Where CDL Rostermania for the 2023-24 Season Currently Stands
(Gray News) - Enough time has passed for the New York Subliners to sufficiently bask in the afterglow of their Call of Duty League World Championship victory, and many CDL teams seem to agree because roster mania is in full swing.
This year’s off-season is shaping up to be one of the most hectic in terms of player signings, as over 36 players are currently free agents. Unsurprisingly, due to so many free agents, five of the twelve total CDL teams have no players signed to their rosters, and only three have a full roster. Only one thing is currently on the minds of CDL fans everywhere: what will their team look like next season?
Teams have fallen into one of three categories during roster mania: total rebuild, partial rebuild, and minor adjustments. It’s also important to remember that the vast majority of players have become ‘unrestricted’ free agents versus ‘restricted’ free agents upon release.
Unrestricted means a player is released from a team and has complete autonomy to proceed with talks and sign with other teams. Restricted means a player is still under contract with their team but can negotiate potential contracts with other teams. If that player wishes to sign with another team, that team will have to offer a deal or agree to a buyout that the team holding the player sets.
So, what categories do teams fall under as the end of July nears and the 2024 CDL season approaches?
CDL Teams in Total Rebuild
Las Vegas Legion
The Legion found themselves in a difficult spot at the tail end of the 2023 season. They were fighting to get their chance to compete at the World Championship but fell short and ended up missing the cut by one spot, finishing 9th place in the regular season CDL point standings. Legion has also had a turbulent time since the beginning of the CDL, initially representing Paris before their 2022 move to Las Vegas. So, even with glimpses of success this past season, it is no surprise that they are returning to the drawing board. They have released all their players to unrestricted free agency and are undoubtedly entering talks with multiple players.
- Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly
- Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda
- Eli ‘Standy’ Bentz
- James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks
London Royal Ravens
To anyone closely following the CDL, it is no surprise that the Royal Ravens are starting from scratch. Finishing last place in the CDL point standings last season is a tough pill to swallow, and changes must be made. The Royal Ravens have also released their entire roster to unrestricted free agency.
- Matthew ‘Skrapz’ Marshall
- Ulisses ‘Ulisses’ Rios
- Obaid ‘Asim’ Asim
- Byron ‘Nastie’ Plumridge
Los Angeles Thieves
An unexpected team in this category, the Thieves made the tough choice to explore alternative options. They won the 2022 World Championship and the 2023 Major IV. Thieves were a competitive squad all season but were also the first team knocked out of the World Championship. Whether this decision was driven internally or by their players wanting to explore different options isn’t fully known. Nonetheless, The Thieves have released all players seeking to continue their CDL career to unrestricted free agency. Sam ‘Octane’ Larew decided to go a different route and announced his well-deserved retirement on June 27th.
- Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Williams
- Zach ‘Drazah’ Jordan
- Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon
RØKKR seemed to lack a crucial piece to get them over the finish line this past season. While they played consistently enough to finish sixth in the final CDL point standings, they failed to take home any hardware or finish higher than third in a Major. RØKKR released their entire roster to unrestricted free agency and have yet to sign any new players.
- Marcus ‘Afro’ Reid
- Dillion ‘Attach’ Price
- Ben ‘Bance’ Bance
- Cameron ‘Cammy’ McKilligan
- Kevin ‘Fame’ Bonanno
The Surge started off the 2023 season hot with an appearance in the Major I Grand Finals but fell to pieces afterward. They failed to make it past Elimination Round 3 in any other tournament but still managed to make it to Worlds by finishing 8th in CDL points. The Surge have released all of their players to unrestricted free agency.
