Article:OpTic Gaming - The Road to Gold

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OpTic Gaming - The Road to Gold
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OpTic Gaming – How the Green Wall’s Journey Resulted in Gold

Black Ops 2

It was December 30th, 2012, and OpTic Gaming was on top of the Call of Duty world. At the time, Merk was the captain of a team that also included; BigTymer, Nadeshot, and Scump. Fresh off of their success at Call of Duty XP a few months prior, it was time for a new Call of Duty game and a spike in popularity. The event was UMG Chicago, and it was one of the first major events for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Grand finals of the event saw OpTic Gaming opposing Complexity to decide who would be going home with the $7,500 dollar grand prize. OpTic Gaming finished the job as they were accustomed to in Modern Warfare 3, and were ready to dominate the competition in Black Ops 2. As the season went on, it became clear that the competition had somewhat passed OpTic Gaming by. Their next event after the win at UMG Chicago was the MLG Winter Championship in Dallas, Texas. OpTic Gaming went on to place sixth at the event, and then placed third at the three following events and the team was unhappy with their performances. In September of 2013 well after the Call of Duty Championship, OpTic Gaming shocked the Call of Duty eSports community when they announced the release of team captain, Merk. Merk had become a homegrown talent on the OpTic Gaming roster and had been a part of the OpTic organization since their inception. This decision sparked some negative discussion within OpTic’s followers because Merk was a player who was admired by the fan base. Nevertheless, OpTic had moved on from a player who had contributed to four first place finishes since OpTic had appeared on the Call of Duty scene back in 2010.

After parting ways with Merk, OpTic felt that they needed a player who could fulfil a certain role that would complement the rest of the team’s play styles. This led to the acquisition of Jkap who had just left Team EnVyUs. Jkap moved into the OpTic Gaming team house and would be on board with the team for the remainder of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. With Jkap, OpTic Gaming attended GFinity 2 where they failed to break the top eight and ended up finishing in ninth place. The final event for Black Ops 2 was the MLG Fall Invitational in Florida where OpTic Gaming were able to finish in second place out of four teams falling to the highly skilled Complexity team. OpTic finished Black Ops 2 on a high note as they did with Modern Warfare 3, and were just about ready to sink their teeth into a new game.

