The middle day of the Call of Duty League's Launch Weekend had a little bit of everything Saturday, with a trio of nail-biters bookended by a pair of sweeps accounting for the Day 2 action at the Minneapolis Armory. And it turned out to be a very good day for teams based outside the United States.The day began with the weekend's first match featuring an international team, as the London Royal Ravens breezed past the New York Subliners 3-0. Next up was another foreign outfit, as the Toronto Ultra beat the Seattle Surge 3-2. The Los Angeles Guerrillas and Paris Legion also won 3-2, beating the Florida Mutineers and OpTic Gaming Los Angeles, respectively. The Atlanta Faze ended the day with a 3-0 takedown of the Dallas Empire.
London had little trouble in winning the day's first game, 250-148 on Azhir Cave. Despite an impressive slaying performance from Subliner's Thomas "ZooMaa" Paparatto, the sniping presence of Bradley "wuskin" Marshall was too much for New York as London took Search and Destroy on Piccadilly, 6-2. New York showed a little bit of life in the final map of the series, but the slaying power of London was too much to handle as the Royal Ravens cruised to a 216-128 victory in Domination on Hackney Yard.
In the second match of the day, Toronto made its CDL debut against a veteran Seattle squad, and it turned out to be perhaps the best match of the day.
Toronto lead for the majority of the first game before Seattle surged back to lead the game late on Hardpoint on Gun Runner. In a chaotic final 30 seconds, Seattle held out to win the map 250-240, as Damon "Karma" Barlow made more than 30 kills. The teams would alternate wins over the next four games, before Toronto took Rammaza Search and Destroy 6-5. The loss dropped Seattle to 0-2 in the event.
The Guerrillas and Mutineers also played their second matches of the weekend, but unlike the 0-2 Surge, both Los Angeles and Florida emerged 1-1 in the standings.
Florida started out hot with a 250-176 win in Hardpoint on Azhir Cave before the Guerrillas won the next two games. Florida took Hardpoint on Gun Runner 250-238 to force a deciding game, which the Mutineers won 6-4 on Search and Destroy on Arklov Peak.
In the day's fourth matchup, the underdog Paris Legion took on OpTic Gaming Los Angeles -- with the hosts facing the expectations of caster Clint "Maven" Evans stating in an interview before the match that "OpTic Gaming will be the best team this year no question."
But Paris edged the hosts with a stunning 250-235 win on Azhir Cave in the first game. After OpTic took Search and Destroy on Arklov Peak 6-1, Matthew "KiSMET" Tinsley -- Paris' only North American player -- led the Legion to a 184-166 win in Domination on Gun Runner. OpTic answered again with a 250-239 on Hardpoint on St. Petrograd, but Paris got six first bloods in Search and Destroy on Rammaza to take the deciding game.
What was expected to be a heavy-hitting finale between powerhouses Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe instead turned into a rout after the FaZe stormed back to take the first game 250-234 then cruised in the next two games -- including a 6-0 sweep on Search and Destroy on Arklov Peak.
It was Dallas' second loss in as many days to open the weekend.
Launch Weekend concludes Sunday with four more matches:
Paris Legion vs. Royal Ravens
Chicago Huntsmen vs. OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
New York Subliners vs. Atlanta FaZe
Toronto Ultra vs. Minnesota ROKKR
--Field Level Media