Atlanta FaZe set the bar high in 2021 with a 13-match win streak in the Call of Duty League. Their season included three major wins and a world championship, so it’s safe to say they became the gold standard of top-tier Call of Duty.
OpTic Texas has a ways to go before it can match that amount of silverware in a season, but the win streak is within reach now.
Texas is on 10 straight, with matches at 5 p.m. Saturday against the Los Angeles Guerrillas, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday against Atlanta FaZe and Major II in Minneapolis on the horizon.
Here are five ways OpTic Texas can set the Call of Duty League’s all-time win streak:
Brandon “Dashy” Otell is having arguably his best season of Call of Duty esports, and he’s empowered OpTic to being more than just one of the most talented squads in the CDL.
Dashy sits at a 1.21 kill-death ratio, good enough for third-best in the league. Most importantly, he’s been vocal in practice for OpTic Texas and is playing more fundamental Call of Duty than ever before.
The knock on Dashy has always been that he’s a stats guy. Prior to the Major I title he only had one tournament win in five seasons as a pro. The focus on fundamentals from OpTic head coach Ray “Rambo” Lussier has Dashy playing his best Call of Duty, and it’s made Texas the best team in the game early in the season.
As long as OpTic is enabling Dashy to be the best version of himself, Texas should be winning.
Sitting at the top of the Call of Duty League doesn’t grant immunity to being overtaken. Atlanta FaZe’s 2021 was impressive because they continuously developed new strategies and didn’t let up in practice.
That was a lesson from Champs in 2020 on Modern Warfare. Atlanta was still the best team in the game through much of the season, but the Dallas Empire made significant strides in the weeks leading up to Champs, scrimmaging and strategizing to beat FaZe.
Atlanta star Chris “Simp” Lehr told The Dallas Morning News at 2021 Champs that FaZe didn’t work as hard at Champs in 2020 – being the best was going to be enough. It was not.
OpTic Texas now has the task of improving upon their own early success, and staying ahead of other teams chewing at their heels like FaZe. An example was an angle on Berlin for search and destroy, which Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro used against FaZe in the clinching round of the Major I grand final.
Beat FaZe, maybe twice
There’s no tip toeing around it. OpTic Texas will have to defeat Atlanta FaZe at least one more time to have a chance at earning the best win streak in CDL history. OpTic’s match against FaZe on Sunday would be for 12 consecutive wins, assuming OpTic also defeated the Los Angeles Guerrillas on Saturday.
Atlanta showed it could bleed at Major I. OpTic Texas won the first meeting at Major I through a reverse sweep, then dominated the finals 5-2.
FaZe has looked like a top team again in the Stage II qualifier matches, but beatable.
The Toronto Ultra, which struggled mightily in hardpoint through the start of the season with a 10-14 record, took FaZe to five maps this past weekend. The London Royal Ravens played FaZe close recently as well.
OpTic Texas hasn’t played perfectly as of recent, but beating FaZe once would be the minimum. To take FaZe’s record with 14-straight wins, it may include Texas toppling Atlanta again at Major II.
Stay in control
OpTic Texas is good in every game mode as of right now, but being the best control team in the game became such an advantage for the Major I champs.
Not only does it give OpTic a mid-series map to lean on if they need it, but it makes them an impossible team to veto against. Even if the opposing team gets to choose the first hardpoint map of the series, OpTic would then likely have an advantage on the following two maps with a search and destroy pick, followed by control.
Lussier has told The News on multiple occasions that OpTic’s biggest task as of recent has been working on comms and expanding the map pool.
Texas hasn’t lost a control map since Feb. 5 against the London Royal Ravens, OpTic’s first match of the season. They are on 11 straight control wins, almost identical to the overall win streak.
That’s no coincidence.
Get the best version of Shotzzy
Shotzzy is already one of the hardest kills in Call of Duty for a variety of reasons. His worst performances this season would still be average in teams of CDL talent. But when the 2020 CDL MVP played at his peak, OpTic was unstoppable.
Shotzzy has the seventh-best kill-death ratio in the CDL at a 1.07 – he’s one of two SMG players in the top seven, suggesting Shotzzy’s movement and game sense is among the best at his position.
OpTic Texas didn’t get the best maps out of Shotzzy in the first two matches against Atlanta FaZe the first time the two teams met at Major I. Cuevas-Castro told The News he wasn’t happy with his performance in the first half of that series.
But Shotzzy was the catalyst in the back half, including a 6-0 Tuscan search and destroy win.
Much like Dashy, OpTic Texas is at their best when Shotzzy is the best player on the map. He’s been a prominent play-caller for OpTic Texas this season. His playmaking is just as important for the win streak to continue.