On Apr. 6, Damon “Karma” Barlow replaced Matt “NaDeShoT” Haag in the OpTic Gaming lineup. Since the two-time Call of Duty champ Barlow joined the team, OpTic Gaming has posted a 7-1 record in the second season of the Major League Gaming Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Pro League.
But Barlow is apparently unable to attend the upcoming Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) Zénith event on May 2, which features $50,000 in prizes. OpTic Gaming says that Barlows absence is “due to the ongoing process that is becoming an American citizen.” He can’t leave the country while he’s waiting to complete his application for citizenship.
In his stead, the team will use another star player: Ian “Enable” Wyatt, who will be loaned to the team from FaZe. Wyatt, a former star Halo player, most recently placed third at the Call of Duty Championship as a member of FaZe, the team that eliminated OpTic Gaming from the event. Despite his team’s recent success over OpTic, FaZe was not invited to the ESWC tournament, making him available for that weekend.
OpTic Gaming likely won’t miss a beat with Wyatt in the lineup, as their star-studded roster still makes them favorites to win ESWC.
It also gives the OpTic Gaming lineup an interesting twist: three of the players, Wyatt, Matt “FormaL” Piper, and Ian “Crimsix” Porter got their pro gaming careers started in the Halo scene. While Porter never found success in Halo, Piper and Wyatt were both championship winning players.
But Wyatt has yet to win one in Call of Duty. That makes Piper the only player who has won a major tournament in both games, but if Wyatt comes through at ESWC he will also join that elite company. At least, as long as Piper doesn’t have anything to say about it.
Just know if we make it to Finals of those tournies I’m throwing them on purpose, I plan to stay the only Halo and CoD Champ
— Matthew Piper (@OpTic_FormaL) April 14, 2015
Naturally he’s joking, but it would be an ironic way for him to lose his singular distinction.
Fans hoping to see Barlow in the OpTic lineup at a live tournament won’t have to wait too long. He’ll be with the team at UMG California in just one month on May 15. Of course by then, his team may have returned to their winning ways without him.