Six events into the inaugural season of the Call of League and with just two series won, things were not looking particularly rosy for New York Subliners. Despite having a wealth of talent and experience on the team, something just wasn’t clicking.
Fast-forward to last weekend, and New York Subliners are claiming its first Home Series title after sweeping one of the league’s most daunting opponents, Chicago Huntsmen, becoming only the fifth team this year to have won an event. Now also fifth in the regular season table, Subliners look a reborn team. But when – and why – did Subliners’ fortunes begin to change, and has the team’s surprise victory last weekend given them the confidence to shine at next month’s Call of Duty Championship?
For the team’s main AR Lamar ‘Accuracy’ Abedi, it was the decision to bring in 18-year-old Makenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley and let him grow on the starting roster.
“I think the major turning point in the season was honestly when we got Mack,” Accuracy tells The Loadout. “It’s almost like a switch just went off in everyone’s head. Right when we picked him up, everything started clicking. We started playing the game the way it needs to be played. We started doing everything properly. And ever since that moment, we’ve just been elevating our gameplay week in and week out.”
The introduction of a fresh teammate is often enough on its own to change a team’s fortunes, but Accuracy believes it is Mack’s ability to assist him around objectives that helped Subliners turn the corner on its season.
“The way he plays fits the structure of our team really well,” Accuracy says. “He was another player that plays around the hill a lot with me so we could sit around by the hill play for those kills near the objective and allow Tommy ‘ZooMaa’ Paparatto and Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda to do what they want to do around the map; you know, taking routes, slaying on cuts, and all that stuff. So it kind of just freed them up on the map, because now I had someone to help me with the objective.”
The team’s continually improving gameplay reached a new level this weekend with the Home Series win, but it was the manner in which Subliners took control in the grand final against Chicago Huntsmen that really impressed.
“I think being able to sweep not only Toronto but Huntsmen last weekend was huge for our confidence,” says Subliners’ Dillon ‘Attach’ Price. “We’ve been struggling to get that third map when we’re against a lot of the top teams, like we went the distance with Faze multiple times and lost a couple game fives, we got reverse swept by Florida at the last Home Series which was unfortunate.
“We’ve been struggling to win those game fives and we actually lost the game five to Huntsmen in the group stages, so to come out there on Sunday and get that 3-0 win was huge for our confidence. And I think everyone’s gonna just have that in them now, knowing we can close out these series.”
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) July 12, 2020
While it is mathematically impossible for Subliners to break into the top four this weekend in what is its final Home Series of the season, it will be looking to cement its current position in fifth place. This would give them a decent seeding and fighting chance at the $4.6 million Championship.
Attach – a former Call of Duty world champion himself – isn’t ruling out Subliners going all the way and says it would be an incredible achievement.
“To win another world championship in Modern Warfare and to be able to win that first season of the CDL would be such a huge achievement, and to be able to have my teammates get championships under their belts as well… It would be incredible,” Attach says. “It would just show how much work we truly put in from the start of the season up until the end and how we never gave up and just kept working. It would be a dream come.”
While the gambling man’s best odds will likely be on one of the current top four in the CDL (Florida Mutineers, Atlanta FaZe, Chicago Huntsmen, and Dallas Empire), Subliners has now established themselves as an outsider with the potential to cause an upset.
Just winning a Home Series this year is an achievement in itself considering how the team began life in the CDL, but with this being the perfect time to hit form, a complete redemption story isn’t out of the question.
See how New York Subliners fares in the London Home Series this weekend on the Call of Duty League YouTube channel.