Global Leader and Innovator of Competitive Gaming Controllers, Scuf Gaming, Attends PAX West

ATLANTA, GA – August 31, 2017 – Scuf Gaming® continues to raise the game and bring the SCUF Experience to PAX West, September 1-4 in Seattle, Washington.

Witness our latest innovations and products at the SCUF booth (Level 4, #323) where attendees will have the opportunity for a hands-on experience to feel the difference SCUF controllers make whilst playing their favorite video games to include Call of Duty® and Destiny® on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Fans and enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet the SCUF team and find out why over 90% of professional gamers choose SCUF. In addition to the gaming stations available for attendees to test SCUF controllers in game, SCUF will also have streaming stations where fans can watch their favorite streamers broadcast from the SCUF booth while fans at home will be able to follow the action live on Twitch.tv.

There will be two streaming sessions per day followed by autograph signing sessions at the booth so fans can gain that personal touch; session 1 is from 10am – 1pm and session 2 is from 3pm – 6pm. Confirmed streamers include: Ms 5ooo Watts, TheMavShow, Luminosity, TripleWreck, Charionna and RealKraftyy. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet some of SCUF’s top sponsored esports players and influencers and sign up for exciting giveaways.

Be sure to check SCUF social for all schedule updates!

Twitter: twitter.com/scufgaming
Facebook: facebook.com/ScufGaming
Instagram: instagram.com/scufgaming

SCUF will be offering a special PAX West onsite event pricing on controllers, apparel and accessories over the four-day weekend. SCUF controllers and accessories available onsite include SCUF IMPACT and SCUF Infinity 4PS PRO for PlayStation 4 and PC; as well as the SCUF Infinity1 and SCUF ELITE for Xbox One and PC. For those who can’t make it out to PAX West, SCUF will be providing a Twitch online promotion for the four-day weekend; offering customers $20 off SCUF orders of $225 or more.

As global leader and innovator of gaming peripherals SCUF was named “Best Hardware” award winner at the 2016 eSports Industry Awards. SCUF provides tactical gear for elite gamers where over 90% of the top professional gamers in the world use a SCUF controller. SCUF controllers are custom built to specification and cater to competitive and casual gamers who recognize that one size does not fit all. Selling high-end accessories and customized gaming controllers for console and PC, SCUF offers a number of patented functional and design features custom built to increase hand use and improve gameplay.

Duncan Ironmonger, CEO & Founder of Scuf Gaming said, “PAX in Seattle is always an event I’ve loved so I am delighted we’ll be featuring the SCUF Experience this year! For the past 6 and a half years we have dedicated our lives to re-inventing the way gamers use controllers through increased hand use and improved comfort. It’s humbling to see how far we have come and the impact esports is having on the entertainment world. PAX West offers an exciting festival environment to showcase what’s new in the ever expanding world of gaming so we are particularly excited to share our latest innovations with the masses this weekend.”

Scuf Gaming CEO and Founder, Duncan Ironmonger, will be available for onsite interviews Sept 1- 4; as well as other SCUF executives. Please contact Mel Wood, [email protected] for interview requests. Press materials and additional information about the company may be found online at scufgaming.com.

About PAX
PAX or Penny Arcade Expo is a festival for gamers to celebrate gaming culture. First held in Seattle in 2004, PAX has nearly doubled in size each successive year, with PAX Prime 2014 selling out of tickets in a matter of minutes. Connecting the world’s leading game publishers with their most avid and influential fans, PAX expanded with a second show in Boston in 2010 and a third in San Antonio in 2015, making it the three largest gaming shows in North America. The first international PAX was held in Melbourne, Australia in 2013. In 2017, Penny Arcade announced PAX Unplugged, its first tabletop focused show, to be held in Philadelphia.

About Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade is a web comic focused on video games and video game culture, written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik. With over 3.5 million readers, it is the most popular and longest running gaming web comic online. Penny Arcade is also responsible for the Child’s Play Charity, the Penny Arcade gaming expos (PAX) in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Melbourne, multiple videogames based on the brand, and multiple online video series.

About ReedPOP
ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading event organizer. ReedPOP is devoted exclusively to organizing and managing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and working with premium brands in the pop culture world to deliver once in a lifetime experiences for fans everywhere. ReedPOP is dedicated to facilitating celebrations of popular culture around the globe that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences. ReedPOP is proud to be a part of a portfolio of events that include New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) West, East, South, Australia and Unplugged, Emerald City Comicon (ECCC), BookCon, BookExpo, Oz Comic-Con, Comic Con India, Comic Con Paris, Comic Con Seoul, Star Wars Celebration, TwitchCon, ComplexCon and more. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan-based group of professionals uniquely qualified to serve those with whom they share a common passion.

