First Call of Duty League Major kicks off today and here’s our breakdown

The CDL 2021 season has now started, with the first of five stages being completed. With Stage 1 now completed, the first CDL Major is about to get underway, and there’s a total prize fund of $500,000 up for grabs. With the new competition format in place for 2021, all 12 teams in the Call of Duty League will play at the CDL Major with seeding determined based on P1 results.

Here’s our breakdown of the opening matchups, pick’ems and favorites coming into this competition.

CDL Major 2021

© Call of Duty League

CDL Major Favorites and Seeding

In order to determine where each team would start in the Major, all 12 teams competed in Stage 1, playing five group-play matches each.

Atlanta Faze will be looking to continue their impressive form after the Stage 1 matches, going undefeated in their group, and putting in some great performances. Leading up to the Major they were the highest seeded team and favorite in most pick’em and betting scenarios.

Meanwhile, three of the teams came away with 4-1 records: Optic Chicago, Dallas Empire & Los Angeles Thieves. In the winner’s bracket, the Atlanta Faze and Dallas Empire have received a bye after winning their respective groups in Stage 1. The Thieves and Optic get to play the opening round in the Winners bracket against the Guerrillas and Subliners respectively.

In the loser’s bracket, the first matchup of the CDL Major sees the London Royal Ravens take on the Toronto Ultra, after both finished in the bottom two positions of Stage 1. Shortly afterwards, the Florida Mutineers will go up against the Seattle Surge in what could be another close contest.

CDL Major Bracket

© Call of Duty League

Based on initial performances, FaZe and Optic should meet in the Winners Final, as both teams looked dominating in the opening stages of the league. There is a good chance Dallas Empire also pushes through the loser bracket to meet an opponent in the Elimination Final. These three teams are your main favorites for the entire competition.

Understanding the CDL Major Tournament Format

The CDL 2021 season has seen some changes to its format, as the league looks to ‘take back the best from the history of Call of Duty esports to build another year of epic entertainment’.

This is the first year that Majors have been introduced to the league, with multiple events over the season hosting all 12 CDL teams to compete for the top spot. The first stage was completed in the three(two) weeks leading up to the first CDL Major, with all teams playing five head-to-head to determine the seeds of each team for the competition. The cycle is set to continue throughout each of the five stages in the CDL.

The format is pretty straightforward. Across a total of six Cold War maps, each round will follow the same structure: a best-of-five with three game modes involved. The team that loses in the winner bracket drops down into the loser bracket. Teams that lose in the losers bracket are eliminated.

The structure for each match is: Hardpoint, Search & Destroy, Control, Search & Destroy, Hardpoint.

The full list of possible maps for each game mode are listed below:

  • Hardpoint: Checkmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow, Raid.
  • Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Raid.
  • Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid.

By the end of it all, 16 best-of-five matches will be played and one champion will reign supreme.

Esports bookmakers are already offering odds for the major with exotic and special markets enabled. You can bet on everything from correct scores, to individual map winners and handicap markets.

Additionally, CDL runs their own Pick’em competition where you can select winners and predict the entire Major Bracket. You can earn points in the process and earn special prizes.

All matches in the CDL Major will be available to stream on the Call of Duty YouTube channel. The first match between the London Royal Ravens and Toronto Ultra kicks off Wednesday March 3, 3pm EST.

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