*UPDATE 1 – Denz Releases Statement on Situation*
The undisputed kings of the Australian and New Zealand Call of Duty region have announced a shock roster change.
The Mindfreak CoD team picked up Denholm ‘Denz’ Taylor in late 2014 as a replacement for the retiring Albert ‘Nakeeze’ Nassif, going on to place 6th at CoD Champs in 2015 and winning both Pro Division stages for the CoD World League in 2016.
It’s believed that a big money offer for Denz from the heavily funded Tainted Minds organisation has tempted the player to leave, with Mindfreak unable to match the offer. The roster change means that OpTic Gaming now become the longest serving Call of Duty team on the professional circuit.
At present tM are currently denying the rumours that they will be dropping their New Zealand based squad in favour of this new lineup, featuring Denz’s former teammate Hayden ‘Damage’ Handakas and former Orbit player’s Giancarlo ‘Nimble’ Vagnini and Rene ‘Zeuss’ Corporal.
No replacement for the Mindfreak squad has yet to be made, but with the prospect of teaming with the most dominant squad in the APAC region for 2017, it’s suspected there will be a queue of players looking to get their shot.
We reached out to Mindfreak owner Nakeeze for comment regarding the situation.
“As far as I’m concerned we’ve kept the winning trio, they won with Geemon, they won with me, and they won with Denz. This won’t be any different, except you basically annoyed the best three players in Australia and made it personal. It’s never been about the money with these three, I mean look they’re with with me and we’re not cashed up. But somebody just made these guys want to beat you so bad that they’ll be trying hard for the first time since 2012.
In the worst case scenario, this made have killed the Australian CoD scene as we’ve taken a backwards step in this game, and if this has weakened the best team in the region, what hope do we have to keep Activision’s support in 2018?
We will do what we’ve always done and focus on winning, getting those tickets to NA and carrying on the tradition. I wish nothing but the best of luck to Denz and hope he gets what was promised to him, that’s all I ever want is to see players treated like people and not disposable toys. Mindfreak will forever be about the players, and the fans, never ever about the money.”
- Mitchell ‘Buzzo’ Mader
- Lincoln ‘Fighta’ Ferguson
- Conrad ‘Shockz’ Rymarek
(Expected) Tainted Minds CoD:
- Denholm ‘Denz’ Taylor
- Hayden ‘Damage’ Handakas
- Giancarlo ‘Nimble’ Vagnini
- Rene ‘Zeuss’ Corporal
RELATED – Red Reserve Announce Call of Duty Team