About Scuf Gaming
Scuf Gaming®, global leader and innovator of gaming peripherals and winner of eSports Industry Awards for “Best Hardware” in 2016, provides tactical gear for elite gamers where over 90% of the top professional gamers in the world use SCUF. Selling high-end accessories and competitive gaming controllers for console and PC, SCUF offers a number of functional and design features custom built to increase hand use and improve gameplay. Built to specification, SCUF controllers cater to competitive and casual gamers who recognize that one size does not fit all. The SCUF controller has features, which are covered by 30 granted patents, and another 65 pending; protecting 3 key areas of a controller; back control functions and handles, trigger control mechanisms and interchangeable thumbstick control area. For additional information about Scuf Gaming, please visit www.scufgaming.com.

SCUF Social
Twitter: twitter.com/scufgaming
Facebook: facebook.com/ScufGaming
Instagram: instagram.com/scufgaming
YouTube: youtube.com/scufgamingtv
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/scufgamingusa

The Call Of Duty: WWII Beta Is Here!

cod-wwii-scuf-impact-custom-controller

CoD: WWII has been among the most hyped games of the year, and Activision surprised fans everywhere by releasing the beta a day early! With a November release, the CoD: WWII beta represents the first chance in years to play a new boots on the ground Call of Duty experience. The beta for Playstation 4 ends on the 28th of August, and picks back up for Xbox One and PS4 with a second run from September 1st to the 4th.

It’s possible that a third (or even a fourth) beta is in the works, but for the time being, the next two weekends are your only chance to get some multiplayer training in before Call Of Duty: WWII releases on November 3rd.

With fewer high-tech options and a focus on the classic style that made Call Of Duty one of the most popular games of all time, it goes without saying that you’ll want every advantage you can get. SCUF’s custom controllers are equipped with the patented innovations that can give players a real advantage in the trenches of World War II. That’s the reason that Scuf Gaming is used by over 90% of all pro gamers.

This weekend’s multiplayer beta is already a true proving ground for pro gamers, esports hopefuls, and hardcore gamers of every stripe. SCUF’s gaming technology can provide the winning edge that a player needs, whether you’re enjoying CoD’s campaign, the chaos of multiplayer, or waves of the undead in Zombie mode. Keep your eyes peeled for SCUF’s Call Of Duty: WWII game guide, coming soon!

SCUF Affiliate of the Week: Cuyler “Huke” Garland

Huke_SCUFAffiliateoftheWeek

This week’s affiliate profile takes a look at console esports prodigy Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland.

Prodigy

Among console esports stars, Huke might well be the most unique. He was unusual to begin with, a young talent that seemingly came out of nowhere on Advanced Warfare. By the end of the year, he’d gone from unknown amateur to being hailed as one of the best players in the world – a feat few have managed.

What makes him particularly exceptional, however, is that having been forced out of the pro level by age restrictions, he then transitioned to Halo. Not only did he become one of very few players to ever successfully make the move in that direction (OpTic Gaming’s Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter being the only other high-profile example), he has become even more successful as a result.

Within a year of making the switch, Huke was representing major organisations and playing alongside legendary names as he had in Call of Duty, but in Halo he’s managed to go a step beyond and win championships as well.

Having found success in both games, Huke is already among an elite group – the likes of the aforementioned Crimsix, his OpTic Gaming team mate Matthew ‘Formal’ Piper, and Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt being the other obvious members. The company Huke shares despite still being a young player makes him one of the most exciting prospects in console esports, a legend in the making.

With Call of Duty: WWII on the horizon, rumours are swirling that Huke might make a return to Call of Duty now that he’s old enough to compete in major events again. If he does, he’ll instantly be one of the most highly anticipated players on the circuit.

Huke-Halo-esports-champion
Origins

Although Huke had competed briefly in Call of Duty Ghosts, his rise to prominence truly began in Advanced Warfare. Having kicked off the season with a top-16 placement alongside fellow amateur players at MLG Columbus, he’d launch himself into the spotlight by reaching the grand finals of UMG Orlando with a Stunner Gaming squad that had no business contending for the trophy on paper.

