This article is part of our Call of Duty series.
- 1:00 p.m. Atlanta FaZe vs. Dallas Empire
- 2:30 p.m. Chicago Huntsmen vs. Toronto Ultra
- 4:00 p.m. Minnesota Rokkr vs. Florida Mutineers
- 5:30 p.m. OpTic Gaming Los Angeles vs. Seattle Surge
ATL (24-6) vs. DAL (22-10)
Last time we saw this series, it was a banger, going the five-game distance during the semifinals of the Paris Legion Home Series.
The meta change should slightly favor Dallas in Round #2 with these goliaths, but I don't think it can possibly be a cut-and-dry type of series. After completely running through everyone last weekend, the Empire looked vulnerable in their repeat matchup against the Mutineers on Friday, eventually having to tightrope a reverse sweep in order to come out ahead. Gone were the weekend-long positive KDs of Clayster, iLLeY and C6, with just Huke and Shotzzy essentially caring the firepower for the Empire.
FaZe sure looked good against Minnesota, but as we've seen prior to this meta change, they certainly tend to struggle at one facet or another during a five-game series. We, as Call of Duty fans, would be so lucky if this goes to another Map 5 this go around, but in a slate with so many clear favorites, targeting a game that could go either way like this sure feels like the smart strategy.
Prediction: FaZe 3-2
CHI (21-7) vs. TOR (8-13)
Nothing much to see here. The Ultra did good to secure a Game 5 win over OpTic Gaming on Friday, but it took a 1.26 KD from Cammy in order for that to happen. Cammy is great, and has certainly developed into a formidable second AR behind Methodz on the Ultra, but it feels incredibly unlikely they'll pose much of a threat against the Huntsmen.
FormaL and company more or less did exactly what they were supposed to do against the Surge in their Friday matchup, allowing a couple of rotational miscues to help their opposition claim a Round 1 Hardpoint win before eventually figuring out their rhythm somewhere in the Search and Destroy.
Chicago's popularity among casual Call of Duty fans might keep their player percentage ratings a bit higher than you might anticipate, so if this series does the unlikely and goes four or more games, you might not even get the type of GPP-winning differential you're looking for. There's simply better options on this slate, even for as cheap as the Huntsmen are priced in what should be a blowout.
Prediction: CHI 3-0
CHI Players to Target: CHI Team ($2,400)
MIN (12-15) vs. FLA (19-11)
I guess it's possible one of these two series goes a fourth map, but the way the Rokkr have played, really since competitive Call of Duty went online, has me thinking otherwise.
The trio of Fero, Skyz and Havok were right back to their slaying ways Friday after a one-game blip last weekend against Dallas, seemingly restoring order to the top four in competitive CoD. Look, if you want to try and differentiate yourself from the pack, you could do worse than a Mutineers squad that has at least four players who could all post 60-80 points in a three-game series, much less four, but you're taking an awfully big risk relying on the Rokkr to finally get their act together. CHI/TOR doesn't give you much upside in the off chance the series goes past three games...I'm not sure FLA/MIN even has the opportunity for such an unlikely event to occur.
Prediction: FLA 3-0
OGLA (8-16) vs. SEA (5-15)
Back to a matchup that should be an intriguing series. Octane's sheer brilliance is going to be something we look back at years down the road and shake our heads in disbelief. Despite the team's almost unwillingness to win, the former OpTic Gaming slayer has been a pure KD machine, registering his ninth consecutive series with at least 90 DK points.
Of course, it helps that each of those aforementioned nine series have went at least four games, but I see no reason to assume differently against OpTic Gaming Los Angeles. Octane's universe-shifting presence alone tends to buy the Surge at least one map win even against solid teams, so it's hard to imagine that trend will somehow stop against OGLA, who only just seem to be getting their footing underneath them.
Ironically, in the previous meta this would be a classic Octane vs. SlasheR battle, with the two main ARs slugging it out for prime positioning. Since the meta change a couple of tournaments ago, SlasheR's production has completely fallen to the wayside in favor of newcomers Drazah and Hollow. I think it'll ultimately help OpTic take the win in this series, particularly because Kuavo throws yet another SMG menace at the Surge who, between Apathy and Slacked, can't seem to string together any sort of short-range consistency.
But as we've seen in the past, even in Surge losses, Octane can dazzle in terms of KD, and despite his high price tag, I don't know how you can avoid playing him Saturday.
Prediction: OGLA 3-1
SEA Players to Target: Octane ($9,800)