During the Call of Duty Launch Weekend, Chicago Huntsmen CEO H3CZ spoke to Dexerto about the new league format, why Gary Vaynerchuk is important to CDL, and his thoughts on the OpTic vs Huntsmen rivalry.
The debut weekend of the CDL couldn't have gone much better for the NRG-owned Call of Duty team, who finished the weekend with a perfect 2-0 record.
The star-studded roster got to play in the league's opening match, and they dealt a blow to their rivals in the Dallas Empire while simultaneously responding to critics who said they weren't a top-two team.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) January 25, 2020
They followed that up with a dominant 3-0 showing over OpTic LA, but the Huntsmen's boss insists that there's no rivalry between the two. In fact, it looks like he's done talking about his former brand altogether.
H3CZ flatly said "no" when asked if there was a rivalry with OpTic, and pushed to move on to the "next question" when asked to explain. The NRG co-CEO has maintained this position before and during Launch Weekend, and so have his star players in Seth 'Scump' Abner and Matthew 'FormaL' Piper.
While both members of T2P have said it's "all love" towards OGLA, the same can't be said for Dallas Empire. After their 3-1 victory, both players fired off the trash talk on stage, and Scump even took it to the desk.
— DEXERTO Call of Duty (@DexertoIntel) January 25, 2020
H3CZ acknowledged there's a need for smack talk from a "showmanship" perspective, but doesn't see much point to it being inserted artificially. "The drama is going to unveil the way it's going to unveil."
The drama between the Huntsmen and the Empire was unveiled before the season began, with the focus on the clash between former OpTic teammates Scump, FormaL, and Empire's Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter.
The fiery buildup resulted in the opener between the two teams being one of the most-watched matches of the weekend, beaten only by Chicago's bout with OpTic. Empire's owner Mike 'hastr0' Rufail even indicated that perhaps the rivalry is more showmanship than actual beef.
— Mike Rufail (@hastr0) January 25, 2020
Rivalries are one thing, but for the league to succeed, H3CZ says that it's important for every brand to "build their own storyline," and "letting people know who their players are."
"When you get to know somebody, you're more bound to want them to win if you relate to them in some way, somehow. And that's what we've always done from the beginning."
The beginning of the Hunstmen campaign for the first season of CDL is off to a hot start, as they sit at 2-0 record with Atlanta FaZe, Paris Legion, and Minnesota RØKKR.
Huntsmen and Legion will both look to remain undefeated when they head to CDL London in February.