It didn’t take long for Huke to earn recognition as a rare talent despite his inexperience on a professional level. Age restrictions at the Call of Duty Championships arguably prevented him from joining an elite squad earlier, but by the mid-season he was playing for a FaZe squad that reached back-to-back grand finals at major events.

To close out Infinite Warfare Huke found himself playing under Denial, alongside Advanced Warfare World Champion James ‘Replays’ Crowder. The team remained at the pinnacle of the game, appearing in another two grand finals but never quite able to overcome the dominant OpTic Gaming squad.

By the end of his rookie season, Huke was one of the most exciting and sought-after players in the world, universally recognised as an extraordinary talent relative to his age and experience. Unfortunately, his Call of Duty career would be cut short – at least temporarily – by factors beyond his control.

The introduction of the Call of Duty World League meant that all major events the following year, not just the Call of Duty Championships, would require competitors to be over the age of eighteen. Unwilling to watch from the side-lines for two years, Huke made the switch to Halo, where he has gone on to even greater success.

Current team

Today, Huke competes in Halo 5: Guardians for Team EnVyUs. Champions of HCS Las Vegas 2016, the HCS Fall 2016 Finals, UMG Daytona 2017, as well as runners-up in the 2017 Halo World Championship, EnVy have been one of the most successful teams in the world during Huke’s time with them.

Since Huke’s addition to the team, they have been a constant presence on the podium, consistently placing third-place or higher. Over that period, they’ve been the primary obstacle in the way of an otherwise dominant OpTic Gaming squad, whom they’ve faced off against in several grand finals.

huke-envyus-wins-halo-championship

Greatest achievement

Despite a meteoric rise in Advanced Warfare, Huke was never quite able to lift a trophy in Call of Duty. He reached four grand finals over the course of the season, but on every occasion ran into the indomitable OpTic Gaming, who were then only in the first year of the legendary roster that has terrorised the game since.

Having made the switch to Halo, it didn’t take Huke long to start reaching grand finals again. Having truly announced his arrival in the new game with a top-four finish at the 2016 Halo World Championship in March, he placed second in his first season of the Halo Championship Series.

It was the following season, however, that marked arguably his greatest achievement to date. Having moved to Team EnVyUs after HCS Summer 2016, the squad put together a dominant run for the HCS Fall 2016 season. Having topped the regular season, the squad were able to come back from the loser bracket to defeat the imperious OpTic Gaming in consecutive best-of-sevens to take the trophy.

 

SCUF Affiliate of the Week: Matthew “Formal” Piper

Origins

Unlike many of his esteemed colleagues, Formal came to Call of Duty with the reputation of being a champion. Formal’s five-year stint on Halo saw him race through the ranks before eventually becoming one of the best in the game.

He found a home as part of Ambush — joining forces with some of the game’s most accomplished stars such as Heinz, iGotUrPistola, Snip3down and later Enable. His time in Halo saw him take home seven Major titles, spanning three games in the series.

Understandably then, Formal came into Call of Duty with a higher stock than most. Team Kaliber were willing to take a risk on the former Halo star and combining forces with Sharp, Theory and Goonjar, Formal and Team Kaliber took home a top 4 finish in the Winter Invitational back on Call of Duty Ghosts.

A top 16 finish at the 2014 Call of Duty Championship was to be Formal’s last major act in a Team Kaliber shirt, as soon FaZe Black came calling. It wasn’t until EnVyUs swooped in to acquire Formal’s talents, though, that his true potential was exposed and he quickly helped the Boys in Blue to their first major title in years — this was only the beginning of the Formal story.

Formal-At-CWL-OrlandoCurrent Team

The world champions (finally). Formal linked up with OpTic Gaming to deliver a Call of Duty Championship as part of a severe roster shuffle that also saw the acquisition of Crimsix.

The new-look OpTic Gaming had great promise and were a championship caliber team from offing, only denied on their debut by Aches and FaZe Clan. The first Major title would soon come, though, and was quickly followed by another before the team took first place at the Call of Duty Championship 2015 NA Regional Finals. The new OpTic Gaming were on course to achieve greatness.

Yet at the Call of Duty Championship, OpTic Gaming fell short, as Denial won the title. This forced a change in the ranks, with long-time OG man Nadeshot stepping down, with two-time Call of Duty Championship Winner Karma filling his boots.

With Karma, OpTic Gaming were even more successful, winning countless major titles along the way to the 2016 Call of Duty Championship. The heavy favourites again, OpTic Gaming were expected to deliver the world title after a season of dominance.

