The Call of Duty League’s 2022 season is now very close to launching, first matches are expected in coming weeks. However, competitive Vanguard is going to be starting off quite a bit earlier than that. The Kickoff Classic 2022 tournament is going to be the starting event for the season.

It isn’t going to be part of the main League itself, but this tournament pits all 12 teams up against each other. This is going to be one of our first looks at how the CDL players and teams will handle Vanguard. This is how the tournament is going to work.

Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic Tournament

The Call of Duty league Kickoff Classic Tournament is going to be a one-off event running at the opening of the season. It will feature a $30,000 prize for the winning team. It is also going to be played fully in-person, taking place at the esports stadium Arlington in Texas. This is a nice boost to the recently formed OpTic Texas after their merger in the off-season.

The event is going to be the beginning of the season. It is a smaller bracket event with a smaller prize pool. This won’t affect the standings for the League proper. However, there is plenty of prestige on offer for teams alongside the decent prize pool for the event.

The Kickoff Classic tournament is going to be dividing players in its bracket based on how they performed in last season’s CDL. The top four teams won’t be joining the bracket until the second round. They will then face the winners of the first round’s matches. The first batch of games is taking place on Friday 21st January, the second round is on Saturday. The semi-finals will go down on Sunday then the top two teams face each other in the final.

This is a single-elimination bracket so it does differ in a few ways from the standard ruleset of the CDL’s brackets.

CDL Kickoff Classic 2022

© Call of Duty League

The Bracket

The bracket for the Kickoff Classic Tournament is spreading teams out based on past performance. However, the first round is still going to feature some notable matches. Most interesting of the earliest rounds is the first outings for the new Boston team up against New York Subliners. As a complete newcomer, this team is going to be hard to predict if you’re looking at things like Call of Duty betting for the tournament.

The tournament should be heating up once teams move into the second round. However, these are the first round of matches that will determine who faces the top 4 from last season:

  • Seattle Surge vs London Royal Ravens (Winner faces Atlanta FaZe in Round 2)
  • New York Subliners vs Boston (Winner against Minnesota RøKKR)
  • LA Thieves vs Paris Legion (Winner goes through to OpTic Texas in Round 2)
  • Florida Mutineers vs LA Guerrillas (Winner faces Toronto Ultra in Round 2)

Kickoff Classic Begins Vanguard Esports

The Kickoff Classic is one of the first events to feature players taking part in Vanguard. This game has yet to be used widely in Call of Duty esports. The series does feature new games pretty often so this isn’t the biggest change like if the OWL moved to OW 2. However, it does present a big aspect of unpredictability. Fans have had plenty of time to get used to Vanguard and see pros play the game on streams. However, seeing them compete in actual high-level events on the game is something entirely different.

If you’re looking for some early glimpses of the power balances in the new season of the Call of Duty league, this event is one to watch. The Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic is going to show how players are adjusting to the current game, and even introduce a new team to the league.

With the latest iteration taking heavy criticism, we are anxious to see how it all works out in the end.

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