Seattle Surge announce Karma replacement following CDL retirement - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Seattle Surge announce Karma replacement following CDL retirement

Published: 4/Jun/2020 20:31 Updated: 4/Jun/2020 20:54

by Albert Petrosyan


The Seattle Surge Call of Duty League franchise has announced that veteran competitor Nicholas ‘Proto’ Maldonado will be taking the place of Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow, who announced his shock retirement on June 3.

The competitive Call of Duty community is still reeling from the stunning news that one of the greatest players of all time, Karma, has officially retired. However, business must go on for the Seattle Surge, who have already assigned a replacement.


Proto, one of the team’s two substitutes, will be slotting into the starting lineup for the rest of the 2020 season, starting from the Minnesota Home Series on June 12-14.

“I would like to welcome Proto to the starting lineup,” tweeted coach Joey ‘Nubzy’ DiGiacomo. “He’s someone that I have worked with at the beginning of my coaching career, and I’m excited to work with him again throughout the rest of this season. Thank you all for the continued support.”



  • Sam ‘Octane‘ Larew
  • Bryan ‘Apathy‘ Zhelyazkov
  • Josiah ‘Slacked‘ Berry
  • Casey ‘Pandur‘ Romano
  • Nicholas ‘Proto‘ Maldonado

Proto - Twitter

Of course, the Surge did have the option of going with Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt, who was benched midway through the season, temporarily brought back, and demoted again midway through the recent CDL Seattle Home Series.

However, according to Joey, the team is “not in a position” to bring him back to the starting lineup, which is why they’ve opted to go with the only other player they had left on the bench.


“Ian has been incredibly professional and understanding of [what] our team asks of him throughout this season,” the coach said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we are not in a position to have him join the starting lineup in the interim.”


While he hasn’t won a major championship yet in Call of Duty, Proto has been around the competitive scene for several years now, featuring for organizations like Elevate, UYU, and Enigma6 Group.

Arguably biggest success so far came at the 2018 CWL Championship, where he and his Elevate team finished 7-8th after just edging out the vaunted OpTic Gaming for a spot in bracket play.


He was announced, alongside Pandur, as the Surge’s two required substitutes prior to the 2020 CDL season, and he’s been on the bench since then. His first taste of CoD League action will be at the upcoming Minnesota Home Series, which was supposed to take place June 5-7 but was delayed by a week.

Call of Duty

NICKMERCS & Swagg explain why they’re not playing Black Ops Cold War

Published: 18/Oct/2020 1:12 Updated: 18/Oct/2020 1:14

by Theo Salaun


Popular Twitch streamers NICKMERCS and Swagg have explained why they just can’t bring themselves to play or stream the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta over Warzone. 

With the immense popularity of Warzone, Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 has become one of the most successful titles in the franchise’s history.


It’s still a divisive game though, thanks to mechanics like weapon mounting and doors, so its multiplayer accompaniment has polarized the gargantuan fanbase.

As such, the launches of Treyarch and Raven Software’s Black Ops Cold War beta weekends have merited a ton of community hype. But, in what seems to be the norm for Call of Duty titles, the game’s players are once again divided over the upcoming iteration as well.


While a variety of Call of Duty League professionals and competitive fans have upheld the beta’s superiority, BOCW hasn’t quite made the same impression on streamers. On the negative side of the spectrum, NICKMERCS and Swagg both expressed how mediocre they find the new title and why they can’t be bothered to stream, let alone play it. 

In a duos stream, the two legendary Warzone streamers broke down Black Ops Cold War and why they refuse to partake in its testing phase. After Nick asks Swagg if he’s playing it, the latter’s response is concise: “First of all, it’s just simply chalked.”

When Swagg tries to continue on to give the political, compromising answer about how they, as streamers, consider the game from their point of view, NICKMERCS cuts him off to lay down his perspective: “F**k a POV, that game is below-average and you know it. That’s the bottom line. If it wasn’t below-average, you and me would be on it right now.”


Other Warzone streamers, like Aydan, have detailed why they think BOCW is mediocre and how it can be improved. But NICKMERCS and Swagg’s consensus doesn’t even allow room for that, they simply think the game is not worth playing at this point in time. 

Nick gave a direct comparison between BOCW and earlier Treyarch titles, and the fall in quality between them. “I remember when the Black Ops III beta came out … I couldn’t get off that f**king thing, man,” he said.

NICKMERCS and Swagg aren’t the only ones not feeling it either. Other streamers like Cloakzy continue to play Warzone instead of the beta, which the two streamers pointed out.


There’s room for Treyarch to make improvements to Black Ops Cold War. After all, it’s only in beta. However, NICKMERCS said he’s not going to hold back from criticizing something he doesn’t enjoy.

“I keep it real … If I don’t like something, I’m not gonna like it. That’s it. A lot of motherf**kers be acting in this scene, they just act. Bunch of little f**king actors. I’m not acting.”