It's deja vu all over again in this edition of Who Won The Weekend. Let's get to it.
No, this isn't a copy and paste of last week's Who Won the Weekend, the Florida Mutineers just won back-to-back Call of Duty League titles in two straight weeks.
Of all Call of Duty League teams, the Mutineers have had one of the odder narrative arcs. At the beginning of the season, Florida was defined by Preston "Prestinni" Sanderson, an unsung (and occasionally derided) hero on a highly-successful 2019 eUnited squad that went on to win champs. The Mutineers were one of the only teams that sought Prestinni, and they were seen as his chance to not redeem himself -- redemption wasn't necessary -- but prove beyond a doubt that he was one of the top players in the league. After Prestinni stepped aside to address his mental health, Maurice "Fero" Henriquez was picked up and the team found that they worked better with Fero's slower pace. This led to a somewhat shocking win in the Call of Duty League's first online event: the April 10-12 Dallas home series.
Due to myriad connection issues at that event and Florida's inability to make it to the bracket stage in their own home series on May 8-10, their title was considered somewhat of a fluke until these past two weeks.
Following the arrival of rookie Joseph "Owakening" Conley to the starting lineup, the Mutineers have been the top team in the league. They still make mistakes, but they seem unflappable, immediately recovering and adjusting with some of the more relaxed comms ever overheard in the Call of Duty League listen-ins. Cesar "Skyz" Bueno is an underrated monster who has been performing consistently for the team for weeks and at the Paris home series topped the KD leaderboard at 1.42. Owakening came in third overall with 1.24.
The other impressive note on Florida this past weekend was that if one player didn't get off to a hot start, it was no problem -- someone from the team would step up and their coordination would carry them the rest of the way. This is a luxury that only good teams have: the ability for an individual to have an off round because their teammates and general synergy will cover them.
So yes, people will still take away from Florida because all of their wins have been online, but it's time to start giving credit where credit is due. They've been consistently good over the past two events and are now the only team with three titles on the year, moving all the way up to second place, just behind the Atlanta FaZe in the overall points standings. Congrats again, Florida, it's been a pleasure watching you grow as a team. --Emily Rand
Honorable Mention: Cloud 9 (LCS)
Cloud 9 are making it look easy again in the LCS. So easy, in fact, that it wouldn't be ridiculous if you already predicted them to be LCS Summer Split champions. The way they are going, they might be the next dynasty, picking up where Team Liquid left off. They just look so clean, so coordinated. The biggest criticism lately about the team is midlaner Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer's creep score count after 15 minutes and some other stats (like gold percentage) where he is at the bottom statistically as compared to other midlaners in the LCS, but then you remember: oh right, it's a team game and Nisqy is helping out his teammates all over the map and he and Robert "Blaber" Huang (LCS MVP in the spring split, by the way, and he beat out ... you guessed it, Nisqy) are a world class combination on the rift.
But Cloud 9 being well above the pack even in summer split really hit home this weekend -- it's not just the standings -- Cloud 9 is the only undefeated team in the LCS, having already beat two teams tied for second place (Flyquest, in a spring split playoff finals rematch, and Evil Geniuses), and they could legitimately go 18-0 this split after going 17-1 in the spring. What put the nail in the coffin here was their match against Evil Geniuses -- a team that looked like a threat, especially starting last March, when Jiizuke hit the gas and became the Italian Stallion, and the team vaulted into second place in the regular season ... it looked like that would continue. It still can ... just from second place downward. Cloud 9 is just too good, and they proved it against EG this weekend. It wasn't even close. For all the talk years ago about "The Gap" between South Korea and the rest of the world in League of Legends (and most esports, really), "The Gap" exists between Cloud 9 and everyone else right now in the LCS. It's utter domination and if all things stay the same on the roster, you can't conceivably see it changing at all this split. Arda Ocal