The Call of Duty League 2020 has officially been announced, officially announcing that twelve franchises will be taking part in the Modern Warfare Esports season. Despite the majority of these franchises being located in North America, two reside in Europe (London and Paris). Both London and Paris have recently announced their rosters, however Paris are the first to announce a squad of seven players. Despite having so many players, two are from Europe and only one is French.
During the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 season, the French Call of Duty scene underwent a resurgence after being relatively absent in European Call of Duty since the likes of Correntin “Gotaga” Houssein and Kevin “BroKeN” Georges retired and moved onto pastures new. At the Pro League Qualifer for Black Ops 4, Overtime Esports defied the odds and booked a place in the coveted Pro League, which would feature a fully French roster, for the first time since 2018, where Team Vitality qualified.
The Overtime team that qualified for the league was bought by Denial Esports and the French roster was no more, after being dropped by the organisation, leaving Lucas “rizK” Derambure, Wailers Locart and Paul “Breszy” Breszynski the last remaining French players in the league.
With a new city-based franchise model in place for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare season, have Paris undermined some of the best talent from their home country? Or have they built a team that will give them the best chance of taking home a trophy?
A Lack of French Presence
Ever since the likes of Gotaga retired, the French scene in particular has struggled to find its foothold in European Call of Duty thanks to superior talents hailing from the UK and Spain respectively. Black Ops 4 was certainly a turning point for the region, with Overtime beating a strong Mindfreak team to make the league and Breszy joining Enigma 6 in the latter half of the season; eventually finishing fourth at the 2019 World Championship.
With the likes of Wailers, risK, Nathan “Natshay” Dupuis and Ryan “Zeek” Lapierre all available to create a strong local team, that the passionate French fans could get behind, Paris opted to select Breszy as the only French player on the seven-man roster for the 2020 season.
Based off his performance at champs, it’s not surprising that Breszy is getting the call up to represent Paris on Modern Warfare, but it is certainly a shame that it is likely he will be the sole Frenchman competing at the highest level next season.
Going with The Times
Now Call of Duty teams have the option of creating rosters featuring multiple nationalities, it does seem silly not to invest in the best names from across the globe to give you the best chance of taking home a championship. As of writing (October 8th) Paris is the only CDL franchise that consists of players from the UK, continental Europe, North America and Oceania.
Rather than follow the route of a roster from the same region, similar to the London Call of Duty franchise, Paris opted for a different strategy and acquired a mix of upcoming talents and players that have been competing at the top level for a number of years.
On October 3rd, Paris revealed their full roster of
- Luke “Louqa” Rigas
- Conrad “Shockz” Rymarek
- Denholm “Denz” Taylor
- Matthew “KiSMET” Tinsley
- Tim “Phantomz” Landis
- Zach “Zed” Denyer
- Paul "Breszy" Breszynski
On paper, the franchise features two very strong Assault Rifle (AR) players in the forms of Denz and Phantomz, with both Shockz and KiSMET able to play a more flexible role where needed. During the previous season, Zed and Breszy were known for their ability to make an impact out of a seemingly impossible situation and their prowess with the sub-machine gun could well make Paris one of the franchises to keep an eye on this season.
How Will Paris Fare?
With a lot of top North American talents likely to be competing for one of the many North American franchises, it will be interesting to see how this roster compares to others.
It will also be interesting to see who will be their starting line-up for matches. With a good squad depth, Paris are able to utilise a lot of talent and with the ability to make a substitution in the middle of a series, their selection of players could well make the difference in certain game modes.
I would say that Paris have a very strong foundation to build on with the selection of players they have chosen. Despite not all of them being French, Breszy was the best French player from last season and it is great to see him representing his country in the league. The roster has a good mix of aggressive and passive players that could favour the overall pace of Modern Warfare. All things considered, Paris are a team that can challenge some of the stronger teams and I expect them to be in the middle of the table.