CDL Player of the Year: How Cammy Changed The Flex Forever
The Black Ops Cold War season was all about adaptation, unlearning the chaotic moshpits that occurred in the five versus five era and shifting focus back onto an almost forgotten art. In the midst of confusion and Rostermania turbulence, one player above everyone else honed his craft to perfection, as Cameron "Cammy" McKilligan flipped the script to rewrite the flex role.
Toronto Ultra made a statement in the Modern Warfare season, ending the season as one of the most in-form teams in the league, executing team plays perfectly with a balance of SMG mayhem and control from an Assault Rifle standpoint, especially with the European trio of Ben "Bance" Bance, Tobias "CleanX" Juul Jønsson and Cammy complimenting each other well. A Week 13 victory at their own Home Series put Toronto on the map, and that momentum was carried into the Black Ops Cold War season.
Flexing With Freedom
However, Toronto didn't opt for a conventional composition. With most teams opting for a two-AR two-SMG combination to start the season off, the Canadian outfit pushed Cammy into a free role, often branded as the flex player in years gone by.
A dismal Stage 1 with Anthony "Methodz" Zinni as the sole AR hindered Cammy, who often pulled out the rifle to try and get map presence and lost out on the sneaky nature of his proven game style. A substitute in Stage 2, bringing in the eventual unofficial Rookie of the Year Jamie "Insight" Craven, saw the map presence slip straight into Ultra's favour, especially in Search and Destroy.
It was the freedom that Cammy needed to unlock Toronto Ultra, whether he surprised teams by passively pulling out the Krig-6, or getting in their faces with the AK74u. Taking to Stage 2, it was Cammy's unorthodox randomness that teams couldn't get to grips with, changing Ultra's pace at any given moment opening to leave teams scratching their heads. Schrödinger's weapon choice was the riddle on everyone's lips going into the Major, incapable of finding a formula to deal with the Scotsman who was coming into his finest form.
From the second Insight came in to smash Cammy's shackles into smithereens, combined with Bance's shot-calling, Toronto Ultra entered cruise control and sailed to their second chip in as many seasons with a Stage 2 victory over the seemingly untouchable Atlanta FaZe.
Redesigning the role
Being a leading flex player alone doesn't earn the title of the best player of the year, especially with the scintillating ability of entry-man Tyler "aBeZy" Pharris and his tiny terror teammate Chris "Simp" Lehr. However, it's Cammy's impact on the role itself that set him apart in 2022. Yes, the FaZe flyers came out on top as the best SMG pairings despite heavy competition from those over at OpTic Chicago (now Texas) and New York Subliners, but Cammy didn't just play flex, he changed it.
After mastering the role in a neigh four-month spell since the league began to practice in the remade four versus four format, Cammy's next three Stages saw him go above and beyond from what we saw back in the Black Ops 2 days when the flex role was so prominent. Alongside the maniacal teamwork from Toronto, Cammy was able to control maps in ways that had never been seen before, not necessarily conquering Hardpoint, but being an anchor in the middle of the map for players to pivot around.
From day one a flex would catch players on rotations, often being the third man into the action and cleaning up the pieces whilst the main AR would pull the strings. But for Ultra, Cammy was often the playmaker, the initiator, the man lurking in the shadows to ignite the fire in their offence. His Raid performances were the strongest, effectively using the likes of Zig Zags and Open Stairs to worm around the courtyard and find the openings for Bance and CleanX to expload through.
From Stage 2 onwards, Toronto Ultra never faltered from the top three, matching the likes of FaZe and toppling OpTic on many occasions. Despite no further chips or a ring at the end of the season, Cammy's impact on changing the role of a flex for everyone to replicate and the clear success whilst operating in such a way was truly 'tippable', making him our choice for the CDL Player of the Year.