Yet again though, the Green Wall was demolished and Formal had to watch his former team, EnVyUs, lift the title instead of him. For the second year in a row, OpTic Gaming would place top 8.

Despite the defeat, OpTic Gaming decided not to make a change, confident that they had already assembled the game’s best roster. The next year was much of the same, with OpTic Gaming winning three Majors — the most of any roster on the pro circuit

This time, it was meant to be. In a year where OpTic Gaming weren’t the overwhelming favourites, the team assembled to win the world title won the world title. It was an outstanding achievement from a great team, starved of the one honor that deserted them.

OpTic Gaming finished the Infinite Warfare season having won titles in Paris, Dallas, Stage 2 in Columbus and of course, the all-important Call of Duty Championship title.

OpTic-At-CoD-Champs-2017

Greatest Achievement

Unquestionably Formal’s greatest achievement is his latest achievement. Lifting the Call of Duty Championship was Formal’s goal in the game. Formal didn’t just win the title though, he turned in five-days of superb Call of Duty that’ll go down in history.

The competition’s MVP was outstanding from the moment the first bullet was fired, and his stats paint the picture of a man playing at the very top of his game. At the close of play, Formal led all players in Overall K/D, Hardpoint K/D, Uplink points per game, and was second in Uplink K/D.

Formal rose to the occasion like no-other at the 2017 Call of Duty Championship and was the single most important OpTic Gaming player for almost every series spanning the five-day competition in Orlando, Florida.

After claims of wanting to go down as the best FPS player when he eventually hangs up the sticks, Formal took great strides in the right direction.

Formal-Wins-MVP-At-CoD-Champs-2017

In-game

Formal is OpTic Gaming’s AR Slayer and is expecting to lead his team in kills — something he achieved to great effect at the Call of Duty Championship and in OpTic’s Stage 2 campaign.

Formal is among the most aggressive rifles in Call of Duty, and is comparable to Splyce’s Zer0 and Luminosity’s Octane in style of play.

What sets Formal apart though is the quality of his aim. The same talent that made him a winner on Halo, has made him a champion on Call of Duty as well. Precise and deadly, Formal has been the catalyst for OpTic’s success and rightly won the game’s biggest individual accolade at the 2017 Call of Duty Championship.

Formal-At-CoD-Champs-2017

Public Persona

Formal has a clear vision of who he is as both a player and a person; he is a leader, a winner and a competitor first and foremost. This drive and determination largely defines his character, although even by his own acknowledgement, behind closed doors he can be a goofball.

As a long-time member of OpTic Gaming and one of the best players in Call of Duty, understandably Formal has amassed a sizeable social media following. He has 700,000 Twitter followers, making him one of the most popular stars in the whole of Call of Duty. Brief forays into YouTube and Twitch have been highly successful, despite being inconsistent.

Compared to some of his counterparts, Formal has barely even scratched the surface of YouTube, uploading a handful of videos since starting his channel three years ago. Despite that, his following is over 250,000 — an enviable amount to almost any aspiring content creator but just part a parcel of being OpTic Formal.

Crimsix Takes Over SCUF HQ!

Crimsix-At-SCUF

Fresh from his 2017 CoD Championships win with the legendary OpTic Gaming, Ian “Crimsix” Porter invaded Scuf Gaming HQ! With his mind for tactics and tech, the Crimbot wanted a firsthand look at the patented technology that makes up each and every SCUF controller.

Crimsix-At-SCUFCrimsix-At-SCUFCrimsix-At-SCUF
Scuf Gaming’s affiliation with the two-time Call of Duty Champion goes back years, eventually culminating in the release of the Crimsix SCUF controller in 2016, and the limited edition Crimsix SCUF LE controller in 2017. In fact, in celebration of his arrival, Crimsix decided to offer one lucky winner the chance to take home an autographed Crimsix LE SCUF IMPACT!


This is a one of a kind opportunity, so don’t miss out! This is your chance to own a limited edition tribute to one of the best pro gamers of all time!

Scuf Gaming is Official Professional Gaming Controller Partner of MLG and CWL

Official Professional Gaming Controller Partner of Major League Gaming and the Call of Duty World League, Scuf Gaming, Congratulates OpTic Gaming, As Longtime SCUF Sponsored Team, on Winning 2017 CWL Championship

ATLANTA, GA – August 17, 2017 – Scuf Gaming (SCUF), global leader and innovator of gaming peripherals, is the official professional gaming controller partner of Major League Gaming Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), and the Call of Duty World League (CWL), Presented by PlayStation 4, the company announced today. Scuf Gaming has been the official professional gaming controller partner of MLG for the last three years and CWL for the last two.

