The Atlanta FaZe and Dallas Empire worked their way to the winners-bracket final Friday in the Call of Duty League's Stage 2 Major, while the Los Angeles Thieves and OpTic Chicago remained alive with lower-bracket victories.
The FaZe earned a 3-1 triumph over the Toronto Ultra, and the Empire prevailed 3-2 over the Minnesota Rokkr in a tight match.
The winners will square off Saturday in the upper-bracket final.
In lower-level action, Chicago rallied from a map down to oust the Seattle Surge 3-1. Meanwhile, the Thieves made quick work of the New York Subliners in a 3-0 sweep.
Chicago will be back in action again Saturday when it faces Minnesota, which dropped from the upper bracket after its loss. The Thieves will take on the Ultra in Round 4 of the lower bracket.
The winner of the 12-team, $500,000 major will pocket $200,000 and 75 CDL points. All matches are best-of-three until the grand final, a best-of-five showdown on Sunday.
The FaZe opened Friday with a 250-114 blowout on Moscow Hardpoint. The Ultra fought back to even the match by virtue of their 6-2 win on Raid Search and Destroy, but Atlanta claimed victory with wins on Raid Control (3-0) and Checkmate Hardpoint (250-228).
Tyler "aBeZy" Pharris topped Atlanta in each map in kills, finishing with 56 in the match with a plus-25 kill-death differential. Ben "Bance" Bance of England posted 35 kills and a minus-9 K-D differential for Toronto.
Dallas proved its mettle in the most competitive match of the day. The Empire dropped the opener 250-170 on Moscow Hardpoint before winning 6-5 on Raid Search and Destroy to square the match. Dallas then took Raid Control 3-2 before losing 250-212 on Checkmate Hardpoint. In the deciding map, Dallas again prevailed with a one-point win, 6-5 on Miami Search and Destroy.
Anthony "Shotzzy" Cuevas-Castro had 108 kills and a plus-14 K-D differential in the grueling win. Eli "Standy" Bentz helped Minnesota with 111 kills and a plus-11 K-D differential.
In the lower bracket, Chicago dropped its first map 250-202 on Raid Hardpoint, but won the ensuing three, Checkmate Search and Destroy (6-2), Raid Control (3-1) and Garrison Hardpoint (250-183).
Los Angeles swept its way to the next round by rolling over New York, coming away victorious 250-200 on Checkmate Hardpoint, 6-1 on Checkmate Search and Destroy and 3-1 on Checkmate Control.
Call of Duty League Stage 2 Major prize pool and points distribution
1. $200,000, 75 CDL points
2. $120,000, 60 CDL points
3. $80,000, 50 CDL points
4. $40,000, 40 CDL points
5-6. $20,000, 30 CDL points
7-8. $10,000, 20 CDL points -- Seattle Surge, New York Subliners
9-10. no money, 10 CDL points -- Florida Mutineers, London Royal Ravens
11-12. no money, no CDL points -- Los Angeles Guardians, Paris Eternal
--Field Level Media