Call of Duty

Dallas Empire drop Clayster ahead of 4v4 CDL switch in 2021 season

Published: 1/Sep/2020 18:19 Updated: 2/Sep/2020 9:22

by Albert Petrosyan


Just days after winning the first-ever Call of Duty League Championship, the Dallas Empire are dropping veteran James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks ahead of the CDL’s switch to a 4v4 format for Black Ops Cold War.

Clayster’s Dallas Empire dominated Atlanta FaZe 5-1 in the CDL Championship Weekend Grand Final on Sunday, August 30, on their way to being crowned champions of the league’s inaugural season.

Just a day later, the CDL announced that the official competitive format would be reverted to 4v4 for the 2021 season and possibly beyond, which meant that one from the Empire’s title-winning roster would have to be demoted.

After reports of Clayster’s demotion began to surface, the three-time World Champion announced that he is, indeed, the odd man out, declaring himself a restricted free agent ahead of the 2021 season.

“Empire decided to move with the other four for next year, and I genuinely hold nothing against the org or the players,” he tweeted. “Only can blame myself for not doing more to secure my spot and the league for making this decision. Pretty heartbroken with how things turned out.”

“Don’t want to blow up Twitter, but man this is heart-wrenching for me,” he continued. “Spent all night sobbing and chain-smoking cigarettes. Feels super sh**ty to give it my all, to accomplish something, obtain that goal, then get put back into the mix like it was all for nothing. Just want security, man.”

Following the announcement, Team Envy and Dallas Empire owner Mark ‘Hastr0’ Rufail made it clear that the decision stemmed solely from the switch to 4v4, and that Clayster would be signed to a long-term deal if that wasn’t the case.


Clayster expressed similar sentiments when speaking in Empire’s post-Champs press conference on September 1, calling the format switch “heartbreaking” for whoever doesn’t make the cut.

“Nobody on this team deserves to be dropped,” he said. “We all worked so hard this year, we all put in equal contributions all year round. It’s going to be heartbreaking for whoever it is. I almost even want to be the one to go, just so them four can play together.”

It’s not clear whether or not he had been told of the decision prior to addressing the media.

What’s next for Clayster?

In order to properly speculate on Clay’s future, we first have to look at what restricted free agency means. In essence, he is free to sign with any organization that offers him a contract, but if the Empire choose to do so, they can match that offer and retain him on their roster as a substitute.

That said, it’s highly unlikely that the organization will do that, not only because they’ve officially announced the roster change, but also because it would go against the player’s best interests if he does indeed get an opportunity to start for another franchise.

For Clayster, this seems to be a case of history repeating itself, as the three-time World Champion found himself in a similar situation following his 2019 triumphs with eUnited.

Franchising went into effect almost immediately after eUnited won CoD Champs in 2019 and their roster was split apart, with the five players going to four different teams for the 2020 season.

Eubanks managed to overcome that challenge with the Empire, assembling a powerful squad that was the last one standing after the 2020 campaign was all said and done, but now he’ll have to do that again if he’s to contend for a third-straight world championship.

Call of Duty

3 tips to help you survive Black Ops Cold War’s new Zombies Cranked mode

Published: 15/Jan/2021 23:40

by Tanner Pierce


With the release of Black Ops Cold War’s mid-season update, Treyarch has added Cranked into the game’s Zombies mode – and it’s pretty different from the standard version, requiring some completely separate strategies. 

While Cranked in Call of Duty games is nothing new, having debuted all the way back in 2013’s Ghosts, what is different is a Zombies version of the mode, which was just added to Black Ops Cold War during the game’s midseason update.

The concept is simple: You’re given a timer, and when that timer reaches 0, you explode and die. With each kill, however, your timer resets, giving you more time to keep on grinding. It’s an incredibly fast-paced mode in normal multiplayer, and the Zombies version is even more hectic – but there are some tips you can utilize to help you survive longer.

Pace out your kills

Pacing out your kills in Cranked is important due to the fact that you only need one kill to reset your timer.

In standard Cranked, players are usually scrambling to get kills. In a 5v5 or 6v6, it makes sense, considering there’s only a limited amount of potential targets, and if you can’t find anyone, you’ll die easily due to the timer running out.

With BOCW Zombies Cranked, the opposite is true. There’s always an abundance of enemies and, while it’s not impossible to run out of targets, generally speaking, they’ll keep on spawning (there’s not even a break in-between rounds).

Because of this, there’s no need to be mowing down Zombies as one does in the normal mode. Instead, if you’re feeling overwhelmed (or if you want to get something done like Pack-A-Punching your weapon), try running away from the enemies for a while to get your bearings.

Remember, all it takes is one kill to reset your timer. If you find it running out, just look behind you at the horde you’ve surely amounted, kill one Zombie, and then move along with your business. Wasting your time mowing down each and every zombie can cost you your game.

With all that being said, don’t think you can run away from the Zombies with no problem; if you get too far away, you’ll find yourself struggling for kills, so it’s best if you stay nearby.

Use fast-reloading weapons and attachments

You’ll want to use weapons that can be reloaded quickly in Cranked.

In normal Zombies, using a LMG is sort of required during late-game conflicts, as it allows you to mow down Zombies with greater power. In Cranked, speed is king, so it might be better to use something smaller like an SMG.

Reloading fast is essential in Cranked, as you can easily become overrun. Even though it does have a lot of power, you don’t want to waste your time on the horrendously slow reload time found on LMGs. If you want an even faster reload time, you could even throw a fast-mag onto your SMG, and get it done even quicker.

In addition, SMGs have the added benefit of allowing you to run faster, meaning you’ll be able to evade Zombies even better than you would before.

Always go for the Timer Freeze power up

Remembering these tips can be the difference between surviving or dying early on.

Treyarch has implemented a brand new power-up that’s exclusive to the Cranked game mode: Timer Freeze. With this, players will be able to stop their countdown timer for around 15 seconds or so, giving them a breather.

While this might seem obvious to point out, you’ll want to go for those as much as possible. Getting one at the start of your game is not too important, but it’s especially critical when you get into the late game.

As the mode goes on, your timer will get shorter and shorter, meaning every break you get becomes more and more important. Having that 15 second breather seems like an eternity once you get it, so missing out on one can hurt you a lot – sometimes costing you your life.

While Cranked is incredibly fast-paced, it’s really not that bad if you know what you’re doing. If you remember these tips, you shouldn’t have as much of a problem.