Call of Duty League 2021 has not even started, and it is already creating a lot of noise. Not long ago, the League made a massive announcement that changed the format from 5v5 to 4v4. The twelve teams began shuffling rosters left and right, with some drawing a lot of attention.
Seattle Surge is the latest to announce their 2021 roster. Apart from Sam “Octane” Larew, none of the other members from the previous squad remain. Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, Peirce “Gunless” Hillman, and Daniel “Loony” Loza will now join Octane in representing Surge in the 2021 season.
Seattle did not have a great season in 2020. They were one of two teams that were eliminated from the Playoffs, without winning any prize money. In fact, they finished 11th last season, with a meager 50 CDL points. LA Guerrillas finished last with the same points as Surge.
Nonetheless, Octane performed superbly all year round. The disparity in performance with his teammates led to the circulation of a lot of memes during the season.
This also serves as the reason Seattle retained Octane for their 2021 roster.
He seems very ecstatic about the new team.
It seems like Seattle Surge was planning to put forward a team that need not start from scratch. Or it could also be a mere co-incidence.
Prestinni and Gunless had played together for Chicago Huntsmen, not so long ago. Prestinni had started out the 2020 season with the Florida Mutineers but was replaced by Fero. However, Prestinni was reunited with his twin brother Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson in the Huntsmen squad. Gunless was benched on Prestinni’s arrival.
Further to that, this is not the first time Octane is playing with Loony and Gunless. They had previously teamed up in Rise Nation during World League Championship.
Surge are yet to announce their last member, the substitute. The team will be under the guidance of coach Joey “Nubzy” DiGiacomo. After a poor 2020 season, this team of veterans will look to bounce back as one of the title contenders in 2021.
Elimination Round 1
Ian “Enable” Wyatt will not be starting for the Seattle Surge for the remainder of the season, with Nicholas “Proto” Maldonado stepping into the starting lineup, Enable and the team announced Thursday.
The Seattle Surge and coach Joey “Nubzy” DiGiacomo revealed the lineup change in a Twitter post.
“Ian has been incredibly professional and understanding of our team asks of him throughout the season,” Nubzy said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we are not in a position to have him join the starting lineup in the interim.”
The announcement followed this up by saying that Enable would help support the team on a day-by-day basis and then thanked him for being a good teammate.
“I appreciate all the support I received this year, I’ll be back,” Enable said in his Twitter post. In a follow-up tweet, he added, “Sucks that I won’t be competing at Champs this year, but I have more fire than ever to compete next game. I still have some left in the tank.”
Enable started for Seattle at the beginning of the season but was benched and replaced by Casey “Pandur” Romano, with the team citing in-game struggles in the Search and Destroy game mode as a reason. Enable returned to the starting lineup of the Seattle Surge for the Seattle home series two weeks ago, but played only three maps before he was replaced again by Pandur for the remainder of the event.
On Wednesday, the Seattle Surge also announced the retirement of Call of Duty legend Damon “Karma” Barlow.
The Seattle Surge are in 11th place out of 12 teams in the Call of Duty League, with a record of 4-12 and 40 total league points.
The Seattle Surge has faced multiple challenges in their debut season of the Call of Duty League. After multiple roster changes, Damon “Karma” Barlow’s retirement, and online issues, Seattle can’t seem to catch a break. The team had little success when matches were in-person, but fans were hopeful that online would be a different story. However, online play only seemed to make Seattle Surge’s problems worse.
In a recent game against the top team, Atlanta FaZe, Seattle started the series 2-0 before a technical delay ruined their momentum. After an amazing first two maps, production stopped the stream for nearly an hour. Atlanta FaZe went on to reverse sweep the Seattle Surge. This decision was met with public outcry who thought the nearly 50-minute delay was overkill and prevented Seattle from performing an upset. While this did force the CDL to change the rules, it doesn’t excuse the initial incident in the eyes of viewers.
Seattle Surge’s star player Sam “Octane” Larew has openly spoken out about the Call of Duty League’s perceived lack of competitive integrity. While most of these tweets have since been deleted, his comments have not gone unnoticed. There is speculation that the CDL has fined Octane, along with multiple others, over their comments.
In Seattle Surge’s most recent game against the London Royal Ravens, the CDL’s lack of integrity struck again. Seattle started the series off slowly, losing both the Azir Cave Hardpoint as well as the St. Petrograd Search and Destroy. However, they managed to pull things back in game three by winning the Hackney Yard Domination. It wasn’t until game four when things got worse for the Seattle Surge. About halfway through the map, Josiah “Slacked” Berry disconnected from the lobby. This left Seattle in a 4 versus 5 situation for the majority of the map.
Call of Duty League fans waited for the map to be restarted since it was still early when Slacked disconnected. However, the map continued and finished with the London Royal Ravens winning 250-77. When the game finished, fans still waited for some sort of explanation from the league on social media, but none came. The disconnect was ruled as “player error” and Seattle Surge was forced to forfeit the series.
Octane took to Twitter yet again after the matches and shared his thoughts on the ruling through now-deleted tweets.
COMPETITIVE INTEGRITY STRIKES AGAIN 400 MILLION DOLLAR LEAGUE BY THE WAY 4V5 NO REPLAY SICK JOKE TRY AND FINE ME CDL HOLY FUCK PEOPLE CANT DO THEIR JOBS
— Surge Octane (@OctaneSam) July 17, 2020
LITERALLY OUR MOST IMPORTANT SERIES OF THE YEAR AND WE CANT PLAY IT BECAUSE THE CALL OF DUTY LEAGUE DECIDED WE CANT REPLAY A TIED HARDPOINT THIS LEAGUE SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS
— Surge Octane (@OctaneSam) July 17, 2020
Canucks Sports & Entertainment, owner of Seattle Surge and Vancouver Titans, has announced Adamas Esports Training + Performance as the franchises’ official performance partner.
Included in the multi-year agreement is a partnership with Fortius Sport & Health, the facility that acts as home to Adamas Esports Training + Performance’s services.
The partnership will see Adamas Esports Training + Performance provide both teams with ongoing baseline testing and monitoring to measure player health and performance. The deal also includes continuing one-on-one education with players, coaches, and staff on how to minimize the stresses that can arise with demanding travel schedules.
Tim Holloway, Esports Director for Aquilini Entertainment, had this to say on the partnership: “We’re excited to partner with Adamas Esports Training + Performance at Fortius Sport & Health to provide our Titans players and coaches with an all-encompassing environment to train and live during the busy esports season. Our goal in this partnership is to help the Titans and Surge reach not just their performance and championship aspirations but also their fitness and health goals. Through the expertise of staff and practitioners at Adamas and Fortius, our teams will be able to garner tips on how to best handle the various stresses that can arise in competing at the highest level in esports.”
The Fortius Sport & Health facility is kitted out with a fitness & performance centre, FIFA-standard turf pitch, NBA-lined gymnasium, human performance lab, sports medicine clinic, 50-room lodge, and a chef-inspired bistro.
Caleb Cousens, CEO of Adamas Esports Training + Performance, added: “Our team at Adamas is focused on defining the global standard for measuring and improving esports performance and a multi-year partnership with the Vancouver Titans and Seattle Surge is the perfect proving ground. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with a forward-thinking organization like Canucks Sports & Entertainment in an effort to help their athletes perform when it matters.”
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