Call of Duty 2020 Championship: Dallas Empire's Top Plays, Prize MoneyAugust 30, 2020
Two iconic Call of Duty veterans, three young, upsurging stars and $1.5 million on the line. The Dallas Empire recovered from a rough beginning to the inaugural Call of Duty League season, walked through the CDL Playoff bracket and secured the trophy (and the bag).
After recovering from early-season woes and finding their rhythm under a midseason coaching switch to RamboRay, the Empire finished the year out as the No. 2 seed, earning them two byes for the playoffs. Once in the postseason, Dallas edged out the Toronto Ultra 3-2 in Winners Round 3, FaZe 3-2 in the Winners Finals and then FaZe, once again, on Championship Sunday.
Atlanta was the better team for much of the season, having won the majority of the contests between the two, but the Empire's combination of preparation, veteran leadership and absurd young talent proved the difference.
The win is not only historic as the first Champs of the CDL, but also because it's the third Call of Duty world championship for Dallas' two veterans, Crimsix and Clayster, tying them with Karma for the most ever and making them the first two console esports players to earn $1 million. Further, rookie and season MVP, Shotzzy, now becomes the first player to ever win a world championship in multiple FPS titles.
Call of Duty League Championship Weekend
Saturday, August 29
London Royal Ravens 1 - 3 Chicago Huntsmen
Atlanta FaZe 2 - 3 Dallas Empire
Atlanta FaZe 3 - 1 Chicago Huntsmen
Sunday, August 30
Dallas Empire 5 - 1 Atlanta FaZe
All postseason, Dallas was on an absolute tear. With the meta shifting toward two players running the M4A1, Crimsix looked much more comfortable joining Clayster on AR. With the two veterans playing at a slower pace, the game simply opened up for their three SMG youngsters: Shotzzy, iLLeY and Huke.
That comfort shined through on Championship Sunday, when Dallas capitalized on their 1-0 advantage by bringing out every trick and remaining poised. First, it was Huke dropping 37 kills on Azhir Cave. Then, it was iLLeY using a unique sniping vantage point in SND.
That SND prowess continued, as Crimsix demonstrated just how happy he is to be running the M4 by pulling out four of the team's six kills, including two from a surprise ladder flank.
Finally, in a testament to the Empire's uncontested nerves with so much on the line, Clayster stuck an SND defuse at the very last second to maintain Dallas' momentum in the series.
Shotzzy was the team's superstar all season, as an SMG slayer with insane movement skills and gun skill, but the rest of the team showed up in equal parts when it mattered most. Atlanta was considered the best team all year, based on pure mechanical dominance, but the Empire remained confident that their teamwork and pace would win out.
That confidence paid off big, literally, as the team is now $1.5 million richer, a notch of validation in the veterans' legacies and a testament to the organization's gamble on unproven talents.