OpTic Gaming Announce Their New Pro Fortnite Team Ahead of $100M Esports Season - Dexerto
Esports

OpTic Gaming Announce Their New Pro Fortnite Team Ahead of $100M Esports Season

Published: 8/Jun/2018 1:54 Updated: 26/Jul/2018 12:04

by Albert Petrosyan

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North American esports organization OpTic Gaming have unveiled their brand new professional roster for Fortnite: Battle Royale

Their new team will include some of the most promising and up-and-coming Fortnite talent in the competitive scene, featuring Kenneth ‘BaldyKun’ Anderson, Robert ‘WizKay’ Simone, Marco ‘MarkyWay’ Soto, and Dade ‘Dramas’ Lesch.

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The team had previously been part of The Gosu Crew but a deal was reached for the team’s contract.

The official announcement came late on June 7th via a post on the OpTic Gaming Twitter page, which included a video that introduces the four new players along with highlights of their Fortnite gameplay.

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According to the announcement, each of the four new players have roots in competitive Call of Duty, progressing far to get to where they are now.

None of the four players started with Battle Royales, of course, much less Fortnite. But they do have a common origin as Call of Duty players – some starting out as late at Call of Duty 4. Dade Lesch, however, has touched the entire lineup, all the way back to the first iteration of the franchise. For many of them, Call of Duty and MLG Gamebattles was where they first cut their teeth in competitive play – and H1Z1 the point in which their paths fatefully intersected.

Three of the four of them were a long-established competitive force in H1Z1’s Battle Royale community – the triple-threat of WizKay, MarkyWap, and Dramas. All four of them boast, at barest minimum, 400 hours in the game, with Lesch claiming to have sunk over 4,000 into it himself. 

Despite their collective interest in Call of Duty, WizKay explained what exactly it was about the Battle Royale genre that drew him and his teammates in.

“When I started playing video games, it was strictly Call of Duty Search & Destroy, a little bit of Halo and Gears on the side, but that was it. It was team versus team, S&D style games, so when I got to H1Z1, it was just something I’d never played. It’s REALLY satisfying to win a game. In CoD, you win a game, four people win, and there’s only eight people in the lobby. In Fortnite, you win a game, one to four people win, and there’s a hundred people. That feeling just kind of pulled me in.”

Without a doubt, the four players have definitely worked hard to reach this successful point in their careers. 

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In fact, although there have not been any official Fortnite competitions for them to win as a group, the duo of Baldy and Dramas recently competed in and easily won the first ever KEEMSTAR ‘Saturday Fortnite’ $5,000 tournament, a competition built for small streamers and content creators.

It should not come as a surprise that a major esports organization like OpTic Gaming has jumped into competitive Fortnite, especially when considering the recent news that developer Epic Games has pledged $100M to fund the prize pools of the upcoming competitive season.

Despite the popular BR title not currently having an official esports scene, numerous notable organizations have been quickly signing some of the world’s best players in anticipation of what could to be an unprecedented period in the history of professional video gaming.

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The entirety of the OpTic Gaming Fortnite announcement can be read below, or on the official Green Wall website

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By the dancing emotes over their enemies’ fallen piles of loot shall you know them: OpTic Gaming has acquired one of the very best Fortnite teams in the scene. 

The four-gun squad of Kenneth ‘BaldyKun’ Anderson, Robert ‘WizKay’ Simone, Marco ‘MarkyWap’ Soto, and Dade ‘Dramas’ Lesch have already made a splash in the nascent competitive community – multiple splashes, in fact.

“We just kind of took the scene by storm,” recounted Soto. “We hold three of the kill records – solo kill record, duo kill record, squad kill record…” Their practice and scrims can only be described as relentless – when asked the usual interview thing about their personal lives and hobbies, two of the four’d sheepishly admitted that, at least for the last few months, there hasn’t really been one.

Said Simone: “The last four months has been nothing but Fortnite, scrimming, sleeping, and repeating that process.” 

“I love Fortnite, so it’s hard to get me off the game,” said Soto. Though in their now-rare free time, half the team kicks back with basketball games – and groaning at the Cavaliers, in Simone’s case. 

“I’m a massive sports fan for all the teams in Cleveland,” said Simone, who currently resides in the city. “Browns, Indians, Cavs – the Cavs are in the finals right now, so I get together with my friends and that’s what we normally do: we watch the game and yell at the TV like little kids.”

It wasn’t possible to avoid bringing up J. R. Smith’s infamous moment.

“Yeah, see that’s not – that wasn’t a very happy moment for the people I was with. Let’s just say that.”

Progression

None of the four players started with Battle Royales, of course, much less Fortnite. But they do have a common origin as Call of Duty players – some starting out as late at Call of Duty 4. Dade Lesch, however, has touched the entire lineup, all the way back to the first iteration of the franchise. For many of them, Call of Duty and MLG Gamebattles was where they first cut their teeth in competitive play – and H1Z1 the point in which their paths fatefully intersected.

