Call of Duty

Rambo returns to CoD esports to join Dallas Empire

by Calum Patterson

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Call of Duty legend Ray 'Rambo' Lussier has returned to the game's esports scene after leaving his development position at Sledgehammer Games, joining CDL team Dallas Empire as a head coach and general manager.

Rambo's legacy in CoD esports is unlike any other, often considered one of the greatest minds in the game, he was fundamental in the esport's development in the early days.

He's best known for his time on OpTic Gaming and Team Envy, and it is the latter he has rejoined, now under their CDL franchise, Dallas Empire.

Rambo playing for Team Envyus.
Dallas Empire
Rambo represented Envy during his playing career, before his retirement in 2014.

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With eight major tournament wins, and a second-place at the 2014 World Championship, netting $200,000, his achievements only really tell half the story.

His understanding of the game on a competitive level helped secure him a job as a designer at Sledgehammer after his retirement from competing, where he helped with map design for 2017's CoD: WWII.

When he left Sledgehammer on February 21, 2020, his next move was initially unclear. On March 3, he was confirmed as the new head coach and general manager for the Dallas Empire, Envy's franchise.

Joining on his 31st birthday, Rambo retold his story of competing, becoming 2009 MLG national champions in CoD 4, all the way to joining SHG.

"My job here as head coach is to make sure the players are prepared as much as possible, they understand everything they're trying to do as a team and accomplish on the maps and various game modes," he explains.

He also aims to teach the younger players on the team, like Inder 'iLLeY' Dhaliwal and Anthony 'Shotzzy' Cuevas-Castro to prepare them for Call of Duty at the highest level.

Rambo Ray with the Dallas Empire team
Dallas Empire
Rambo joins veterans like Clayster and Crimsix at Dallas.

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As for why he chose Empire, his affinity with the Envy brand has always been strong, and Rambo complimented Hastr0's treatment of players and staff, saying he "could not be more happy to be back."

He has a tough task ahead of him with the Empire squad though, who have had a middling start to the 2020 season. They currently sit in 7th place in the standings after four events, with a series record of 3-4.

The talent on the roster is undeniable, but getting them playing as a cohesive unit, especially in a LAN environment, will be Rambo's challenge.