Heading into London with the overall number one seed out of all the Challenger League rosters, we were excited to try to defend our crown going into our home event. Arriving at the event on Friday, the team was relaxed and eager to go. With CDL London capped at a maximum of 32 teams. We somehow had to wait for a series between a 32nd seeded roster and a 33rd seeded roster.
Starting the event at roughly midday, we played the lowest seeded team at the event in Team Twi, Starting 0-42 on the first hill; we quickly showed why we were seed 1 by bouncing back and taking the next four hills. Our rotations soon became the clear evidence on why we took the map 1 in quick fashion without breaking a sweat. Map two soon followed. Looking strong in the Search & Destroy, the oppositions controller stopped working with the score being 4-1 in our favor. Therefore, we had delays in getting to the final result. Once the controller was responding, we took the next two rounds which led us to victory.
Matching up against a known DarkPanda Esports, we are expecting another 2-0 result however it would be harder than our first round. Although this was not the case as we were dominating from the get go. Minimising any chance of DarkPanda’s making an upset, we picked them apart by limiting them to only 86 points. Maple dropped a massive 34 kills, proving why he is such a pivotal part to the team. Search and Destroy being a key to our success at Minnesota, we were looking unbelievably strong by stomping out any threat and taking the map 6-2 and sending DarkPanda Esports to the Loser Bracket.
With the first two matchups being straight forward, we thoroughly moved forward into matching up against Top 8 seeded teams that are a respected team globally. Team Elitist who are known for their run at CWL Champs back in Black Ops 4, stood in front of us. Knowing this is a team that have reasonably good gunskill and loud players (Chaaxter) we recognized that we need to finish this series reasonably quick so the opposition were not to get hyped and attempt an upset. With this stage of the tournament reaching Best of 5’s we were going to be tested in Domination. Taking the Hardpoint 250-156, we were looking our strongest and threatening to make this a very quick series. Having a repeat of the Grand Final the Search & Destroy was going back and forth with us repeatedly cancelling out their attack. With the scores at 4-4, we then took the next attack and successfully held the defense to see us take the map 6-4. Sounds familiar right? The first time playing Domination all event, saw us start slowly with us roughly 30 points behind at half time. With Team Elitist starting to show their potential and getting loud the other side of the station, the team flicked the switch in the second half. This saw us flip the spawn by taking all 5 kills at the start and as the round went on, Detain kept being a nuisance by decapping their home hill and surviving around their base. Their lead fell quickly and we took the series 3-0. This was the final series of Day 1.
Feeling fresh and awake (possibly because of the wind) our first series of Day 2, saw us come up against the Hosts Academy team, London Royal Ravens Academy. With some of the most decorated and globally known players in Madcat and Seany, this series had the possibility to be the Grand Final. Seed 1 Vs. Seed 4. Having confidence through the roof, we came out very strong. We took the Hardpoint 250-164. London Royal Ravens Academy being a stronger respawn team than they are at Search and Destroy; we looked destined to go 2-0 up in the series. With Chain dropping a huge 17 kills with featured a 1v2 and a 1v3, we took the map 6-3. Moving swiftly into the Domination, the mentality was definitely, kill or be killed. Determined to make a statement to all remaining teams still in the tournament, we were up 113-65 at Half Time. This was the most one sided map which saw their players leave their playing stations with a minute to go on the clock. Moving us into the Winners Final vs TrainHard.
TrainHard being a mix of different Nationalities and our ex-player Keza, we were ready to claim that back-to-back Grand Final tournament spot. With Sukry and Wailers being veterans of the game, we were prepared for action. Starting slowly on the hardpoint, we withheld their lead and moving into the mid stage of the hardpoint, we started to dominate more team fights and won the battle of rotations. We took the map with the final score being 250-164. With a crowd of over 75 people crowded around the station, things were getting sweaty in the passion pit! With succession of forced errors, the team capitalized on the opposition’s misplays in the Search & Destroy as we took the map comfortably 6-1. With the CDL Main Stage blasting the music ridiculously loud, this made the Domination more or less unplayable to compete. Starting slowly and being down at Half Time by roughly 70 points, the team gathered their thoughts and regained knowing their natural gun skill is far superior than TrainHard. Clawing it back to within 10 points with the final minute and a half remaining, we had to force a decap on their home hill whilst retaining the other hills. This was a task too far for our talented roster and TrainHard was the first team to take a map off us all event so far. Being hyped up for map 4, TrainHard started very strong and were a force to be reckoned with. Taking the lead by 70 points, we were looking at going to a final map to decide who would move into the Grand Finals. However, one thing for certain, do never write off our roster at any given stage in a map. Taking kill after kill, and being more aggressive when our back is against the wall, TrainHard were 15 seconds away from victory, whilst we required well over a minute. Dominating and securing a minimum of 45 seconds on the first hill, we knew we had to rotate early to compete for what looked like the final and most important hill of the series. With this hill being considered the “Money Hill” on Ramazza, we held strong and saw out the game taking all the required time. This clutch from all five moved us into the Grand Final to compete for the all-important prize of being named the Back-to-Back CDL Challenger League Champions. The first time in history, this could ever happen!
Whilst waiting to see whom we would face, the team relaxed and stayed warm by sitting at the station with Bidz shooting well over 600 Bots. Watching the other teams compete on the next station built up the tension as we saw London Royal Ravens Academy knock out Team WaR and TrainHard then knock out London Royal Ravens Academy.
We had a repeat of the Final, facing up against TrainHard. With TrainHard still hot and buzzing of the result in their previous game, we knew we had to come storming out the blocks. Prior to the start of this series, Maple drilled it into the team’s mind that this series will be done in three maps. This is the Maple we love to see. Taking the Hardpoint 250-178 we looked on course to become your CDL London Champions. After the map concluded, event organizers and COD fanatics tried to work an Elgato to provide coverage on stream for people viewing at home. Unfortunately, as the stream started to work the Laptop providing the stream ran out of battery and therefore died. Dismantling any chance of revival, TrainHard saw themselves fall 0-2 down, as we are a very strong team on Search & Destroy.
This was it, one final map to be crowned the Champions. Knowing how we started slowly in the Domination the first time around, we kept our foot on the pedal and forced TrainHard to dig deep to find any form of inspiration to claim this map and series off of us. Was this going to happen? NO! Finishing the series in a commanding fashion, we are your CDL London Challenger League Winners! Back to Back, the first 2 events of the newly formed structure in Call of Duty, are in the records.
We would like to thank everyone who showed their love and support over the last 15 days, from Minnesota to London, we have gained a lot of support and without you guys, this roster is getting the recognition they finally deserve. CDL Paris… be prepared. #3Peat.