After OpTic Texas announced the signing of Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland for the upcoming Major 2 qualifiers and beyond, star player Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro detailed what exactly happened during the wild few weeks for the Call of Duty League team.
On Sunday, January 8, OpTic announced the signing of Huke, who had recently been let go by the LA Guerrillas.
Huke wasn’t their first target, however — they initially wanted to bring Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson in, before switching their sights to Amer ‘Pred’ Zulbeari, though Seattle Surge turned down what was reported to be the biggest deal in CDL history to hold on to the Australian star.
Several hours after the announcement, Shotzzy went live on Twitch to discuss everything that happened, including what went wrong with their planned deals and some of the other players they were looking at.
He discusses some of it in his YouTube video above, but there were more details throughout the stream. Here are some of the key points.
Pred and Arcitys — What really happened?
At first, OpTic wanted Arcitys to replace Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell, Huke confirmed. He insisted, though, that when the ‘OpTic Pred’ rumors first started, that wasn’t even a name that was in consideration or had been discussed.
Arcitys fell through due to his fresh 3-year contract with Guerrillas, and negotiations with Pred went straight through to the 11th hour, but ultimately collapsed as Seattle wanted to keep hold of their star player — ending the saga and what almost became the biggest deal in CoD history.
Beef with Dashy?
After being dropped twice in the last few months — once now and once in the off-season, before coming back — many fans believed there would be bad blood between the two players, or Dashy and the wider team.
Shotzzy said that this wasn’t actually the case at all and, although they haven’t spoken since, there’s no beef between the two. He said Dashy was not a bad teammate but that the team itself simply wasn’t working, mainly due to pacing issues.
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Which other players were discussed?
Shotzzy confirmed that Arcitys, Pred, and Huke were the only players OpTic had any contact with, but they weren’t the only names discussed.
Former OpTic stalwarts Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow and Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper were mentioned, though there were concerns over Karma’s distance from the scene following his retirement.
He added that they had a list of players they had in consideration, including James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks, but that rumors linking Boston Breach sub Ben ‘Beans’ McMellon to the team were unsubstantiated — in fact, he didn’t even know who the Challengers star was.
First scrims with OpTic Huke
Shotzzy said that he and Huke were “flying” on the map in scrims, with their pacing much tighter than when he was an SMG duo with Seth ‘Scump’ Abner.
He added that Huke jumped at the chance to join them, and was evidently excited to get to work with him. They also won the majority of their scrim maps, though he didn’t reveal which team they had scrimmed.
While the rumor mill was working overtime between Major 1 and Major 2, Shotzzy is clearly happy with the end result.
OpTic have got a difficult run of fixtures in qualifiers before the Major 2 LAN in Boston, but they will be hoping to hit their stride fast, and every CoD fan knows the power of a honeymoon phase in the esport.