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Esports: Call of Duty League Major One

It is still very early days in the new Call of Duty League season but the first Major is already in full swing and we are edging closer to the Grand Final.

The season's first Major is taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina and featured the 12 Call of Duty League franchise sides as well as four Challengers teams.

The qualifiers came thick and fast before a one-day qualifying event for the Challengers sides and the competition quickly progressed to the double-elimination bracket finals.

On Sunday, only four teams remain with Seattle Surge and Atlanta FaZe firstly locking horns in the upper-bracket final with the winner set to progress to the Major One Grand Final.

Then it is the turn of Toronto Ultra and New York Subliners to do battle with the winners of that contest set to play the loser of Seattle Surge v Atlanta FaZe for their spot in the Grand Final.

The remaining teams are competing for the lion's share of a prize pool of $500,000 as well as the chance to put crucial points on the Call of Duty League leaderboard early in the season.

Surge and FaZe could push one another close as Grand Finals spot looms

What: Seattle Surge vs Atlanta FaZe, Call of Duty League Major One
Where: Raleigh, North Carolina
When: 18:30, Sunday December 18th
How to watch: Call of Duty League Twitch / Youtube
Odds: Seattle Surge +150, Atlanta FaZe -200

First up on Sunday is a tussle between two heavyweights of Call of Duty League.

Seattle Surge finished a respectable fifth in the 2022 Call of Duty League standings, having taken the title in the stage three Major.

As for Atlanta FaZe, they completely dominated the 2021 season, winning three of the five Majors before going on to win the Grand Finals, and last campaign they managed to finish as runners-up to Los Angeles Thieves in the showpiece event.

Both know how to win big matches in Call of Duty League but it is Atlanta FaZe who appears to be preferred at -200.

Both teams have won each of their two games in Major One, hence why they are still in the upper bracket, but it is fair to say FaZe looked the better of the two in qualifying and that may have been factored into the price.

Atlanta were one of a handful of teams who finished with two wins and two defeats from their four games and received a decent seeding as a result, whereas Seattle Surge placed 11th out of the 12 teams in the standings with three defeats from four games.

But qualifying does not always act as an indication of how a team will perform at a Major and there is not as much between these sides as the odds suggest, so the best betting angle could instead be over 4.5 maps at +162.

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Toronto can justify favouritism against the Subliners

What: New York Subliners vs Toronto Ultra, Call of Duty League Major One
Where: Raleigh, North Carolina
When: 20:00, Sunday December 18th
How to watch: Call of Duty League Twitch / Youtube
Odds: New York Subliners +120, Toronto Ultra -163

New York Subliners and Toronto Ultra only just squeezed into the top eight in the Call of Duty League standings last season but they have started the 2023 campaign on the front foot.

The winners of this contest will be only one game away from the Grand Finals and both sides have arguably exceeded expectations in the opening weeks of the season.

That said, as the betting suggests, Toronto Ultra look the marginally better of these two sides and are worth a bet at -163 to come out on top.

Ultra were one of only two teams to finish Major One qualifying with a 3-1 record along with Minnesota ROKKR and they carried that form into the Major itself.

Toronto began with a 3-1 defeat of Minnesota, making light work of their fellow qualifying pacesetters, before suffering their first setback in the form of a forgivable defeat to Atlanta.

But they responded well to that with a 3-1 defeat of LA Thieves - defending Call of Duty League champions - in their first lower-bracket clash and they should have the edge over the Subliners.

Over 4.5 maps, meanwhile, is available at +150, while a clean sweep 3-0 win for Toronto Ultra can be backed at +400.

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