Revisiting our four bold predictions for the 2021 Call of Duty League season

Did our prophecies for the 2021 CDL come true?

CDL pro Scump roars as OpTic Chicago win a round. He's wearing a black headset, with a black and green jersey

Well, that was quite the Call of Duty League season, wasn’t it? The Tiny Terrors bagged their second Championship rings, LA Thieves made more roster changes than you can count, and a Canadian team nearly won it all with a European squad.

While the action – and the viewership – may have dipped somewhat during the Stage 3 and Stage 4 period of the season, it’s safe to say we ended on a pretty good high. The Championship was filled with memorable plays and an epic final that saw Atlanta FaZe walk away with the trophy. Now that it’s all wrapped up, though, we thought it’d be interesting to revisit our four bold predictions for the 2021 season, which we cobbled together all the way back in February just before the season began.

In it, we forecasted some ruthless roster management, made educated guesses about a potential MVP, and threw caution to the wind to predict a dark horse winning a major. But how accurate was our crystal ball?

Let’s take a look and see how many of our four predictions we nailed.

We will have an offline LAN event for CDL Champs – Correct

We’re off to a good start. While we admitted at the time this was the least risky of our predictions, LAN events still seemed like a pipedream. The Six Invitational had just been scrapped over in Rainbow Six Siege land, most top regional leagues in major esports like League of Legends were still competing online, and COVID was still rampant in the United States where the CDL teams are based.

However, it became clear that with dropping viewership and more LAN events being held across other esports, Activision would act. Not only did we get a great offline Champs, we even got two offline Majors thrown in as well – although Stage 4 was without fans and Stage 5 nearly made everything come crashing down due to players catching COVID.

So, that’s a tick to start off this list. Let’s see how we fare for the rest.

At least one CDL player will be dropped before the Stage 1 Major – Incorrect

This one is technically correct, but we’re going to mark ourselves down here. We predicted that the 12 teams would be especially ruthless this season following the switch to 4v4, and that at least one player would get benched between the first day of the season (February 11) and the start of the Stage 1 Major (March 3).

While this did happen in one instance, with London Royal Ravens bringing in Zach ‘Zed’ Denyer for Alex ‘Alexx’ Carpenter right before the major, this was not down to performance, and was instead due to Alex returning to the UK due to family issues.

We weren’t far away though, as following the Stage 1 Major, four teams all decided to make changes, bringing in rookie talent to replace older heads on their rosters. They were:

  • London Royal Ravens – Paul ‘PaulEhx’ Avila for Christopher ‘Parasite’ Duarte
  • LA Thieves – Carlos ‘Venom’ for Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda
  • Minnesota Rokkr – Eli ‘Standy’ Bentz for Michael ‘MajorManiak’ Szymaniak
  • Toronto Ultra – Jamie ‘Insight’ Craven for Anthony ‘Methodz’ Zinni

Feel free to give us a point for this one if you’re feeling generous, but we’re marking it as incorrect.

Minnesota Rokkr will win a major – Correct

This was definitely our most risky take of the bunch, and for pretty much the entire season, it looked to be the most wrong as well. That was until Stage 5 when Rokkr shocked us all to win the Major after the greatest comeback in Call of Duty esports history. 4-0 down in the best-of-nine final to Toronto Ultra, Rokkr brought it back in genuinely unbelievable fashion to win 5-4.

As a wise man once said: “It’s never chalked.” And neither is this prediction. We can’t believe we got it right either, if we’re honest.

Envoy will be crowned CDL Champs MVP – Incorrect

Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon and the rest of the OpTic Chicago crew have had a year to forget. While there have been flashes of individual brilliance from Envoy, Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell, Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper, and Seth ‘Scump’ Abner, the dots have failed to connect in 2021 – so much so that Envoy is now a free agent for the offseason and will not be a part of OpTic’s plans for 2022.

This, as you can imagine, renders our prediction that Envoy would be crowned the Champs MVP pretty useless. It also rubbishes our secondary prediction that this year was OpTic’s year.

While Envoy has all the traits, dedication, and maturity to become a legendary CoD player, 2021 just wasn’t his, or OpTic’s, year.

So, we got our easiest and hardest predictions right to score half marks. Two out of four ain’t bad, considering these were “bold” predictions after all, but we’ll look to up our psychic skills for the 2022 season.