Florida Mutineers win Call of Duty Grand Final


The Florida Mutineers after their reverse sweep against the Chicago Huntsmen on Feb. 23. Photo from Call of Duty League YouTube stream.

André González Rodríguez, Contributor

The Florida Mutineers won their first Call of Duty (CDL) Grand Final – defeating the Minnesota RØKKR 3-1. The Mutineers had a slow start to the event – with a narrow loss to the Toronto Ultra in their first match of the weekend, but they came back through the losers bracket.

The event was hosted by the Dallas Empire. This event was the CDL’s first time moving into online play after the COVID-19 outbreak forced teams to play remotely as opposed to their home cities. This was Florida’s first official online match for the season. 

The team was without their leader, Preston “Prestinni” Sanderson, due to him being out on hiatus after stating on Twitter that he needed some time to himself prior to the last home series event in Los Angeles. Maurice “Fero” Henriquez was his replacement.

Day 1:

First series vs. Toronto Ultra

This was the first time Florida faced off against the Toronto Ultra. The Ultra are in the bottom three of the standings, and they are also the only team with a 10-man roster – allowing them to move players around as well as have in-house scrims. 

In game one of Rammaza Hardpoint, Florida got off to a hot start – led by Fero and Cesar “Skyz” Bueno. They shut down any attempt by Toronto to gain any momentum, and had a 100 point lead throughout most of the map, which led into a game one victory.

In game two of Gun Runner Search and Destroy, the Mutineers could never gain any footing. Having got only two total first bloods and getting shut out by Toronto 6-0 in rounds – losing game two. 

In the first half of Gun Runner Domination, Florida got off to a quick start taking point B and C quickly, keeping those two flags for the remainder of the first half, and going up 92-71 going into the second.

To start the second half, the Mutineers lost B and C, but with a few back and forth sets, they were able to keep the control they had from the first half converting it into a win. 

Even with closing the gap multiple times towards the end of Hackney Yard Hardpoint, Florida was never able to close it out, losing to the Ultra 250-230. 

Although the Mutineers had a better start to the second Search and Destroy of the series on Rammaza, much like game two, were unable to close the distance – losing to Toronto 6-3 and being pushed into the losers bracket for the first knockout match. 

Day 2:

Second series vs. Los Angeles Guerrillas

This was the first time Florida faced off against the Guerillas after Los Angeles defeated the Mutineers in the Inaugural Launch Weekend. The Guerrillas had just come off a definitive loss against the reigning champions, Dallas Empire.

Led by Fero, the Mutineers had control of Rammaza Hardpoint throughout the whole game, and winning it on a score of 250-185.

The Mutineers’ Search and Destroy woes continued, as they lost their third Search and Destroy in a row this weekend – losing to the Guerrillas 6-3 in Gun Runner.

During the first half of St. Petrograd Domination, Florida had control throughout all of it, being up 82-59 going into the second half. They continued this momentum in the second half, having control of two flags at almost all times leading to a 159-138 victory.

With a bit of more resistance by Los Angeles in the second Hardpoint of the series at Hackney Yard, the Mutineers were still able to dominate game four – winning 250-137 and moving on to the second knockout match.

Third series vs. Toronto Ultra

This was a rematch of each team’s first match of the weekend, with the winner proceeding through to the semifinals to face off against the Chicago Huntsmen. 

In game one of Azir Cave Hardpoint, Florida ran three ARs: Their two main ARs, Chance “Maux” Moncivaez and Skyz, and the addition of Fero. Florida had all-around strong slaying performances by everyone, leading to a 250-211 victory.

The Mutineers finally broke their three-game Search and Destroy losing streak for the weekend, defeating the Ultra in round 11, and going up 2-0 in the series. 

During the first half of Gun Runner Domination, the Mutineers were playing catch-up for most of the half, going down 70-64 into the second. Even with having B and C under control for a good portion of the start of the second half, the trend of the Mutineers couldn’t catch-up which culminated in a 164-136 loss.

In game four of Hackney Yard hardpoint, Florida had a strong grip on the lead, with a key play by Colt “Havok” McLendon flipping the spawns in the second set of rotations. The heads-up play led to a near 100 point lead at one point of the match. Florida won 250-159 and moved on to face the Chicago Huntsmen.

Day 3:

Fourth series vs. Chicago Huntsmen

The last time Florida played against the Huntsmen it was the battle of two brothers, Prestinni and Arcitys. The Mutineers bested them in that meeting to move onto the finals at the Atlanta home series, but this time around there is no Prestinni. The Huntsmen were also looking unbeatable after stomping through all of their opponents before facing the Mutineers.

Both teams had a slow start to game one of Gun Runner Hardpoint, with both teams barely accumulating points. Chicago’s great hill breaks allowed them to pull ahead, leading to a 250-199 wins. 

The Mutineers quickly went up 3-0 in rounds on Piccadilly Search Destroy. The Huntsmen managed to claw back tying it at three apiece, but the Mutineers won the match 6-4.

To start the first half of Hackney Yard Hardpoint, Florida was in full control – going up 95-61. They maintained their lead into the second half, having a two-cap for most of the map, winning the game 193-125. 

Unlike game one, the Mutineers’ start to Azir Cave Hardpoint was much improved jumping to the lead and holding it for most of the game. After almost squandering the lead, Florida held on to win 250-222, to advance to the Grand Final. Florida became the only team to beat Chicago this season. 

“Personally I’m really excited and the boys are really hyped as well,” Maux said in his post-match interview with Lottie Van-Praag. “That win right there just got us super super gassed, so we’re just excited to play. We really actually didn’t do anything crazy, we actually scrimmed them a lot in online practice and so we just kind of knew how they were going to play from the get-go.” 

Grand Final vs. Minnesota RØKKR

This was the second time Florida reached the Grand Finals after they were swept by the Atlanta FaZe at the Atlanta home series. This was the first time the Mutineers faced off against the Minnesota RØKKR this season. 

Game one of Azir Cave Hardpoint started slow, with neither team pulling ahead. In the later stages of the game, Minnesota was able to pull ahead, but Florida quickly responded by catching up and passing them in points. The RØKKR ultimately got a couple of key holds, and they won the game 250-241. 

The Mutineers dominated game two of Piccadilly Search and Destroy, having flawless offensive sides, and dominating the First Bloods – leading to a 6-2 victory.

In game three of St. Petrograd Domination, Florida had B and C control throughout most of the first half, with a key play by Fero flipping the spawns to go up 90-59 in points. During the second half, Florida had another good opening, continuing the momentum from the first half, and obtaining another two-cap which led to a 194-117.

On the last map of the series of Gun Runner Hardpoint, Havok had a key play of flipping the spawns using Dead Silence on the second hill, but the RØKKR quickly responded. The Mutineers dominated throughout the whole map, winning by over 100 points to win the series and win their first Grand Finals. 

“Team’s really hyped, obviously this is the result we wanted,” Maux said in his post Grand Finals interview with Van-Praag. “We’ve been putting in a lot of work over the last three four weeks since the LA event, so it feels really good for all that work and practice to really pay off. We just already had beaten Chicago, and we feel like they’re the same caliber of team so we just took it the same way we played Chicago. 

Florida looks to continue this newfound momentum going into their own home series beginning on May 8, where they get a rematch against the Minnesota RØKKR.