Three of the four of them were a long-established competitive force in H1Z1’s Battle Royale community – the triple-threat of WizKay, MarkyWap, and Dramas. All four of them boast, at barest minimum, 400 hours in the game, with Lesch claiming to have sunk over 4,000 into it himself. 

The transition to Fortnite instead of PUBG, the latter of which arguably shares stronger roots with their original focus on H1Z1, largely fell onto preferences in the respective game’s pacing. “Marky and WizKay liked PUBG, I’d say,” recalled Lesch. “It was just too slow for me, and I didn’t enjoy it at all.”

“PUBG is just a much longer process of landing, looting, and finding people,” explained Simone. “Fortnite, you can land, find a gun in five seconds, and you’re fighting someone 10 seconds after that.”

Robert elaborated more on what drew them into the Battle Royale space in the first place: “When I started playing video games, it was strictly Call of Duty Search & Destroy, a little bit of Halo and Gears on the side, but that was it. It was team versus team, S&D style games, so when I got to H1Z1, it was just something I’d never played. 

“It’s REALLY satisfying to win a game. In CoD, you win a game, four people win, and there’s only eight people in the lobby. In Fortnite, you win a game, one to four people win, and there’s a hundred people. That feeling just kind of pulled me in.”

Dreams to Reality

That combination of experiences, with both competitive Call of Duty and H1Z1, led them to where they are today – and helped sculpt their remarkable set of skills. Notably, most started fairly young. Anderson started with competitive sniping when he was just 11 or 12 with Modern Warfare 2. “I’d just play competitive quickscoping pretty much,” he recalled. “And then I started playing actual competitive Call of Duty, which was like GB. I played GB matches in tournaments, and eventually got pretty good and started playing with better people.” 

And the entire time, the dream of black and green was on their minds. 

“We haven’t told a ton of people; we’ve been trying to keep it a little low,” said Simone. “Anybody that I’m friends with that games obviously knows who OpTic is. They’re obviously really happy ‘cuz a lot of them, like me, come from a CoD background, and OpTic is obviously the org you want to be in no matter what. So when we told people that’s the tea we’re joining they kind of freaked out a little bit.” 

“I’ve just been dreaming of joining OpTic since I was a little kid, ad it’s unreal that I’m finally about to be a part of it,” said Lesch. “And I’m excited for the future.” 

Epic Games has not yet announced their plans to distribute that staggering $100 million prize pool through competitive events – but anticipation is high that announcements will come in the wake of E3.

Call of Duty

CoD streamers slam Warzone star WarsZ for “pathetic” K/D tanking

Published: 8/Oct/2020 1:16

by Theo Salaun

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Call of Duty: Warzone stars continue to call each other out – this time Tommey is joined by HusKerrs and others in critiquing multi-event champion, WarsZ, for manipulating tournament Kill-Death Ratio (K/D) caps by tanking his account.

With more and more money being piled into Warzone tournaments, the stakes are higher than ever and competitors are understandably adamant about integrity. Many of these competitions have turned to K/D caps, as a way to limit good players from forming super squads that’ll end up dominating the opposition.

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Following earlier condemnations from top streamers like NICKMERCS and Aydan about others gaming the K/D cap limits, Tommey has exposed WarsZ in particular for allegedly partaking in the unfair practice.

Tommey, a former Call of Duty League player and multi-time Warzone champion, did not hesitate to single out WarsZ for a suspicious drop in his kill-death ration just ahead of this week’s leg of the $210,000 Vikkstar Warzone Showdown. 

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Although the caps have been instituted in tournaments to provide for better parity among teams, they can also be manipulated by purposefully delivering uncharacteristically poor performances.

WarsZ has won six Warzone championships across different tournaments, so Tommey’s linked image of the streamer having double-digit zero-kill matches in the past few days is particularly damning.

“People seem to be scared of the repercussions but I’m fed up with the bulls**t,” Tommey tweeted, tagging the rival competitor directly while calling the alleged tanking “pathetic.”

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As for WarsZ’s response, it was not well-received. Suggesting that this notable drop in K/D was spurred by having his “girl” play on his account, a variety of notable Warzone competitors slammed the excuse. Among those wast renowned multi-time champion, HusKerrs, who replied simply, “Brother, c’mon now… nobody is buying that.”

Popular streamer DougisRaw also chimed in, mocking the excuse for how obviously the screenshot goes against the idea of letting an inexperienced player drop in for some games: “Damn, your girl plays solo squads. She’s cracked.”

 

While none of the allegations can be proven, many seem dissatisfied with WarsZ’s excuse and believes it is unfair to competitors like Jukeyz and others who were unable to snag tournament spots because of their high K/D.

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It must be noted, as Tommey mentioned in the tweet above, that Vikkstar’s tournament technically doesn’t prohibit such a tactic, so while WarsZ isn’t breaking any rules, it’s fair to say that the rest of the big-name competitors don’t think too highly of it.

It remains to be seen if other tournaments will begin following NICKMERCS in the way he runs his MFAM Gauntlets, monitoring participants’ past in-game performances to make sure that they’re not trying to circumvent the K/D cap.

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