Ghosts

The release of Call of Duty: Ghosts was simply business as usual for OpTic Gaming. The first event for Ghosts was the MLG Fall Championship in Columbus, Ohio. This time around on the brink of a new Call of Duty title, OpTic Gaming were not able to adapt to the change as well as they did with Black Ops 2. OpTic Gaming went on to finish in thirteenth place at the event despite how well they finished the season Black Ops 2. A disappointing performance at the first event for Call of Duty: Ghosts sparked yet another team change for the OpTic Gaming roster. The team collectively decided to part ways with the recently acquired Jkap in favor of Ricky. Nadeshot and company felt that Ricky’s skills with the assault rifle and strong ability to communicate was exactly what they needed to get back to their winning ways. Unfortunately for OpTic Gaming, they would place out of the money at UMG Philadelphia, which was their first event with Ricky on board. At this point OpTic Gaming had become just another team who were struggling to find a cohesive roster who could win consistently. Fans questioned what the issue was and no one was really sure. Their disappointing performance at UMG Philadelphia marked a turning point for the OpTic organization. Prior to the event, fan favorite BigTymer announced that the event in Philadelphia would be his last. To make matters worse for team captain Nadeshot, his longtime teammate, Scump, was extremely unhappy with the direction that OpTic Gaming was headed. Scump returned to the OpTic team house, packed up his equipment, and left with a chip on his shoulder. OpTic Gaming had effectively fallen apart as BigTymer stuck to his retirement plan, and Scump left OpTic to join his former teammate Merk on Team EnVyUs. With Nadeshot and Ricky essentially remaining as the last pieces of OpTic Gaming, Nadeshot was left with the task of putting together a team that could compete for championships. OpTic Gaming’s first move was to acquire Clayster who had seen vast amounts of success in Black Ops 2. Clayster had previously been a part of the dominant team Complexity, and had just left Team Kaliber after their second place finish at UMG Philadelphia. Bringing in Clayster was a no-brainer because he was a dominant assault rifle player in Black Ops 2, and brought a level of hype that OpTic Gaming was in need of. Three out of the four roster spots on OpTic were now filled, and Nadeshot looked to Parasite as their fourth coming over from Curse Las Vegas. This decision became a subject of controversy considering Parasite’s past as a questionable character in the Call of Duty competitive scene. The pick-up of Parasite did not last too long as the team was simply not meshing well together. Parasite left OpTic along with Ricky to rejoin Curse Las Vegas, and once again, OpTic Gaming was in the midst of another roster crisis. With Clayster and Nadeshot left on the OpTic Gaming roster, they were in search of two more players. Saints and MBoZe were targeted next as two potential teammates. Saints had seen relative success in Call of Duty: Ghosts with his former team, Strictly Business. MBoZe was a player that could not find a home for himself and was forced to play with pick-up teams through the first few events for Ghosts. Nadeshot spoke highly of adding Saints and MBoZe as Saints had been one of the best slayers in Ghosts, and MBoZe was mastermind in Search and Destroy and also a strong objective player. The OpTic Gaming bad luck trained rolled over the roster for the umpteenth time as Saints left without notice and rejoined his former team. Fortunately for OpTic, MBoZe stayed and a player from their past was soon to return. After playing with Team EnVyUs for less than a month, former OpTic Gaming player, Scump, decided that his home was with OpTic and he wanted to return to the roster he had been with since 2012.

Just like that, OpTic Gaming’s roster craze was over and the team of Nadeshot, Clayster, MBoZe, and Scumpwere ready to perform up to their standards at the Call of Duty Championship 2014. Led by Nadeshot, OpTic Gaming had a remarkable performance at the event in Los Angeles. OpTic managed to make it out of group play and proceeded to crush Team Kaliber with a 3-0 victory. They moved on to defeat Strictly Business by a score of 3-2, and sB had just come off a win at the U.S. Regional Qualifier. OpTic’s next opponents were Trident T1Dotters – a highly touted team out of Australia who had defeated Rise Nation and Vitality earlier in the tournament. The Green Wall were able to overcome the Aussies and were set to play Complexity in winners finals. The match was close, but Complexity were able to take the series 3-2 and OpTic headed to losers finals where Team EnVyUs awaited them. With former teammate Merk as the captain of Team EnVy, OpTic were unable to overcome The Boys in Blue, and went home with third place and $120,000 dollars to boot. The success of OpTic Gaming at the Call of Duty Championship led to a surprising team change prior to the roster lock for Season 2 of the MLG Pro League. MBoZe was granted the opportunity to head up the revived OpTic Nation, and OpTic Gaming had their sights set on someone who could fill more of a dominant slayer role. Coming over from FaZe Red was Proofy who was making his first return to the OpTic organization since 2011. The stars were aligning for OpTic Gaming as they were now in possession of three of the best slayers in the game, and Nadeshot who was their effective communicator and an excellent objective player. With Proofy on board, OpTic Gaming locked up a Championship Bracket position at MLG Anaheim 2014. The new team of Nadeshot, Clayster, Scump, and Proofy also attended UGC Niagara where they lost to FaZe Black and Complexity respectively. This placement held no bearing on where OpTic was headed next. The next event for Call of Duty: Ghosts was the granddaddy of them all, and the winner would cement their place in eSports history.

