The Minnesota Rokkr and Toronto Ultra were the big winners Thursday as the Call of Duty League's Stage 5 Major got underway.
Minnesota, which finished third in Group B during group play, delivered an impressive 3-1 verdict over the Atlanta FaZe. Meanwhile, Toronto held off a worthy challenge fromthe Los Angeles Thieves in a 3-2 victory.
The Rokkr and Ultra are now one victory from earning spots in the winners-bracket final. Minnesota will next take on the Group B champion Dallas Empire, with Toronto set to face the Group A winners, OpTic Chicago. Both matches will be contested on Friday.
Minnesota got off to a hot start with map wins on Checkmate Hardpoint (250-211) and Express Search and Destroy (6-5). Atlanta fought back with a 3-0 decision on Garrison Control, but the Rokkr claimed the match with a 250-205 triumph on Raid Hardpoint.
The Ultra were forced to come from behind after dropping their opening map against the Thieves, won conquered Raid Hardpoint easily, 250-167. Toronto responded with consecutive map shutouts, winning 6-0 on Moscow Search and Destroy and 3-0 on Garrison Control. L.A. evened the match with a 250-207 conquest on Checkmate Hardpoint before Toronto won 6-3 on Standoff Search and Destroy.
Both the Thieves and FaZe slid down to the lower bracket, where they await their next opponents on Saturday.
In lower-bracket action Thursday, the New York Subliners ousted the Los Angeles Guerrillas 3-2 in a back-and-forth affair while the Seattle Surge eliminated the Paris Legion 3-1.
The Subliners and Guerrillas alternated map wins in playing to a full best-of-five. New York took the first and third maps (250-178 on Garrison Hardpoint, 3-0 on Checkmate Control), with L.A. taking the second and fourth maps (6-4 on Moscow Search and Destroy, 250-238 on Apocalypse Hardpoint) to even the match 2-2. The Subliners clinched victory with a 6-4 verdict on Express Search and Destroy.
The Surge had an easier time, dominating Raid Hardpoint 250-86 to open the match. The Legion retaliated with a 6-2 decision on Raid Search and Destroy. But Seattle took the final two maps, winning 3-1 on Garrison Control and 250-112 on Apocalypse Hardpoint.
All playoff matches are best-of-five except for the Sunday grand final, which will be best-of-nine.
Friday's schedule includes four matches:
OpTic Chicago vs. Toronto Ultra -- Upper bracket
Dallas Empire vs. Minnesota Rokkr -- Upper bracket
New York Subliners vs. Florida Mutineers -- Lower bracket
Seattle Surge vs. London Royal Ravens -- Lower bracket
Call of Duty League's Stage 5 Major prize pool:
1. $200,000, 75 CDL points -- TBD
2. $120,000, 60 CDL points -- TBD
3. $80,000, 50 CDL points -- TBD
4. $40,000, 40 CDL points -- TBD
5-6. $20,000, 30 CDL points -- TBD
7-8. $10,000, 20 CDL points -- TBD
9-10. no money, 10 CDL points -- TBD
11-12. no money, no CDL points -- Los Angeles Guerrillas, Paris Legion
--Field Level Media