Several teams are going into the 2021 Call of Duty League season with fresh faces and new lineups. The return of the four-vs-four format resulted in one of the biggest roster shuffles in Call of Duty history and some teams dropped several players to prepare for the new season. One of those teams was OpTic Gaming Los Angeles (now the L.A. Thieves), who released Dashy in September.
But this might have been the best thing to happen to Dashy since he’s now the fourth player on the stacked OpTic Chicago lineup, formerly known as the Chicago Huntsmen. Dashy said he’s happy to be a part of OpTic Chicago, which feels like a home to him.
“I’ve now experienced both sides of OpTic, the real and ‘fake’ side, I guess you could say,” Dashy told Dot Esports. “I’m just glad to be with Hector and everyone that is involved with OpTic. It definitely feels like a family here. I’m just so excited for the season to get going.”
Dashy previously played for what many consider the “original” OpTic Gaming during the Black Ops 4 season before the introduction of the franchised Call of Duty League. The OpTic roster split up at the end of the season and each player found a new home on a franchised team.
Dashy’s previous experience on OpTic has made adjusting to his new team for 2021 easier since he’s already teamed with Scump. They helped their Black Ops 4 team secure third place at the 2019 Call of Duty World League Championship before disbanding at the end of the season. Dashy also said he’s had little trouble adapting to Envoy and FormaL, the other two players in OpTic Chicago’s starting lineup.
“I already teamed with Seth in Black Ops 4, where we had some success together… The other two are obviously really good at the game, especially [Envoy],” Dashy said. “He really helps with improving as a squad. Obviously, FormaL is just FormaL; he is one of the best players of all time. It was pretty easy, at least for me, to mesh with everyone on the team.”
Despite being a talented player, Dashy spent the last few months of his time with OGLA on the bench. He temporarily made a comeback during the playoffs when he filled in for Kenny for one map and proved that he could still compete with the world’s best players. This only further fueled his desire to maintain his reputation as one of the best players in the world—and he’s bringing that drive to OpTic Chicago.
“I have a lot of motivation to come back and prove to everyone that I can still be one of the best players and win,” Dashy said. “I already had the motivation honestly from when I got benched the first time and everything that happened with the OGLA team. I didn’t really need the playoffs or my Champs performance to do that, but it was definitely nice to come in after not playing for two months and basically still show that obviously I can still play this game at a really high level.”
The new rosters aren’t the only changes coming to the CDL next season, though. Teams will be competing in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which is significantly different from Modern Warfare. Some players have been critical of Cold War so far, but Dashy believes it’s a game he can see himself “grinding six or seven months down, even when people don’t play it as much.”
The four-vs-four format is also returning next season, which creates a better viewing experience, according to Dashy, since there are fewer players to keep track of in matches. Five-vs-five resulted in players “literally flying at each other,” he said, making it hard for players and fans to understand what’s happening in games.
The format change resulted in almost every team significantly adjusting its roster for 2021—and some franchises will be entering the new season with stacked lineups.
“Everyone is talking about that FaZe roster for obvious reasons; they’re going to be good,” Dashy said. “Dallas is still going to be up there as well. I’m excited to play both of those teams because I guess you could say we have a small rivalry with Dallas. Not me personally, but my teammates do from last year.”
The return of the original OpTic also means the traditional FaZe vs. OpTic rivalry is back—and fans will be excited to see the two new lineups compete next year.
The 2021 CDL season marks the first time pro CoD players will compete on PC instead of a console, too. Controllers will be used instead of mouse and keyboard, but this is still a significant change to the league format, especially for online play. Dashy did confirm that he hopes to see more LAN events next season and he said he’s open to competing in a bubble if possible.
“This is kind of hard because we are in the middle of the pandemic, but if we could have more LANs for sure. That is the best way to play Call of Duty; it’s just the fairest,” Dashy said. “Obviously, a bubble means we would be playing on LAN, and I’m all for it. Online can get repetitive, and you kind of feel like you’re doing the same thing every day, and it can get tedious. Anything for LAN, I’m all for it if that’s what it takes.”
It’s unclear when the COVID-19 pandemic will subside, so Call of Duty players can likely expect another year of online play. Dashy will make his debut on OpTic Chicago when the 2021 Call of Duty League season begins next year. The CDL hasn’t announced a start date for the second season of the franchised league yet.