Make sure to keep your eyes on these CDL players during the action!
The new Call of Duty League season is coming in hot, with brand new storylines and exciting gameplay for fans around the world. Though it’s usually the teams and the games we focus on, it’s well worth highlighting the top players who can single-handedly change the course of matches and steer their teams to victory, not to mention generate hype and attention on social media. Anyone interested in the CDL should keep an eye on these guys: according to SBS, they are the top players you need to watch in Call of Duty League 2021.
Obaid “Asim” Asim (New York Subliners)
What a new beginning it’s been for the 21-year-old whose career seemed to be in limbo after getting cut from the Minnesota RØKKR roster! Long considered an underrated player in the CDL partly due to a selfless playstyle, he’s one of the fastest SMG players out there who seems to have finally hit his stride under the new leadership of back-to-back world champion Clayster.
Though Asim had his fair share of success in smaller online events, his star truly began to shine at the beginning of the Black Ops 4 season when he played under the GRVTY banner as “Sweet Chicken,” with a string of successes eventually prompting FaZe Clan to sign them for their academy team, FC Black.
He eventually became a part of their main squad when the org bought into the Pro League, replacing Red Reserve. From amateur to pro in a single year – a pretty damn impressive achievement! He spent six months on the squad before joining Minnesota RØKKR, but a worrying individual slump cost him his spot on the roster despite a strong start. The return to 4v4 forced some hard decisions on teams, and it was a big part of why Asim was let go of the Minnesota RØKKR squad – which made his insane showing against them in the new season the sweeter and exciting.
Now playing for the New York Subliners, the Canadian-born youngster (who nevertheless wears the Afghan flag on his jerseys out of respect for his family) offered up some of the most exciting storylines of Stage 1. With a KD of 4.40 on Hardpoint and 9.00 in Search and Destroy, he carried his new team to victory against his old one in a performance many considered career-defining for the player.
Asim’s gone on record thanking former teammate Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto, who went to bat for him to serve as his replacement on New York Subliners after his retirement due to injuries. If he continues like this, he’ll serve as a worthy replacement, and similar showings at later events would mean that Asim ends up on the list of the best CDL players in 2021.
Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris (Atlanta FaZe)
Atlanta FaZe has a de facto world champion on their hand with aBeZy, one of the victorious five from the eUnited squad, which won the biggest title of them all in 2019 at the expense of 100Thieves. The 21-year-old SMG maestro is arguably the most terrifying of the Tiny Terrors that make up FaZe’s squad, among the most formidable players in his role across the entire league. He’s proven his talent across multiple CoD titles, performing strongly in MW and Black Ops alike, marking him as one of the highest overall prize money earners in competitive Call of Duty and one of the first names who come up when the discussion turns to who is the best CSL player.
Like so many in his age group, aBeZy’s esports journey began on the online ladders, restricted from professional play due to age restrictions in the Black Ops 3 era. His real competitive career started during the WWII era with Wildcard gaming, placing top 64 at CWL Dallas, the first-ever LAN event he’s attended. Though WCG hasn’t set the world alight, his individual performances were good enough to earn a spot on Enigma6, a side which rose to prominence after a poor initial set of results, winning the US National Circuit twice. By the time Black Ops 4 rolled around, aBeZy was picked up by eUnited, immediately hitting their stride by finishing second at CWL Las Vegas. Once they swapped out JKAP for Simp, the team hit new heights, eventually culminating in their famous victory at the 2019 World Championship.
He joined Atlanta FaZe for the 2020 CDL Season, putting up consistently strong showings on this extremely young team despite their supposed lack of experience. Having finished as the runners-up of the previous season, they are looking for revenge this time around. The team has gone nuclear in the round-robin portion of Stage 1, with aBeZy himself pulling off great clutches on their way to a 5-0 sweep over their rivals. If that’s how the season will continue, Tyler and co. are among the top candidates of all the CDL teams for winning it all.
Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas (Dallas Empire)
What can you say about someone so good he’s done it across multiple games? Still just nineteen years old, this FPS player extraordinaire has already been crowned world champion in Halo and CoD alike, with a season MVP title alongside his CDL victory in 2020 to boot – the first and so far only person who can call himself a multi-FPS world champ. He’s also one of a select few who won a Call of Duty Championship title in their debut season. So, you know, he’s pretty good at this whole shooty-shooty bang-bang shebang – and if you’re asking who is the best CDL player today, his name would be a more than an acceptable answer.
Shotzzy’s competitive FPS career goes back beyond the Call of Duty days, having been one of the best Halo players around until the autumn of 2018 when he made the fateful decision to transition to Black Ops 4. Not eighteen years old yet, he was on the online cup grind and was already seen as a strong potential pickup in the post-franchising league. He’s parlayed decent pickup team showings into a spot on the Dallas Empire roster for Modern Warfare.
The rest, as they say, is history: the SMG Slayer to top all SMG Slayers had a slow start in the first two events but crushed the competition ever since. Shotzzy and his team showed no signs of stopping so far in the 2021 season either, topping their group in Stage 1, albeit with a 4-1 record instead of arch-rivals Atlanta FaZe’s 5-0 over in Group B. Still, it’s hard to see any other team getting between the two. However, the season may play out, the young champion’s performances will be key to Dallas Empire’s attempts to defend their crown – but the fact that he might return to Halo after all could prove to be just as interesting a storyline going forward…
Seth “Scump” Abner (OpTic Chicago)
Scump, the 2017 World Champion is no stranger to success in CoD across the years as the second-winningest player in North America due to his 30 tournament wins behind Dallas Empire’s Crimsix. An excellent player in his own right, the 25-year-old American owes a lot of his success to his ironclad partnership with FormaL over the years – winning the Duo of the Year award alongside the Veteran Player of the Year in 2020 and their fourth-place finish last year (when they were still known as the Chicago Huntsmen) in the regular season coupled with the bronze medal in the playoffs servers as an excellent foundation to build on for a real title challenge in 2021.
Being slightly older than the other top dogs featured on this list, Seth’s competitive career stretches back to the first Black Ops game and Modern Warfare 3. Starting on Quantic LeveraGe, a controversial “player swap” for ProoFy soon saw him join OpTic, forming a team that crushed the rest of the competition in the MW3 season. Though their results weren’t as good during the Black Ops 2 era, the turbulent period in his career didn’t come until Ghosts when he joined other teams for a short period of time, eventually returning to OpTic. They would dominate the competition in Advanced Warfare, followed up with a somewhat less impressive set of showings in Black Ops 3 era, heading into his recent string of successes on the Chicago Huntsmen.
Now known as OpTic Chicago, the team finished second behind Atlanta FaZe with a 4-1 record in the first group stage of the CDL 2021 season, earning themselves a winners’ bracket spot and a date with the New York Subliners to start their Major campaign. Scump still shows no signs of showing down, and even if he were to wind down his competitive career at some point, he has a massive social media following to fall back on, with over two million YouTube subs and just as many Twitter followers to work with when it comes to his brand. He’s the sort of player who can command attention both in and outside the server.
CDL 2021 Schedule
The CDL 2021 season is in full swing now, and with Stage 1 and it is corresponding Major getting to a close, the next entry on the CDL 2021 calendar is the Stage 2 Groups, which begins on March 18 and ends on April 4, with the Major, taking place on the week of April 5. The second stage of the Call of Duty League 2021 features the Home Series of the Toronto Ultras (between March 18 and March 21) and the Los Angeles Guerillas at the end of the round-robin groups (beginning on April 1 and ending on April 4).
Stage 3 will follow between April 22 and May 9, with the third Major of the year the following week. By that time, we should all have a pretty good idea of how the season is shaking up and who is the best Cold War player in the league.
Now you know everything of note about the hottest prospects in the Call of Duty League’s 2021 season, which promises to be the biggest season yet in the franchise’s competitive circuit. No matter which team you support, you’ve got to give it to this magnificent quartet: they set the scene alight in a way not many others do, and you should keep an eye on their exploits both in and outside the server as the season progresses.
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