Call of Duty esports pioneer Jonathan “Pacman” Tucker is hanging up the sticks to become the coach and team manager of Rise Nation.
Pacman enjoyed a long and storied career in CoD, most notably winning the first-ever MLG National Championship in 2008 as a part of Team FeaR. He was also on Rise Nation’s first team in 2014. The foursome qualified for the Call of Duty World Championship in their first tournament together, and subsequently placed seventh at the $1 million tournament, collecting the first prize winnings in Rise Nation’s history.
Since leaving Rise in 2015, Pacman has struggled to find success. His biggest accomplishment since came with Team Question Mark, which would later be acquired by TSM. The team qualified for the inaugural season of the Call of Duty World League but underperformed until their disbandment.
In Infinite Warfare, Pacman’s teams have failed to meet expectations. With eUnited, Red Reserve, and Livin’ The Dream, he didn’t place within the top 20 at any of the four open CWL events.
Now as coach and manager, Pacman will be tasked with turning Rise Nation around. Rise claimed the first major title of the IW season, winning the CWL Las Vegas Open in December. Since then, however, the team has underperformed.
The team’s play has worsened thanks in part to rule changes like the banning of the OSA Assault Rifle and Synaptic. Placing outside of the top four in every MLG 2000 Series online tournament has not given them any confidence, and neither has placing ninth and 17th at CWL Atlanta and Dallas, respectively. It will be a tough task to turn around Rise’s fortunes before the Global Pro League later this month, but Pacman’s experience and intelligence may be the thing to do it.
Although he is walking away from playing CoD with just one major championship, Pacman will be remembered as one of the mentors and pioneers of the esport. Or, as retired legend Tyler “TeePee” Polchow better put it, a “CoDFather.”