The Call of Duty League reaches a pivotal stage in its 2023 season this weekend and its fifth and final Major of the campaign takes place in Toronto.
Set to be hosted by the Mattamy Athletic Centre, Major Five in the Call of Duty League is significant for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, as the last Major of the season, the event will determine the final lineup for the end-of-season Call of Duty League Championship.
Five teams - Atlanta FaZe, OpTic Texas, Toronto Ultra, Los Angeles Thieves and New York Subliners - have already qualified for the Championship and there are only three places left with four teams in contention.
At the other end of the standings, Florida Mutineers, Los Angeles Guerrillas and London Royal Ravens are unable to qualify for the Championship and for the Mutineers and the Guerrillas, this will be the last time we see the teams in action in the CDL.
That is because the Mutineers are set to merge with Spanish team Heretics to become Miami Heretics next season, while the Guerrillas will be merged or sold at the end of the campaign.
There is a lot riding on Major Five and the first batch of matches will take place on Thursday.
Here is a look at how the tournament could unfold.
|What||Call of Duty League Major Five|
|Where||Mattamy Athletic Centre|
|When||Thursday May 25th 2023 - Sunday May 28th 2023|
|How to watch||Call of Duty League Twitch / Youtube channel|
|Odds||To win outright - OpTic Texas +125, Atlanta FaZe +250, Toronto Ultra +450, New York Subliners +700, LA Thieves +1000|
At +125, OpTic Texas are red-hot favourites to win the fifth and final Major of the Call of Duty League season and strengthen their position ahead of the end-of-season Championship.
In the online qualifiers for Major Five, OpTic did not put a foot wrong, winning all five of their matches and finishing with a round differential of 15-2 to top the standings with 50 points.
They are hitting form at just the right time and many have them down as the team to beat in the Call of Duty League season right now.
That said, OpTic Texas are yet to win a Major event in 2023 and have not done so since Major One in 2022.
And punters should also be wary of reading too much into their qualifying campaign with OpTic having gone 5-0 in qualifying for Major Four earlier this season.
Although they made it to the Grand Final, they failed to win that Major, losing 4-2 to Los Angeles Thieves, and a perfect qualifying campaign is no guarantee of a Major title, so punters may want to look elsewhere in the betting.
Heading into the final Major of the season, it is Atlanta FaZe who lead the way in the overall Call of Duty League standings with 335 points - which puts them 15 points clear of OpTic Texas.
They, however, have a Major title under their belt this season, having prevailed in Major Two in Boston earlier in the year and they are next in the outright betting for Major Five at +250.
They were pretty reliable in qualifying for Major Five, winning four of their five matches with their sole defeat coming against OpTic Texas in week one.
Any punters looking to take on favourites Texas could do worse than back steady and reliable Atlanta FaZe.
At +450 it is, however, Toronto Ultra who look the shrewdest bet to win Major Five.
Like FaZe and OpTic, Ultra can play with a sense of freedom in this Major, knowing their place in the Call of Duty League Championship is already secured but they also have the added boost of home advantage in this tournament.
They were pretty solid in qualifying, finishing third in the standings with a 3-2 win-loss record and therefore they will start in the winners' bracket against New York Subliners.
They have experience of beating the big guns, having taken down Atlanta FaZe and OpTic Texas on their way to the Major Three title earlier this season and punters could do a lot worse than backing the hosts to go the distance.
Among the outsiders for the Call of Duty League Major Five title are +700 shots New York Subliners and +1000 shots Los Angeles Thieves.
LA Thieves are, of course, reigning Call of Duty League champions, having taken the overall title in 2022, but they also go into Major Five having won the recent hostless fourth Major of the season.
They beat in-form OpTic Texas twice on their way to the title in Major Four but qualifying for Major Five did not go according to plan as they finished ninth in the standings with a 1-4 win-loss record.
That puts them on the backfoot as they have to start Major Five in the losers' bracket and that makes them an unappealing selection.
The Subliners, meanwhile, finished qualifying with three wins from their five games and won the first Major of 2023 but have since struggled to make as much of an impact and are also worth swerving in the outright betting.
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