2ReaL is back in the Call of Duty League with former teammate Clayster on Las Vegas Legion. Here’s how he’s retaking to life in the CDL.

Brendan "2ReaL" Stockdale has a chance to return to the Call of Duty League. After winning the Boston Open Challengers event at Major 2, 2ReaL was given the call to join Las Vegas Legion.

The only other time that Stockdale was playing in the Call of Duty League was on a doomed Florida Mutineers roster towards the end of the Vanguard season. Put in difficult situations, Brendan struggled to perform and show his true ability.

After winning another chip in Challengers, he's back on the main stage but the methodology behind his play remains the same.

"It feels good," 2ReaL told Esports.gg. "It’s no different, the biggest thing is just learning the game again with a new team and trying to regain that chemistry that the old Challenger team had.

"Some people pick up the way that I want to play the game quicker. I’d say it takes about a week to get on the same page and then another week or two after that to get on the micro-level working well with each other."

2ReaL, second in from the left, was part of the Boston Open winning team. Photo via Ant Stonelake.
2ReaL, second in from the left, was part of the Boston Open winning team. Photo via Ant Stonelake.

2ReaL was one of three players from the winning Challengers team in Boston to be picked up. His teammates FeLo and Ghosty both also joined teams in the league. The only member of the team to still be in Challengers now is Ulisses "Uli" Rios.

Clayster brings 2ReaL to Vegas

Vegas was the perfect move for 2ReaL as he had previously played with three-time World Champion James "Clayster" Eubanks last season. In fact, Clay was the one to pull the trigger on bringing 2ReaL back to the league.

Ghosty was picked up by OpTic Texas following the Challengers win in Boston. Photo via Ant Stonelake.
Ghosty was picked up by OpTic Texas following the Challengers win in Boston. Photo via Ant Stonelake.

"It wasn’t directly after the event in Boston," 2ReaL said. "It was about a week after. That whole week I didn’t get to play much. Dan got picked up and then we weren’t sure if Tyler was going to get picked up.

"We weren’t sure if Uli and I were going to have to find two for the Elite. Tyler did get picked up and a couple days later I got hit up by Clay. He messaged me and I pretty much accepted it instantly."

After 2ReaL's first series back in the league, Clayster spoke to the analyst desk on stream and discussed how much value he believes Stockdale can bring. Those compliments don't go unnoticed for a player like 2ReaL.

It also helps that Clay and Brendan played together in Challengers last season, going a whole Challengers Elite stage undefeated.

"It means a lot," he said. "I love Clay and I love the energy that he brings to every day, it makes me happy and I feed off it. Everything he says, I respect a lot, he’s such a good player.

"I love the energy that he brings. He’s a super easy person to get along with, it’s impossible to hate him at all. We meshed right away."

Clayster and 2ReaL played together in Challengers during the Vanguard season. Photo via Ant Stonelake.
Clayster and 2ReaL played together in Challengers during the Vanguard season. Photo via Ant Stonelake.

"He deserves it more than anybody..."

Uli didn't manage to find his way onto a CDL roster following the Boston Open win. Stockdale believes that it's only a matter of time before his ex-teammate gets a shot.

"I think he deserves it more than anybody on our old team," he added. "I think right now he is the best SMG in Challengers. There are people close but he definitely deserves a shot. He’s made a lot of steps to improve and I think that he’s ready now."

"The biggest change between Florida me and now is the confidence"

During his first stint in the league, 2ReaL found himself in a horrible position. He was on a Mutineers squad that has very little going for it and barely a hope of making it through to the eight-team World Championship event last August.

Being put in a situation like that would be tough for anyone's confidence, especially in an esport that relies on it so much. 2ReaL has shown incredible mental fortitude to come back from that.

2ReaL very nearly made the pro-am alongside Mock, Hollow and Uli. Photo via The Rotation.
2ReaL very nearly made the pro-am alongside Mock, Hollow and Uli. Photo via The Rotation.

"The biggest difference between Florida me and now is the confidence," he said. "It’s so important to maintain confidence on a daily basis.

"There’s going to be bad days and there’s going to be good days, especially in CoD where it is hard to be consistent so it is always important to keep that confidence."

Whilst at Mutineers, Call of Duty League fans mocked Stockdale for poor performances, with some giving him the nickname "0.2ReaL". This would bother most, but 2ReaL says that he is his own biggest critic, meaning that it doesn't bother him when others try to bring him down.

"I don’t really care what people think and what people chat about because I hold myself to the highest standard and I know what I am capable of," he said. "I know what I can do and if I am not consistently doing it, I am the one asking why.

"Everybody is different. I don’t think its hard to deal with. Going in, you know you have to deal with that stuff. I’d rather have good energy than bad but I actually don’t think it’s difficult at all. It grows on you over time, the more you deal with it the more it doesn’t mess with you."

Beating the champs in his first match back

This no longer seems to be a problem for Stockdale, who answered his critic's questions with an MVP-level performance in his first series back in the league.

Legion beat reigning World Champions Los Angeles Thieves in 2ReaL's first game on the roster but it was very nearly a different story. The first map of the series, a Mercado Hardpoint, looked as though it was going to be the same story for 2ReaL.

He finished the map with a 0.52 K/D, leading to people bringing back those same memes and jokes as before. The rest of the series, Stockdale took over. He turned into the force that he had been in Challengers and showed the league why he deserved his spot.

"I didn’t even stress about it too much map one about my performance," 2ReaL said. "Nobody played good and I was put in impossible scenarios.

"I felt the energy of what everyone was saying without having to see it. I knew I was good and having a good map two, I was able to shoot my gun more and it made me lock in and relax."

"Everything is going good" for 2ReaL

The progress that Vegas have shown this year has been nothing short of incredible. They have transitioned from a team with two wins over an entire season to being able to compete with the best of the best.

Beating Thieves and competing with the ever-impressive Toronto Ultra team is a massive step forward for the organisation.

2ReaL will face off against Atlanta FaZe on Feb. 25. Photo via Ant Stonelake.
2ReaL will face off against Atlanta FaZe on Feb. 25. Photo via Ant Stonelake.

"Everything is going good," 2ReaL said. "The most important thing with the new team is that every day is productive. It doesn’t have to be the biggest jump day-to-day but it just has to be a little improvement.

"A lot of times, you know that a team is not going to go anywhere when you’re a week in and you’re not improving. That has not been an issue for us."

Strength of schedule doesn't get any easier for Vegas, after taking on World Champs Thieves and Major-winning Toronto Ultra in the first week of Major 3 qualifiers, they now have to take on the current Major champs, Atlanta FaZe as they continue their run towards Major 3 in Texas.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more esports news.

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