It was a long 4 months wait before Call of Duty esports fans would get to see their favorite players in action. An old league that was transformed into a franchised league with new ownership and players. The new Call of Duty League kicked things off last weekend in their launch, and there’s a lot of changes that happened. Here are 5 things we learned from the CDL launch weekend.
1. Katie Bedford would not be the league’s host
Katie Bedford, who is an esports host and on-air personality, would not be the host for the new Call of Duty League. Katie was the host for the 2019 Call of Duty World League (CWL) season. She did a great job which landed her a nomination at the Esports Awards for Esports Host of the Year. As the CDL kicked things off on January 24th, viewers saw Lottie Van-Praag introducing the new league as the host. The official CDL Twitter account retweeted the announcement on the platform and many users congratulated her new job in the league.
— Lottie Van-Praag (@Praagy08) January 24, 2020
Additionally, joining Lottie Van-Praag on the CDL panel would be TeePee and NAMELESS.
2. Chris Puckett would make his return
Throughout the 2019 Call of Duty World League season, Jess Brohard would take the floor to do Instant Reactions with players and do segment leads. This year, Chris Puckett will take the place of Jess Brohard and do Instant Reactions while introducing players and teams in the Call of Duty League. Chris Puckett is a heavyweight in the world of esports and has been around a very long time.
Chris wasn’t shy to share his feelings with everyone and wanted to give his thanks for the new opportunity in the CDL.
After casting my first match in 2009, it’s been a joy to watch the evolution of Call of Duty esports. So thankful to be here for the launch of the @CODLeague 11 years later!
To everyone sending tweets, texts and love in the venue THANK YOU for welcoming back w/ open arms🙌 pic.twitter.com/cfp2F75ZZV
— Puckett For Hire (@MLGPuckett) January 25, 2020
3. Our favorite Call of Duty casters return
The new Call of Duty League brought a lot of changes, and most were out in plain sight such as new teams, new players, and even a new league structure. However, there were some things that weren’t 100% clear. Who was going to call the shots? Who were going to be the CoD casters? CoD fans were spoiled last season with the line-up of amazing casters. As the CDL launch weekend progressed, we were going to see the return of all our favorite Call of Duty casters from last season include Joe Deluca (Merk), Clint Evans (Maven), Thomas Ashworth (Chance) and Ben Bowe (Benson), Miles Ross (Miles) and Philip Whitfield (Momo).
4. Power Rankings Shocker
At the start of the CDL launch weekend, we were introduced to the Power Rankings which were put together but NAMELESS. A lot of the times, lists like these are based on what we know. So taking into consideration the caliber of players per team, or how a team performs before a tournament. The only variable here that can be deceptive is online games versus LAN games. When teams play together outside of tournaments, they play online in scrims against other teams. But at major tournaments, everything is on LAN where consoles are connected directly together, so essentially games will be lag-free.
At the top of the list is Dallas Empire, Atlanta FaZe, Chicago Huntsmen. On the other end, Florida Mutineers, Los Angeles Guerrillas and Paris Legion are at the bottom. However, at the end of the launch weekend, we saw a different story. Many fans could agree that NAMELESS’ list was fair considering everything we knew before the guns dropped. But, shockingly, we saw a different outcome.
With impressive performances from the Atlanta FaZe, Chicago Huntsmen, Paris Legion and Minnesota Rokkr, it’s a 4 way tie for first place. Minnesota played exceptionally well and having the home crowd advantage definitely was an energy booster for their matches. FaZe and the Huntsmen dominated their matches, with each losing only one map in the entire launch weekend. The entire young FaZe roster is filled with young star players, and leading the bunch is MVP, CWL World Champion and Esports console player of the year Simp. The Huntsmen, with the duo of Scump and FormaL back together again, proved to be too much for their opponents, and we saw some trash talking at the end of their first game series against the Dallas Empire.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) January 25, 2020
The Paris Legion was the surprise team of the tournament. New CDL player Kismet had an amazing showing in the league and impressed everyone on the panel. With most in the CoD community writing off Paris Legion, they shocked everyone by winning their two games; beating OPLA 3-2 and sweeping the hot London Royal Ravens. No one would have imagined that OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, Dallas Empire, and New York Subliners would finish at the bottom of the barrel after the first week of competition.
5. YouTube would have exclusive rights to stream the CDL
When fans tuned in to the launch weekend, they were shocked to find out that Twitch did not have any live channel for the launch weekend. It was then announced early on by Lottie Van-Praag that YouTube would be the only platform showing CDL matches.
“It was just announced that YouTube will be the exclusive streaming platform for all live broadcasts of the Call of Duty League.” – Lottie Van-Praag
All matches would be streamed at youtube.com/codleague.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) January 24, 2020