LA Thieves and Minnesota Rokkr make surprise Call of Duty League changes

Two new rookies will make their CDL debuts as Venom and Standy make the step up

LA Thieves player Venom looking down the camera and rubbing his hands. He is wearing a black hoodie and black-framed glasses

Two Call of Duty League teams have announced some big roster changes following the first week of CDL 2021 Stage 2. Both LA Thieves and Minnesota Rokkr dropped two well-known and experienced names in Call of Duty esports in favour of some promising young talent from the Challengers division.

LA Thieves was the first to announce a roster shakeup, with the 100 Thieves-owned franchise opting to drop Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda. The team has now brought in 19-year-old Carlos ‘Venom’ Hernandez in his place following the youngster’s performances playing for WestR, the most dominant team in NA Challengers so far this season. While still contracted to LA Thieves, Temp will be taking Venom’s place on the WestR roster to compete in Challengers events while sidelined.

Just last week, another WestR prospect, Paul ‘PaulEhx’ Avila, got his shot in the CDL after being picked up by London Royal Ravens, with former world champion Christopher ‘Parasite’ Duarte going in the other direction.

Just hours after LA Thieves’ announcement, Minnesota Rokkr also revealed it would be making some changes too. Michael ‘MajorManiak’ Szymaniak has been benched by the struggling Rokkr, making way for Eli ‘Standy’ Bentz. The 19-year-old was part of a Triumph roster that won last season’s NA Challengers Finals, and is now being rewarded with a CDL spot.

At the start of this season, there were only three fresh rookies for fans to keep an eye out for: New York Subliners’ Conor ‘Diamondcon’ Johst, Paris Legion’s Luis ‘Fire’ Rivera, and Florida Mutineers’ Travis ‘Neptune’ McCloud. In recent weeks, however, this number has swelled as struggling teams drop some of their established names and turn to young blood to help change their fortunes.

Venom and Standy will make their respective debuts against London Royal Ravens and OpTic Chicago on March 25 as the second week of Stage 2 kicks off.