Toronto Ultra’s Hicksy nearly returned to Europe before winning CDL Major 3

Toronto Ultra lifting the CDL Major 3 trophy.Call of Duty League

In an exclusive interview with Dexerto, Charlie’ Hicksy’ Hicks revealed why he almost returned to Europe after spending a year and a half on Toronto Ultra as a substitute.

Toronto Ultra didn’t drop a single series at CDL Major 3, securing the organization’s first major since 2021. Community members touted the team from up north as a favorite heading into Modern Warfare 2. However, a top-four finish at Major 1 and a top-six finish at Major 2 didn’t satisfy an organization hungry for titles.

The Ultra shocked competitive CoD fans by calling up Hicksy to the CDL starting lineup instead of Standy after the first match of Major 3 Qualifiers. Ultra went 3-1 with the revamped roster, locking up the third seed heading to Arlington.

Article continues after ad

You know the rest: Toronto took down New York, Boston, Atlanta, and the home crowd Texas team to win Major 3. Ultra silenced the Arlington crowd and everyone who doubted Hicksy’s ability.

The long journey from Challengers to CDL

Hicksky playing for Toronto Ultra AcademyHicksy played under Toronto Ultra Academy during CoD Vanguard.

Hicksy started his career in the European Challengers scene while also completing college.

“So obviously, I started in Europe four years ago during Modern Warfare 2019. It went okay, and then Cold War things really kickstarted.”

“I was doing uni at the same time; I finished school and joined Toronto Ultra in the same month, so that was crazy.”

Under Toronto Ultra in 2021, Hicksy earned the fifth most Challengers points, putting his name on the map for CoD Vanguard. In 2022 Ultra created an academy team, which jumpstarted several CDL careers.

Article continues after ad

Scrappy, Vikul, Scrappy, and MohaK won three Challengers events together and placed second in three others. Assault joined at the end of CoD Vanguard and helped add another trophy to the academy’s cabinet. Entering the 2023 season, Vikul joined Florida, Assault worked his way onto LAG, and Scrappy got called up to Toronto’s CDL team.

“In Challengers, you are in the pit 10 or 12 hours daily,” Hicksy explained. “It’s horrible when you are playing non-stop back-to-back.”

“Last year with Scrap, we did really well and won most things. I didn’t get the chance at the start of the year, but I knew if I stuck around, maybe I would get the chance.”

Article continues after ad

Reaching a crossroads in Hicksy’s professional CoD career

After watching three former teammates get a chance on pro rosters, Hicksy questioned if he would ever get a shot.

“I was close to going home this year because I just didn’t think I would have a chance and go home and play again in EU and try to win and then get on a different team.”

Right around the time he contemplated returning to Europe, Hicksy finally received a long-awaited call-up to the CDL roster, and he couldn’t believe it.

“I thought Ryan, the coach, was joking because he is such a troll. He just came up to me after one of the matches and said you are playing and I took it as a troll. It was surreal at the moment.”

Article continues after ad

Hicksy slotted in seamlessly on Toronto, already familiar with all three players.

“Jamie and Toby, I played against them in Modern Warfare 2019. They were annoying to play, and then I played with Scrap for all of Vanguard, so I knew all three of them coming in, so it was quite easy fitting in, and I get along with them all.”

Hicksy shines on the biggest stage

At CDL Major 3, It was Hicksy’s turn to shine, and he made the most of his opportunity. The rising star became the second player in CDL history to win their first pro LAN event since Scump at MLG Dallas in 2011.

Article continues after ad

In the Grand Finals against OpTic Gaming, Hicksy finished with a 1.10 KD, going 26-18 in the opening Hardpoint and 10-5 in the second SnD game.

Hicksy did all of the dirty work for Toronto, allowing Scrappy and CleanX to run and gun to their heart’s content. Scrappy dropped an astounding 134 kills in the six-map series against OpTic, and CleanX had 121.

The versatile SMG player doesn’t necessarily light scoreboards on fire, but his calm, cool, and collected demeanor consistently puts his teammates in a position to succeed.

CoD caster IHOLDSHIFT provided a fun nugget, staying, Hicksy and Scrappy have never missed a grand final as a duo, placing top two in four Challengers tournaments.

Article continues after ad

While the CDL features plenty of talent capable of huge kill performances, Hicksy buys into his role as a support player.

“Every team I have been on since Cold War, it’s the same thing. I try to make other people better. I know my role; I’m not going to do anything crazy like try and take over a map and mess up other people. I know my role. I try to play the game correctly, make everything easier for everyone else, and hopefully win.”

Hicksy believes he should have gotten this chance earlier but still credits Challengers for making him stronger.

Article continues after ad

“I could have gone without spending so much time there, but it makes you much more resilient as a player because there are so many ups and downs.”

Scrappy and Hicksy will look to extend that Grand Finals streak as a duo when Major 4 Qualifiers begin on March 31.