Over 90% of professional players and teams used SCUF controllers at the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship, Presented by PlayStation 4 at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL, August 11-13.  As a primary sponsor at this year’s championship event, SCUF is pleased to congratulate one of our sponsored teams, OpTic Gaming, who were crowned champions of this year’s event. Many of the top players in the league are SCUF sponsored players including OpTic team members; Matt “FormaL” Piper (CWL 2017 MVP & 1st time CWL winner), Ian “Crimsix” Porter (2nd time CWL winner), Seth “Scump” Abner (1st time CWL winner) and Damon “Karma” Barlow (3rd time CWL winner). While SCUF controllers have become the de facto controllers for competitive gamers, they’re also used by a large number of enthusiast gamers.

“It’s been a long road to champs and there’s no better feeling than to finally claim the title. We are very grateful for all of our fans in the green wall and to partners like Scuf Gaming who have supported OpTic across multiple years,” said Hector Rodriguez, Owner and CEO, OpTic Gaming.

Champs_Optic_Duncan

Since its inception, SCUF has been a key part of the Call of Duty (COD) ecosystem, from professional players and teams, to leagues and enthusiasts. By inventing and patenting new technology and functionality (over 30 granted patents), SCUF controllers enable players to utilize more of their hand in a safe and ergonomic way, while potentially increasing performance. Scuf Gaming created a new market space in 2011 for professional gaming controllers and have continued to be an authentic and natural fit for MLG and Activision’s CWL.

Kevin Flynn, Director, Call of Duty Esports, “We see our collaboration with Scuf Gaming as a natural fit and great opportunity to continue to push esports forward. We have consistently seen many CWL players and teams rely on their SCUF controllers in the heat of battle. We’re excited to continue our partnership.”

A SCUF controller is designed to make a significant difference when playing competitively. The paddle control system on the back of the controller allows players to perform advanced moves like jumping, crouching, melee or reloading while keeping their thumbs on the thumbsticks. The trigger control system saves game-changing milliseconds when aiming and shooting. The interchangeable thumbstick control area and the SCUF military grade grip improve comfort and accuracy and like every SCUF innovation, they are fully customizable to match every individual’s style.

To support the lead-up to the finals, SCUF launched the #OurTimeIsNow campaign celebrating Call of Duty’s biggest esports event of the year. Esports enthusiasts and fans got in on the action by posting their own #OurTimeIsNow images on social media from the SCUF booth. SCUF fans also had the opportunity to meet SCUF sponsored teams at the SCUF signing booth throughout the weekend.

SCUF Social

Twitter: twitter.com/scufgaming

Facebook: facebook.com/ScufGaming

Instagram: instagram.com/scufgaming

YouTube: youtube.com/scufgamingtv

Snapchat: snapchat.com/add/scufgamingusa

Duncan Ironmonger, CEO & Founder of Scuf Gaming said, “We are excited to see the continued growth of the competitive community and for SCUF to be such an integral part of its success. The passion of gamers from hobby enthusiasts to elite professional players is evidence that Esports is here to stay.”

About Scuf Gaming

Scuf Gaming®, global leader and innovator of gaming peripherals and winner of eSports Industry Awards for “Best Hardware” in 2016, provides tactical gear for elite gamers where over 90% of the top professional gamers in the world use SCUF. Selling high-end accessories and competitive gaming controllers for console and PC, SCUF offers a number of functional and design features custom built to increase hand use and improve gameplay. Built to specification, SCUF controllers cater to competitive and casual gamers who recognize that one size does not fit all. The SCUF controller has features, which are covered by 30 granted patents, and another 65 pending; protecting 3 key areas of a controller; back control functions and handles, trigger control mechanisms and interchangeable thumbstick control area.  For additional information about Scuf Gaming, please visit www.scufgaming.com.

The CoD Champs Recap!

OpTic-Wins-CoD-Champs-2017

The Curse Is Over!

After five days of blistering action and stunning gameplay, OpTic Gaming finally took home their first Call of Duty World Championship! After defeating 2016 Champions EnVyUs in two best of five series, OpTic now has essentially every award under their collective belts, including Karma’s unprecedented 3 rings.

