Grading Roster Moves Part 3

Rostermania was in full effect for the CDL this offseason, with every single roster making a change going into Black Ops Cold War due to the change back to the 4v4 setting. We’ve seen some teams making minor changes to their roster compositions, while others went for the full team wipe.

This article will look at each of the major moves already announced and give them a grade based on the perspective of the organizations. Each of our voters will give the organizations a grade based on the fit of incoming players and how they will fill the gap left by the player leaving. Many other factors such as the potential of the team & how the roles fit will also influence the grades. This isn’t an exact science but our graders will give explanations to each of the grades. These were the first roster moves to be announced, we’ll be going through all the moves throughout the offseason.

So here we go…

TORONTO ULTRA

*Ben “Bance” Bance, Flex/SMG extended

*Cameron “Cammy” McKilligan, Main AR/Flex extended

*Tobias “CleanX” Juul Jønsson, SMG extended

*Anthony “Methodz” Zinni, Main AR extended

+Jamie “Insight” Craven, Main AR Joins

– Carson “Brack” Newberry, Flex leaves

– Nicholas “Classic” DiCostanzo, SMG leaves

– Daniel “Loony” Loza, SMG leaves

– Alejandro “Lucky” López, Flex leaves

– Mehran “Mayhem” Anjomshoa, Flex leaves

– Adrian “MeTTalZz” Serrano, Flex/SMG leaves

Grade: B

Round11 – “Toronto Ultra are sticking to their guns going into the next season after a successful finish to the inaugural season. The addition of CleanX at the tail end of the season undoubtedly transformed Ultra into a top tier team, although the core that remained on the starting roster struggled to find success prior to his arrival. With many teams around them strengthening considerably, it’s hard to envisage Ultra taking home many tournaments wins in 2021. But the young duo of CleanX and Cammy could very well explode into world-class talents and elevate Toronto into a Championship contender.”

Novus – “Ultra stuck with the strong MW core they discovered late last season which nets them a tourney win, a 3-4 placement, and a 5-6 placement at Champs. I think Toronto is still 1-2 roster changes away from being a consistent top 4 team. With the way Cold War is shaping up, the addition of Insight is strong given his ability to play a fast AR/flex role or the main AR position making him a versatile substitution option for Toronto.”

RB – “Ultra jettisons the 10-man squad, but have made no upgrades to any of the starting position players. The team could contest for a top-three position with a few roster moves, but instead, they’ve decided to keep the status quo to start the season. The safe move is understandable, but they get no extra marks here.

Adding Insight allows Ultra to be a top SND team, field an all EU team, and sends a clear message – main AR is where they feel most shaky. “

Tactical Rab – “This is a perfectly satisfactory decision from Toronto, having finally found their ideal core 5 at the end of Modern Warfare. Deciding to let go of Classic is understandable, building around CleanX and Cammy was essential and Bance proved an extremely valuable component. This move makes strategic sense given the plan with their 10-man 2020. Insight offers a highly talented but questionable substitute pick, given he is typically an AR player – existing chemistry with CleanX may bear fruit.”

LOS ANGELES GUERRILLAS

*Reece “Vivid” Drost, SMG extended

+Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov, SMG joins

+Adam “Assault” Garcia, Main AR joins

+Justin “SiLLY” Fargo-Palmer, SMG joins

+Martin “Chino” Chino, Flex joins [Academy]

+Billy “MentaL” Putnam, SMG joins [Academy]

+Kaden “Exceed” Stockdale, SMG joins [Academy]

+Dylan “Nero” Koch, Flex joins [Academy]

-Kris “Spart” Cervantez, SMG leaves

-Rasin “Blazt” Ogresevix, Main AR/Flex leaves

-Andres “Lacefield” Lacefield, Flex leaves

-Renato “Saints” Forza, SMG leaves

-Jacob “Decemate” Cato, SMG leaves

-Ulysses “AquA” Silva, Main AR/Flex leaves

-Patrick “ACHES” Price, Flex leaves

Grade: B-

Tactical Rab – “This roster undoubtedly required a complete overhaul. Vivid, the shining star of their 2020 season, remains as expected. Recruiting Apathy, Silly and Assault brings a great deal of winning experience but it may be too optimistic to expect the trio to recapture their form from 2018 World Championship glory. Existing chemistry will be a bonus, and a talented bench will keep the starters on their toes.”

