Armchair GM: What LA Thieves need for the 2024 Call of Duty League season

silhouetted man in armchair with LA Thieves logoLA Thieves

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 off-season. In this article, I take a look at the LA Thieves, and how I would restore them to their 2022 world championship-caliber glory.

The LA Thieves find themselves in the unenviable spot this summer of having a full squad of highly sought-after stars, but all of them reaching the end of their contracts.

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This is a difficult situation to navigate, especially with the poor results from the final tournaments of the season, and one that will certainly leave the GM with plenty of thinking to do.

With that in mind, here’s what I would do to keep LA Thieves on top.

Which players would I keep?

envoy la thievesLA Thieves
LA Thieves should attempt to keep Envoy as a matter of priority.

As a matter of priority, I would look to re-sign Sam ‘Octane’ Larew and Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon. Both will be huge names in the free agency market and have been among the most consistent players in the league throughout recent seasons.

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They will no doubt be in conversation with many teams, but the Thieves should make retaining their signatures the key target for this off-season.

For Kenny ‘Kenny’ Williams and Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan, the situation isn’t quite as clear. There is a huge upside in Drazah, a diverse and aggressive flex that can improve most teams, and Kenny brings intangible skills and knowledge to the team that not many are able to replicate.

However, a change is clearly needed, so I would dip into free agency and assess options to replace them.

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Who would I sign for LA Thieves?

For me, the solution to this is very simple: Seattle Surge’s Amer ‘Pred’ Zulbeari and Daunte ‘Sib’ Gray are unrestricted free agents that can arrive as a duo with chemistry already well-established over the last two years.

Other options, such as Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell and McArthur ‘Cellium’ Jovel, could be great on the assault rifle side of things, but it’s perhaps unrealistic to expect OpTic Texas or Atlanta FaZe to let them go. Another name could be Dan ‘Ghosty’ Rothe, if he can improve this squad as much as he did OpTic Texas in the season.

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If none of these options is available to replace Drazah, I would attempt to re-sign him alongside Octane and Envoy. The team accomplished a lot together, even winning as recently as Major 4, so there’s clearly still some firepower behind the squad. The hard task is keeping him away from OpTic Texas’ grasp after their reported interest.

pred celebrating with seattle surge at cdl lanCall of Duty League
Pred is the most sought-after free agent this season.

As for an SMG player to replace Kenny, the options aren’t quite as exciting if you can’t get Pred. Players like Tobias ‘CleanX’ Juul Jonsson, or event Atlanta FaZe’s Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr and Tyler ‘aBeZy’ Pharris are enticing, though locked into guaranteed contracts or franchise players, the Thieves may not want to pay bulky buyouts to get one of these players.

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If Pred becomes an impossible pickup as one of the most sought-after free agents on the market, I would aim for someone like Marcus ‘Afro’ Reid, who had huge interest prior to the Modern Warfare II season and didn’t quite get to showcase his full potential on a struggling Minnesota Røkkr squad, with all the players having since been let go.

So, here’s how my ideal LA Thieves squad would look like for 2024 if I were the GM:

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  • Octane
  • Envoy
  • Sib (alternative: Drazah)
  • Pred

I don’t expect Thieves to be very aggressive this off-season, buying out contracted players unless the offer is particularly enticing, given the rumors that they reduced their team’s salaries after their 2022 world championship win.

That doesn’t mean they won’t make a splash, and they could look to buy out a superstar flex such as Thomas ‘Scrappy’ Ernst or Cellium if the price is right, though I operated here under the assumption that that wouldn’t be possible.

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

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