After the exhilarating Seattle skydiving experience in preparation for the Destiny release, Red Bull sent the MLG X Games Gold Medalists, along with owner and CEO, Hector “Hecz” Rodriguez, fitness coach and OpTic Halo player Michael “FlamesworD” Chaves, and ex-professional Call of Duty player Will “BigTymeR” Johnson to Santa Monica, California for an extensive month of team training and bonding.
The team has been temporarily living in a four-bedroom house in Santa Monica, CA for the remainder of the month and up until UMG Nashville. While Hecz, BigTymeR, and MBoZe are not living with the team and still residing in Chicago, they have flown out there for certain events and activities.
The Red Bull training boot camp has taken the players out of their comfort zones to enhance their life experience as a team and friends, in preparation for future events. The squad began by visiting the Red Bull Headquarters. Red Bull has offered them unlimited access to their eSports Arena, where OpTic has been playing their CoD League matches and everything else gaming related.
— Michael Chaves (@OpTicFlamesword) September 10, 2014
The most intense activity the team underwent was the opportunity to jump out of a plane in Seattle in celebration of the release of Bungie’s new game Destiny. The exhilarating experience of diving out of a plane with the best skydivers in Red Bull’s Air Force is something that Proofy and Flamesword will never forget.
“So, we’re all about group experiences and bonding together as a team,” says Proofy in Red Bull’s Drop Zone Video Series. “Let’s get out here, let’s skydive, let’s go to Bungie release parties, let’s play Destiny. Let’s do it all.”
Along with that, the team has been able to enjoy multiple team bonding activities such as a two-hour long Paddle-Board session early in the morning on Saturday, Sept. 13.
— eU Clayster (@Clayster) September 13, 2014
During their time with Red Bull, OpTic Gaming team members have undergone “brain testing” through a system known as the Electroencephalogram, or EEG. The test records and measures the electrical activity within your brain. It has been utilized while the players are practicing, to see how their brains react to certain situations.
— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) September 19, 2014
Along with the brain testing, the team has been participating in vigorous yoga and workout sessions in the gym two or more times during the week. The OpTic squad is looking to improve their overall health and stamina for both gaming and other activities.
The team has also talked and coordinated with a sports philosopher at the Red Bull Headquarters in hopes of getting to know each other more not only as teammates, but as friends. Building team chemistry and friendships is a crucial part to winning in eSports as it takes complete team work to be the best.
OpTic’s Recent Success
Back on Sept. 10, OpTic was 9-15 in the MLG CoD league and in the bottom four teams. Since then, they have gone 11-1 in their matches to improve their record to 20-16 as of Sept. 24 and have jumped up to the top 5. They have completely turned their season around and their time together in California seems to have a direct correlation to their success.
This trip may turn out to be one of the best things OpTic could have done as a team if they keep playing at this high level of energy. Their team chemistry and morale have never been stronger as they look to build on their recent surge of success.
For the remaining weeks, OpTic will continue to grind out league matches, participate in team building exercises, and prepare for future events like UMG Nashville, which will be taking place Oct. 10-12. If you’re looking for more information on UMG Nashville please check out our General Information article for the event.
Red Bull Dropzone Video Series