With the dawn of the Call of Duty League, twelve star-studded teams have a chance to stake their claim as the new kings. In Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper’s eyes, however, there’s only one that will claim the crown – the Chicago Huntsmen.
FormaL is no stranger to winning. In 2017, he was crowned world champion, and named the tournament’s MVP. Though OpTic Gaming was on the verge of a stunning collapse months later, their leading star was at the top of his game.
The 25-year-old’s departure from the Green Wall saw the shock separation of the fabled ‘T2P’ duo, Seth ‘Scump’ Abner and himself. Now, that legendary combo – alongside a cast of other stars – are ready to retake Call of Duty by storm.
At least, that’s Formal’s belief as the CDL finally rolls into high gear at the launch weekend in Minnesota on January 24. In his eyes, the Huntsmen have a very real possibility of repeating OpTic's past glories, especially considering their roster.
“The team is so well-rounded, and we have an unreal amount of talent under the banner, so all the pieces are there,” FormaL told CDL media ahead of the season opener. “We have the skill to be the best team in the Call of Duty League, by far.”
According to the champ, the lineup Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez has assembled in Chicago is one of the most well-rounded rosters he’d ever played on. Now, if the Huntsmen can reignite the fire of the ‘T2P’ duo, they’ll be unstoppable.
“It was kind of crazy, the idea of reuniting me and Scump, and then bringing along the other three,” FormaL admitted. “Me and Seth have won like everything there is to win, and we want to put [the rest of the team] through that process now.”
Alongside the re-emergence of one of esports’ deadliest duos, FormaL believes Chicago’s key to success will be channeling the raw hunger from young stars Peirce ‘Gunless’ Hillman, Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson, and Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon.
If they can manage that, Chicago have the chance to rival what FormaL believes to be the greatest dynasty of all – OpTic Gaming.
“If you look at dynasties, I think the OpTic Gaming dynasty might be considered the best in Call of Duty, but I think the OpTic dynasty fell apart because of egos, and two of the biggest were definitely myself and Seth” he said.
“I’ve been on Huntsmen now for two months, and I think now we have a better grasp on how we should be competitive with each other. Over the next few years we might have a brand new dynasty that’s just formed, and we’re going to see how far we can push ourselves, and see if we can make that happen.”
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FormaL’s first chance to back up his beliefs come on January 24, when all twelve franchise squads descend on the Minneapolis Armory. The Huntsmen are set to make league history in the season opener against the Dallas Empire.
Chicago also get the chance to reunite Scump and FormaL with their old banners later the same weekend, when they face the new-look OpTic Gaming Los Angeles franchise squad. That clash will be held until the event’s final day.