One of the most exciting Call of Duty esports seasons in history is about to get a bit wilder as the 12 CoD League (CDL) teams come together for the CDL 2021 Stage 3 Major, which kicks off on Thursday, May 13.
With only two more Majors left to be played, the battle for CDL Points is reaching its boiling point, as there is not a single team that has accumulated enough to secure a spot for the 2021 CDL Championship. For a couple of teams that could change by the end of the week, while others might find themselves in serious danger of being denied a spot in the $2,500,000 season-ending event.
According to Activision, the CDL Stage 3 Major will be the last online tournament of the season, with plans to host CDL Stage 4 Major at Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, we first need to turn our attention to what might be one of the closest CDL Majors of 2021.
Atlanta FaZe expected to shine
Atlanta FaZe (+150) won the first Major of the season, reached the grand finals of the second Major, and now enter the CDL Stage 3 Major as the favourites to go all the way. That shouldn’t be too shocking given their impressive resume, but does it really justify the short price?
FaZe might be 18-3 on the season, but they have struggled a bit across the last month. FaZe managed a 14-8 map record in CDL Stage 3 group play, which translates to a 57% win rate – far below their previous season average of 72%.
FaZe still come off as the CDL top dogs, but you have to ask yourself whether the price gap between them, Toronto Ultra (+300) and New York Subliners (+350) is justifiable. One team has beaten them 5-3 in the CDL Stage 2 Major finals, while the other handed them a 2-3 loss at the start of CDL Stage 3 group play.
What’s more, both the Ultra and the Subliners have been playing much better of late, so there is a real possibility at least one of them beats FaZe. Both have done it before, and you can’t say it won’t happen again.
Underdogs might cause chaos
Los Angeles Thieves (+800), Dallas Empire (+1000), Florida Mutineers (+1400), and OpTic Chicago (+1600) enter CDL Stage 3 Major as outsiders, which seems about right.
Thieves are priced as fourth-favourites to win their first Major of the season, which is largely due to their spike in form since adding Cuyler “Huke” Garland to the team. However, we don’t believe this squad has had enough time to form a winning synergy. They have already lost to the Subliners (1-3) and FaZe (2-3), which isn’t what you want to see from a team competing for the title. Thieves’ ceiling might be high, but the consistency isn’t there yet.
The Empire are always a threat, but their form since letting Huke go has dipped. This is still a team that fields one of the most stacked rosters in the league and they usually do well in knockout tournaments, but +1000 is a bit too low for us to take a shot with them.
Then there’s Florida, who might impress. If they edge past Thieves in the first round of play, and if they can get enough out of Joseph “Owakening” Conley and Cesar “Skyz” Bueno, the Mutineers might make it into the Winners Finals. Those, however, are two big ifs.
A more reasonable, yet still very optimistic, scenario would be to see Florida make it to the fourth round of the lower bracket, where they’ll face either FaZe or the Ultra – and we all know how those games ended last time out.
OpTic Chicago are priced as high as +1600, which is more than fair in our book. We are ready to completely fade them for this tournament, not only due to their poor form, but mainly due to the internal issues OpTic have been dealing with. As said by Seth “Scump” Abner in one of his streams this week, OpTic’s players aren’t getting along too well, and it shows in their results.
Outsiders looking to make some noise
Minnesota RØKKR (+2000), London Royal Ravens (+2500), Los Angeles Guerrillas (+3300), Paris Legion (+5000) and Seattle Surge (+20000) are your outsiders for the third major of the season.
Out of the three, we are the most hopeful about the RØKKR, largely because of their favourable seeding and the under-appreciated strength of their roster. This team definitely has the talent to make a deep run; it will all come down to whether they can find their form in time.
The remaining four outsiders have not been playing well enough for us to have any faith in them. Even though the +20000 on the Surge is absurd, it’s not like they have a realistic chance to win the title. They might pick up a win or two in the opening rounds, but that’s about it.
CDL Stage 3 Major betting prediction
Those who have been following our previous CDL betting previews would know that we are bullish about New York Subliners, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we are backing them to win the third Major of the season.
To reach the finals, James “Clayster” Eubanks and co. only need to defeat the winner of the Florida Mutineers vs LA Thieves bout and then take down either Toronto Ultra or Atlanta FaZe.
That shouldn’t be too hard since they have done it before – Toronto with 3-1 in April, and Atlanta with 3-2 just two weeks ago. At this price, we have to take a shot with the Subliners.
New York Subliners to win