Karma_Three_Rings_CoD_Champs Formal_CoD_Champs_2017_MVP
The action on the stage was hard to take your eyes off of, but the excitement didn’t stop there. The SCUF Booth was alive with signings, new controllers, and giveaways throughout the week.

The SCUF MLG 2.0 Controller

The SCUF MLG 2.0 was also released last week. Celebrating Major League Gaming and everything that it’s done to increase the viewership and popularity of esports, the MLG 2.0 sports the stylish red, white, and blue of the pro gaming organization that shares its name, complete with their logo prominently displayed on the left handle. Available for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC, this is a must have item for esports fans of every stripe.

MLG-Playstation-Custom-Controller 

Time At The Signing Booth

The SCUF signing booth was on fire with the greatest players of all time signing controllers, jerseys, and just about everything else! Their fans truly matter, and every team that came to the table made sure to let them know it.

Teams like OpTic, FaZe, eUnited, and Splyce all made appearances at the signing booth, taking photos and making quality memories for the fans.

EnVyUs_SCUF_Signing_Booth_CoD_Champs Clayster_eUnited_Signing_Booth_CoD_Champs Crimsix_Optic_Signing_Booth_CoD_Champs

Our Time Is Now

In addition to spending time with the pros, fans got a chance to have their pictures taken at the Our Time Is Now booth. There they posed with brand new SCUF designs and took on the look of some of esports greatest players during the Our Time Is Now campaign.

Overall, the 2017 Call of Duty Championships was one for the history books! Now, with CoD: WW2 on its way, TeamSCUF is expecting a whole new year of excitement, tense plays, and incredible gaming.

CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017 CoD_Champs_2017  

Our Time Is Now: What’s The Word At CoD Champs 2017?

In anticipation of the Call of Duty Championships, the biggest and most anticipated event of the season, we’ve taken a look at some of the stories that could potentially come to fruition as Infinite Warfare concludes.

OurTimeIsNow-Championship2017_2

OpTic’s time at last?

For a third consecutive year, OpTic Gaming are arguably the favorites heading into the Call of Duty Championships.

In Advanced Warfare, when Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter and Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper first joined the roster, the team were untouched outside of the very first event of the season, but fell short at the crucial moment. In Black Ops 3, now with Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow, the team were once again a heavy favorite, having won the preceding MLG Orlando along with several other events over the course of the year. Once again, they fell short when it mattered most.

This time it’s a little different, however. In years past, such was the dominance of the squad that there was never any question of who the team to beat was. This time, OpTic’s rule has not been unchallenged, and their position as arguably the best team in the world has been hard-won, only re-affirmed by an impressive victory at the Global Pro League Stage Two.

Perhaps the mindset change in the run-up to the biggest event of the year might have done them a favor. Less than a month out, nobody, perhaps not even the team themselves, was certain that OpTic could win again on Infinite Warfare. Such a legendary line-up will never be utterly discounted, but maybe a little bit of doubt for the first time might have pushed OpTic to be more prepared than ever as the most important tournaments of the year approached.

IMG_4980

The resurgence of Clayster and eUnited

When Clayster won the Call of Duty Championships as the MVP in 2015, it was after having been dropped first by OpTic Gaming at the end of the previous season, and then again by Team EnVyUs just months into Advanced Warfare.

Those events gave him a drive the pushed him to greater heights than perhaps ever before, becoming arguably the best player in the world for most of the year and picking up several titles – including that of World Champion – along the way.

Today, Clayster finds himself in a somewhat familiar position as the Call of Duty Championships approaches. Having been dropped after a two-year stint on FaZe, Clayster once again has a point to prove, this time with eUnited, and his performance has stepped up significantly since the move.

The squad weren’t able to win on their first outing, finishing third at the Global Pro League Stage Two Playoffs, but Clayster’s Denial weren’t instant champions back in 2015 either. When it mattered most, however, Clayster was at his most dangerous. This year, he’ll be looking to repeat the feat once more.

It’s not just validation for Clayster that a victory would bring, however. The rest of the eUnited squad rose higher and faster than perhaps any other team in history this year, from nowhere becoming one of the top two teams in the world. Much of that success was put on standout performances by Pierce ‘Gunless’ Hillman.

With Gunless’s departure from the team, the rest of the team are looking to prove definitively that they weren’t reliant on his play for success, and that they can still be the best team in the world without their former star.

