Hail to The King: Scump retirement leaves void in CoD scene

OpTic Scump in front of a wall of his achievements in the pro CoD scene.OpTic Gaming

Seth ‘Scump’ Abner has retired from professional Call of Duty, leaving behind a king’s legacy on the franchise as a whole.

After a dominant 12-year career as a professional, Scump is hanging up the sticks and delivering on his preseason retirement promise earlier than expected.

His final two seasons as a pro were as tumultuous as they come, but his impact on Call of Duty over the course of his time competing may never be matched again.

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From winning his first LAN at MLG Dallas 2011 alongside Aches and TeePee, to claiming a World Championship in 2017, and then surviving three role changes in just a few short weeks in 2022, he’s run the gamut of professional CoD all while delivering content that was (and remains) crucial to the health of the entire operation.

4307 days have passed since he claimed that first trophy and here’s how it all unfolded.

Scump’s legacy as a pro Call of Duty player

By his own admission, Scump wasn’t a great teammate back in 2011. After finding quick success and claiming two championships as a member of Quantic Leverage, the end of the season wasn’t quite as successful as the beginning and his 16-year-old eyes began to wonder.

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Even back then the young star knew that OpTic Gaming was the place to be and he did whatever he could to make sure he ended up there. After the season ended and both Leverage and OpTic had failed to capture the National Championship, the seeds were sown for him to make his move.

It took some time, but early in the Modern Warfare 3 season, LvG and OG eventually settled on a one-for-one swap that went ProoFy to the red brand in exchange for Abner, and the prodigy never looked back.

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Not only did OpTic go on an unbelievable run throughout all of the admittedly limited pro action that year, but the ‘Ginja Ninja’ also took to YouTube for the first time — and if his star wasn’t already bright enough, the resulting success laid the infrastructure for more than a decade of success, not only for the already thriving OpTic brand but for himself and every teammate he picked up along the way.

If MW3 laid the tracks for his ascension, then Black Ops 2 brought the hype-train into the station. While the competitive team (which also featured a young Nadeshot who was already the organization’s golden boy) never found the type of success they were accustomed to, the addition of OpTic’s very first gaming house meant that the game’s brightest personalities would be living under the same roof and the results were electric.

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That portion of Scump’s journey has been well documented through the various OpTic social channels, but it can’t be overstated how much it changed his career and the very pulse of competitive Call of Duty.

While living together, Scump and Nade (as well as BigTymer, H3CZ, and others) cashed in on all of the content they could possibly make. This also coincided with a rise of popularity in livestreaming, and before anyone knew it, the team had found a new way to grow their brand, earn some cash, and even get better at their craft doing it.

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It’s not as if OpTic was getting bullied off the map all season either. They won the very first event of the year, and in true OG fashion, went viral as a result. While it may seem silly from the outside, that evergreen clip of Patrick ‘ACHES’ Price shoving Nadeshot at Game Pazzo in 2012 only helped stoke the fires of the team’s social media reach.

That moment, combined with the iconic ‘who’s the best in the game’ moment after his unbelievable Yemen Hardpoint streak, truly affirmed Scump’s star power, and in some ways, it’s what set him up for the overwhelming success that came down the line.

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From partnering with Oakley in one of the biggest non-endemic moves ever to hearing his name come up on the ultra-popular Pat McAfee show, it’s hard to say if any of that would have ever happened without the work he put in and the eyes he brought to Call of Duty back then.

Of course, he wasn’t even close to done yet. He only put his foot down further and aimed for higher aspirations. Not only did he later reshape OpTic’s competitive future by teaming up with Crimsix, Karma, and Formal as part of the legendary ‘Dynasty’ squad, but he also served as the de facto face of the brand, leveraging his audience to facilitate growth in as many places as possible.

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During that illustrious run, he took part in 25 Grand Finals, reaching ten of them consecutively, and hoisting 18 trophies, including a World Championship in 2017.

As he found even more success as a pro, his content only continued to expand over the years as well. On the day of his retirement, he sits with 2.66 million YouTube subscribers and 2.2 million followers on Twitter.

His reach became so expansive that his retirement became a running joke in the scene in his final years. Pros and fans alike would joke that it’s “back to flipping burgers” for the rest of the CDL, and while it may not be quite that dramatic, there’s no doubt the impact will be severe.

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Eleven years into his professional career and OpTic Texas’ run to championship glory at CDL Major 1 in 2022 was the league’s most-watched event to that point, proving that no matter how old he got, people were still tuning in like it was primetime television whenever ‘The King’ took to the biggest stages.

His influence on Call of Duty doesn’t stop at the pro arena either. Back in 2021, he participated in the first-ever World Series of Warzone’s Solo Yolo tournament and absolutely ripped through the competition in a game that he had barely had time to play thanks to his professional responsibilities.

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Outside of that, his numbers as a content creator are rivaled only by the biggest names in all of gaming despite not having the same amount of time to consistently grow that audience.

Thankfully, Abner isn’t moving on from the series entirely. In his emotional retirement speech, he reassured the world that he’ll still be involved in the CDL goings-on and will actually be more available than ever before.

“I’ll be attending events still, and meeting people, which I obviously couldn’t do as a player,” he announced.

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At the end of the day, that’s really not a surprise from the Greenwall veteran. A quick look at the reactions from his teammates and competitors will reinforce just how deeply connected he is to the entire community.

Pro Call of Duty has always been the house that Scump built brick-by-brick and now he’s getting the chance to sit back and watch others pick up where he left off.