M4 GA led to Disarray

The CDL teams most hindered by the new AR meta

When the 2022-2023 Call of Duty League Season kicked off on December 2, it was obvious that a certain weapon was being favored by the players. It took just one weekend of online qualifiers for the CDL teams to make a major change to fix the meta. For the second time in three seasons, the “M4” Assault Rifle was being replaced via GA (Gentleman’s Agreement – a form of rule change where players agree to not use certain weapons, perks, killstreaks, etc but it isn’t officially banned) in the competitive meta in order to improve viability of the main SMG and maintain the typical 2 AR, 2 SMG split amongst teams.

Like most major decisions revolving around competitive Call of Duty, discussions about the change were floated around on Twitter and Atlanta Faze player SlasheR even leaked a group message that featured various players across the league discussing the potential swap. By the time Major 1 Weekend 2 Qualifiers rolled around, the M4 had been replaced with the TAQ-56 (aka Scar) and it has remained that way ever since. With any weapon swap, an adjustment period follows in which some teams are quick to pick up on the change, while others struggle to get acclimated with the new meta.

In cases such as the New York Subliners, it was quite obvious that this was a welcome change. After going 0-2 during Major 1 Weekend 1 Qualifiers, the squad consisting of HyDra, KiSMET, Priestahh, and Skyz rattled off 9 wins in their next 10 matches en route to winning the Major 1 Championship. NYSL proved to be the exception, not the rule when it came to team performance following the swap from the M4 to the Scar. The following teams are the ones who have yet to find their footing since the post-Opening Weekend GA went into effect:

Boston Breach

After a strong 2-0 start during Opening Weekend including a shocking 3-1 victory over the powerhouse Atlanta FaZe squad in the first match of the competitive Modern Warfare II season, the masked mercenaries have found themselves in a tough spot. Breach dropped their next four straight matches including an upset defeat to Elevate, a Challengers squad that qualified for the Pro-Am bracket at Major 1. Of these four losses, three of them came in 2-3 fashion and it appears that they are struggling to close out victories.

The numbers don’t tell the whole story regarding Boston’s struggles following Opening Weekend. Their final two matches saw Owakening attempting to play through an illness vs Elevate, followed by Beans filling in for Big Wake in the match vs Vegas that eliminated them from the Pro-Am. With the GA changing the AR meta, most would assume that the AR players would be the ones struggling. In Boston’s case, it is the SMG players Nero and Vivid who have been the weak link of this squad thus far which goes to show just how much the M4 was being relied on by most players across the league.

Methodz (1.25) and Owakening (1.40) both have top 5 K/D ratios amongst all players in the league in Control and SnD respectively. With Major 2 Qualifiers starting on January 13, Boston will look to move on from a disappointing Day 1 exit at Major 1 and clutch up in contested matches starting with the Minnesota Rokkr.

London Royal Ravens

In identical fashion to Boston, the Royal Ravens squad started out their season 2-0 after Opening Weekend of Major 1, followed up by four straight losses and a Day 1 exit at Major 1. These two teams were the only CDL Franchises to both lose a match vs a Challengers squad and be eliminated from the Major 1 Pro-Am on the same day that it started. However, unlike the Boston Breach, the struggles of this London squad can be primarily attributed to the play from the AR tandem of Zer0 and PaulEhx. This most likely is the reasoning behind a roster change in which PaulEhx was dropped in place of Matthew “Skrapz” Marshall.

After Opening Weekend, the statistics showed that the CDL Franchise located across the pond was the one that leaned most heavily on the M4 Assault Rifle. With that being the case, it came as no shock that the AR players started to struggle which evidently spelled doom heading into Major 1. Asim has emerged as a top SMG player across the league this year after being moved for the fourth time since the CDL formed in 2020 (Bonus Scrim Bucks if you can name all four teams!). Although not on the same level of performance, Nastie has been a consistent SMG player for the Royal Ravens and the pairing of him along with Asim has been solid thus far.

