Octane reveals Seattle Surge spent $100K on a CDL team intro they couldn’t even use

Brad Norton
Octane playing for Seattle Surge

Now retired from competitive Call of Duty, Octane has spilled the beans on an unfortunate loss of six figures from his original CDL organization, Seattle Surge. It turns out a $100,000 production was ultimately scrapped by the League.

When it comes to brand identity, franchise teams in the CDL have only a few ways of standing out. There’s the obvious visual presentation and voice on social media, but there’s also everything from content and in-game cosmetics to consider as well.

Perhaps one of the more crucial elements today, however, is the custom team introductions. Ahead of every match both online and at LAN events, each team gets to air a brief intro video to spotlight their players and hype up their squad.

Unfortunately for Seattle Surge, in the first year of the League, a jaw-dropping $100,000 production for said team intro was ultimately put to waste, as former starting member Octane has now revealed.

“We filmed an intro for the League, it cost $100,000, and they couldn’t use it,” Octane said bluntly during a recent Twitch stream as the now-retired world champion turned 100 Thieves content creator began to spill the beans.

The hype package in question was for his first team in the CDL, 2019-2020’s Seattle Surge. Out of the gate, the original lineup featured veterans across the board in Apathy, Enable, Karma, Octane, and Slacked.

Together, this newly formed team all traveled to Vancouver, as Octane recalled, with one goal in mind: To film the best CDL intro possible.

“So I go to Vancouver, we have to go film this intro video. One of the directors from one of the seasons of The Walking Dead is doing it. It’s a whole production, a movie production.”

Seattle Surge 2019 lineup
The original Seattle Surge lineup in full.

“The video is us trying to defuse a bomb that is strapped to [Joey “Nubzy” DiGiacomo’s] chest,” he explained. It was down to the players to rescue the then-coach, all entering the big-budget scene with a range of weapons and military equipment in order to save the day.

“We’re in army gear, they had an army ranger come out who works on movie sets and trains actors to make it look authentic. So we had to learn how to hold guns, I’m learning how to hold an M16 to make it look real.

“We go through this entire shoot, keep in mind, $100,000 goes into this shoot. Karma is in it, Joey’s in it, everyone’s in it. It was awesome, to be fair. It looked amazing.”

For Surge, however, the spectacle of the intro video only got them so far. Before fans could ever see it for themselves, League officials intervened and swiftly shelved the production for one key reason: CDL players were seen holding weapons.

“We’re about to get it out, it turned out so well,” Octane continued. “The League comes back… ‘Uhh, you can’t use this because the players are holding guns.’ My organization did not okay the idea of the video with the CDL prior to filming the video. So it got scrapped.”

Perhaps if Surge had flagged the shoot with the League prior, they then could have pivoted and avoided any guns in the hands of CDL players. But in this timeline, that simply wasn’t the case and the finished product never saw the light of day. For now, it remains locked away in a vault with nothing more than a few pics from the shoot to go off.

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About The Author

Brad Norton is the Australian Managing Editor at Dexerto. He graduated from Swinburne University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has been working full-time in the field for the past six years at the likes of Gamurs Group and now Dexerto. He loves all things single-player gaming (with Uncharted a personal favorite) but has a history on the competitive side having previously run Oceanic esports org Mindfreak. You can contact Brad at brad.norton@dexerto.com