The Minnesota Rokkr and Toronto Ultra clinched berths in the upper-bracket final with upset victories Friday, knocking off the top two seeds at the Call of Duty League's Stage 5 Major.
Minnesota, avenging a loss to Dallas during the group stage nearly two weeks earlier, earned a 3-1 comeback victory over the Empire, the winners of Group B. Then Toronto rallied from a map down to stun the Group A champions, OpTic Chicago, in a 3-2 thriller.
The Rokkr and Ultra are now two wins shy of taking the $200,000 top prize and will face each other Saturday with a chance to earn a spot in the grand finals. With the losses, Dallas and Chicago fell to the lower bracket, where they await their next opponents on Saturday.
The Empire started strong, opening the match with a 250-170 triumph on Garrison Hardpoint. But the Rokkr stormed back to take the final three maps, 6-4 on Miami Search and Destroy, 3-1 on Raid Control and 250-196 on Checkmate Hardpoint.
OpTic Chicago took the first map and the initial lead, winning 250-238 on Checkmate Hardpoint. Toronto evened the match with a 6-2 victory on Miami Search and Destroy, but Chicago went up again thanks to a 3-2 decision on Raid Control. The Ultra tied the match again with a dominant 250-134 pouncing on Garrison Hardpoint, then blasted to a 6-2 win on Express Search and Destroy to advance.
In lower-bracket action Friday, the New York Subliners pulled off their second straight five-map victory in an elimination match, reverse-sweeping the Florida Mutineers 3-2. Meanwhile, the Seattle Surge swept the London Royal Ravens 3-0.
The Subliners put themselves in a deep hole against the Mutineers, losing 250-207 on Checkmate Hardpoint and 6-4 on Miami Search and Destroy. However, New York battled back for wins on Checkmate Control (3-2), Raid Hardpoint (250-227) and Standoff Search and Destroy (6-5) to stay alive in the tournament.
The Surge wasted no time with the Royal Ravens, earning a 250-247 victory on Raid Hardpoint, a 6-2 win on Moscow Search and Destroy and a 3-2 clincher on Garrison Control.
All playoff matches are best-of-five except for the Sunday grand final, which will be best-of-nine.
Saturday's schedule includes five matches:
Toronto Ultra vs. Minnesota Rokkr -- Upper bracket final
Los Angeles Thieves vs. New York Subliners -- Lower bracket, third round
Atlanta FaZe vs. Seattle Surge -- Lower bracket, third round
Dallas Empire vs. Thieves/Subliners winner -- Lower bracket, fourth round
OpTic Chicago vs. FaZe/Surge winner -- Lower bracket, fourth round
Call of Duty League's Stage 5 Major prize pool:
1. $200,000, 75 CDL points -- TBD
2. $120,000, 60 CDL points -- TBD
3. $80,000, 50 CDL points -- TBD
4. $40,000, 40 CDL points -- TBD
5-6. $20,000, 30 CDL points -- TBD
7-8. $10,000, 20 CDL points -- TBD
9-10. no money, 10 CDL points -- Florida Mutineers, London Royal Ravens
11-12. no money, no CDL points -- Los Angeles Guerrillas, Paris Legion
--Field Level Media