Call of Duty has been one of the biggest games in the world for almost 15 years, and its esports scene is even older. From the old days of GameBattles, which was recently announced to be shutting down, through to the massive Call of Duty League of recent years it has always been an entertaining watch thanks to the fast-paced play that requires incredible reactions and stick control.
This year one team has had one of the most up-and-down seasons we have ever seen in CoD, going from champions of the first major, to last place at the third major, and then winners of the world championship. The New York Subliners have put on quite a show for fans over the past 12 months, and that is why they are in the running for the Esports Team of the Year award. You can vote for them all, and give them two votes instead of one thanks to Turbo Week, right now but be quick as voting closes on November 20th.
“We are happy with the results we have achieved, to a certain extent,” said team coach Ehsan “DREAL” Javaid. “Particularly proud of how we faced adversity and struggle from Major 2 to Major 4, and we bounced back to win both Major 5 and Champs. Winning Champs this year really added the icing on the cake. We do, however, want to do better this year and win everything.”
Not only is the whole team up for an award, but DREAL is a finalist for coach of the year, and both Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez and Matthew “KiSMET” Tinsley are finalists for controller player of the year. The team as a whole has been incredibly impressive, and despite the disappointing mid-season run they feel confident heading into Vegas that they can walk out with an award or two.
“We think we’ve been the best team, absolutely,” said Farzam Kamel, CEO of the team. “We had an absolutely dominant finals performance, won three of the year’s six tournaments, and all as a dark horse team no one thought was a contender at the beginning of the year. We won not just because of talent, as most rankings had us in the bottom half or third of the league going into the year but because of all the foundational work players and staff put in here to build and sustain a winning culture. That’s work no one sees from the outside.”
Looking further ahead the team is currently preparing for the new season after Call of Duty Modern Warfare III launched last week. While it is a direct sequel to last year’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare II meaning the changes may not be as dramatic as usual, the launch of a new game is sure to create some challenges for the players, and despite having some time to experiment there is still a lot to learn.
“We think this game brings a lot of upside in the ability to use different boots etc in your class to create different ways to play the game,” said Kimset. “As for maps we’re not entirely sure on a competitive level how they will play but from a public match standpoint they are great and great for nostalgia.”
We’ve seen before in CoD that some players really struggle to get acclimatised to the new game and can fall off, or alternatively take a massive step forward, from game to game. However, with the core systems of the game remaining relatively similar between last year and this year the Subliners are not particularly worried about falling off for next season.
“In CoD you really can’t “lose” your skill, just certain games cater to other players’ playstyle more,” said Hydra. “With that being said this game feels a lot like MW2 so we feel it will have relatively the same results in the aspect of playstyle and our ability.”
While some of the team will be taking a brief break from learning the new game to join us in Vegas in a couple of weeks, they are confident that their preparation, and the behind-the-scenes systems that the team has put in place, will make sure they remain the best team in Call of Duty for the upcoming season. They, of course, are hoping to avoid the rollercoaster season they just endured and remain at the top consistently, but as viewers, another up-and-down season like last year would certainly be entertaining and a great story!