To play for OpTic Gaming was something I had worked towards since the very beginning of my career. It was a huge opportunity for me to prove myself.
After experiencing my first tournament success at UMG South Carolina 2016, playing for Rise Nation, I set my sights higher – I wanted to keep progressing.
I took a big step towards my goals at CWL Anaheim 2017. With the event being held in Anaheim – a city with a lot of prestige attached to it in comparison to other open events – the crowd and the atmosphere was amazing. We were facing off against Splyce in the Grand Finals – the team who had denied us in the Global Pro League Stage 1 earlier that year.
We got our revenge and for me personally, I considered it the first significant victory of my career.
We went on to place 3rd at the 2017 CWL Championship which, for me, was bittersweet. It was the highest I had ever placed at a Call of Duty Championship event, playing in front of thousands of passionate fans in the audience – something none of us were used to at that time – and yet despite all that, I wasn’t satisfied.
We had started out slow during pool play: teams were dominating us. I honestly thought that we would not see past the group stage and that the curtains would close on our team very quickly.
Miraculously, we found ourselves in the winners’ bracket but immediately lost to eUnited. We soared through the losers bracket and found our way to the finals, where we were drawn against none other than OpTic, who had been beaten by EnVy. Facing OpTic saw to the end of our Champs campaign for the season.
When WWII rolled around, I believed – and still believe to this day – that we had the best roster in the game, by far: myself, Slacked, JKap and John. Our major first event of the season was in Dallas which ended in a disappointing 7/8th place finish. It wasn’t the major debut we had hoped for, but we didn’t give up.
We proved that the previous result was an anomaly when we travelled to New Orleans and placed second against Team Kaliber. We took the first game 3-1 in the Grand Final and we just needed to win the last game to make New Orleans ours, but we slipped on the fifth map and were left devastated.
Despite going on to place third at Atlanta and even first at CWL Birmingham, I still felt the need to keep progressing – that’s when I found myself with the opportunity to join OpTic Gaming.
Initially, when I first joined OpTic, we were placing between 6th and 8th at events. This wasn’t something I was used to or comfortable with since the stakes had always been high, even during my time with Luminosity.
With the added pressure of the CWL Championship 2018 just around the corner, we were all putting in the extra hours to make sure that we improved fast. We knew that our weakness was Search and Destroy but, at the same time, we were averaging 35-5 in our hardpoint games.
During the group stage, we had won all of our matches heading into our final group game against Evil Geniuses, who took us down 3-0. That result meant that Elevate just needed to win by a single map to overtake us in the table, having already beaten EG themselves. As they went 2-0 ahead in their match against Supremacy, I knew that we had been eliminated from Champs early.
I was in shock. I simply couldn’t process what had happened.
I found the nearest exit and went and sat outside by myself, trying to make sense of a CWL Championship in which OpTic Gaming will not be competing in the bracket – OpTic Gaming, the team I had worked tirelessly to represent for my entire career, wasn’t even going to be competing in the bracket.
As I sat there, I knew that it was inevitable: we would be making roster changes ahead of the next season.
I hadn’t received any messages from the squad nor any of the staff for a few days and I began to think something wasn’t right. I was adamant that I had been dropped from the roster. It wouldn’t have been a surprise to me if I had been.
I had a call from Jacob, who worked for infinite. He wanted to be updated with what changes will OpTic be making as we were still unsure whether Black Ops 4 will be 4v4 or 5v5. With the call ending, I believed that maybe I wasn’t going to be dropped – why would he have contacted me if I was getting dropped?
I got in touch with Zinni over the call I had received and he told me that I had been dropped: I was shocked, surprisingly. I knew it was happening at the back of my mind.
With nothing else lined up, I reached out to NaDeSHoT – my last remaining hope of finding an organisation for Black Ops 4.
Nade was interested in building a roster for Black Ops 4 under his own organization, 100 Thieves, and I expressed my interest.
He told me there was a list of names who were interested, so I didn’t hold my breath but within a week, negotiations with 100 Thieves and OpTic Gaming had proven successful and I found myself on the roster.
— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) September 1, 2018
Despite the storm that I and the roster at OpTic Gaming found ourselves in this year, I’m very optimistic about my future with 100 Thieves.
It’s been a slow start for us, but we have rapidly improved as a team during online events and our team chemistry is on a high. I’m looking forward to CWL Vegas, we’re all hungry to win.
I have another opportunity to prove myself.
Image Credit: Major League Gaming & Hannah Smith for astrogaming