Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag is arguably one of the biggest faces in Call of Duty history, being the former captain of OpTic Gaming in both the 2014 CoD: Ghosts and the 2014–2015 Advanced Warfare seasons.
When people debate who their favorite CoD player is, there is one name that crops up a lot – but not for the reasons you might expect. Nadeshot’s rise to fame saw him embroiled in criticism from fans who didn’t believe his performance matched up to his gameplay ability.
In 2012 to 2013, he was established as one of the biggest names in the scene during the Black Ops 2 season, and hit a level of popularity that no other pro player had ever reached. This allowed him to make his way back onto the main OpTic roster after he was replaced.
Replacing Raymond ‘Rambo’ Lussier put pressure on the CoD star to perform well, as stepping into someone else’s shoes – especially someone with a track record of success – is no easy feat for anyone.
His move brought more sponsorship opportunities, as well as more scrutiny from people who argued that he didn’t “deserve” to be fast-tracked into the top team in the esport at the time. Playing the objective support role, for which he made his name, certainly didn’t help that.
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In Hardpoint, playing the objective well could rack up crucial extra points, and delay the opposing team’s progress in such a way that wouldn’t be obvious on the scoreboard, but could be key to winning the match. Search and Destroy was where Nade was at his best, and was known to outplay foes touted as being more talented than he was.
Tired of criticism based around his role on the roster, Nadeshot made the decision to step down in 2015, stating that he no longer wanted to be the punching bag for negativity whenever his team lost.
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He went on to form esports organization 100 Thieves, using his popularity from his pro days to grow the org into one of the most popular to date, starting off at the Call of Duty World League during Black Ops 3 season, and expanding into games such as CS:GO and League of Legends.