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LA Thieves bench Afro, promote JoeDeceives

March 27, 2024 12:37 AM

The Los Angeles Thieves have benched Marcus "Afro" Reid and replaced him with former starter Joe "JoeDeceives" Romero, who the team is promoting back into the starting lineup.

The Thieves announced the move via Twitter just days after a winless performance and a top-12 finish at the second Call of Duty League (CDL) Major in Miami.

LAT previously benched JoeDeceives in early February as part of a two-person change to its roster. At the time, LAT released Cammy and demoted JoeDeceives to the bench to make way for new additions Kyle "Kremp" Haworth and Byron "Nastie" Plumridge, who joined Afro and Daniel "Ghosty" Rothe in the starting lineup.

While the Thieves’ online performances improved — LAT went 4-3 and finished sixth in the Major 2 qualifiers, a two-win and three-place improvement from Major 1 qualifying — the team ultimately failed to translate its online success to LAN.

In Miami, LAT lost their winners round one match to eventual event champions Atlanta FaZe in five games. The Thieves held a 2-1 advantage in the series after winning the first two respawn maps, but FaZe won the final Hardpoint and Search and Destroy to send LAT to the lower bracket.


While a win against Atlanta was not likely or very much expected, the Thieves then lost in the losers bracket to the Los Angeles Guerrillas, a team LAT beat exactly a week earlier.

Statistically, Afro had the worst weekend of any Thieves player, having earned 0.81 and 0.84 KDs against Atlanta and LAG, respectively.

JoeDeceives, as part of FC Black, finished second at the Challengers Open in Miami. FC Black lost to Lore Gold in the seventh game of the best-of-seven grand finals in Miami.

LAT play the Las Vegas Legion in their first Major 3 qualifying match on Sunday, April 14.

Image credit: @joebradyphoto