There were “glaring” issues OpTic Texas found in its 3-2 loss to the London Royal Ravens on Saturday evening in the team’s 2022 Call of Duty League debut, OpTic assistant coach Troy “Sender” Michaels said. Issues that weren’t popping up in scrimmages.
A loss wasn’t what Michaels and OpTic were hoping for. Newish roster, new brand after OpTic Chicago and the Dallas Empire merged in the offseason. Preseason scrimmages had Texas as a standout team.
A Kickoff Classic loss and dropped season opener resulted in a thud instead of a splash.
“The things we were messing up on were more based off making rash decisions and playing too fast,” Michaels said in a phone interview. “At some points, we are going to be playing a little bit too fast, and it’s about finding our pacing. The more matches we have as a team, the happier we will get with that pacing.”
Man, that’s a tough way to start, good games to London. Lack of coordination in some moments costed us hard. #BrickByBrick
— OpTic Scump (@scump) February 6, 2022
OpTic Texas was set up for a decisive victory before getting reverse swept. Texas was the heavy favorite, with London being a team many experts had at the bottom of the Call of Duty league table.
London rookie Joey “Gismo” Owen made it clear how he and his team felt about that after the win.
“11th,” Owen asked on the CDL YouTube broadcast. “Behave.”
OpTic head coach Ray “Rambo” Lussier will be the first to preach that losing is learning. Texas had a swift exit in the Kickoff Classic in a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Thieves. Lussier told The Dallas Morning News after the match that this was an important moment.
Michaels added that OpTic players, who were not made available to The News on Saturday evening, weren’t making good decisions in the map losses, and made decisions they normally wouldn’t in practice.
“People don’t want to make mistakes,” Michaels said. “Sometimes people aren’t paying attention to a situation or they are playing too scared and not wanting to do the right thing, even if it is a little more risky.”
Tough L to start the year, we’ll bounce back. GGs to London, they’re playing some good cod, props to them. We go again tomorrow vs Rokkr #BrickByBrick
— OpTic Rambo (@ramboray) February 5, 2022
OpTic Texas burst out to a 2-0 lead in the series with a Bocage hardpoint win and a clutch Berlin search and destroy win in round 11. Texas appeared to be the better Call of Duty team through the front half of the match, backing the experts on the Call of Duty League desk who unanimously picked them to take down the Royal Ravens.
The Royal Ravens cruised through the following two maps though, setting up a dramatic search and destroy on Bocage.
OpTic had been fairly clutch up to that point. Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal and Brandon “Dashy” Otell clutched up in a 2-vs-4 on the first search map. Seth “Scump” Abner recovered from his Kickoff Classic woes with his expected slaying power.
London had the adjustments made, and forced a fifth map before ultimately claiming it. Michaels didn’t go as far as saying he was glad OpTic lost, but he was glad it went to five maps instead of a clean sweep.
“If we would have just 3-0′d them, I feel like we wouldn’t have learned as much as we did,” Michaels said. “So, I’m glad we went the distance. I’m glad we went to a round 11, game five. We learned a lot from it and I think that’s going to help us.”
Texas doesn’t have time to linger on mistakes. OpTic plays the Minnesota Rokkr at 5 p.m. Sunday for a chance to equalize the weekend. The CDL upped its talent in the offseason, with teams loading up star players and previously struggling squads dominating.
There’s little room for error now, and OpTic Texas is starting a bit behind.