OpTic Texas looks set to shake things up once again just weeks after Scump’s retirement and Dashy’s shortlived free agency, as AR superstar iLLeY has announced he’s now a restricted free agent.
Offseason Rostermania has thrown us a curveball once again. Following on from one of the most chaotic stretches in OpTic history, one that saw the King step down from professional play after failed contract negotiations with Seattle Surge in an attempt to acquire Pred, Huke most recently joined the starting squad.
Together alongside Dashy, Shotzzy, and iLLeY, the team finished fourth in its first LAN event at Major 2 just days ago. Despite this performance for just their first proper event as a unit, OpTic appears set to change things around once more ahead of the Major 3 qualifiers.
This time, rather than Dashy being temporarily removed from the lineup again, iLLeY is in focus instead. The Canadian AR announced his restricted free agency on February 8, much to the shock of the CoD community.
“Restricted F/A, bang my line if you want to win,” he said bluntly, revealing the news before OpTic had a chance to make things official on their own social channels. iLLeY also no longer has any mention of OpTic Gaming or OpTic Texas in his Twitter bio.
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Currently, it’s unclear who else might step into his shoes and round out the squad moving into the next period of competition. Given most ARs are locked down into long-term contracts at this stage, options are limited if OpTic isn’t looking to buy someone out from an existing agreement.
As for where iLLeY will land, that also remains a mystery. While he’s an obvious upgrade for some teams in the lower half of the standings, there’s no telling where he may end up. That is to assume he doesn’t end up right back with OpTic.
Earlier this year we saw the Green Wall drop both Dashy and iLLeY before rapidly changing course and bringing them right back in under 24 hours. Perhaps we’re seeing a similar situation now but of course, that’s only speculation.
If this truly is the end of iLLeY’s run with OpTic, it’ll mark the end of a 14-month stretch playing in green and black, and a further two-years under Hastr0’s leadership with Dallas Empire prior to the OpTic merger.