Jeremy 'Neslo' Olsen understands that coming off of a competitive Call of Duty hiatus had the possibility of creating a variety of obstacles.
With the return of 'boots on the ground' combat in the upcoming release of CoD: WWII in early November, a mix of different retired professional players have announced their decisions to compete once again.
One of the most notable examples was the announcement
of a team consisting of veteran players Neslo, Brandon 'Sharp' Rodgers, Tosh 'Stainville' McGruder, and Jamal 'Whea7s' Lee, with each member coming off a break from the scene in some aspect.
Even with years of experience in the lineup, many community members have questioned the ability for retired professional players to jump back into the competitive mindset, citing how the scene has dramatically changed over time, with more competition than ever before.
With just weeks to go until the launch of CoD: WWII, we sat down with Neslo to hear his thoughts regarding his prospective roster, coming off a hiatus, potential organizations, and much more.
How was this squad originally formed with all four players coming off of a hiatus in some way? Were there any other players you considered?
The past couple teams I put together had really high risks, with inexperienced players. Knowing I'm coming off a break, I know my "stock" was going to be low, so the obstacle was to find players that shared that same belief in them as they do to me. This group of four was my first option. I talked to Sharp, he said he was in, we talked about options, and we got this team done.
There is a lot of experience in the scene on this roster, do you think it will give you an edge over younger teams in any way?
Every year the competition grows for Call of Duty, so having an edge on other teams in any category is always good. I think having three players that have been to the finals and know what it's like and making losers brackets runs, with the addition of Whea7s who is also a veteran, is good for composure side of things. One of the things I loved the most about teaming with Sharp and Stainville is we are never uncomfortable in a series, even when down 0-2.
Neslo as a member of Team Kaliber during Black Ops 3
Were you surprised by any of your teammates making the decision to return to competitive play? Do you expect any other pros to follow suit?
I was very surprised Stainville decided to make a serious return. I know he went to college, got a degree, and was pursuing other business opportunities for almost 3 years, so him coming back was a shock. I knew Sharp would come back eventually, he just needed a break from the stress.
What is your take on certain community members stating that it will be incredibly difficult for returning pros to readjust?
I think it's a fair assessment to say players coming back will struggle. It's a grind man, it's a ton of hours, a ton of stress, it's a long road to get to the top. A lot of the players coming back I feel like aren't ready to dedicate their entire lives to this and make it their main career path, so I see some struggling as well.
I have no worries with our team though because we made it very clear what needs to be sacrificed, and we all know what it'll take to be a good team and get back into the competitive Call of Duty grind.
Have you been in talks with any organizations since your announcement?
We have been talking to a few organizations, we have one we really want, but it's going to take time if even possible. Can't really disclose too much information, we know finding an organization is stressful and important, but have to be extremely patient with it. I know this when I brought Echo Fox into the scene.
Sharp as a member of Team Kaliber during Black Ops 3
With just weeks to go until the release of WWII in November, has the roster practiced together on past CoD titles? Do you have any idea how roles will work in the upcoming game?
Past Call of Duty titles won't really help you with this upcoming one, especially Ghosts. We have been chilling in Discord, having a good time, playing Battle Royale games together and whatnot, but haven't played much CoD together.
My favorite thing about this team is the composition of playstyles, Stainville is our AR, Sharp is our sub, along with Whea7s and myself deciding who will run the second AR, and flex if needed.