Los Angeles Thieves Change Their Starting Lineup Ahead of CDL Stage 4 Major
The Los Angeles Thieves announced two big changes to their starting lineup ahead of the Call of Duty League Stage 4 Major. As revealed by the North American esports organization on Wednesday, June 9, they’ll continue with Cuyler “Huke” Garland and Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat.
Huke and SlasheR Are Back in Action
Huke and SlasheR will return to the Los Angeles Thieves starting roster ahead of next week’s CDL Stage 4 Major. The two esports stars were benched at different points of the year and are now back as starters for the remainder of the season.
As revealed by the Los Angeles-based side, Huke and SlasheR will replace Zack “Darzah” Jordan and Carlos “Venom” Hernandez, who will move to the bench.
SlasheR was one of the five inaugural members of the roster that formed in November 2020. He was a key player of the team up until April, when he got replaced by Darzah.
Huke joined LA Thieves at the start of May after he got benched by the Dallas Empire. As the reigning CDL champion, Huke’s move to the Thieves was billed as one of the biggest roster changes of the season.
Despite his renown as one of the best players in the scene, Huke’s stint with the LA Thieves was rather short-lived. Only three weeks after joining the team, Huke got benched and replaced by Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly as Thieves’ new starter.
The constant roster changes haven’t helped the Thieves in their quest to dominate the CDL. They won only one of three games during CDL Stage 4, which puts them in danger of losing their upper bracket seed for the Major.
Los Angeles Thieves Counting on Experience
The upcoming CDL Stage 4 Major will be played on LAN, marking the first offline CDL tournament of the season. The change of the environment was also the main reason why the Thieves decided to make their most recent roster swap.
Huke and SlasheR are both highly experienced CoD esports players with previous experience competing in LAN events. That alone should make them more comfortable competing under the spotlight, which has proven to be significantly more demanding than online events, where the players can compete from their homes or game houses.
SlasheR is the most experienced player of the two, having entered the professional CoD scene in 2013. He has since played for over a dozen teams, including FaZe Clan, Denial Esports, and Team Envy, where he won the 2016 Call of Duty World League Championship.
Huke entered the professional CoD esports scene in 2014 with Carnage Esports. He has since played for nine teams, including FaZe, Denial Esports, Team Envy, and most recently Dallas Empire, who he led to the Call of Duty League Championship 2020 title in August.
Los Angeles Thieves Continue with a New-Look Roster
Los Angeles Thieves will get to showcase their new lineup on Friday, June 11, when they face off against the Minnesota RØKKR. It will mark their penultimate fixture of the CDL Stage 4 regular season before the teams travel to the Esports Stadium Arlington for the CDL Stage 4 Major.
Odds for Los Angeles Thieves vs. Minnesota RØKKR Match
Odds courtesy of BetOnline Sportsbook:
- Thieves -133
- RØKKR -102
- Thieves -1.5 Maps +165
- RØKKR +1.5 Maps -233
- Over 4.5 Maps +147
- Under 4.5 Maps -204
Los Angeles Thieves last met with the Minnesota RØKKR back in February, during the opening week of the CDL 2021 season. Thieves won that match 3-1; however, another easy win for the LA side is all but guaranteed.
RØKKR have since that loss made only one roster change. They signed Eli “Standy” Bentz in March and moved Lamar “Accuracy” Abedi to the substitute earlier last month.
The Minnesota side have struggled to achieve much over the last few months and have consistently underperformed when faced with the top teams. This explains why they’re priced as the underdogs for this match; however, due to all the roster changes, Thieves’ synergy should concern those who are looking to take the favorites with a map handicap.