Armchair GM: What Seattle Surge needs for the 2024 Call of Duty League season

Silhouette of a man in an armchair with a Seattle Surge logo in the middleSeattle Surge

In Armchair GM, I take on the role of General Manager for various Call of Duty League franchises to discuss the moves I would make in the 2023 offseason. In this edition, I take over Seattle Surge and attempt to keep them competing despite losing their superstars.

Seattle Surge have had two rollercoaster seasons throughout Vanguard and Modern Warfare II, winning championships and competing among the top teams while struggling to even win maps at times.

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Their successes have been spearheaded by Australian star Amer ‘Pred’ Zulbeari, who has stood head and shoulders above most of his opponents since his professional debut. He will almost certainly be making his way to one of the bigger teams in the league this off-season.

With all four Surge players made unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2023 season, here’s how I would approach the situation if I were their GM.

Would I re-sign any players?

Naturally, Surge should be doing everything they can to re-sign both Pred and assault rifle player Daunte ‘Sib’ Gray to new contracts. But given their stature, I am operating under the assumption that they won’t be available going forward.

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Seattle Surge team at CDL Champs 2023Seattle Surge
This Surge team experienced all of the highs and lows of competition together.

I feel like moving on from Lamar ‘Accuracy’ Abedi is a necessity at this point so as to improve in the slaying department, though the importance of Accuracy’s leadership cannot be understated.

Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley has had some standout performances here and there, including being arguably the star of the show at Champs, but has been inconsistent. He would definitely be in consideration to be re-signed, but as GM, I would want to explore other options, which means that I would be heading into 2024 with three roster spots to fill.

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It’s only three because as a matter of priority, I would promote Gwinn to the starting roster after his win at Challengers Champs, filling one of the submachine gun spots on the team.

Who should Seattle Surge sign?

Surge is a team that doesn’t typically have the biggest budget in the league and tends to spend less than the elite teams, and that’s something I’ll have to bear in mind here.

For that reason, we’ll have to dip into Challengers and look at players that may have fallen out of favor at the pro level but still have a lot to offer.

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Alongside Gwinn, I would bring along his Challengers championship-winning teammate Adam ‘GodRX’ Brown as a versatile assault rifle player, able to play as a main or flex when needed. He’s also played at the pro level before and been around the top for a long time, and he is able to lead the team efficiently and help them navigate the higher level of competition.

GodRX playing for OMiT at Challengers Finals 2023Twitter: _TheRotation
GodRx could be an important, level-headed player to guide this team.

To partner with GodRX, I would bring in Adam ‘Assault’ Garcia, formerly of LA Guerrillas, who had a solid year, all things considered, and is deserving of a spot in the league. He’s also a world champion, so the talent and ability to win are clearly there when he has the right people around him.

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If not Assault as a ‘safer’ option, teams like Surge need to be giving serious consideration to Challengers star Jordan ‘Abuzah’ François, the standout AR player in the amateur ranks this season and someone who is certain to have talks with multiple CDL teams. I would actually sign Abuzah as a substitute at the very least, as his ceiling is astronomical and comparable to that of other stars we’ve seen come in, like Pred and Paco ‘HyDra’ Rusiewiez.

Finally, I would be looking to secure the signature of Reece ‘Vivid’ Drost, another aggressive SMG, to fill the final roster spot. There’s potential for this Gwinn/Vivid duo to absolutely fly, provided their ARs can keep up the pace and operate as a functional unit. If not, then re-signing Mack might be the best option here as someone who knows the system and has been a good support to Pred in recent years.

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So, my final roster would look something like this:

  • GodRX
  • Gwinn
  • Assault (alternative: Abuzah)
  • Vivid (alternative: Mack)

Obviously, this team does have some question marks over it, with no clear standout stars similar to the likes of Pred and Sib, but the potential is absolutely there.

When looking at the wider scope of available players, the big hitters will likely spread out between OpTic Texas, LA Thieves, and Atlanta FaZe. For that reason, I’ve ruled out the superstars that are available, such as Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan and Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon, both of whom have held talks with OpTic.

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With the CDL free agency only around the corner, we won’t have to wait long to find out exactly what Seattle Surge will do. You can keep up with all of the moves and rumors in our CDL 2024 rostermania hub.

Also in the Armchair GM series: LA Guerrillas | OpTic Texas | Boston Breach | LA Thieves

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