The 2022 CDL Pro-Am will give fans a unique experience. It will pit the 12 professional teams up against four amateur qualified teams in a franchising first.
Four teams qualified for the event by placing in the top four at the Minnesota LAN event at the start of April.
Out of the 16 players that have qualified from the Minnesota LAN, there is a huge EU representation. 10 of those players are from the EU region.
One of those players is Ben “Beans” McMellon, whose Toronto Ultra EU Academy team finished the Minnesota LAN third.
Beans is relishing in the opportunity to be able to play against the professional CDL teams.
He told The Rotation: “I think the Pro-Am is way more important than people think.
“For everyone aspiring to make it, it’s such a morale boost. It’s a realisation that you can actually do it.”
Ben’s Toronto Ultra Academy EU team came up against their NA counterpart in at the Minnesota LAN. The NA team won 3-1.
Being under the same name, there is a general thought process that there would be some sort of rivalry between the two teams but Beans says that’s not the case.
He said: “[I] think there’s not as much rivalry between us and the NA team as you’d think.
“That’s probably just due to the fact we don’t play each other enough.”
Even without the rivalry, Ben still wants to lay down a marker should the teams come up against each other again.
He said: “Personally I just want to take Scrappy down. [The] guy got lucky beating me once but that won’t happen again.”
The LAN event at Major 2 was the first LAN event for Challengers players since the Los Angeles Open in 2020.
Beans said: “Minnesota was unreal. [It was] a breath of fresh air after playing Online Call of Duty for two years.
“There was some technical issues but that gets brushed under the carpet and pushed to the back of your mind when you’re actually in the pit.”
Returning to Call of Duty roots
The Call of Duty community is extremely excited to return to the roots of old tournament formats. Whilst it may not be a true throwback to the older Call of Duty World League formats, it will still tickle that itch.
Beans said: “The environment and passion of everyone is unmatched.
“It genuinely is the best way to play competitive Call of Duty. The Pro-Am will be a different environment but the passion will stay amongst the amateur players.
“[It will also] take the pro’s back to the gruelling open bracket days, which, in my opinion, is the best format for CoD.”
Excitement is building towards the event, although there won’t be a crowd in Colombus, every fan will be able to watch four games simultaneously on stream.
It’s hard to pick out one amateur team that will be the standout before the tournament begins, but Ben backs himself and his team to do well.
He said: “Without bias, I think us or the NA [Ultra Academy] team will perform the best.
“The way we play the game is very structured and technical. It can match a lot of the pro teams.
“I think we will surprise a lot of people. If we can have one or two players, on either team, seriously frying, then there’s a good chance we can make upsets happen.”
The Call of Duty League Pro-Am starts on Thursday (May 5). It will run all weekend. Pool play will feature four streams for the first time in Call of Duty franchising history.
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