Call of Duty

Future of OpTic Gaming's Karma Hangs in The Balance as He Steps Down From Competitive Roster

by Calum Patterson


Following the announcements of the Luminosity and OpTic Gaming Call of Duty rosters, there is one player notably sitting on the sidelines - three time world champion Damon "Karma" Barlow.

* UPDATE: Karma has now spoken on his plans for the future.

After replacing OpTic Gaming legend Matt "Nadeshot" Haag, Karma went on to win a total of 13 LAN tournament wins with OpTic, including winning the organization its first World Championship - and his third.


His time on the roster has finally come to an end, as OpTic Gaming have recruited former Luminosity player Sam "Octane" Larew and former tK playerAnthony "Methodz" Zinni, with FormaL going the opposite direction and joining LG.

For Karma however, the future remains unclear. Many fans had predicted an announcement would be made in vision, but currently, his plans are not known.


It seems that he has two options now, and undoubtedly a player at his level will have offers from other teams, but with his choices for Pro League teams limited, his other option is to sit out the rest of the season.

He could of course retire entirely, but with Black Ops 4 set for an early release in October, he will probably have opportunities to return to competition, if he was to step away temporarily.


Remain with OpTic, as a content creator.

This is certainly the most likely option, as Karma has become a fan favorite with the Greenwall. Many past professional players such as Marcus "MBoZe" Blanks and Will "BigTymer" Johnson have taken similar paths and remain active members of the organization to this day.

Having recently moved to OpTic's home state in Texas, this outcome would make the most sense logistically also, unless Karma is set on continuing to compete.

Staying with OpTic would provide him the security he needs for his family, as someone who has a daughter this will be a priority to him.

Join a non-Pro League team, ahead of CWL World Championship

It is somewhat unlikely, but Karma could consider joining a qualifier team ahead of CoD Champs.

If there is one tournament Karma knows how to win, it is the world championship. He is the only player to win three rings, including two consecutively in 2013 and 2014. He is also of course a reigning world champion.

If a North American team from outside the Pro League is looking to qualify for Champs in August, Karma will be a top priority for them, and Karma will certainly not want to miss out on an opportunity at the top prize again.

Karma won his third World Championship ring in 2017, OpTic Gaming's first

Pro League

His potential Pro League team moves are admittedly limited, and with roster lock fast approaching on May 7th, time is limited even more. The previous two options are much more likely than Karma finding his way on to a Pro League team.

Reliable sources inform Dexerto that he has little desire to continue to compete in WWII.

For the sake of speculation, teams such as Team Kaliber, Echo Fox, Team Envy or eUnited are able to make changes, and may have considered Karma as an option. But most of these teams very recently made roster changes themselves, meaning it is less likely still.


So for Karma, it looks very unlikely fans will see him take part in Stage Two of the Pro League, or the rest of the WWII season for that matter, but he could return for CoD Champs or Black Ops 4.

On the other hand, he may simply put down the controller for good, and take on a content creation role with OpTic.

Or who knows, maybe we see Karma take his talents to another esport...