CDL Power Rankings: April 2021

How we ranked the teams: a panel of 11 Breaking Point writers and staff evaluated how teams performed through the CDL Stage 2 Major. The March 2021 CDL Power Rankings can be found here. Current CDL standings can be found here.

1. Atlanta FaZe (14 – 2)

Previous Rank: 1 ()
CDL Points: 225 (+100)

Despite losing in the Major, Atlanta FaZe remains the number one team in our power rankings. A sobering reminder to the rest of the League on how dominant this team has been so far: #1 in series win percentage (88%), #1 in map win percentage (72%), #1 in CDL points (225). FaZe have won more maps (49) this season than Paris (48) or London (46) have played in total. Mind blowing. The team’s one loss during the group stage was a surprise map 5 loss to LAG, but they bounced back and 3-0’d London afterwards in dominating fashion.

Key Takeaways: FaZe can still outslay any team in the CDL, but their SnD has struggled lately: their W/L record in SnD went from #1 in Stage 1 (11-1) to dead last in Stage 2 (4-7). In the grand finals of the Major, Atlanta lost 2 SnD’s to Ultra and the only 2 Controls they lost all stage. When Arcitys is going off, the team always looks very good, and for Atlanta, gun skill is clearly not an issue. If SnD turns around, they can be expected to remain the top team. 

2. Toronto Ultra (10 – 9)

Previous Rank: 10 ( +8)
CDL Points: 125 (+95)

Ultra jumped up 8 spots from Stage 1 to Stage 2the steepest rise ever in Breaking Point’s CDL Power Rankings. Since picking up Insight, Toronto has seen an unprecedented rise in form. Rookies can often come in and improve a team, but to go from eighth at the last major to beating FaZe in a best of 9 and winning the next one is astounding. Bance stepped up in a huge way during the Major, and with CleanX and Cammy finding last season’s form, it all came together at the right time. Insight is our current front runner for rookie of the year, and was arguably the best main AR throughout Stage 2.

Key Takeaways: Consistency is the name of the game for Ultra. The roster is replete with talent. Bance is arguably the best EU player of all time, and CleanX, Cammy, and Insight have all proven that they can take singlehandedly take over maps. Our voters were evenly split between Ultra and Empire being the #2 team after Stage 2. Ultra must expand its map pool to add consistency (they are weak on maps like Moscow HP and Apocalypse HP), and they must also now learn to adapt to opponents that will be increasingly watching and countering their playstyle. If they do so, Ultra can be a championship contender. With how strong they have looked in SnD, this team shows no signs of slowing down. 

3. Dallas Empire (11 – 7)

Previous Rank: 2 ( -1)
CDL Points: 180 (+80)

Despite showing cracks in Search and looking lackadaisical at times this stage, the Empire are ranked third. The individual skill level on this team makes Empire a strong threat to win a series against any team in the League. They are #2 in CDL points (185), but the latest losses are concerning. At the Major, Empire lost against FaZe and were then summarily dispatched by Ultra. The defending champs had similar issues at the beginning of last season. They were able to put it together towards the end of the year, and the rest is history. With RamboRay and Crimsix at the helm, look to them to show improvements in the next stage. 

Key Takeaways: SnD looks better, but only marginally. The players on the team are all individually talented, but the team can look “lost” at times. iLLeY, a known SnD star, currently ranks towards the bottom of the League in SnD K/D and KpR. “The team’s marquee SnD player struggling on the team’s marquee game mode” screams “teamwork issues” over the need for an immediate roster change. They’ve watched Tropic Thunder together, perhaps Anchorman should be next? The story of a team that comes together to face an emerging threat to their existence (Veronica Corningstone, FaZe, Ultra). Stay classy, Dallas.

4. Minnesota RØKKR (7 – 7)

Previous Rank: 9 ( +5)
CDL Points: 110 (+70)

What a rollercoaster of a stage from the Minnesota RØKKR. They started Stage 2 by going 0-2 against the Florida Mutineers and Paris Legion. They ended the stage as the #1 seed in Group B and stuck a fourth place finish in the Major. Picking up Standy and moving Priestahh to the second AR was an instant shot in the arm that fixed many of their previous playstyle and pacing issues. They won matches this stage against OpTic Chicago, in which Standy had one of the best rookie debuts of all time, and against Dallas Empire. If they can remain a top SnD team, they now have the slaying power to keep up with any team in respawns. 