IMG_2791

Validation for FaZe

The decision by FaZe to replace James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks with rising star Pierce ‘Gunless’ Hillman wasn’t exactly met with unanimous praise. Clayster is arguably the most popular player outside of OpTic Gaming and has at times been one of the highest performers in the world, so his removal didn’t sit well with all fans. Meanwhile, Gunless himself came under criticism for the manner of his departure from eUnited.

Since the swap, it’s been eUnited that have taken the spotlight, with Clayster reaching new heights in Infinite Warfare and leading the squad to a third-place finish in Stage Two of the Global Pro League, while FaZe themselves were eliminated in the top-six.

For FaZe, the Call of Duty Championships therefore represents an opportunity for the squad to prove themselves. The three core members seek to demonstrate that they did not make a mistake in dropping Clayster and that they can be successful without him. For Gunless, it’s a chance to prove that he is the game-changing player he was touted as earlier in the season, and not reliant on the support of his former eUnited team mates as they have since suggested.
DSC02839

EnVy to repeat?

For the first time ever, there is a genuine possibility we might see the exact line-up take the World Championship title in two consecutive years.

Team EnVyUs, winners of the 2016 Call of Duty Championships, are the first squad ever to have survived the season following their victory. Previous winning teams have all been disbanded within months of their victory.

While the possibility is there simply because the line-up still exists, EnVy surprised the world at Stage Two by proving that they could actually be a championship contender again. While they ultimately lost the grand final to OpTic Gaming, the boys in blue were perhaps a handful of key kills away from repeating their Stage Two victory of the previous year.

With the squad’s inconsistencies over the season and the number of other teams that potentially pose a threat for the title, it would certainly be an overreaction to label EnVyUs as an outright favorite for this year’s Call of Duty Championships, but it’s suddenly within the realm of possibility that we might have a repeat champion for the first time.

IMG_7885

Completing the ascension of Europe.

This year has been a landmark one for European Call of Duty. More teams have placed within the top eight of international events than ever before. Splyce made history by becoming the first EU squad to win a major event on US soil at the Global Pro League Stage One Playoffs. The following event they made the grand final again, while Epsilon joined them in the top three.

Infinite Warfare has undoubtedly seen more European success on the international stage than ever before, it somehow still seems that there’s potential for more. Inconsistencies from various squads over the year have meant that while many have had the potential to make deep runs, they seemed often to take turns hitting good form.

The result is that despite the successes, many still point to shortcomings and argue that Europe’s allocated spots in the Global Pro League, for example, are misplaced. The Call of Duty Championships represents an opportunity for the region to dispel doubts once again, and conclude the season on a high note.

The Best Players. The Greatest Teams. One Championship. Our Time Is Now.

SCUF Affiliate of the Week: Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparratto

This week’s profile looks at FaZe Clan’s Thomas ‘ZooMaa’ Paparratto.

Zoomaa_SCUFAffiliateoftheWeek

Origins

Once derided as primarily an online player, ZooMaa first began to build a name for himself as a Search and Destroy specialist. During Call of Duty Ghosts, he began to transition into playing respawn game modes as well and attending his first events.

Having qualified for Season 2 of the MLG CoD League, ZooMaa’s squad were acquired by Denial. Although the squad qualified for the international playoffs at MLG Anaheim, a last-place finish prompted a major team shuffle, with the squad rebuilt around ZooMaa.

The new team – now featuring prominent pro players Renato ‘Saints’ Forza, James ‘Replays’ Crowder and Jeremy ‘StuDyy’ Astacio, was an instant success, picking up victory at UMG Dallas on their very first outing together. Despite now being surrounded by high-profile names, ZooMaa continued to distinguish himself as a potential superstar.

It was in Advanced Warfare, however, that he completed his ascent to becoming one of Call of Duty’s superstars. After transitioning with Denial into the new season, ZooMaa would move to Team EnVyUs for a stint before finding himself on FaZe Clan.

The first iteration of the FaZe squad challenged the dominant OpTic Gaming in a couple of finals, but didn’t look in much danger of actually toppling them. After losing in the grand finals of the MLG Pro League Season 2 Playoffs, ZooMaa and Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt teamed up with Denial duo and World Champions James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks and Dillon ‘Attach’ Price.

The squad would go undefeated against the previously indomitable OpTic for the rest of the season, picking up three championships during which ZooMaa himself was praised as one of the best players in the world.