Zer0 has been a steady performer in the respawn modes, including an impressive 1.28 K/D Ratio in Control. SnD is the mode where he is holding back this roster the most and it’s a big reason they have only managed to win 4 out of 9 totals maps on this crucial mode. Not only does Zer0 currently have a measly .85 K/D in SnD, but he also has only managed to secure an average of 0.58 Kills per Round while the rest of his teammates are all in the .70-.80 range. With the roster change already being made official heading into Major II Qualifiers, we will keep a close eye on the impact that Skrapz will have moving forward. Time will tell whether or not the Royal Ravens continue to be impacted by the decision to GA the M4, or if simply the chemistry had started to sour and a roster change is the fix to their problems.

Los Angeles Guerrillas

Although the Guerrillas did manage to win their matchup vs Challengers team Decimate Gaming at the Major 1 Pro-AM in Raleigh, North Carolina, they too took an early exit after losing to the Minnesota Rokkr on Day 2 of the event. LAG certainly had more issues with their team aside from simply needing to adjust to the new AR meta, hence them taking their former Captain and two-time champ “Aches” advice to blow it up. 

On January 3, the Guerrillas officially announced that they would be elevating Assault, Exceed, and JoeDeceives from their Major 1 Challengers Open winning Academy roster to squad up with Arcitys. This change was accompanied by the decision to move Spart and Neptune to the Academy roster and to outright drop Huke, making him a Free Agent. The move is one that fans across the CDL are rejoicing as it demonstrates a perfect example of what a talent pipeline should look like from Challengers to the CDL. Another glaring reason behind this decision was the performance of the players aside from Arcitys so far this year.

Following a Cinderella story Major II Champs victory during the Vanguard season, Spart was named Major II MVP and was elevated to the roster full time in place of Gunless (currently competing in Challengers). LAG decided to give Spart a three-year contract which even at the time, was met with scrutiny based on how other contracts across the league typically are handled. It’s ironic how being a dominant player with a weapon that was soon GA’d in Vanguard (Volk AR) got Spart onto the main roster and now the latest GA has him being moved back down to the Academy team.

OpTic Texas

Critics could point out numerous reasons for why OpTic Texas has struggled through the early part of the MW2 season. One thing that is certain is that the change from the M4 to the Scar has had a noticeable impact on the performances of ¾ of the roster. iLLeY, Dashy, and Scump all showed prowess with the M4 during Opening Weekend as it allowed for a faster and more versatile style of play in a competitive season that is slowed down in pace and requires lots of teamwork to be successful. 

With the TAQ-56 in play, Scump no longer has the ability to play in more of a flex role. This in turn has impacted his performance overall as he is now having to run a second SMG alongside Shotzzy in matches. The pacing of the SMG duo in Texas hasn’t been able to adjust and it remains to be seen whether they can get on the same page in that regard.

iLLeY and Dashy have both also been rather mediocre throughout the first Major of the 22-23 CDL Season. It begs the question as to whether or not iLLeY has been able to fully recover from his thumb injury that kept him out of the lineup for chunks of the Vanguard season. Dashy on the other hand has drifted from his MVP-level play and this may be a key factor in why his spot on the roster is still up in the air. Qualifiers for Major 2 begin next week and we still don’t have an official decision on who will be competing alongside Scump, Shotzzy, and iLLeY for the GreenWall.


The struggles of these four CDL teams following the decision to GA the M4 certainly has other factors at play aside from simply not being able to adjust to the new AR meta. With the first Major of the Modern Warfare 2 season out of the way, these are the teams that I will be watching closely to see if they are able to bounce back after a rough start. Whether it’s roster changes, role changes, or perhaps maybe needing to experiment with other available AR options like the Lachmann .556 or the Kastov .545, we will soon be able to more accurately gauge just how much the change from the M4 to the Scar affected these specific teams.

Author: PescaroDB

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