It has finally happened – after much speculation and deliberation, Envy and OpTic Gaming have combined forces. They’re two of the biggest esports organisations in North America, boasting an undeniable impact and legacy in the Call of Duty space. Now, the two titans of the industry have joined together, re-branded, and pushed out a fresh, potential-laden CDL team: OpTic Texas.
Throughout history, few organisations have experienced the growth and popularity that OpTic Gaming and Envy both have. Ultimately, this merger brings together many decades of experience, both in terms of players and the management structure. With the foundation of OpTic Texas, we’re set to see a huge disruption to the power rankings within the Call of Duty League.
OpTic Texas: A Match Made in Heaven
It was barely a year ago that Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez bought back the ownership of OpTic Gaming. In 2020, the core OpTic team played as the Chicago Huntsmen in the CDL, before H3Cz reignited the franchise, pulling OpTic Chicago into the CDL 2021 season. Now, the brand is set to experience another restructure, but H3Cz has already confirmed that he’ll remain at the top of the OpTic table, as the president of the brand.
In a statement, H3Cz explained:
… we tried to make it work in 2013 with EON Interactive and we attempted to make it happen two years ago when we tried to bid together to buy OpTic back from Infinite. He’s (Mike Rufail, Envy Owner) really good at what he does, I’m really good at what I do, so I think it’s a match made in heaven.
Both Hector Rodriguez and Mike ‘Hastr0’ Rufail have worked for many years to build their respective brands. Several weeks ago, there were rumours circulating, suggesting a merger was approaching, with the resulting team to be named OpTic Dallas. We covered this news as it broke, but now, it seems as though it was a red herring.
To explain the name ‘OpTic Texas’, both H3Cz and Hastr0 explained that it was a tactical decision. In using the state rather than the city name, OpTic incorporates every major locale within Texas. There’s no other CDL team based out of Texas right now, so the decision is a strong one.
Major Movement in the Call of Duty League
If it wasn’t already obvious, this OpTic x Envy merger will have untold implications upon the Call of Duty League. Firstly, the Dallas Empire team will disappear, swallowed up by the merger, likely never to return. Instead, that brand will be renamed ‘OpTic Texas’, also causing the closure of OpTic Chicago.
In recent weeks, the Call of Duty League’s Rostermania phenomenon has been in full force. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen the likes of Crimsix, arguably the most veteran player in the league, transition away from the now-defunct Dallas Empire, moving over to NYSL. Now, the Subliners will have the iconic might of both Crimsix and Clayster at the helm, multi-time world champions and two of the best Call of Duty players ever.
Finally, we’ll now see a huge hole open up in the Call of Duty League, offering a franchise the opportunity to step into the competition. Although, whichever team steps into the space will have a massive task on their hands, going up against the likes of the newly-founded OpTic Texas powerhouse.
Speculation and Suggestion
As we move with OpTic Texas into the CDL 2022 season, we can only speculate as to what will unfold in the new year. There’s a stacked deck standing firm as we enter the battlefield, and there’s everything to play for in the 2022 season. Last year, OpTic Chicago experienced a lacklustre performance, but since then, two huge changes took place within the team’s roster.
Firstly, Envoy announced a relocation to the LA Thieves, before FormaL, a veteran of the industry, formally retired from competitive Call of Duty. This leaves just Scump and Dashy on the OpTic side, with Shotzzy and iLLeY remaining on the Dallas Empire side. Now, it seems we have our starting line-up for OpTic Texas, and it is mighty.
We were recently lucky enough to spend a few minutes with Scump, interviewing him about the upcoming CDL 2022 season and the state of Call of Duty Vanguard.
As the Call of Duty League 2022 approaches, the opportunities for fans to get involved will bloom once again. We’ll see the return of pick’ems, and of course, the Call of Duty betting opportunities will be rampant.
Let’s wait and see what the OpTic Texas team can do in the 2022 season.