2021 certainly hasn’t been the easiest stretch for OpTic Chicago in the Call of Duty League and following another difficult loss in the Stage 4 Major, Seth ‘Scump’ Abner has opened up on his “rough” mental state.
As fan favorites in the CDL, expectations are always high when it comes to OpTic. Despite years of helping establish competitive CoD as one of the most successful teams, 2021 has arguably been the Green Wall’s toughest outing yet.
From the very beginning of the Cold War cycle, OpTic has been dealing with ample criticism. Difficult losses piled up over the first three Stages, with back-to-back Top 4 finishes rounded out by their worst placement yet in Stage 3. But with the return of LAN at the latest Major, many believed the narrative was about to change.
OpTic’s first offline event in 471 days ultimately ended with yet another Top 4 finish at the hands of Dallas Empire.
After this difficult loss, Scump took to Twitter and revealed how the past few months of trials and tribulations have been impacting his mental health.
Dominance in their hometown from @DallasEmpire!
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) June 20, 2021
“Sad,” the ‘King’ of CoD said bluntly in his June 21 post. Moments after the Stage 4 Major came to a close, Scump revealed that he’s been struggling with this low feeling for “months and months.”
“I want to win so badly,” he explained. “I gave up personal content to try and improve, just to get the same result. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”
Even with an impressive lower-bracket showing at the LAN return, pulling out back-to-back wins against Seattle and Minnesota, OpTic couldn’t get past their rivals on Championship Sunday. Empire handed them a 1-3 loss, sending them back to the drawing board ahead of the fifth and final Stage.
After falling to another Top 4 finish, Scump admitted he feels “really lost. I never talk about my mental health, but damn it’s been rough recently.”
“Tired of being a meme and a punching bag for people,” he soon followed up in response to fellow CoD veteran James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks.
He admitted in the reply that he’s been attempting to disconnect from social media but it still finds a way to get to him. “Hours and hours of work to get clowned sucks the life from me.”
“Esports is just so different in the form that players actively interact,” he added. Having competed now for the better part of a decade, Scump has seen the highest highs and lowest lows with a public spotlight following his every move. Along the way, criticism across social media “takes its toll.”
“Mental health is very important, and communities wither down people,” the CDL star stressed. “Hoping it will change, but it won’t.”
Scump’s last taste of success came 13 months ago when the Chicago Huntsmen finished first in Week 8 of the inaugural CDL season. Undoubtedly one of the longest stretches without a trophy in his entire esports career.
Now fifth in the overall standings, OpTic Chicago has just one Stage left to right their wrongs ahead of Champs, which will likely be held in mid-August.
If you’re experiencing negative thoughts, or know anyone that is, and would like to talk to someone, please reach out and call the Mental Health America hotline 1-800-273-8255 (USA), the Samaritans 116-123 (UK), or Beyond Blue 1300-22-4636 (AUS).