Novus – “LAG are bringing back the 2018 Evil Geniuses vibes of Apathy, Assault, and Silly with the addition of Vivid. All of these players struggled last year on their respective teams but the combination of them leaves one to be optimistic. Adding on to this new look is the LAG bench roster full of new, semi-new, and veteran faces. LAG appears to be running a 2020 Toronto Ultra strategy but the questions remain: How will they execute? How will they develop their bench talent? LAG was not afraid to make roster changes last season, this season it looks like they have some interesting pieces to play with.”

Nick – “I respect the idea, but this is not WWII. Based on what we’ve seen early on in Cold War this is going to be another fast pace sliding type of game, and that has not been kind the last few years for three out of the four players on this team. The only hope with this lineup is the increase in firepower from ACHES to Vivid. However, I am a fan of the academy lineup, and I think we’ll probably see at least two players from that team called up to the main roster by the end of the season.”

Spoonz – “LAG feels like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Dr. Jekyll: Signing a veteran, proven core of Assault, SiLLY, and Apathy to pair with Vivid. Note that in the past 4v4 boots game, Assault, Silly, and Ap won Champs as part of a mercurial EG team. Last season, Surge and RØKKR underperformed, but on 4v4, this core expects to be a contender once again.

Mr. Hyde: Taking significant risks on Nero, Exceed, and Mental.

Give us Mr. Hyde — if the team can develop young talent, there is a strong and credible path for the Guerrillas to become a contender now and in the future.”

LONDON ROYAL RAVENS

*Trei “Zer0” Morris, Flex re-signed

*Sean “Seany” O’Connor, Flex extended

*Thomas “Dylan” Henderson, SMG re-signed

+Alex “Alexx” Carpenter, SMG joins

-Byron “Nastie” Plumridge, SMG leaves

-Dylan “MadCat” Daly, Main AR leaves

-Rhys “Rated” Price, Main AR/Flex leaves

-Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall, Flex leaves

-Bradley “wuskin” Marshall, Main AR leaves

-Jordan “Jurd” Crowley, SMG leaves

Grade: C+

Tactical Rab – “The release of Skrapz and Wuskin has lost Ravens a degree of firepower, and also fan support, but it may well prove the correct decision. Seany was excellent at CDL Champs and is a great teammate by all accounts. Back in his preferred Main AR role, he will likely prove an underrated force. Keeping Zer0 in the flex role is perfectly suited, rounded out by a very talented SMG line of Dylan and Alexx. Ravens will need Dylan to recapture BO4 form if they hope to win events, but all the pieces of the puzzle are in place for great chemistry regardless of the weapon meta.”

Round11 – “Team chemistry was ultimately the demise of London Royal Ravens in the inaugural season. But they finally found their groove late in the season with the addition of Zer0 and Seany and ended the season with a 4th place finish at Champs. The decision not to re-sign the twins, Wuskin and Skrapz, definitely rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. But it can be argued that the addition of Alexx is better for the overall chemistry of the team. Consistency is the biggest worry of this team, and the lack of a proficient substitute could come back to bite them.”

Nick – “This team reminds me a lot of the ROKKR from last season: talented players, but if they’re not firing on all cylinders at the same time, they won’t stand much of a chance. I personally don’t think there is much of a downgrade from the twins to Alexx, but you definitely lose out on two big personalities within the cod esports scene, and in the long run; it could hurt the growth of the franchise.”

EasyMac – “London had an up-and-down Year 1 that ended with a solid Top 4 placing at Champs. But how could they build upon that placing and become more consistent is the question. Their answer was to release key players Skrapz and wuskin to make room for SMG slay Alexx. This results in Seany moving into the Main AR position and Zer0 in the Flex. If Trei & Seany can perform well against the likes of FormaL/Dashy, Arcitys/Cellium, Clayster/Mack, Octane/Gunless, and others they’ll be in a good position with their star SMG players. The London success lies on their shoulders.”