Key Takeaways: Outside of Ultra, RØKKR was the biggest mover in our rankings. The team looks much improved with Priestahh on an AR, and with the addition of Standy. This is also the second year in a row that Accuracy and Attach have brought in a young SMG to revive a previously lackluster lineup. Last season, they brought on Mack at NYSL, and were able to eventually win a Major. Given some time and the talent potential on this team, it is very much possible for this RØKKR lineup to reach the same level or even higher levels.

5. OpTic Chicago (10 – 7)

Previous Rank: 3 ( -2)
CDL Points: 140 (+60)

OpTic is inconsistent this season. When they’re on, they look like the absolute no holds barred best team in the world. When they’re off, they get clean swept by a brand new Minnesota RØKKR squad or by the Florida Mutineers. The 3v1 play at the Major was extremely unfortunate (you know, that play). With that being said, OpTic actually have the second highest overall map win percentage in CDL (56%), yet they haven’t placed higher than top four in either of the Majors this season.

Key Takeaways: OpTic’s biggest drop in form was in Control. In Stage 1, Optic was the #1 Control team (8-1), but in Stage 2, they dropped to the #9 Control team (3-5), by win rate. One major issue for OpTic is their limited map pool. In Stage 1, they were great with Moscow SnD, Raid HP, and Raid Control. In Stage 2, they lost both Moscow SnD’s and started consistently losing on all Raid respawn maps. Other teams have caught up, and OpTic needs to widen its map pool to remain competitive against stronger teams.

6. New York Subliners (10 – 7)

Previous Rank: 4 ( -2)
CDL Points: 140 (+60)

To round out the top half, NYSL comes in at #6. After a surprising third place finish at the first Major, there were higher expectations going forward at New York, but they fell short at the second Major. Despite going 4-1 in the group stage, and only losing to FaZe, New York did not win a single map at Major, dropping series against Dallas Empire and the LA Thieves. They looked outclassed and haven’t played well enough in respawns as a team to be able to consistently hang with the top dogs.

Key Takeaways: In Stage 2, NYSL struggled to keep up with other teams in terms of slaying power. NYSL was the worst performing Control team in Stage 2, with a 2-5 W/L record. Across all game modes, NYSL players with >1.0 K/D for Stage 2: Mack (1.04) and Clay (1.21) in SnD, Asim (1.05) in HP, and Diamondcon (1.01) in Control. With the rumor of HyDra being introduced into the starting lineup, NY could be making a move to remedy this. In Season 2 of the North American Challengers Elite League, HyDra was the top player in terms of slaying differential, at +140 kills across game modes.

7. LA Thieves (9 – 8)

Previous Rank: 5 ( -2)
CDL Points: 110
(+40)

LA Thieves and NYSL are both in similar situations. Both teams performed well in Stage 1, but ultimately were unsatisfied with their team performances. Nadeshot has repeatedly made public statements emphasizing that the LA Thieves are working towards championships. With that in mind, the addition of Venom for Temp and Drazah for Slasher embodies the big boss’s ultimate mantra: go big or go home. Initial results with the roster were not promising; the Thieves started the group stage 1-4 before going on a run at the Major. Over the course of the week, they reverse swept London and then upset NYSL to secure a top six placement.

Key Takeaways: This team is absolutely stacked with talent. Before they ran into the white hot Ultra at the Major, all four LA Thieves starters—Kenny, TJHaLy, Drazah, and Venom—looked like potential superstars. This young team may need time to find chemistry. The question is, how much time will they have to get it right? With Slasher on the bench, and talent scattered across the League, Stage 3 is a pivotal sink-or-swim moment for the LA Thieves.

8. Seattle Surge (4 – 9)

Previous Rank: 11 ( +3)
CDL Points: 50 (+40)

Seattle may still only be 4-9, but they have shown drastic improvements from Stage 1. Surge did not win a single Control in Stage 1, but they managed to win three Control maps in Stage 2. The team had some solid wins, beating Florida twice, and playing close game 5’s against the Empire (came down to milliseconds) and RØKKR. After a big turnaround stage from Prestinni, if Loony can follow suit, it would give the Surge a better chance to take down top teams and compete for a top 8 spot and secure a Champs berth.

