In the long and storied history of Call of Duty esports, there is perhaps no team as legendary as the ‘OpTic Dynasty,’ a team packed full of some of the greatest talents the franchise has ever seen who went on an incredible run of victories, backed by the organization’s rabid Green Wall fanbase. It all could have been so different though, as the core of the lineup almost signed for Team Envy before eventually joining OpTic.
The team originally formed in the middle of the Advanced Warfare season, with Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow replacing the retiring Matt ‘Nadeshot’ Haag to take his place alongside Seth ‘Scump’ Abner, Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper, and Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter. These four men went on to dominate the scene, culminating in the organization’s only CoD Championship victory, and cementing their place as one of the greatest teams of all time.
History could have been very different though, as FormaL and Crimsix were set to play for OpTic’s long-time rivals Envy, which could have led to a dramatic change in the Call of Duty landscape and a huge power switch in the scene.
Crimsix was known as one of, if not the best player in the world at the time, and with him being the top free agent going into ‘Rostermania’ he had the pick of the litter. FormaL was his first choice.
During ESWC 2014, rumors were spreading to say Jordan ‘JKap’ Kaplan and Anthony ‘NAMELESS’ Wheeler were replaced for the next season by Crim and Karma, leading to a huge social media dispute mid-tournament. Owner Mike “Hastr0” Rufail announced he would be loyal to his longstanding team members and FormaL would be the one leaving the team.
Eventually, Piper, Porter, and Barlow would find their way to OpTic Gaming as well to join Scump and this is what would spark a fabled run that would be remembered forever.
Update (December 2 – 6:00 PM PT): Nadeshot has since followed up on his Skill-Based Matchmaking rant, addressing how it’s easy to lose your temper while grinding for specific weapon camo challenges.
“SBMM is a topic of discussion that has a lot of nuances,” he said in a December 2 follow-up tweet. “What I really want to clarify once and for all… I don’t have a fear of playing players as good as me. I don’t disagree with the idea of playing against players as good as me. All I’m asking for is that people see the level of skill I’m playing at.”
Obviously, a ranked playlist of sorts has been requested to no end in the community. While the feature has been subtly confirmed, it’s still yet to enter the game. Therefore, the only form of matchmaking is standard public games, which happen to have SBMM cranked all the way up.
“If I’m going up against six starting players in the Call of Duty League, I want a rank to reflect that. I understand why SBMM is a necessity, I just don’t agree with the way it’s presented. Right now it’s ambiguous, you never really know who you’re up against and the level of skill they’re at.”
The original story is as follows.
Skill-based matchmaking has been a major complaint from top Call of Duty players for years now, and 100 Thieves CEO and former pro player Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag has finally snapped, going on a rant against SBMM in the new Black Ops Cold War.
Nadeshot has never made it a secret that he, alongside a huge number of Call of Duty players, is anti-SBMM.
Though the sentiment makes sense — pit players of equal skill against one another — in practice, many players aren’t happy with it and want to see it removed or at least tuned down.
Nadeshot clearly falls into that category, and let his opinion be known during a December 1 stream while playing on the latest edition of Nuketown, Nuketown ‘84.
Black Ops Cold War has been welcomed with mixed reviews, but SBMM has been a major sticking point.
As you can tell immediately from the scoreline alone and the carnage unfolding around him, the match is an intense one, and he wasn’t impressed.
He said: “It’s time to lower the skill-based matchmaking. This is not fun. I know we want the kids that have never played Call of Duty to be in a safe space, but please stop alienating the people that have been playing your game for over a decade.”
That wasn’t all, though, as Haag continued to complain as he struggled to make much of an impact on the game. “This is not an enjoyable experience,” he said. “Especially trying to get the challenges done on these weapons… Everyone’s got a scorestreak because it’s participation and not skill.”
Both the SBMM and scorestreak complaints have been popular ones for Black Ops Cold War players, and the sentiment seems to be echoed from the top down.
Whether Activision or Treyarch make changes to either issue remains to be seen, but we might not see Nadeshot streaming Black Ops Cold War for too much longer at this rate.