London Royal Ravens CDL 2021 preview: fresh start for Europe's top prospects - Dexerto
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London Royal Ravens CDL 2021 preview: fresh start for Europe’s top prospects

Published: 8/Feb/2021 2:31 Updated: 11/Feb/2021 17:36

by Brad Norton

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The revamped London Royal Ravens lineup for 2021 features many of Europe’s most accomplished players but will they be able to outperform the world’s best teams in one of the most competitive years in Call of Duty history?

Keeping the same approach from 2020, the Royal Ravens have remained true to their fanbase. Rather than grabbing North American superstars or signing up and coming prospects from the Challengers scene, the London-based franchise has recruited yet another full-EU lineup.

For fans of last year’s team, a number of familiar faces are back once again. After somewhat coming into form at the tail end of the year, with a fourth-place finish at Champs, the core of the roster is looking to build off that momentum in 2021.

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While it might be easy to overlook them at first, Ravens could prove to be an increasingly difficult matchup for even the best teams as the next CDL season gets underway.

London Royal Ravens CDL 2021 roster

Player Previous Team
Thomas ‘Dylan‘ Henderson
Alex ‘Alexx‘ Carpenter Minnesota ROKKR
Trei ‘Zer0‘ Morris
Sean ‘Seany‘ O’Connor
Marcus ‘Afro‘ Reid (Substitute) House Tarth (EU Challengers)

Europe’s chance to topple the world’s best teams

Throughout 2020, the Ravens roster was constantly in flux. While the twins Bradley ‘wuskin’ Marshall and Matthew ‘Skrapz’ Marshall didn’t miss a week, the remaining spots were in rotation for much of the year. Naturally, it’s tough to build on a foundation when pieces are being shuffled.

When Dylan, Seany, and Zer0 joined the mix, however, they were soon locked in for the remainder of the season. Once this trio entered the fray together, they were able to knuckle down and improve over time. This helped pave the way for a stunning Champs run that eclipsed all expectations.

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Now, they have a chance to build off this late improvement and capitalize with a full year of growth. 

Bolstering the team this time around is Alexx, another seasoned European. In the complete inverse, Alexx is coming from a year with the Minnesota ROKKR, a team that started strong but dropped off over the course of the year.

Together, this group of players has every chance to be one of the strongest teams the region has ever put forward. They all have years of experience behind them and know what it takes to hang with the very best in the world.

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That being said, the Ravens certainly got off to a rocky start in the Kickoff Classic. They fell short in a scrappy battle with Paris Legion that went the distance. Despite dominating the Control game mode with a 3-0 win, they fumbled in both Hardpoints and failed to find their groove in the final S&D.

It’s important to note that with the league being online again in 2021, almost every CDL player has moved to the United States to compete. Unfortunately for the Ravens, this opening showcase went down with Zer0 still playing from the United Kingdom. 

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There’s no telling if he’ll be able to relocate in time for the actual season, yet he was still holding his own even with a major ping disadvantage. 

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By no stretch will 2021 be an easy year for the Ravens. They’ve got their work cut out for them to defy expectations. If they hope to place among the top teams at any given Major, they’ll need one hell of a run.

But they’re the only real team with a chance of putting a non-NA franchise well and truly on the map. It’s a safe bet this EU squad will remain competitive against the very best and occasionally cause some upsets as 2021 gets underway.