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Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic, CDL 2021 Kickoff, Schedule, Predictions, Preview

Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic, CDL 2021 Kickoff, Schedule, Predictions, Preview
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To begin the 2021 Call of Duty League season, six fan-voted matches will take place. Find everything you need to know about the event in this article.

Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic, CDL 2021 Kickoff, Schedule, Predictions, Preview

To celebrate the first anniversary of the Call of Duty League (CDL) all 12 franchises will be in action across two days of Black Ops Cold War action.

The Kickoff Classic will be the first official action of the 2021 season ahead of the Atlanta Home Series which takes place on February 11th.

In this article, find everything that you need to know about the Kickoff Classic including schedule, results, and predictions.

CDL Kickoff Classic Schedule & Results

Find the full schedule for the event below.

Day 1 - Saturday, January 23rd

12PM PT

3-0

1.30PM PST

3-2

3PM PST

2-3

Day 2 - Sunday, January 24th

12PM PT

2-3

1.30PM PST

2-3

3PM PST

0-3

CDL 2021 Kickoff Classic Predictions

Day 1

Dallas Empire v New York Subliners

Kicking off the event will see the 2020 champions take on former Dallas Empire player James "Clayster" Eubanks and the New York Subliners.

Just 24 hours after the Empire secured the 2020 CDL championship, Clayster was dropped from the team, eventually finding a new home with the New York Subliners.

Heading into the match, Clayster will be intent on beating his former teammates alongside North American veteran Thomas "ZooMaa" Paparatto, 2020 breakout star Mackenzie "Mack" Kelley, and French phenom Paco "HyDra" Rusiewiez.

With both sides wanting to begin the season with a win, this series could easily go the distance. Considering the outright mechanical skill that the Dallas Empire possesses, it could well be the difference in this particular match.

Predictions: Dallas Empire 3-2 New York Subliners

Los Angeles Guerrillas v Seattle Surge

Both LA Guerrillas and Seattle Surge had disappointing 2020 seasons but after rebuilds of their respective rosters, 2021 could be the season where both franchises attempt to avoid the bottom of the league table.

With three world champions on the team, the LA Guerrillas has the opportunity to impress as Call of Duty esports returns to a 4v4 team structure. On the other side, the Seattle Surge managed to maintain the services of superstar Assault Rifle player Sam "Octane" Larew which could be instrumental in turning the tide for the franchise.

Prediction: Los Angeles Guerrillas 1-3 Seattle Surge

Atlanta FaZe v Florida Mutineers

The Atlanta FaZe came close to securing the league title after a very strong performance during the regular season of competition. With the addition of Alec "Arcitys" Sanderson to the starting lineup, Atlanta is in a prime position to dethrone Dallas at the top of the league.

For the Florida Mutineers, the season will be a tribute to the late Maurice "Fero" Henriquez who passed away during the off-season. With rumors of former Halo player Travis "Neptune" McCloud being promoted into the starting roster in place of Cold "Havok" McLendon, the Mutineers have looked strong in online practice. Could they cause a pre-season upset and defeat Atlanta?

Prediction: Atlanta FaZe 3-2 Florida Mutineers

Are Atlanta the team to beat in 2021? - Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Are Atlanta the team to beat in 2021?

Day 2

London Royal Ravens v Paris Legion

Arguably one of the biggest rivals of the 2021 season will be between the two European franchises of the London Royal Ravens and the Paris Legion.

After the fan-favorite Marshall twins were ousted from the Royal Ravens, Matthew "Skrapz" Marshall managed to find a spot on the Paris Legion and heads into the Black Ops Cold War season with a big point to prove against his former team.

Replacing Skrapz on the London team is Alex "Alexx" Carpenter, arguably one of the biggest breakout stars from the UK in recent years. Could he be the factor to improve on London's fourth-place finish?

As for the Paris Legion, the roster has been completely overhauled. It was rumored that a fully French team would be representing the franchise but as time progressed, Skrapz is joined by Ulysses "AquA" Silva, Nicholas "Classic" DiCostanzo, and relative unknown Luis "Fire" Rivera.

With plenty of experience on the roster, does Paris have what it takes to contend with the likes of London?

Prediction: Paris Legion 2-3 London Royal Ravens

Toronto Ultra v Minnesota ROKKR

Towards the end of the 2020 season, the Toronto Ultra began to show what it was capable of, winning the Toronto Home Series. Armed with three of Europe's hottest prospects alongside multiple event winner Anthony "Methodz" Zinni, the Ultra are certainly the dark horses of the 2021 season.

Despite starting the 2020 season on the front foot, the Minnesota franchise opted for a full rebuild of its roster ahead of the Black Ops Cold War season. On paper, the roster looks to be a near-perfect balance of raw slaying power and high-impact assault rifle players, making the ROKKR a force to be reckoned with.

In this particular match, it could well be a hotly contested series. Judging the fast play styles of the Ultra, they have a great chance of defeating a highly competitive opponent.

Predictions: Minnesota ROKKR 1-3 Toronto Ultra

OpTic Chicago v Los Angeles Thieves

Rounding off the Kickoff Classic is the long-awaited showdown between OpTic Chicago and the Los Angeles Thieves, Hector "Hecz" Rodriguez versus Matt "Nadeshot" Haag.

During the off-season, Hecz re-acquired control of OpTic Gaming and rebranded the franchise to the iconic Green Wall branding along with selling the LA slot to long-time friend and 100 Thieves CEO Nadeshot.

The combination of Kenny "Kenny" Williams, Austin "Slasher" Liddicoat, Donovan "Temp" Laroda, and Thomas "TJHaLy" Haly looks like another strong combination of players on paper and is certainly a roster that will be contending towards the top of the table.

As for OpTic, the return of Brandon "Dashy" Otell makes a solid SMG partnership with Dylan "Envoy" Hannon while Seth "Scump" Abner will likely fit into the flex role with Matt "FormaL" Piper in the role of main Assault Rifle player.

The winner of the match could be a total whitewash or a contest that goes the distance.

Prediction OpTic Chicago 3-2 Los Angeles Thieves

cod-esports

The start date for the 2021 CDL season has been revealed!

Activision Blizzard has revealed the start date for the 2021 Call of Duty League season.

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