Up-and-coming Call of Duty amateur "worldstars" top pros TJHaLy and FormaL - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Up-and-coming Call of Duty amateur “worldstars” top pros TJHaLy and FormaL

Published: 13/Apr/2019 2:18

by Albert Petrosyan


It’s not everyday that professional Call of Duty players will get embarrassed by an amateur, but that was the case involving OpTic Gaming’s Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly and Luminosity’s Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper.

The two established pro players, both of whom are considered to be among the best in the game, found themselves on the wrong end of a slick play made by top amateur player Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal.

The moment came in a competitive match being played between iLLeY’s team, which featured Midnight’s Rasim ‘Blazt’ Ogresevic and FaZe Clan’s McArthur ‘Cellium’ Jovel, and the team of pros that also included LG’s John.

With his team trailing 4-5 in a game of Search and Destroy on Payload, iLLeY found himself last alive against TJ and FormaL, who had him slightly cornered near the B-bomb.

However, iLLeY was able to wiggle himself out by first shooting over the bomb to weaken TJ, then shoot again to eliminate him, before expertly sliding around the bomb to deliver a fatal shoot/punch combo at FormaL to win the round. 

Blazt’s reaction pretty much mirrored that of everyone else who either watched the sequence unfold live or later on Reddit, as most fans were left speechless at how impressive iLLeY’s movement and shooting accuracy was in such a tough moment.

Even the chat on Blazt’s Twitch channel, where the clip was taken from, is filled with viewers expressing their astonishment any way they could.

The play was equally important in the grand scheme of the match, as it tied the S&D at five rounds apiece, and iLLeY’s team ended winning the eleventh round to seal the victory.

iLLeY - TwitteriLLeY is the last remaining member of the eUnited Cadet team that also featured Simp and Cellium, both of whom have gone on to join the CoD teams of eUnited and FaZe Clan respectively.

Who is iLLeY?

Despite still being ineligible to play in the CWL due to being under the age of 18, iLLeY is considered to be one of the best competitive Call of Duty players, going back all the way to the days of Black Ops 3.

He is the last remaining member of eUnited’s Cadet program, having joined the org back in 2017, and is thought of as one of the last outstanding talents from the generation that produced eUnited pro Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr and Cellium, both of whom were also part of that original Cadet squad.

Many believe iLLeY to be the next big thing in CoD esports, and he will be eligible to compete in the next CWL season once he turns 18 on October 20.


Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun


Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.