Joey "Merk" Deluca played on OpTic Gaming for 3 years and was at one point captain of the competitive team. He was dropped from OpTic Gaming on September 1, 2013. He then joined Team EnVyUs. MerK first joined OpTic Gaming in 2010 as part of their pro team. It wasn't until Black Ops where he would find success with the team. He would bring home 2 championships for OpTic at MLG Columbus and at MLG Orlando and placing in the top 5 at every other tournament.
Once Modern Warfare 3 came out, MerK saw tremendous success winning 6 championships in total, 3 with OpTic, 3 with apeX. The first tournament they won was CoD XP. A 1 million dollar prize pool tournament that saw some of the best teams around the country scratching and clawing their way to the top. But at the end of the battle, OpTic gaming got 1st place taking home $400,000. After CoD XP, MerK switched over to apeX and won 3 straight tournaments in a row before finally coming back on to OpTic Gaming to win 2 more in a row.
After Modern Warfare 3 ran its course, Black Ops 2 came out. Unfortunately, MerK and the rest of the OpTic squad didn't find the same amount of success that they did in Modern Warfare 3. After placing 7th at two online tournaments, they finally caught a break and took home first at UMG Chicago, the first major LAN tournament in Black Ops 2. From there however, they placed consistently 6th, 3rd,3rd and 3rd. Then, a major announcement happened, MerK was dropped from OpTic Gaming. The news stunned the whole CoD eSports scene. Soon after, JKap replaced MerK and MerK went to EnVyUs.
After MerK joined EnVy, the future looked very bright for the team. However, that was not the case. After a couple of disappointing finishes, EnVy got 2nd at CoD Champs falling behind to the juggernaut team compLexity. After a disappointing 10th place finish at UMG Philadelphia, EnVy managed to pick things back up again consistently placing in top 5. At Gfinity 3, EnVy finally managed to take home a 1st place finish. Everybody was excited to see where this new EnVy lineup consisting of MerK, JKap, Formal and NaMeLeSS would go. But at UMG Dallas, EnVy fell short of a 1st place finish after being defeated by Denial.
Going into a new Call Of Duty game, Merk, captain of Team EnVyUs and leader of a veteran squad (Clayster, Nameless, Jkap, MerK) was ready to take this new team to victory. Facing high expectations, MerK and his teammates came confident at the first LAN event on CoD AW: MLG Columbus 2014. However, it did not turn how they wanted as the squad finished on a 5th place finish. But MerK stayed confident, practicing even more for his next tournament : UMG Orlando 2015. Sadly for him, the team placed below expected, 9th-12th, and the team had to make a change. This change did not turn as well as planned and MerK had to go through another disappointing placing at the MLG Pro League CoD AW Season Playoffs, where nV ended up 6th. The new squad, with MerK still playing as the objective player and captain, had to, despite the loss, focus again and prepare for the 2015's CoD Champs NA Regionals to hope for a qualification for the 2015's CoD Championship. MerK effectively lead his team to victory and qualification. With CoD Champs around the corner, mistakes were not allowed anymore as MerK and his team went on an intensive practice grind. However, it did not go as planned, and one more time, Team EnVyUs had to deal with what is to date, MerK's worst placing (and first placing out of the podium) at CoD Champs. After this harsh fail, MerK was benched in the MLG Pro League CoD AW Season 2. However, he announced that he will not retire and wants to keep playing Call Of Duty competitively, he also announcing he does not plan on quitting nV, but is open to any proposition concerning a team to play with. He found himself on JusTus alongside TcM, Octane, and StuDyy to compete in Season 2.
Merk was one of the top players left without an organization going into the Black Ops III season. He ended up teaming with StuDyy, KiLLa, and MBoZe under the name Nation to compete in the 2016 CWL NA Pro Division Qualifying Invitational Tournament. After being defeated by compLexity Gaming and Happy Hour, the team was eliminated from the event. Merk then joined the initial roster for Cloud9. His team once again failed to qualify for the 2016 NA CWL Stage 1 Regular Season through the 2016 CWL NA Pro Division Online Qualifying Tournament. Following the loss, Merk changed teams again. This time he joined Team Liquid as Captain for their first foray into the scene. The team did well as they went through the UMG South Carolina 2016 Open Bracket and took first Place. They went on to place 3-4th Place at UMG South Carolina 2016 after Luminosity Gaming defeated them in the semifinals. Merk stayed with the team through the online Challenger Division events and qualified for 2016 NA CWL Stage 1 Relegation. The team went up 3-0 only to get reverse swept in what would be the final event of Merk's storied career. On April 29th, 2016, Merk announced that he was retiring from competitive Call of Duty to join Major League Gaming.
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