For Chris “SimpLehr and Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris, winning the 2021 Call of Duty Championship means winning a buyout. The 2020 All-Line Ring was stolen from them by the Dallas Empire last year. That buyout was ultimately won when Atlanta FaZe beat the Europeans on the Toronto Ultra 5-3 on Sunday at Call of Duty League Champs to claim the league title.
It was the second ring for Simp, aBeZy and Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson. It was the first for McArthur “Cellium” Jovel. After being a part of the FaZe Clan for the past four years, Cellium has established himself as one of the best Call of Duty players in the world.
“It’s great for me to have my first ring,” Cellium said with a big smile on his face. “I’m very happy with the way the team has played throughout the season and honestly couldn’t be more grateful to be with these guys. I am very happy. “
Fireworks and confetti covered the entire floor of the Galen Center with FaZe chants echoing through all the rooms. It was the icing on the cake of nearly $ 2 million that Atlanta won in prizes throughout the 2021 season.
Tiny Terrors returns to the top to become Atlanta FaZe Champions
“It’s amazing to be in the position where I am,” said Simp after the win. “Not everyone is lucky enough to have the team I have from the start. I think with the team and the players that we have and how close we are to each other as friends, we’re going to be a team for a while.
Every member of the Tiny Terror duo walked away with MVP awards during the Cold War season. Simp won the overall MVP award for 2021, while aBeZy was crowned MVP of their grand final against Toronto. As the most aggressive submachine gun duo Call of Duty has ever seen, the two SMGs seem almost untouchable.
It was difficult to watch last year’s Champs online after the league had to move away from the LAN due to the pandemic. The last in-person championship was in Black Ops 4, where 100 Thieves had a remarkable run in the bottom bracket to advance to the grand final against eUnited. Players fed with their energy to these events and they were finally able to feed themselves again here in Los Angeles.
The Champs Online featured no fans, cheers, and noticeable excitement from the players. The Galen Center brought it all back.
LET’S GO FAZE, 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/D2fGB63CWZ
– Atlanta FaZe (@ATLFaZe) August 22, 2021
Ten thousand people bought tickets for this event, although the majority of the crowd did not show up until Sunday. Fans in team shirts and merchandise filled the stadium seats as the sound of the match echoed through the speakers at the front of the stage.
“It’s been 531 days since the last home series,” said Call of Duty League pitcher Miles Ross. “This is the first time that I have seen all my colleagues for a long time. It’s surreal. When we got out and saw the arena, I got nervous. First time in a long time. We usually get a little nervous, but this time it was like “oh my god! That’s it, we’re back, we’re really doing this, ‘”
It didn’t take long for Miles to get back into the LAN swing, even though the nerves were a little different after so much time online.
Champs was too short for some
The Champs current format only has eight of the league’s 12 teams competing at the Champs, which annoys some fans and players. The entire tournament was only 12 games, meaning Atlanta only had to win two series to advance to the grand final. In previous titles, teams all started on the same playing field and often had to win eight series to be crowned the best of the best.
“When we think about going from 12 teams to eight teams, we wanted to create more stakes in the regular season,” said Daniel Tsay, general manager of Call of Duty League. “It makes it a little more exclusive, a little more of a success.”
Tsay also mentioned that they are considering changes for the Call of Duty League for 2022 but will not commit to anything specific. Regardless, the Call of Duty League is constantly evolving with the seasons. However, for players, opinions are divided regarding the format of the Champs.
“The format could be a little better,” Cellium said. “Honestly, I don’t mind how it went because the whole season has counted in terms of champions. It certainly could have been a lot better but I’m not upset [with the format]. “
Support for teams goes beyond fans
As Minnesota Røkkr controlled the seats in their purple and blue attire, the stands were filled with as many FaZe Clan logos as I had ever seen on Sunday. Players from the eliminated teams joined their friends and families in the stands to watch Toronto Ultra and Atlanta FaZe go head to head for the ultimate prize.
Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez of the New York Subliners and Florida Mutineers Cesar “Skyz” Bueno would be seen in the crowd cheering on their competitors. Skyz – who was knocked out by OpTic Chicago on Thursday – wore an OpTic Chicago jersey on Friday. Even players who haven’t played at the Champs, like Seattle Surge’s Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson and LA replacement Thieves Cuyler “Huke” Garland, have enjoyed watching the top teams compete.
Overall, the 2021 Call of Duty League Championship was one of the books for every team and fan in attendance.