The relationship between the squad’s veteran players and the org’s owner makes it extremely unlikely that they’d rip things up before the return of LAN events.
The 2021 Call of Duty League season has seen its fair share of roster moves. Over the past few weeks, many players have found their way onto new rosters. Struggling teams have looked to make moves to shake up a stale roster. Although this doesn’t always lead to improved results, it is sometimes worth a shot. We’ve even seen a top three team opt for a roster move in the form of Dallas Empire. However, one franchise seems impervious to a roster change for the entirety of the season.
OpTic Chicago have been going through a rough patch. Their early season performance was a major disappointment. Despite their struggles, it seems they managed to turn things around at the Stage III Major. They earned a fourth-place finish which bodes well for the team’s long-awaited return to LAN. Whether OpTic continues to perform admirably or if they regress to their previous form, a roster move seems highly unlikely.
Let’s take a look at why each player on the squad is undroppable, starting with Brandon “Dashy” Otell. In terms of gun skill, Dashy is the clear number one player on the roster. Their recent turnaround has coincided with Dashy’s impeccable play as of late. Dashy is the one player on this team whose raw skill makes him impossible to drop. If Dashy’s play continues to rise, there’s a great chance that we’ll be seeing OpTic Chicago place in the top four frequently for the remainder of the season.
Check out Dashy’s Round 11 1v3 clutch at the Stage III Major.
Moving on, we have the two veterans in Seth “Scump” Abner and Matthew “FormaL” Piper. It is difficult to envision a scenario in which Hector “HECZ” Rodriguez, the proverbial father of OpTic, drops either of his longest-tenured players. Scump and FormaL are legends of the game. Their play has indeed declined over the past couple of years but they remain two of the biggest names in Call of Duty esports history.
The personal relationship between Scump, FormaL and team owner HECZ will stand in the way of any performance-based demotions. Still, it would be foolish not to back Scump and FormaL to return to championship-caliber level as the CDL returns to LAN in just a few weeks. Few players in the league have more experience playing on LAN than these two persistent figures. You get the feeling that Scump’s time in the CDL will come to an end when he feels it is the right moment to retire.
The route man
Many OpTic fans have made a case for the dropping of Dylan “Envoy” Hannon over the past month or two. Unfortunately, Envoy seems to be OpTic’s scapegoat when things go wrong. In reality, much of OpTic’s success is reliant on the role Envoy plays. Oftentimes Envoy is the player tasked with producing effective long routes. OpTic fans have hit out at Envoy for not being more involved in team gunfights. However, we must understand that his role requires him to be distanced from his teammates more often than not. Envoy is at his best when he’s behind enemy lines trying to make a play from the back while his teammates break through the front. After Dashy, some would say that Envoy is the most skilled player on the team.
OpTic Chicago’s unwillingness to make a roster move looks like it’s starting to pay off. They placed especially well at the previous event. As the CDL approaches a return to LAN, OpTic is the team that many believe will benefit the most from this setting. If OpTic’s performances continue to improve, team owner HECZ and coach Troy “Sender” Micheals will seem like geniuses for staying their hand. On the flip side, Dallas Empire have dropped their recent recruit Tyler “FeLo” Johnson after a short unsuccessful spell with the team. It just goes to show that drastic roster moves aren’t necessarily the magic solution for an ailing franchise.