. Last update: July 22, 2022
The Manhattan Miracle-Makers, the Brooklyn Bracket-Busters, whatever you want to call them, the New York Subliners accomplished the seemingly impossible at CDL Major IV and qualified for the Call of Duty League Championship in front of their hometown crowd.
“They made the miracle run. I don’t even care about the finals, they did the miracle race, bro.” Even after beating them in the Grand Final, Los Angeles Thieves’ Sam ‘Octane’ Larew couldn’t help but marvel at what New York accomplished.
Heading into the third Major, the underperforming Subliners had already made five roster and trainer changes. However, those adjustments seemed ineffective, as the team earned a double first-round finish at Major III: ranking 11th in the standings with 70 CDL points, 40 behind 10, and 50 behind 8 (the playoff limit).
At that time, the feeling was gloomy, with defeated reddit comments saying “Rip NYSL’s chances at Champs” and “Crim miss Champs doesn’t feel real.”
The CDL standings after Major III, when the Subliners sat dangerously close to being eliminated from contention for the Champions.
New York then led the league 4-1 in the Major IV playoffs. It wasn’t enough to move past 11th, but it closed the gap slightly, putting them 30 points behind 10th and 35 behind 8th.
Not yet mathematically eliminated from the Champs, at Major IV, staged in their backyard, New York still needed to not only win their first LAN match at a Major this season, but also finish in the top three… while also relying on team losses. ahead of them in the standings.
If that wasn’t enough, two of those teams, the Florida Mutineers and the LA Guerrillas, won their first-round matchups. And New York started its own first round down 0-2 to third party: Minnesota’s RØKKR.
The reverse sweep heard around the world
At their home venue, the New York crowd made their presence felt throughout the weekend.
Down 0-2, one map away from elimination, New York refused to budge. With their most recent signing, Matthew ‘KiSMET’ Tinsley, at the helm, the Subliners made some noise and so did their fans.
In the first two maps, Kis was sitting at 0.84 K/D. Over the next three, the entry submarine managed a 1.29 to complete the reverse sweep. When asked if he noticed the crowd’s response to his plays, he vividly recalled their impact: “Obviously there are situations where you make a good play and people go crazy, your adrenaline starts pumping and pumping and you can’t lose. when people have your so much”.
As Kis fed on the crowd, the rest of the team fed on him. CoD’s all-time winningest player, Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter, couldn’t see Kis storm off, but he could hear him: “When he started screaming, I screamed and said, ‘Oh my God.’ I felt extra help to aim… I thought, all of a sudden, ‘these guys are really terrible.'”
With that reverse sweep, the New York run was kept alive. ROKKR and Guerrillas fortuitously lost their next few matches, leaving New York’s second-round opponent Florida as the only team left to play spoiler.
King’s Theater in Brooklyn, New York, prepared a fairy tale setting for Subliners’ Cinderella run.
By then, it wasn’t just the fans who were rooting for the race. Even Atlanta FaZe superstar Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr couldn’t help but root for the Subliners, saying midway through the tournament that “at this point, it would be great to see them qualify.”
FaZe coach James ‘Crowder’ Crowder explained that sentiment: “I have a lot of respect for Crim as a competitor… I think the way he competes and his true passion: it’s something special to watch, so to see that complete would be Cold.”
Pulling off the miracle run
With the crowd described as “crazy” by Los Angeles’ Kenny ‘Kenny’ Williams and “loudest I’ve ever heard” by Florida’s Cesar ‘Skyz’ Bueno, the race continued.
RØKKR’s match may have belonged to Kismet, but Round 2 against Florida belonged to Crim and Paco ‘HyDra’ Rusiewiez. En route to a 3-0 sweep, HyDra posted a strong 1.08 K/D and Crim… a classic and dominant 1.32.
“Crim would literally say after every game, ‘I’m undeniable, they can’t kill me, we can’t lose.’ So when you have the best player to ever play Call of Duty sitting next to you telling you that, we had the most confidence.” As Kis explained, Round 2 was without a doubt the Crimsix show.
With a fitting ode to The Undertaker, Crimsix helped NYSL rise from the dead and become CDL Champions.
Sending the Mutineers to Losers Round 3, where FaZe was able to dust them off 3-1, the race continued. Florida made it to 160 CDL points, but New York seized the tiebreaker and ultimately controlled its own destiny: able to secure qualification for the champions by beating the LA Thieves in the winners’ finals.
When asked about Crim’s nerves midway through the tournament, HyDra stated that she “doesn’t feel anything. He is an alien or something.” Crim clarified, “An NPC actually. My directive is to punish the rookies.”
The Subliners proceeded to beat LA 3-1 on Championship Sunday, completing the most unlikely race and securing their place on Champs, behind a 1.10 K/D from HyDra and a nasty 1.28 from Kis.
New Subliners Head to CDL Champs 2022
Perhaps unsurprisingly, New York, who had already secured last place on the Champs, ran out of gas in their Grand Finals rematch against the vengeful Thieves.
Finishing with 160 points, tied with the Mutineers and just five points ahead of the Guerrillas, the streak was as remarkable as it could be. Going 7-2 since Major III, New York more than doubled their point total to get into the playoffs, where they will face a hungry FaZe team in Winners Round 1.
After a wild weekend, New York secured its spot as the eighth seed for the 2022 CDL Champs.
When the team moved on from its much-touted lineup of James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks and Travis ‘Neptune’ McCloud in March and April, all of this seemed impossible.
Few believed that KiSMET and Paul ‘PaulEhx’ Avila would be enough to turn the New York season around. But, as HyDra described, its intangible impact was invaluable: “We couldn’t be on the same page with anyone. i’m not even blaming [Clay and Nep], because it was like different minds, I guess. But with Kis and Paul, we just understand each other.”
For Crimsix, now on track for their eleventh consecutive appearance in CoD Champs, there’s a simpler explanation for the new Subliners: “We became a team.”