General Manager of the Florida Mutineers, Tom 'OGRE2' Ryan, discusses his move to Call of Duty esports, selecting their roster, and the inspiration behind the team's name and branding.
As one of the most legendary players in esports, Halo veteran OGRE2 won a staggering 40 tournaments in his decorated career, the most of a single competitor ever. He retired officially in 2016, and moved into coaching and management roles with both Evil Geniuses and Team Reciprocity.
With such a wealth of experience, OGRE2 has moved on from competing to take on the general manager role with the Florida Mutineers – the Misfits-owned franchise in the 2020 Call of Duty League.
The organization hasn't yet revealed their roster, with the league not set to start until January 24, but fans are anticipating another star-studded lineup to represent Florida.
We asked OGRE2 about his decision to join a CoD franchise, using his experience as an FPS pro, and how they've decided upon their starting lineup.
Dexerto: The name 'Mutineers' is not something many people would have immediately associated with Florida - what does it represent for you guys?
OGRE2: Florida actually has a long history with sea trade from colonial times, and there’s even an annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa that’s been happening since 1904. Floridians are proud of this history and part of the name Mutineers is about highlighting it to the world.
Our take on being the Mutineers involves a Mutineers Code that we came up with to help explain what we’re all about.
I. We are loyal to our crew. All for one and one for all.
II. We are relentless in the pursuit of victory.
III. Mediocrity is a term best saved for our competitors.
IV. Throw shoulders or get thrown overboard
We’re also running a contest right now for our community where fans can suggest the fifth and final rule in the Mutineers Code. We’re getting some great suggestions and we’re excited to have the community involved in this early stage of the team.
Dexerto: The logo represents a Kraken - a hidden monster lurking beneath the waves - could this be a good metaphor for your roster? A team that some may overlook at first (given some of the star-studded lineups we've already seen), but will emerge to surprise the competition?
OGRE2: The Kraken in our logo expresses the danger and mystery of life at sea as well as a spirit of adventure. We won’t announce our roster until November, but I will say that I think it’s a very strong roster with a lot of potential. Other teams can expect us to be competitive from the start of the season, although we’ll certainly have some surprises in store for them and our fans.
Dexerto: There's been a history of crossover between Halo players and Call of Duty players – FormaL, Crimsix and Enable are 3 of the biggest names in the game. We now have Shotzzy, Frosty and maybe more coming too, do you think these newcomers to CoD from Halo can have the same impact?
OGRE2: Definitely. Shotzzy and Frosty are two of the most talented console gamers we’ve seen in the last 10 years. They’re both still young and hungry, and will thrive in Call of Duty if they put in the effort.
Dexerto: We've seen a mix of experienced veterans and young stars join teams already - what was your decision making like for choosing the makeup of your roster? How do you ensure a balance of experience alongside upcoming talent?
OGRE2: From my experience, a good mix of young talent with experienced players is always a great idea. We were shooting for something similar to this and I’m happy with the talent on our roster.
Dexerto: For you personally, as a legend in Halo and esports generally, what was the attraction of moving into your new role with a Call of Duty franchise?
OGRE2: The moves being made with the new league and Call of Duty esports in general are all very exciting. Joining in on such a healthy and thriving esports scene was a big attraction to me.
Dexerto: How do you think your experience as a competitor, and winning competitor at that, will help you and the franchise - especially compared to GM's without that kind of experience?
OGRE2: I have unmatched experience in forming top rosters, including spotting young talent with great potential. I think a big part of it is also the respect that the players show towards me because of my experience. My personal relationships with the players is certainly different compared to other GMs who don’t have my experience as a pro player. That means we’ll take a different path as a team, which is a big part of what the Mutineers are about -- being proud of doing things our own way.
Please welcome @TomRyanOGRE2 as the General Manager of our Florida Call of Duty Franchise! Looking forward to building out our squad with you.
More info :point_right: https://t.co/x90D11abis pic.twitter.com/HPOXagAEAn
— Florida Mutineers (@Mutineers) August 26, 2019
Dexerto: Misfits already have experience with the franchised league model in the Overwatch League with the Florida Mayhem, have there been any lessons learned that are being implemented for the CoD team now?
OGRE2: While there’s a lot going on behind the scenes at Misfits for the Call of Duty League, my focus right now is on the roster and getting settled in my new home in Florida. I’m strictly here for the Mutineers!
Dexerto: Call of Duty has a long history of recognized brands, many of which are now gone - but the fans are still there. What's the plan for attracting fans, outside of winning in-game?
OGRE2: We have one of the best esports organizations behind us in Misfits Gaming, including an amazing content/media team. We’re starting with getting established in the Florida esports scene, and will look to conquering the world shortly after that :).
The Mutineers, and all the other Call of Duty League teams, will be in action for the first time starting January 24, when the inaugural season begins in Minnesota.