dallas Empire is as good a chance as any to take home the 2021 title. Sure, Atlanta FaZe, OpTic Chicago, and LA Thieves all look like worthy adversaries. However, Dallas has a star-studded roster that has shown that they can deal with any kind of adversity.
The Call of the Duty League 2021 Opening Weekend will be on YouTube on 11 February.
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