After winning the $4.6 million Call of Duty League Championship last weekend, three-time world champion Crimsix said his Dallas Empire squad was the best team he’s played on.
Since he won two world titles and dozens of other events with compLexity Gaming and OpTic Gaming, two teams widely regarded as the greatest in CoD history, Codcast co-hosts Nameless and Pacman questioned his claim on the latest episode of the podcast.
“I shouldn’t have said the word ‘best.’ I should’ve said my ‘favorite,'” Crimsix said. “You know me, you know my fucking standards. If our team isn’t great, I’m not going to have fun. And that’s just who I am as a competitor. And I’ll tell you this, Empire last year was funny as shit. We had so much fun because we were good. Everyone was giving it 100 percent and in between maps, we would mess around and genuinely have fun. I don’t think I’ve laughed harder in any other team.”
This fun atmosphere is much different than the one Crimsix said he played in while he was a part of the famous coL roster during Black Ops II and Ghosts. While the team was the best in the world for nearly two years, all of the players involved have since spoken about how toxic the environment was and how hard they pushed each other to continue winning.
Crimsix broke down some of the team’s dynamic to show how different his time with the Empire is to his stint as a part of the compLexity and Evil Geniuses dynasty.
“On coL, you guys know, we didn’t like each other—well, we sort of liked each other—it was on and off,” Crimsix said. “To get Pat (ACHES) to try, we had to threaten to drop him… Playing with coL was like hell in practice.”
Crimsix’s time with OpTic, while not as dominant as his run with compLexity, proved to be more successful over a longer period of time. In the nearly five years he spent with OpTic, the team won 19 offline events, including the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship.
But Crimsix said the sudden shift from a structured, team-oriented system in EG to OpTic, who had struggled to be consistently successful to that point, was hard for him to adjust to.
“With the OpTic team, I genuinely felt like—I remember the first three months or so of playing—I felt uncomfortable,” Crimsix said. “Throughout the entirety of the roster, I felt uncomfortable… It was that mindset [on coL and EG], whether it’s the right play or wrong play, you do it together. Apparently, that was fucking rocket science for the OpTic roster.”
As a part of the Empire’s first CDL roster, Crimsix and former coL teammate Clayster were tasked with mentoring Huke, Shotzzy, and iLLeY, affectionately nicknamed the “kids” because of their relative youth. While the team stumbled early in the season against the Atlanta FaZe and Chicago Huntsmen, the Empire eventually found their groove.
The team finished the regular season in second place with a 23-12 record before fighting through the winners bracket of the CDL Playoffs, defeating the Toronto Ultra and FaZe to win the $1.5 million grand prize.
With the win, Crimsix and Clayster became just the second and third players in the esport’s history to win three world titles. Additionally, Crimsix became the first console esports player to surpass $1 million career earnings.