The Los Angekes Thieves have captured the 2022 Call of Duty World Championship
The Vanguard season has officially concluded, with the Los Angeles Thieves becoming Call of Duty World Champions. Octane, Envoy, Kenny and Drazah will each earn their first championship ring. Assistant coach and former player ShAnE will also get his first ring. Head coach Jkap will join Atlanta FaZe coach Crowder as the only two to win Champs as both a player and coach.
LA Thieves become World Champions after whirlwind season
The LA Thieves are the World Champions. Nearly eight months ago, fans would have dismissed that statement. LA Thieves came into the season with two of their core pieces in Kenny and Drazah. They brought in Octane, who needed a change of scenery following two mediocre years in Seattle. Envoy also joined the squad after kind of being the odd one out in OpTic’s transition to Texas.
Expectations were still relatively high for the Thieves even after a lackluster Cold War season. The start of the season appeared to be no different than the aforementioned. LA’s qualifying stages didn’t go to plan and performances at the first two Majors were equally as disappointing. However, a second place finish at the Pro-Am Classic kickstarted what would become a turnaround season for the Thieves. They followed up that placing with an impressive top 4 at the Toronto Major and eventually ran with it all the way to a Major IV title.
Los Angeles certainly weren’t considered favorites heading into championship weekend. Although, factoring in recency bias, LA was a team that could cause some problems in the bracket. That they did. A game 5 win against Boston kickstarted their journey. The Thieves followed that up with back to back thumpings of both OpTic and FaZe, bringing them right to Sunday. The grand finals were just as easy, shooting out to a 4-0 lead before eventually becoming world champions in a 5-2 series win.
Finding their peak at the right moment
Call of Duty has always been a very momentum heavy game at times. A LAN setting always brings that out in a lot of teams and the LA Thieves were one of them. This is a team that was under so much scrutiny halfway through the season. Fans demanded roster changes and anything that could turn the season around. The addition of former player ShAnE as an assistant coach seemed to be a part of the solution. The team’s respawn game modes instantly improved.
Octane mentioned at a press conference in Toronto that despite what everyone was saying about the team, the players were determined to keep pushing forward together. The trust in each other was there. It became a slow burn before catching fire at the absolute perfect time in the season. The Major IV win showed what they had been capable of all season long. The confidence skyrocketed with that win, and the LA Thieves simply became undeniable.
This is what fans have been waiting for for two years since the announcement of the team in 2020. Kenny and Drazah have been a part of the organization since the CDL was adopted and rode it out all the way to a Champs ring. A key piece in Chicago’s success, Envoy gets the recognition he deserves. And lastly, Octane, one of the greatest AR players in COD history, captures his first championship. The struggles and heartache for the loyal fans of Los Angeles is finally over. The LA Thieves are your 2022 Call of Duty World Champions.
Featured Photo credit: Ariel Ben-Abraham/ESPAT.