H3CZ explains why OpTic “didn’t deserve” to be in VCT despite passion for the game

Luís Mira
OpTic H3CZ on the OpTic podcast criticizing Activision.

OpTic Gaming CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez has shed light on the organization’s snub by Riot Games during the application process for the Valorant partner leagues. According to him, OpTic “didn’t deserve” to make the cut.

OpTic Gaming was one of the biggest names left out in the cold when Riot Games announced the list of the ten partner organizations for the VCT Americas league.

The decision came as a shock to many, as OpTic had one of the most successful Valorant teams in the world, fresh off a runner-up finish at Champions 2022. In addition, it had the No.1 player at the time, Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker.

Still, competitive success was not the most important thing for Riot. As it looked to build a sustainable league with partners that shared the same vision, Riot prioritized organizations that could “create the most compelling VCT for fans in the future”.

The developer designed a “robust” selection process that included a written application, in-depth interviews, and financial reviews. And, according to H3CZ, OpTic fumbled the process.

“There were f***ups in the first two steps of that application on our side, so we didn’t deserve to be in there,” H3CZ said on the latest episode of ‘The OpTic Podcast’.

“But also, I think we deserved to be in there because we were passionate about the sport, we loved the sport, and we did good.”

Topic starts at 44:36

H3CZ added that he was ready to pay his players more than the average salary in the league, which, according to him, is in the region of $30,000 a month.

“If it’s a good investment for OpTic, and OpTic can get some of that back, as we would in situations like this, I’d give more than that,” he said.

“I’m a very fair guy. You get what you put in. It’s fair to a fault sometimes.”

H3CZ shuts down OpTic Valorant rumors

OpTic ended up withdrawing from Valorant esports after their application was rejected. Three of the team’s players, Pujan ‘FNS’ Mehta, Austin ‘crashies’ Roberts, and Victor ‘Victor’ Wong, as well as head coach Chet ‘Chet’ Singh, linked up with NRG, while yay joined Cloud9.

Jimmy ‘Marved’ Nguyen took a break from the game at the end of the season, only returning to action in March as part of Sentinels’ roster.

One year on, OpTic’s Valorant Champions 2022 final against LOUD remains the most-watched match in the game’s history — something that continues to make H3CZ proud. Still, he laughed off rumors that OpTic might be returning to the game. “It will not be back.”

About The Author

Luís was formerly Dexerto's Esports editor. Luís Mira graduated from ESCS in 2012 with a degree in journalism. A former reporter for HLTV.org, Goal and SkySports, he brought more than a decade of experience covering esports and traditional sports to Dexerto's editorial team.