- Lamar ‘Accuracy’ Abedi
- Makenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley
- Amer ‘Pred’ Zulbeari
- Daunte ‘Sib’ Gray
CDL Teams in Partial Rebuild
The Mutineers had a rather unspectacular season, only getting as far as Elimination Round 3 in Major V. While they took down some higher-powered teams throughout the season, they never truly found a rhythm.
|Carson ‘Brack’ Newberry||Javier ‘Vikul’ Milagro|
|Kenyon ‘Capsidal’ Sutton|
|Tyler ‘FeLo’ Johnson|
|Colt ‘Havok’ McLendon|
|Phillip Willett (Head Coach)|
Los Angeles Guerrillas
The Guerrillas were a certified non-starter last season. They only made it out of the initial round of one major, Major II, and finished eleventh in CDL point standings. Hopefully, they will utilize the hectic player market this off-season and find their footing for the 2024 season.
|Adam ‘Assault’ Garcia||Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson|
|Joseph ‘JoeDeceives’ Romero||Kris ‘Spart’ Cervantes (Substitute)|
|Kaden ‘Exceed’ Stockdale|
The team with the most committed and ravenous fan base, OpTic, had difficulty figuring out their roster this past season. Once they did, they blossomed into a feisty contender in the league. They finished second in two majors, including their home major, and came second in CDL points. A disappointing finish at Worlds has left a bitter taste in their mouth, so look to this team to sign top-tier talent to fill the two vacant spots on their roster.
|Daniel ‘Ghosty’ Rothe||Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell|
|Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland||Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro|
|Indervir ‘iLLey’ Dhaliwal (Substitute)|
The Breach was a team that became the thorn in the side of several teams midway through the season. However, a lack of confidence in their roster saw several changes throughout the season that kept them from developing solid momentum. They finished 7th in CDL Points and are making it clear this off-season that they are building to be a contender.
|Joseph ‘Owakening’ Conley||Eric ‘Snoopy’ Pérez||Preston ‘Priestahh’ Greiner|
|Reece ‘Vivid’ Drost (Substitute)||Ben ‘Beans’ McMellon (RFA)||Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat|
|Dylan ‘Nero’ Koch (Substitute)|
*Restricted Free Agent (RFA)
CDL Teams Making Small Adjustments
FaZe has inarguably been the powerhouse of the CDL since franchising. Rarely finishing outside the top three in any Major, they have held onto their core trio of AbeZy, Simp, and Cellium since the team was formed. The point of interest for them has always been who will fill out the final spot on the roster. This year, they have made their most substantial addition yet.
|Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat||Tyler ‘aBeZy’ Pharris||Zach ‘Drazah’ Jordan|
|McArthur ‘Cellium’ Jovel|
|Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr|
Ultra had one of their strongest seasons in the CDL. A Major win in Arlington at Major III and an appearance at the World Championship Grand Finals are nothing to scoff at. It makes sense that they only want to tinker with their formula rather than start any significant renovations. They are among the few teams that have completed their roster.
|Charlie ‘Hicksy’ Hicks||Thomas ‘Scrappy’ Ernst||Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon|
|Jamie ‘Insight’ Craven|
|Tobias ‘CleanX’ Juul Jønsson|
New York Subliners
Finally, we have the reigning champs of the 2023 CDL Season, the Subliners. It was an unreal season from start to finish; the Subliners won Major I and V on top of Champs. Fans would not have been shocked if the Subliners decided to forego any changes in the off-season, but some say adjustments can always be made. Subliners are still looking to find their missing puzzle piece for the 2024 season, with one spot remaining on their starting roster.
|Preston ‘Priestahh’ Greiner||Paco ‘HyDra’ Rusiewiez|
|Elliot ‘WarDy’ Ward (Substitute)||Matthew “KiSMET’ Tinsley|
|Cesar ‘Skyz’ Bueno|
CDL Players who retired during the 2023 Season/Off Season
It’s only fitting to recognize the few players who departed from the CDL in search of greener pastures. These players are well-decorated and have created some unforgettable moments during their time as Call of Duty professionals. Best wishes to them in their future pursuits, and hopefully, we will see them on stage again in another role.
Now Retired Players:
- Anthony ‘Methodz’ Zinni
- Sam ‘Octane’ Larew
- Seth ‘Scump’ Abner
- Trei ‘Zer0′ Morris
Gray Television is an investor in OpTic Gaming.
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