H3CZ officially joins NRG following OpTic Gaming exit - Dexerto
Call of Duty

H3CZ officially joins NRG following OpTic Gaming exit

Published: 15/Sep/2019 22:24 Updated: 16/Sep/2019 9:30

by Brad Norton

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Former OpTic Gaming CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez has confirmed his next venture in the esports industry, officially joining NRG as Co-CEO.

In a September 15 YouTube video, Rodriguez discussed his past with OpTic Gaming and teased his future in the esports landscape.

Since the purchase of OpTic parent company Infinite Esports & Entertainment by Immortals Gaming Club, the certainty of his involvement in the esports industry has been up in the air. Until today that is.

Discussing his esports journey throughout the video, Rodriguez concluded the conversation by putting on an NRG sweatshirt.

NRG followed up by Tweeting: “IT’S OFFICIAL! please welcome our new co-ceo hector “HECZ” rodriguez.”  

Having led the Green Wall since 2007, this marks the first journey for Rodriguez outside of the OpTic Gaming banners.

Calling it his “life’s passion,” he assures fans that “no matter what, just understand that I will continue to do everything in my power to try to repay you. By bringing you a story, keeping you excited, by continuing to share the moments that we have all grown to share in the last decade of work.”

H3CZ declines OpTic position

In a recent joint-statement from Immortals Gaming Club and the former OpTic Gaming CEO, it was revealed that Rodriguez “declined the opportunity to remain in his current role with OpTic and instead chose to pursue new and independent ventures.”

The news comes just days following the announcement of a Chicago-based Call of Duty franchise owned by NRG. Founder of NRG, Andy Miller expressed his joy regarding the situation, stating that it is “A big day for @NRGgg and a big personal day for me. So excited to have @OpticH3CZ as my duo!!!”

It is unclear exactly how much responsibility Rodriguez will have as part of NRG, however, with control of the Chicago based Call of Duty franchise, it could be that his efforts will focus on the development of a new dynasty.

As rostermania continues throughout the franchising transition, you can keep on top of all the latest developments using our dedicated tracker

Call of Duty

CoD 2021 leaks: Release date, next Call of Duty developer, rumors

Published: 15/Jan/2021 17:11

by James Busby

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From credible rumors to speculated release dates, find out everything you need to know about Call of Duty 2021. 

The ever-popular Call of Duty series has remained a staple pick for those looking to show off their quick reflexes and eagle-eyed aim. Whether you enjoy futuristic firefights or prefer the boots on the ground approach, Call of Duty has delivered numerous experiences over the years.

From the brutal battlefields of WWII to present-day conflicts, the series has continually visited and revisited numerous theatres of war with each new entry. 

With the next title on the horizon, let’s run through everything we know about CoD 2021. 

CoD 2021 release date

Black Ops Cold War screenshot
Activision / Treyarch
Black Ops Cold War is the latest title to be released.

As of writing, we don’t have an official release date set for Call of Duty 2021. However, that hasn’t stopped us from making an educated guess. By following similar CoD release title trends, it’s fair to speculate that the game will release in early to mid-November. 

After all, the previous Call of Duty games all had November releases. Here’s a brief timeline of previous CoD release dates: 

  • Call of Duty 3: November 7, 2006
  • Modern Warfare: November 7, 2007
  • World at War: November 11, 2008
  • Modern Warfare 2: November 10, 2009
  • Black Ops: November 9, 2010
  • Modern Warfare 3: November 8, 2011
  • Black Ops II: November 13, 2012
  • Ghosts: November 5, 2013
  • Advanced Warfare: November 4, 2014
  • Black Ops III: November 6, 2015
  • Infinite Warfare: November 4, 2016
  • WWII: November 3, 2017
  • Black Ops 4: October 12, 2018
  • Black Ops Cold War: November 13, 2020

While Infinity Ward changed things up with the release of Modern Warfare on October 25, 2019, it is more than likely that CoD 2021 will keep to the usual November schedule. 

Call of Duty 2021 developer

Call of Duty WWII screenshot
Activision / Sledgehammer Games
Sledgehammer’s last release was Call of Duty WWII.

So, now that we have an idea of when Call of Duty 2021 could release, who exactly is in charge of developing it? Well, if we take a look at the development cycle of the franchise, we might just get a few clues. 

Firstly, the three main studios developing the core Call of Duty games are Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games. Raven Software could be given the reigns, but this is unlikely, especially given they mainly focus on assisting each studio. 

The last four CoD games were developed by the following studios: 

  • Black Ops 4: Treyarch (2018)
  • Modern Warfare: Infinity Ward (2019)
  • Warzone: Infinity Ward / Raven Software (2020)
  • Black Ops Cold War: Treyarch / Raven Software (2020)

Judging from the timeline above, the most obvious candidate for Call of Duty 2021 is Sledgehammer Games. The developers behind CoD WWII have been missing from action since 2017, which would indicate that they have been busy working on the next big release. 

Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software were tasked with releasing the next CoD game in 2020, but disagreements between the two arose, leading Treyarch to take the lead role. Sledgehammer’s title was then developed into Black Ops Cold War.

Quite how much of the project was reworked into Cold War remains to be seen, but it does seem likely that Sledgehammer Games would use this time to begin working on another title. If this wasn’t evident enough, last year, Sledgehammer reportedly hired 150 new staff and stated that they were actively working on multiple projects

Combine this with the fact that Infinity Ward has only just wrapped up development on Modern Warfare and Treyarch is still busy working on content for Black Ops Cold War – and you have a pretty strong case. 

Call of Duty 2021 rumors

Advanced Warfare screenshot
Activision / Sledgehammer Games
Could a prequel to Advanced Warfare be in the works?

There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Call of Duty 2021, with many fans speculating that the Sledgehammer could be making another entry in the Advanced Warfare series. However, renowned Call of Duty leaker, Tom Henderson believes that if that is the case, the game will be a prequel. 

“Warzone is going to have a Sledgehammer Games integration,” says Henderson. The whole purpose of Warzone is to convert free-to-play players into paid players by purchasing whichever title is integrated at the time. I just can’t see an EM1 laser rifle being in Warzone, it just doesn’t make sense to me.”

This would be a jarring experience, particularly given Warzone’s arsenal currently utilizes real-world weaponry. Having highly futuristic guns could also upset the current balance of the game as well, an area Activision is constantly aiming to control. 

“Maybe we could see a Call of Duty WWII title, possibly like WWII but maybe a prequel or sequel. It would make a lot more sense for the weapons to be integrated into Warzone. It could be a modern or even a future title, but not set too far into the future where it wouldn’t make sense for the Warzone integration.”

While Henderson’s leaks have been correct in the past, these are just rumors and should be treated lightly. 

Call of Duty 2021 leaks

As for Call of Duty 2021 leaks, there has been no footage, screenshots, or box art showcasing the new title. Of course, you can expect to see the usual photoshopped images, blurry box art, fake emails, and rickrolls that come with every new Call of Duty release. 

Once we have any credible information, we’ll update this section further. 

Make sure you bookmark this feature and check out our Call of Duty hub for all the latest CoD 2021 news.