It’s over – the Call of Duty League 2023 season has officially come to a close, and it went out with a monumental eruption. In an intense Grand Final showdown, two of the sharpest most talented teams of the season thus far came head-to-head: Toronto Ultra and the New York Subliners. It’s safe to say that nobody could have realistically predicted the way it went down, but when the dust had settled, the Subliners stood victorious with a 5 – 0 scoreline, having absolutely decimated Toronto Ultra in record time.
It was one of the shortest Grand Finals in the history of Call of Duty esports, with the Subliners laying waste to Ultra in as efficient a fashion as possible. It was the icing on the cake for the Subliners, winners of not one but two Majors this year, and the MVPs of both the season and CDL Champs call the organisation home. Toronto Ultra was forced to crawl home with their tails between their legs after failing to secure a single map in a crushing defeat.
Stand Well and Truly Clear
It has been a phenomenal season for the New York Subliners. Following a win at Major I, the team faltered slightly before regaining and winning big at Major V, wiping Atlanta FaZe off the board and adding a second $200,000 payout to their winnings for the season. That wasn’t enough, and the boys in yellow decided to step up and claim the Call of Duty League Championship, netting a whopping $1 million grand prize and entering the history books in remarkable fashion.
For the Subliners, this is a unique victory – such a sweep has almost never been seen in the history of Call of Duty esports. It started out with NYSL running rampant, producing a 250 – 84 scoreline in Hardpoint, a 6 – 1 record in Search and Destroy, and then a 3 – 0 in Control. It seemed that Ultra found its feet by the second hardpoint, but the team still couldn’t gain traction, losing 236 to 250. Finally, in the last map of the match, a 6 – 4 win to the Subliners in Search closed out the season and the Grand Final.
It was a win with a little extra spice, with Toronto Ultra’s Thomas ‘Scrappy’ Ernst, known as the notorious ‘wannabe bad-boy’ of the League, dropping heat against Subliners ahead of their match.
It was NYSL’s Kismet who fired back:
‘I’m going to smoke him. It’s just disrespectful. I like the idea of barking and having your own thing but singling people out is the worst thing you can do. I’m going to make them pay for it.‘
With one of the fastest wins in the history of CDL Champs and a total sweep, it’s safe to say that Kismet well and truly smoked Scrap. That fact came just one day after Ultra threw the Subliners a sweep of their own to secure the Grand Final qualification.
The Most Monumental Event
It was a memorable and remarkable event all around, but for some, it was a crushing end to a brilliant season. I’m referring, of course, to OpTic Texas – following two perfect back-to-back qualifiers and two second-place Major finishes this season, many fans thought OpTic would have the Championship in the bag. However, following a relatively paltry performance, OpTic Texas was knocked down by the Subliners and then immediately wiped off the board by a dominant Seattle Surge side.
It was also a poignant event for Atlanta FaZe, with this being the first time in Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr’s professional career that he didn’t make it to the Winner’s Final at Champs. It was – surprise, surprise – the New York Subliners that sent FaZe packing.
Last year’s champions and the winners of Major IV – the LA Thieves – failed to gain any traction whatsoever this time around. In bizarre fashion, the team lost against both Toronto and Seattle, being the first team to be forcefully ejected from the competition.
Now, we enter the off-season, and all the cards are on the table. We’re expecting some teams – such as the Florida Mutineers and the Los Angeles Guerrillas – to disappear entirely. There are rumours that the London Royal Ravens will relocate, and of course, rostermania is about to begin and enter full flow. It’s an interesting time of year to be a Call of Duty esports fan.