Key Takeaways: Seattle has now found upset potential and improved in their respawns, but until Loony can consistently keep up, they will continue to struggle against slay heavy teams. In Stage 2, Loony had below a 0.90 K/D or below across all 3 game modes. Seattle must also continue to expand its map pool: all of Surge’s Control wins in Stage 2 were on Garrison.

9. Florida Mutineers (6 – 9)

Previous Rank: 7 ( -2)
CDL Points: 60 (+30)

Florida are one of the most inconsistent CDL teams, so it’s no surprise that they are looking for a change. In Stage 2 they had a positive Control and SnD map record, but had a negative Hardpoint record. Florida would win a series in clean sweep or lose them in 1-3 fashion. This could imply that the Mutineers are a momentum based team. If they can start out a series strong, they are tough to slow down, but if they come out sluggish, then the team lacks the composure to bounce back. Through Stage 1, Owakening put up ridiculous numbers, but his production dropped off in Stage 2.

Key Takeaways: Today, Florida announced the return of Havok to start in place of Slacked. In Stage 3, look to Havok or one of the AR’s on the team to emerge as a leader and help Florida gain the composure to be able to consistently close out their matches.

10. Los Angeles Guerillas (5 – 9)

Previous Rank: 6 ( -4)
CDL Points: 70 (+20)

As mentioned in the previous power rankings, the Los Angeles Guerrillas had one of the lowest overall map win rates in CDL. We look at map win percentage as a trailing indicator of a team’s performance—simply put in John Madden terms, if you win your maps, you’ll eventually be good; if you don’t win your maps, sooner or later you’ll lose and fall in the rankings. This hasn’t changed for the Los Angeles Guerrillas through Stage 2. The Guerrillas are 2nd worst in map win percentage (39%). They’re still the worst Hardpoint team in the game (2-7 in Stage 2). They’re a bottom Control team. And to top if off, after upsetting a respectable LA Thieves team at the Stage 1 Major, they were 3-0 swept this time around by a Florida team that finished at the bottom of its group in both stages this season.

Key Takeaways: The one silver lining for LAG in Stage 2 is the team’s continued SnD strength. The SnD, and the win against FaZe. They were still a formidable Search team throughout Stage 2, but a table won’t stand for long on a single leg. Neither can the Guerrillas. Whether it’s a role change, a roster change, or anything else, this team needs to change something drastic in order to sniff contention.

11. London Royal Ravens (2 – 10)

Previous Rank: 12 ( +1)
CDL Points: 30 (+30)

London is finally on the board. With two wins to start the group stage and a tenth place finish at the Major, London has shaken the memes. The introduction of PaulEhx has improved the team, however, significant issues linger with this roster. SnD is improved, but on the year, London is still one of the worst Search teams (4-12 record).

Key Takeaways: “No twins, no wins” has been banished to the Shadow Realm. Getting a few wins was important for this team’s confidence. Zed has brought on the needed veteran leadership, but the team can still look anemic on respawn, especially Dylan, who has exacerbated his “feast or famine” playstyle. This season, the British fans have seen Dylan dropping 0.5’s just as frequently as they’ve seen him dropping 1.5’s. But the key takeaway here is that London is running out of time. Unlike the LA Thieves, who have 110 CDL points, London cannot afford to give this roster the same runway. Given that only the top eight teams qualify for Champs this season, London has three stages to make up a huge point differential, and is currently sitting in dead last with 30 CDL points.

12. Paris Legion (4 – 8)

Previous Rank: 8 (-4)
CDL Points: 50 (+20)

Everyone watching Paris Legion knew they were in for a tough season. After rumors of a minimum payroll team, the Legion surprised many in Stage 1 by taking FaZe to a game 5, and being competitive in many of their matches. Reality has started to set in during Stage 2. Despite the early promise, they were clean swept by a newly formed LA Thieves team last week at the Stage 2 Major. Earlier this week, Paris released Fire and announced Temp to the starting roster.

Key Takeaways: Despite Fire’s ambivalent performances, the entire team has struggled. Most players on the team have negative K/D’s in each game mode, with only Aqua performing consistently. The vibes will be on uptrend 📈, but Paris needs to see significant improvements to truly contend. There are currently five teams sitting between 30 and 70 CDL points: Paris Legion, London Royal Ravens, Seattle Surge, Florida Mutineers, and Seattle Surge. Only one of the bottom five teams will qualify in Champs. Drop Fire and make a gamble on Temp now? It’s a bold play, the payoffs are murky. Only time will tell if the move will work out in the team’s favor.

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