Over the weekend, the Call of Duty League hosted the first set of online qualifiers for the 2022 Stage 1 Major. This officially kicked off the 2022 season and allowed teams to play their first true matches of Call of Duty: Vanguard. These matches yielded some shocking results, as some teams lived up to their expectations while others did not.
We saw three main takeaways from the opening weekend, the first being just how competitive Vanguard can be.
1. It’s anyone’s game in Vanguard
From a sheer competitive standpoint, there might not be a more random Call of Duty game than Call of Duty: Vanguard. From the exceptionally fast time-to-kill making engagements a toss-up to the maps that can play out strangely, it’s clear that the 2022 season will be the most competitive we’ve seen since the Call of Duty League’s inception.
And this weekend proved that. The Atlanta FaZe went from almost losing to the Paris Legion one match to obliterating the LA Thieves in the next. That same Paris team then got dismantled by the Florida Mutineers. The way Vanguard plays is making for ultra-competitive maps and matches seem like they can go either way, no matter the teams playing.
This should make for wonderful entertainment throughout the 2022 season, at least from a viewing perspective.
2. Seattle Surge are the real deal
After much preseason hype and a great run at the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic 2022, some fans were calling the Seattle Surge’s early success a fluke. Well, the Surge proved every doubter wrong over the weekend as they waltzed their way to a 2-0 record. Moreover, they achieved this record by defeating the New York Subliners and the same Toronto Ultra team that defeated them in the grand finals of the Kickoff.
Thanks to the outstanding play of rookie tandem Daunte “Sib” Gray and Amer “Pred” Zulbeari, the Surge look like the top team in the league. While it’s still early in the season, fans shouldn’t expect Seattle to move out of contention anytime soon.
3. OpTic’s woes from 2021 have followed them into 2022
This year was supposed to be a fresh start in the Call of Duty League for OpTic. After merging with the Dallas Empire and acquiring two world champions, OpTic looked to start anew this season after a tumultuous 2021. Unfortunately for the Greenwall, the same issues that plagued the team in Black Ops Cold War have followed them into Vanguard.
OpTic Texas started out the year 0-2, losing to London Royal Ravens and Minnesota Røkkr. Both matches went to Game 5, Round 11, where OpTic crumbled against better Search and Destroy teams. Texas is 1-4 in Search and Destroy so far in the Vanguard season. The game mode has always plagued them in the past but with the addition of two former Dallas players, fans were hoping that tide would turn.
Round 11 ICE from @ROKKR to STEAL the series versus @OpTicTexas ❄️#PlayAsOne | #CDL2022 pic.twitter.com/0Gjih6daDk
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) February 7, 2022
Instead, OpTic look hapless in S&D and are making small mistakes, yet again, that cost them maps. Whether it’s not rotating successfully in Hardpoint or solo challenging in Search and Destroy, Texas has a ton of work if they want to compete with the other top teams in the Call of Duty League this year.