After one weekend of play, the Atlanta FaZe and the Chicago Huntsman stand alone at the top.
1 & 2; Atlanta FaZe, Chicago Huntsman
These two teams dominated launch weekend, each dropping only one map total over the entire event.
The Huntsman showed what they were capable of in the first match of the weekend, convincingly beating the Dallas Empire, a team many had atop the preseason power rankings. While they struggled in S&D, Chicago absolutely crushed Dallas in respawn. As a team, the Huntsman were a massive +50 in Game Three. In a post-game interview, Huntsman star Arcitys said, “Shit was easy.” Chicago kept the momentum rolling on Sunday. In their match against OpTic Gaming Los Angeles (OGLA) — old OpTic vs. new OpTic — the old OpTic team made OGLA eat their words. The result was a 3-0 sweep in the Huntsman’s favor.
Atlanta FaZe got off to a similar start. In their highly anticipated debut match on Day Two, FaZe came out and lived up to the hype. Expectations were high. But stil not many people expected them to 3-0 sweep the Dallas Empire. Simp carried on right where he left off last year, dropping a 39 and 40 bomb in Game One and Game Two respectively. Evidently nothing changed against the New York Subliners either; FaZe won the match 3-1 in dominant fashion. The S&D skill of the Atlanta team is unparalleled. They did not drop a single round all weekend, going 12-0 in S&D total.
3 & 4; Paris Legion, Minnesota RØKKR
Perhaps the biggest surprise of Launch Weekend. We have the Paris Legion at number three. Every power rankings list had Paris placed at the very bottom prior to Launch Weekend. The Legion shocked the world when they faced off against OpTic Gaming on Saturday. In a huge upset, Paris took the series 3-2 on the back of KiSMET’s 13-4 Game Five performance. Paris thrived as the underdog, sweeping the London Royal Ravens 3-0 on Sunday. Another massive upset, considering the Ravens just swept the Subliners the day before.
Next, we have the Minnesota RØKKR. The RØKKR had as good of a homestand as you could ask for, finishing the weekend undefeated. Things looked eerie early on, as they fell down early 0-2 vs. the Los Angeles Guerillas. Fortunately for Minnesota, the guerillas were forced to forfeit Game Two due to an illegal perk being used. The RØKKR capitalized on this momentum shift and went on to win the series 3-1. In the final match of the weekend vs. the Toronto Ultra, Minnesota closed out Launch Weekend in dominant fashion. They absolutely owned the Ultra in respawn game types and won the series 3-1.
With the undefeated teams out of the way, we have some teams that looked quite promising but just fell a bit short for one reason or another.
5, 6 & 7; Los Angeles Guerillas, Florida Mutineers, London Royal Ravens
First up is the LA Guerillas. The Guerillas proved the preseason power rankings were meaningless. One could even argue the Guerillas were robbed of their 2-0 start to the season. They likely would have beaten the RØKKR had they not been forced to forfeit Game Two. After their disheartening loss on Day One, the Los Angeles team came out and played the Florida Mutineers tight on Saturday. In a series that went five games, the Guerillas came out on top. They won both S&D maps, despite being a game type the Mutineers usually excel in. The Guerillas seem like they have the potential to surprise as the season goes on. And perhaps plant themselves as the best LA team.
The Florida Mutineers displayed a strong foundation on Launch Weekend. The Mutineers looked like a “jack of all trades”; decent all around but not superior in anything. They went 5-5 over the weekend and had shining moments in both the respawn game types and S&D. They won their first match vs. the Seattle Surge 3-2. Then lost their second match against the Guerillas 2-3. One play here or there could have easily seen this team go 2-0 or 0-2. In the end, their result was a very average weekend which puts them right in the middle of our power rankings.
Rounding out the middle of the list we have the London Royal Ravens. The Ravens Launch Weekend performance was an anomaly. They impressively swept the Subliners 3-0 on Day Two. Then, on Day Three, they themselves got swept vs. the Legion. Is the Legion that good or are the Subliners that bad? Or were the Ravens just off on Day Three? It’s hard to tell this early on. One thing is certain though — wuskin was on fire. He finished the opening weekend with a 1.6 overall K/D — the best of any player on Launch Weekend.
8 & 9; Toronto Ultra, Seattle Surge
At 8, we have the Toronto Ultra. While the Ultra went 1-1 just like the three teams above, they looked underwhelming compared to the rest. The Ultra beat the Surge on Day Two in a match that came down to the very final round. Then they went on to get beat convincingly by the RØKKR in the final match of the weekend. Their middle-of-the-pack results net them the 8 spot on our rankings.
The Seattle Surge are our highest ranked 0-2 team. Many expected a better performance out of this team to start the season. They may not have won but they put up a fight in both of their matches. Falling 2-3 to both the Mutineers and the Ultra, the Surge have room to improve. The Surge went a total of 0-4 in S&D over both games. If they can refine their skills here, they’ll be a force to reckon with.
10 & 11; OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, Dallas Empire
All three of these teams got beat. Badly. The only saving grace is that each of them played at least one match against a top-two team. It is hard to say for sure after one week whether these results are due to the strength of schedule or if these three winless teams are just not as good as everyone originally thought.
OpTic Gaming Los Angeles has a talented roster that many believe has the potential to be one of, if not the best, overall team. But their talent didn’t come into fruition on Launch Weekend. They were upset by Paris Legion 2-3 and then swept by their rivals, the Huntsman. Despite this, OGLA has an extremely high skill ceiling and we could see them rise up at future events with a chip on their shoulder.
Dallas Empire; a team everyone had in their top two, got embarrassed on Opening Day by the Huntsman 3-1. Things only got worse as the weekend went on. FaZe swept the Empire 3-0 on Day Three to bring their overall map record on the weekend to 1-6. To give the Empire the benefit of the doubt, they faced off against what now looks like the two best teams. Regardless, they themselves were ranked among the top three in the preseason. Making their Week One showing was unacceptable. Shotzzy was an unheard-of 7-32 at one point in Game Three vs. the Huntsman. The team will need to perform better all-around at future events if they want to break their reputation of being exclusively online warriors.
12; New York Subliners
Last, we have the New York Subliners. The Subliners were seen as a top-six team heading into Launch Weekend. Surprisingly, they did nothing to live up to that title. Day Two saw them crushed by the London Royal Ravens. Still their horrid performance did not stop there. In a David vs. Goliath matchup against FaZe, the Subliners were able to take a single game before falling 3-1. The New York team need to regroup and figure out what went wrong if they plan to recover from this sad display on Launch Weekend. They certainly have the talent to make some noise in this league.
That’s it for our ESTNN CDL Week One Power Rankings. Be sure to check here each week for our updated power rankings, match recaps and more.
Feature Image via Kyle Miller/ESPAT Media