X Games

The event of course was none other than the MLG X Games Invitational in Austin, Texas. Going in, the team that was predicted to win the event with no hesitation was Evil Geniuses, who were formerly known as Complexity. Based on their complete and utter dominance at the Call of Duty Championship, and their losers bracket run at UGC Niagara, you would be crazy to predict anyone but Evil Geniuses to win the event. Coming in, OpTic Gaming were completely confident in their game and would not settle for anything less than gold. They would begin the weekend in Group B where they would square off against a friendly rival in FaZe Red. The series would play out in their favor as OpTic managed to win all but one game in the series. The confidence was building within the squad, and they were fully prepared to go up against another friendly rival in Team EnVyUs. In another rather one-sided series, OpTic Gaming defeated EnVyUs to complete their second 3-1 series victory in a row. OpTic’s tournament run would continue on into the medal bracket where they would meet Evil Geniuses – who seemed to have had OpTic Gaming’s number up to this point. Much to the dismay of nearly everyone watching, OpTic Gaming overcame their bitter rivals in the best of five series. Led by the powerful slaying ability of Scump, OpTic sent Evil Geniuses to the bronze medal match with a 3-1 victory over the reigning Call of Duty World Champions. In undoubtedly their most remarkable event in over a year, OpTic Gaming were going to face off against Team Kaliber to decide who would capture a gold medal at the MLG X Games Invitational. The final best of five series did not disappoint, and these two teams put on arguably the most exciting series to date in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Team Kaliber got off to an early start with a strong performance on Freight Domination to make the series 1-0. This loss did not affect OpTic Gaming in any regard. They were in full focus and were looking forward to game two, which would be Search and Destroy on Octane. OpTic played extremely well in game two, and quite possibly the most impressive highlight was a three-piece by team captain, Nadeshot, which resulted in an eventual ace for the round. Nadeshot led his team to victory in game two and they would tie up the series at 1-1 with their Search and Destroy win. Game three would be Blitz on Warhawk, which had become one of OpTic’s best maps. The objective work and defense took center stage here for the Green Wall as OpTic were able to maintain an early lead and essentially put the game away before it even started. OpTic Gaming now had the upper-hand being up 2-1 in the series, and would transition to Domination on Strikezone for game four. Once again, OpTic Gaming had little to no answer for Team Kaliber’s strong domination game. Team Kaliber bounced back from a disappointing game three and slayed their way to victory in game four.

The moment of truth would manifest itself in game five of the gold medal match between OpTic Gaming and Team Kaliber. The game type was Search and Destroy and the map was Sovereign. It was do or die time for both teams. The game went back-and-forth, however OpTic led three rounds to one early on. Team Kaliber came back with a couple of strong rounds, which included a 2v1 clutch by Neslo going up againstNadeshot and Scump. It was time for OpTic Gaming to play their best when it mattered most. The score was 5-4, and Team Kaliber were on the brink of sending game five to a decisive round eleven. The path looked clear for Team Kaliber as they were able to put themselves in a 3 versus 2 situation which weighed heavily in their favor. Unfortunately for OpTic’s worthy adversaries, Clayster was able to corner Goonjar with a bulldog and earn OpTic their first major tournament win since December of 2012.

The path for OpTic Gaming was not easy. Black Ops 2 began the team change crisis, and Ghosts certainly did not stop it until well after its release. OpTic saw loyal players come and go, and it took a sizable amount of time for them to finally construct a roster that could play their best, and that their best would be enough to bring them victory. The team of Nadeshot, Clayster, Scump, and Proofy proved to be the exact roster to make this happen. OpTic Gaming effectively made history as the first team to capture MLG X Games Gold and no other team will ever be able to say that. Despite the bumpy road, the OpTic organization overcame disappointing performances and player searches to become the Gold Medal Winners at the MLG X Games Invitational. From here, OpTic Gaming will continue their competitive careers in Call of Duty. The next event is MLG Anaheim, and the OpTic roster has shown that they are capable of winning when they put forth their strongest efforts.


Published on 11. Jun 2014
Written by Matt "CRUM" Pryor - @TPC_CRUM


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