What we learned from Call of Duty League Champs 2022
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With the 2022 Call of Duty League done and dusted after the LA Thieves won Champs, it’s time to reflect on the event as a whole. Thanks to some big storylines culminating at Champs, there are several takeaways from the event that can be applied to next season. While we aren’t exactly sure how the 2023 season will work due to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 lasting for two years instead of one, we can still take a few lessons away from this action-packed event.

1. Sometimes a roster change isn’t the answer

Only two teams sported the same roster for the entire 2022 season. (You could also include Atlanta FaZe in that conversation but they did substitute Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson in for one match.) Seattle Surge and the LA Thieves were the only teams to start the same roster for every match in the 2022 season despite outcries from the community and LA’s fanbase to make one or several roster changes.

This was in the midst of an abysmal stretch for the Thieves, who couldn’t win anything through three majors. As team owner Nadeshot said during his championship speech, however, the team felt confident in the roster and decided to give them time to figure things out. This patience led to a dominant run for the LA Thieves, who took home Major IV and Champs. Maybe the Thieves’ arc in 2022 will be a lesson for CDL teams who want to make a roster change at the first sign of trouble.

2. The Challengers scene is housing several pros

Perhaps unbeknownst to some fans, the Call of Duty League Challengers Champs event was also going on this past weekend. The event saw Iron Blood Gaming upset Toronto Academy NA in the grand final to take home $100,000 and the title of world champions. While the tournament was thrilling in itself, it also made clear that the Challengers scene contains several pro-ready players.

From back-to-back champion MohaK to superstars-in-the-making Scrap and Vikul, CDL rosters need to pounce on some of these players for the 2023 season. Amateurs were hugely impactful in the 2022 season, with Seattle’s Pred and Sib leading the team to a Major III victory and a top three Champs placement. The LA Thieves’ Drazah also became the first former Challengers player to win Champs. It’s time for the amateur CDL players to take center stage.

3. Coaching is impactful in Call of Duty

While there are certainly a few reasons for the LA Thieves’ mid-season turnaround and their run to Champs victors, one of the most evident is the addition of Shane to the coaching staff. Prior to Shane’s presence on the coaching staff, LA coach Jkap couldn’t get the Thieves past sixth place at a major. Then, once Shane joins the team before Major III and the Thieves nab fourth place. At Major IV, they win the event. And then we all know how Champs ended.

Of course, Shane wasn’t the sole reason LA won back-to-back events. However, it’s not a coincidence their season turned around the moment he came aboard. Having a robust coaching staff has only benefited Call of Duty League teams. Perhaps now teams and their fans will begin to value coaches more than before in the 2023 season.

Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.