The London Royal Ravens have rolled the dice with their new CDL signing, Chris ‘Parasite’ Duarte, but the pressure is on the World Champion veteran to make an instant impact if his professional Call of Duty career is to be revived.
Considered to be one of the more outspoken and controversial figures in the competitive Call of Duty scene, Haggy, as he’s affectionately called, has had a long and turbulent career that’s seen him represent over 40 teams and organizations.
And while your opinion of him can be what it may, there’s no denying that he has achieved plenty of great things over the past decade, most prestigious of all being the 2013 World Championship with Fariko Impact.
But fast-forward to today and the 26-year-old is far from the prominent force he was back in the early-to-mid-2010s. Once a star, Parasite found himself out of the pro scene for much of the past several years, until signing with the London Royal Ravens on February 9.
London’s Royal gamble on Parasite
Even with it being out of necessity, the Royal Ravens’ decision to bring Parasite on board is an interesting one. They had other options to choose from but ultimately decided to go with someone who, frankly, is a bit of a wild card both in and out of the game.
Yes, Duarte is a World Champion with lots of experience, but since leaving Complexity back in March of 2016, he’s had just five months of officially being a “pro” over the past four years.
But it’s not his skill that’s been under question as much as his personality and public image – which has been a controversial one over the years. While some in the CoD community have enjoyed his way of doing things, the pro scene has been a lot less forgiving.
Inflammatory tweets about other pros, relentless trash-talk at events, and heated confrontations with teammates on stream have all played their part in Haggy having to bounce around from team to team for most of his career.
After he couldn’t land on a CDL team, Parasite led a belligerent campaign complaining about it on Twitter, criticizing how the pro rosters were being constructed and accusing players of preferring their own friends over more talented options.
This didn’t do much to alter the negative perception that fans and his own peers held; what also didn’t help was him getting dropped from one of his Challengers teams last year after it shockingly became public that he had messaged a teammate’s girlfriend in the middle of a tournament.
The Royal Ravens knew all of this before they signed him and were aware of the kind of attention he might bring to their team, so now only time will tell whether or not their gamble will pay off.
Watch now: The Parasite Documentary
Is this Parasite’s last chance in the CDL?
Parasite won’t have too much time to make an impact with the Royal Ravens, who signed him to a two-week contract as a fill-in for Trei ‘Zer0’ Morris, who’s facing issues getting to the United States due to the current traveling restrictions.
Not many of the highest-tier amateur players would be willing to take such a deal, considering that it would separate them from their own Challengers teams without any guarantee that they’ll have a spot after the two weeks.
Duarte will have only the first two events of the season to showcase his talents to the rest of the league, to prove that he still has what it takes to contribute to a winning effort while also not being the nuisance that some have claimed him to be in the past.
If he is able to play well and help the Royal Ravens succeed without being involved in any controversies, then perhaps there is a future for him in the pro ranks after all. There are still three teams (ROKKR, Legion, Surge) that haven’t signed a substitute yet, so he could be an option if those franchises are impressed with what they see.
Furthermore, if Zer0 isn’t able to travel to the States anytime soon, London could opt to keep Haggy on board for a longer spell – and who knows what might happen then. Not to mention, not every starter’s job is secure, so if there are any roster shuffles in the near future, his name could pop up as a potential replacement.
However, all that changes if he fails to produce the goods and isn’t successful, or perhaps controversy rears its ugly head at him again, as that very well could be the final nail in the coffin of his professional career.
CDL franchises had all avoided Parasite prior to just now, for one reason or another, so not only does he have to meet expectations over the next two weeks, but also surpass them. If he gives others even one more reason not to look his way when recruiting players, then it’s hard to imagine how or why any CDL team would want him at that point, judging by how they’ve regarded him in the past.
It’s hard enough having to outshine established competitors and ambitious up-and-comers, but when you have to battle your own reputation, that’s when achieving success becomes an even more uphill battle.
After years of struggling to make it back to the pinnacle of CoD esports, this is a golden opportunity to make a name for himself again, not as an exciting new prospect but as a wily veteran who has rediscovered his groove while also shedding the dead weight of past issues. The chance is there, now Parasite has to just make the most of it.