Seattle surge

*Sam “Octane” Larew, Main AR extended

+Daniel “Loony” Loza, SMG joins

+Peirce “Gunless” Hillman, Flex joins

+Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, SMG joins

-Nicholas “Proto” Maldonado, SMG leaves

-Casey “Pandur” Romano, Flex leaves

-Damon “Karma” Barlow, Main AR/Flex leaves

-Josiah “Slacked” Berry, Flex leaves

-Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov, SMG leaves

-Ian “Enable” Wyatt, SMG leaves

Grade: B+

Round11 – “Surge have made some interesting signings to say the least. The acquiring of Prestinni and Loony, two players are known for their selflessness, will complement Octane’s turret-like playstyle well – especially in Hardpoint. Gunless on his day is a world-beater who can take over the map like very few. But each newcomer has their weaknesses. Overall Seattle Surge is a team with a high ceiling but also a low floor.”

Tactical Rab – “This roster seems a clear upgrade from the mismanaged talent of 2020. Octane and Gunless are arguably the deadliest AR-flex combo in the game, joined by players with existing chemistry who know how to keep them in check. Loony’s winning experience with Gunless and Octane may prove invaluable, but Prestinni will be required to be an excellent SMG slayer for this team to compete at the highest level. Their success depends on this piece of the puzzle.”

Rosi – “Octane finally has help, just not sure how well Loony and Prestinni will compete with other SMG duos around the League such as Envoy/Scump, Huke/Shotzzy, & Simp/aBeZy.

Spoonz – “Surge have built a roster with the talent and experience to be able to back up Octane, who was far and away their best player last year. However, Gunless and Prestinni can often be inconsistent and lose the drive to grind and improve so team morale is going to be the top priority for Seattle.”

new york subliners

*Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto, SMG extended

*Makenzie “Mack” Kelley, Flex extended

+James “Clayster” Eubanks, Main AR joins

+Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez, SMG joins

-Dillon “Attach” Price, Flex traded

-Doug “Censor” Martin, SMG leaves

-Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi, Main AR leaves

-Nick “Happy” Suda, Flex leaves

-Donovan “Temp” Laroda, SMG/Flex leaves

Grade: A-

Nick – “Couldn’t think of a better player to bring in to help develop a young talent like HydrA than a back-to-back world champion in Clayster. You know what you’re going to get from ZooMaa & Mack, now if Clay is able to do what he does when it comes to getting to most out of rookies; this roster could contend for championships all season long.”

Novus – “Clayster is in his element surrounded by veteran teammate Zoomaa and two top prospect players in Hydra and Mack. This team has top 4 potential written all over it.”

Round11 – “Ever since going on one of the longest Championship droughts ever seen, Clayster has become somewhat of a serial winner. Considering Subliners were only able to win one tournament in Modern Warfare, this couldn’t have been a better signing, and Clayster’s leadership will surely be felt on the younger members of the roster.”

Tactical Rab – “Building around ZooMaa and Mack is a wise choice given their winning pedigree and excellent 2020 season respectively. Snapping up Clayster is a major plus, the hottest Free Agent on the market for those seeking world championship glory. Losing Attach to Minnesota seems unfortunate, but Hydra’s potential as a generational talent should make Subliners fierce competitors in the latter half of the season.”

Easy Mac – “New York needed two main positions to be filled this offseason: Main AR who can IGL and a high slaying SMG. Both positions were filled with the acquisitions of Clayster and HyDra. The duo should pair very well with holdovers from the first season, ZooMaa & Mack. The questions now are when HyDra could be welcomed into the states with the current lockdowns around the World due to COVID-19 and who will fill his shoes in the meantime. Obaid “Asim” Asim seems to be the man in that position currently, but then the question becomes will New York have enough slaying to keep up with the rest of the top teams. Never the less, the Subliners should be a threat this season.”

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