Call of Duty Championship winners Denial shake up squad

Only one team other than OpTic Gaming has managed to win a major Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare tournament in 2015, and this weekend it cut half its roster

Image via Denial | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

Only one team other than OpTic Gaming has managed to win a major Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare tournament in 2015, and this weekend it cut half its roster.

Denial e-Sports, the quartet of Dillon “Attach” Price, James “Clayster” Eubanks, Jordan “JKap” Kaplan, and Chris “Replays” Chowder, won the most lucrative event in the game, the $1 million Call of Duty Championship. That’s made the four players the richest in Advanced Warfare, more than doubling the fifth highest earner, with more than $110,000 raked in each. In that regard, they’re the most successful team in the business. But the way OpTic Gaming keeps winning, that won’t last.

Denial is cutting Kaplan and Chowder, choosing to build around the impressive slaying power of the Price and Eubanks duo.

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to @Denial_Replays and @DenialJKap the team will be looking for 2 with @Clayster as captain.

— Denial Esports (@DenialEsports) June 13, 2015

That’s a decision spurred by recent results. At ESWC Zenith, a tournament one month after the Championship, Denial lost to OpTic Gaming in the finals. Then, in their next two events, Gfinity Spring Masters and last week’s Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro League Season 2 final at the X Games, Denial didn’t even reach the final; they placed top eight and top six respectively.

Those aren’t the results expected from the one team that really challenged OpTic Gaming’s dominance. And with the $250,000 MLG World Championship coming up in October, it’s time for teams to get in gear.

Advanced Warfare is the fastest Call of Duty yet. The ability to flit through the sky with exo suits allows players to respawn and return to fights in record time. That means there’s more gunfights than ever before, so the ability to win those fights is key to victory. That makes OpTic Gaming, with their team of superstar slayers, tough to beat.

Denial is one of the few squads with a pair who can stand up. Price is a proxy for Seth “Scump” Abner’s insane skill with submachine guns, and Eubanks plays the stationary “mailbox” slaying role the best in Call of Duty. But Kaplan and Chowder, two players who rely on their smarts, have a harder time keeping up in this version of Call of Duty—at least, against the players on OpTic.

That leaves Denial searching for two players in a bid to challenge OpTic. It’s one that almost seems hopeless, at this point; OpTic has won seven of eight tournaments and four in a row since losing at Champs. That’s caused a storm of roster changes around them as teams try to find a winning formula against them. Of course, there may not be a recipe to consistently beat such a dominant team in Advanced Warfare. But if any can do it, it’s Price and Eubank—if they find the right two players to join them.

There are no details as to whom Denial might bring in to replace the two ousted members, but there’s plenty of talent available in the Call of Duty scene. Whether that’s enough to beat OpTic, well, we’ll have to wait and see.