The team dominated the Atlanta FaZe 5-1 to win the Call of Duty League’s inaugural season
The greatest Call of Duty team in the world lives in Dallas, and they just got $1.5 million richer.
The Dallas Empire, one of twelve teams that competed in the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League, maintained a top-four ranking throughout the season and were expected to make a strong showing for the Championship Weekend. The Empire first secured a 3-2 win over the Atlanta FaZe during the Winners’ Finals on Saturday, then sent them home with a decisive 5-1 victory in the best-of-nine Grand Finals on Sunday.
The Dallas Empire are Ian “Crimsix” Porter, James “Clayster” Eubanks, Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, Cuyler “Huke” Garland, Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal, and Head Coach Ray “Rambo” Lussier. The win was not only a testament to their skill, but also a major boost for parent organization Envy Gaming and Mike Rufail, Owner of the Empire and former Call of Duty competitor.
Following a rocky start in their first event of the year, it was all uphill for the Empire – and they delivered. The Empire went on to be crowned champions of three regular season home series tournaments and placed second overall heading into the playoffs. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league from in-person to online competition, the team persisted. Shotzzy, a rookie to the Call of Duty Scene and former Halo world champion, was named the Call of Duty League’s Regular Season MVP after silencing early critics with unmatched performances throughout the season.
“Putting this team together last year, we knew we had something special,” Rufail said. “Bringing world championship winners Crimsix and Clayster, a reliable player like Huke we knew we could build around, and two promising young players like Shotzzy and Illey all together gave us an incredible team from day one. We never doubted they could take this all the way, and having a strategic expert like Ray as Head Coach sealed the deal.”
The win marked a number of milestones, both for the Empire’s players and for esports overall:
- Crimsix and Clayster became the first two esports competitors on a console game to eclipse $1,000,000 in prize money earned.
- Crimsix and Clayster are now two of only three players to have won three Call of Duty world championships. This was a back-to-back win for Clayster.
- Crimsix, already the winningest Call of Duty player of all time heading into the CDL’s inaugural season, has further cemented his record as the best in the game’s history.
- Shotzzy became the first player in esports history to win a World Championship in two different esports franchises (Halo and Call of Duty).
- Envy Gaming became the first esports organization whose teams have won multiple Call of Duty World Championships.