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OpTic Gaming And Team Envy: An Unlikely Alliance

OpTic Gaming | Envy
CDL

Written by 

Jonno Nicholson

Posted 

4th Oct 2021 09:55

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When it comes to the fiercest rivalries within Call of Duty esports, it’s very hard not to mention the battles that OpTic Gaming and Team Envy have had over nearly a decade of competition. If you had told a fan in 2014 that the two entities would be joining forces in the next ten years, they’d have probably laughed but heading into the 2022 season, the third for the Call of Duty League (CDL), a once-unimaginable scenario now appears to be coming to fruition with the OpTic brand reportedly making its way to Dallas in place of Envy’s Empire.

While the merger may seem strange for loyal fans of the Green Wall and the Boys in Blue, this unlikely alliance between two long-time rivals does possess some immense potential for two legendary names of the esports to build a juggernaut capable of usurping the Atlanta FaZe from the peak of the competitive Call of Duty mountain.

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The End Of Dallas Empire

Despite the merger bringing together two legendary names in the form of Hector "H3cz" Rodriguez and Mike "Hastr0" Rufail, the deal will likely see the demise of the Dallas Empire brand, a franchise that immediately saw success in the franchised era of competition when the Empire managed to take home the 2020 Championship title with a clinical display in the grand finale. Since then, the Empire’s roster changes in the early stages of the Black Ops Cold War season may well have hindered their chances of any further success, although the team did manage to place no lower than fourth at Champs and all five Major tournaments.

Regardless of recent results, the legacy of the Empire brand will live on in the history of the Call of Duty League (CDL) as the first franchise to win a CDL championship. The brand was certainly one of the more popular within the league and with OpTic replacing the golden crown, it will be interesting to see how both fan bases react to the change.

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Fan Reaction

Ever since OpTic and Envy faced off on the main stage, the ‘eClasico’ of Call of Duty esports was a match everyone watched and while the often-passionate Green Wall fans in the crowd had the upper hand over any Envy supporters, the results often switched between the two. Now with the eClasico fading away into the history books, are fans loyal to Envy going to switch allegiances now the organisation is collaborating with its long-standing rival? It’s the same for OpTic fans too. The Green Wall has done battle with the Boys in Blue for so long, are some going to find it strange supporting a franchise that is now jointly operated by the leader of what was once considered to be the enemy?

As long as the OpTic brand is at the forefront of the franchise, I think that fan reaction will be just fine. Although the lack of Envy branding will be rather strange, the Green Wall has been a pioneer of competitive Call of Duty for years and if that iconic green and black logo disappeared completely from the esport, the fans will be quick to climb aboard for a new chapter in the story of OpTic Gaming.

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A Powerhouse Team

Since the Black Ops Cold War season came to an end, several franchises have been making numerous changes to their starting line-ups, including Dallas and OpTic, further fuelling rumours of a merger taking place. Ian "Crimsix" Porter and Reece "Vivid" Drost were benched by the Empire alongside Dylan "Envoy" Hannon while Matt "FormaL" Piper announced his retirement from competing at the highest level. These decisions left both franchises with two players remaining on the starting four, Indervir "iLLeY" Dhailwal, Anthony "Shotzzy" Cuevas-Castro, Seth "Scump" Abner, and Brandon "Dashy" Otell. Considering the merger, this is likely to be the franchise’s starting roster for the Vanguard season.

On paper, this is a hugely talented team capable of competing with the very best in the league. The combination of Shotzzy and Scump as a potential slaying partnership could dominate the kill column while Dashy locks down the map as the main assault rifle player for the team. As for iLLeY, the flex role could be the ideal fit for the 2020 CDL champion. Known for his proficiency with either an assault rifle or submachine gun in hand, iLLeY can fill any role that’s required of the team, making him an integral ingredient of the "Dallas OpTic."

With an immense amount of supreme mechanical skill combined with plenty of explosive slaying power, 2022 would be a huge opportunity for Scump to secure his second championship ring that would cement his place as one of the greatest Call of Duty players to ever pick up a controller.

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Will The Merger Be A Success?

With Hecz and Hastr0 operating the franchise, it’s highly likely that this venture will be successful for all parties involved. With years of experience in competitive Call of Duty and other esports titles, I think that this collaboration will work out much better than OpTic’s previous adventure with Immortals Gaming Club. There are plenty of positives for the Green Wall. Hecz gets the coveted Dallas franchise spot, money for selling the Chicago spot, and a partner that is no stranger to achieving success in Call of Duty. This is a very exciting time to be an OpTic Gaming fan.

 

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