Shane 'ShAnE' McKerral is on a mission to prove that he still has what it takes to compete with the best of the best in Call of Duty after a few disappointing seasons.
The veteran Brit was a part of the scary Epsilon roster that was capable of trading blows with the best teams on Earth during the Black Ops 2 season. Since then, though, ShAnE has struggled to find a team that could be legitimately competitive at the highest levels of professional Call of Duty.
ShAnE played with the French Team Vitality roster for the majority of the Infinite Warfare season, before joining exceL eSports upon the release of CoD: WWII in November.
However, he was only with the team for a matter of days before he departed following a disappointing 17th - 32nd finish in the first EU online CWL 2K tournament of the season.
ShAnE then joined Renegades and achieved three top 16 2K finishes in a row. On December 4th he officially joined Renegades, and he will be attending the $200,000 CWL Dallas tournament with them from December 8th - 10th.
The team failed to qualify directly into pool play, so ShAnE and company will be facing a daunting open bracket run if they hope to do well at the event. We spoke to him ahead of the event to get his thoughts on his team's chances, the new Call of Duty game, and what motivates him to keep giving 100%.
ShAnE struggled to find success during the advanced movement era. Image: Joe Bradey
You’ve been announced as part of the Renegades lineup. What happened to your original team? What made you decide to join RNG?
I started with exceL at the start of the game and we were looking good, but we screwed up in the first 2K. Then Reedy came to me with a better offer, with some of my best pals in gaming and with a team that I think has more potential. It was impossible to say no.
How have you personally found the return to boots on the ground? Will we see the Shane of old back?
With the performances that I was consistently putting in, against some of the best teams in the world, towards the end of Infinite Warfare, my confidence drastically increased to the level that it was at around the time of Black Ops 2. I feel like I'm back to my best again and the game being boots on the ground only benefits me more.
What do you like and dislike about the game so far?
The game so far has a dangerous amount of issues which, to be fair to sledgehammer, they are working on fixing very quickly. The main problem is the maps. To put it simply, they just aren't very good whatsoever.
The only thing I can say I like about the game so far is the fact that it's a lot more methodical than the previous jet-pack titles. With some work we could be looking at the best competitive game yet.
You’re attending CWL Dallas with the RNG team, but you’ll be going through the open bracket. What happened in the last couple of 2K’s? What do you make of facing the open bracket once again?
We had a rough start to the 2K tournaments which is just typical of online CoD. Online or not, though, I firmly believe we are a top 5 European team, and by a clear margin in terms of skill too.
The problem is that the CWL process has started far too early in a game that isn't ready for competitive play in the slightest, hence why you are seeing so many upsets.
I seem to live for the open bracket and have always had success going through it, so I'm hoping we can do the same again in Dallas.
The Brit spend the second half of the Black Ops 3 Season with LDLC
Realistically what do you make of your team’s chances at the event? What have you discussed as something achievable and that you’d be happy with?
Our chances for the event are a massive "who knows?" when you start in the open bracket.
This is the most confident I've been in a team for years, we just have to focus on what's in front of us and deal with what insane cards we will be dealt - which is what usually happens in the open bracket. It's going to be extremely hard, but I believe we are one of the main favorites to get through it.
You’re a veteran player who’s been competing since the beginning of CoD esports. What’s the motivation to keep going?
What isn't the motivation to keep going? It's a dream job and a blessing to be able to do this full time. Hopefully I will be able to reap the rewards of being back to my best again.
Finally you’ve scrimmed the top EU teams. How can they stack up against the likes of OpTic, LG and co?
It's hard to compare the two continents at the start before they've played each other. We have spent most of our time on this game scrimming Splyce and Red Reserve, and both of them are looking really good.
Europe is usually lacking slightly at the start of a new CoD in comparison to American teams, but I'm expecting big things from Splyce this weekend though, that's for sure.