When it was revealed that Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow would be part of the Takeover squad attending UMG Orlando, it confirmed that OpTic Gaming would be absent.
The official reason behind not attending has not been disclosed, however it’s believed that the motivation to compete on Black Ops 3 was lost when the squad dropped out of CoD XP 2016.
As the first large team to officially end their Black Ops 3 career, they’re the first to come under the microscope as we take a look at their year in detail.
Although many will point the finger at having a poor year, the team actually took away 5 major titles across the season, including ESWC Zenith 2016, both MLG open events and the stage 1 playoffs of the NA CoD World League.
Playing an exciting brand of Call of Duty, the team were a relentless force when on form and provided some of the best highlight clips throughout the year.
They narrowly missed out on the Totinos Invitational with only a week of practice on the game, but will still walk away as the team with the most event wins from the year, regardless of the result in Orlando in their absence.
We’ll get this out of the way, because we know for many OpTic Gaming fans, they’re still struggling with that incredible loss to Cloud9 in the loser bracket. With single elimination being blamed on UMG South Carolina and the CWL s2 playoffs, no one could deny that losing three times in one weekend was a fluke.
Losing to compLexity on the first day was a shock but a loss against rivals Team EnVyUs and to be thrown out of the tournament by Aches was up there with one of the worst ways to go out if you’re an OG fan.
The OpTic SCUF House is still missing a real world championship trophy (XP 2011 doesn’t count) and that space in the cabinet will be empty for at least another year.
Whilst it seems like a strange positive to add to this list, OpTic Gaming were only one of only three North American line ups to maintain their roster through the good and bad of the CoD World League and 2016.
Teams are all too often happy to pull the trigger to get someone in new if it’s not working, but the squad stuck together through difficult periods when many would have looked for an excuse to switch.
The CoD World League changes lead to a number of frustrations being vented across the year on social media, but no more so than by OpTic Gaming’s Karma who was happy to accept the fines dished out. Frequently clashing over topics including weapon balance, tournament format and the game mechanics, it certainly wasn’t the happiest year on social media for the team.
The OpTic Gaming squad travelled to both Australia and France to compete at events and despite a small hiccup against Millenium at ESWC, they took both titles. Whilst playing in North America, they played against European opposition on multiple occasions and dismantled them with ease.
The unknown of the foreigners is not something OpTic Gaming have struggled with during Black Ops 3, and playing squads from outside of NA seems to be a relatively comfortable experience, something not many North American teams can claim.
A frequent excuse that was used by the OpTic Gaming squad throughout 2016 was that they simply hadn’t practiced enough together as a squad. Needless to say the GreenWall fans patience wore thin with this excuse when it had been used on multiple occasions. At such a high level of competition, allowing your opponents to catch up by not practicing is just not acceptable.
As with any online league, OpTic Gaming suffered from horrific lag and frequent attempts to have their connection taken down by a pro players worst enemy, the denial of service attack. When they avoiding being the victim of a DDoS attacks, the team were on fire when it came to playing online, quickly gaining a reputation as their business connections lit up the CoD World League, placing 1st in Stage 2’s online segment and narrowly missing out to EnVyUs in Stage 2.
Aside from the Totinos Invitational, if OpTic Gaming made it to the top 4 of an event on Black Ops 3, they’d go on to win it. The problem was that in three seperate major tournaments, the squad performed well under expectations and felt the wrath of their angry fans as a result.
Having never not made it a final as a squad throughout Advanced Warfare with this exact 4 in the roster, during Black Ops 3 they took heavy losses at UMG South Carolina, CWL S2 finals and CoD XP 2016.
The reality is that their performance through the year was impressive, but because we’d all got so used to them winning, three big losses starts to look like a big deal.