Current team

ZooMaa remains a member of that FaZe Clan squad today, although recently the team have been through their first team change in over two years. Despite their success towards the end Advanced Warfare, the team had a much less successful year on Black Ops 3. Though results picked up noticeably in Infinite Warfare, as the year progressed the team remained without a championship win.

Things finally came to a head after a top-16 finish at CWL Anaheim, and a change had to be made. To some controversy, it was James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks on the chopping block, with Peirce ‘Gunless’ Hillman, one of the rising talents behind eUnited’s success, brought in as a replacement.

The new FaZe roster was unable to pick up its first trophy on its debut, instead coming in at 5th/6th at the Global Pro League Stage Two Playoffs. The squad were arguably unfortunate to run into both eventual grand finalists EnVyUs and OpTic Gaming, but the placement leaves the team still looking to prove themselves as they head into this year’s Call of Duty Championships.

IMG_5343

Greatest achievement

With multiple trophies to his name, it’s difficult to isolate a single greatest achievement for ZooMaa. It’s easier to narrow down a time period – between the formation of the FaZe Clan roster that held until recently, and the end of the Advanced Warfare season.

During that time, ZooMaa helped to push his squad to three major championship victories, taking down the god-squad of OpTic Gaming in all three grand finals. ZooMaa was arguably in his prime on an individual level, and the team became the first to ever deny OpTic Gaming of multiple trophies.

If a single event were to be selected, however, it would probably be the Gfinity Summer Championship. Offering a $50,000 first place prize – one of the biggest pay-outs of the year outside of the Call of Duty Championships – it was only the second event the then-new FaZe had competed at.

Having previously won UMG Dallas, the squad were looking to prove that they weren’t a one-hit wonder, that they could go toe-to-toe with OpTic on a consistent basis. The two teams would meet in an epic best-of-seven final in which FaZe came back from a 1-3 deficit to win 4-3. The match was an instant classic, and also the first time OpTic had fallen short at consecutive events since the addition of Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter and Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper.

IMG_5359

In-game

In his rise to the top, ZooMaa quickly developed a reputation as one of the fastest players in the game. While he’s experimented with an Assault Rifle at times, ZooMaa is at his best with an SMG in his hands.

Particularly during Advanced Warfare, ZooMaa was a player to get up in the enemy’s face and force as many interactions as possible, making space for his team and drawing attention away from the dominant riflers. In prime form, ZooMaa would become a one-man wrecking ball, not only taking more fights than any other player but winning most of them as well, almost single-handedly forcing back opponents.

In Search and Destroy, he became known for this aggressive behaviour that it practically became a meme: everyone knew the “ZooMaa flank” was coming, but he retained a remarkably high success rate nonetheless.

Today, ZooMaa is a little more conservative in his play, having amassed more experience at the highest level and learnt when it’s better to reign in the aggression.

IMG_9597

Public persona

Like almost all Call of Duty professional players, ZooMaa is no stranger to a range of social media sites. His largest following is to be found on Twitter, boasting more than 278,000 followers, though ZooMaa hasn’t dedicated quite so much time to content creation for sites like YouTube and Twitch as some of his fellow competitors. An active Instagram makes up his second most popular account, with over 138,000 followers.

Unlike some, ZooMaa generally isn’t a particularly divisive or controversial figure. Typically coming across as humble and honest in interviews, even those who may support fierce rivals are rarely found with a bad word to say about ZooMaa on a personal level.

SCUF’s Dreamhack Wrapup!

Dreamhack Atlanta 2017 made for an amazing weekend. With a nail-biting Halo finale that saw Splyce defeat OpTic, this was a weekend of great gaming, brilliant personalities, and enough excitement to keep everyone talking. SCUF was there to join in, and not an hour went by without something great to see and do.

The SCUF Booth was a popular destination, with pro gamers such as Ninja, Luminosity, and SoaR Gaming visiting to talk about the new SCUF IMPACT. The EnVyUs Rocket League team came by to discuss the benefits of using a SCUF with the best car/soccer hybrid ever made, and what better way to end the weekend than with a performance by Waka Flocka Flame? Dreamhack 2017 was an amazing weekend, and SCUF can’t wait to come by again next year!

IMG_6628 IMG_6704 IMG_6841 IMG_7470 IMG_7220 IMG_6930 IMG_7046 IMG_6899 IMG_6709 IMG_8400 IMG_8359 IMG_8377 IMG_8824 IMG_8415  waka