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Esports: Call of Duty Major One qualifiers

Call of Duty League is back with the qualifiers for the first Major of the season up and running.

The first Major is set to take place in Raleigh in North Carolina in the USA later this month with 16 teams involved - the 12 established Call of Duty League sides with four additional Challengers teams.

Online qualifying for the first Major began last week with the first batch of matches and the second and final week of qualifiers started on Friday.

Seattle Surge opened with a 3-1 victory over London Royal Ravens on Friday before Minnesota ROKKR recorded another win over Florida Mutineers and are the only side with a 100 per cent record in qualifying for this Major.

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New York Subliners ran out 3-0 winners over LA Guerrillas and Toronto Ultra then managed to edge Atlanta FaZe 3-2.

There is yet more action on Saturday as the world's biggest Call of Duty sides gear up for the campaign's first Major, which runs from Wednesday 14th December to Sunday 18th December.

It is the earliest ever start for a Call of Duty League season and the first Major will be a $500,000 pro-am event.

Atlanta FaZe should be far too strong for struggling Legion

What: Atlanta FaZe v Las Vegas Legion, Call of Duty League

Where: Online

When: Saturday 10th December

How to watch: Call of Duty League Twitch channel

Odds: Atlanta FaZe -700, Las Vegas Legion +400

There will not be many more lop-sided betting heats in the first Major of the Call of Duty League season than Atlanta FaZe against Las Vegas Legion.

Legion made the decision to move from Paris to Las Vegas ahead of the 2023 campaign and are looking to build a roster around "Clayster" and "Temp" but that does not change the fact the team finished rock bottom of the Call of Duty League overall standings last season, claiming only 20 points in total.

As for Atlanta FaZe, they were runners-up in the Call of Duty League Championship final and finished first in the overall standings with a points haul of 330.

They strengthened their roster with the addition of "SlasheR" during the off-season and, although they only have a 1-2 win-loss record in Major One qualifying so far, they are a far stronger side than Legion, who are already rooted to the foot of the standings.

Atlanta FaZe represent value at -2.5 on the match handicap at +150.

OpTic Texas could be pushed close by Royal Ravens

What: OpTic Texas v London Royal Ravens, Call of Duty League

Where: Online

When: Saturday 10th December 2022

How to watch: Call of Duty League Twitch channel

Odds: OpTic Texas -400, London Royal Ravens +275

OpTic Texas are another side who are expected to win on Saturday but their clash with London Royal Ravens could be closer than expected.

OpTic were one of only a handful of Call of Duty League sides to retain the same starting line-up from the 2022 season this campaign and, although the pending retirement of "Scump" is an issue for the future, they look a strong force once again.

They won the opening Major last season and only Atlanta FaZe finished above them in the end-of-season standings, showing they are a consistent unit.

Their opening qualifier against Minnesota ROKKR was overshadowed by controversy when a scorestreak bug affected Cammy and CDL ruling insisted the match be replayed.

But OpTic had been leading at the time and refused to replay so forfeited the match as a result.

That put them on the back foot and they are expected to bounce back against the Royal Ravens but the London side have won two of their three qualifier matches and can be competitive.

A bet on over 3.5 maps at -275 could be the way to go.

Subliners unlikely to tame in-form Breach

What: New York Subliners v Boston Breach, Call of Duty League

Where: Online

When: Saturday 10th December 2022

How to watch: Call of Duty League Twitch channel

Odds: New York Subliners +163, Boston Breach -225

Boston Breach are -225 to claim victory in their third Major One qualifying match against New York Subliners and it is hard to dispute that price.

Breach gave a good account of themselves in the 2022 Call of Duty League season, finishing sixth in the overall standings with their points haul of 180.

And they have looked impressive at the start of this season, winning each of their first two qualifiers for Major One against Atlanta FaZe and Seattle Surge.

Both of those sides are tricky opponents but Breach navigated the matchups well and have dropped only two maps in those first two games.

New York Subliners have lost two of their opening three matches and will still be recovering from the retirement of key player "Crimsix" in the off-season, so are worth opposing in this one.

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