- One of the biggest OpTic Gaming fans has found an opportunity of a lifetime to own one of the rarest esports memorabilia in competitive Call of Duty. What did he find that’s incredibly rare? Find out below.
Activision Blizzard’s Franchised Call of Duty League
Most competitive Call of Duty fans are pretty familiar with what has been happening with the league in the past few months. But for those who need a quick summary, Activision Blizzard decided to franchise the Call of Duty league. Jacob Wolf of ESPN reported that Activision Blizzard started the sales process for creating a franchised, city-based Call of Duty League (CDL) back in March. It was also reported in the same article that the Overwatch League team owners were granted the first right of negotiation for Call of Duty franchising. This disrupted the whole scene, leaving many of us uncomfortable with the new league since it raised so many unwanted questions. The majority of CoD esports fans were happy with the Call of Duty World League (CWL), and didn’t want change. Now, the new CDL has changed the competitive landscape, and rising costs to enter the league has pushed teams like 100 Thieves to opt-out.
Another concern was about one of the most popular organizations in competitive CoD. As an OpTic Gaming fan, the big question for me was about the team’s future since it’s parent company, Infinite Esports, was acquired by Immortals Gaming back in June. What is going to happen to the teams that just competed in the league, and most importantly, what is going to happen to OpTic Gaming and their CoD roster? Sadly, the worse was confirmed when two of the most decorated players in COD history, OpTic Crimsix and OpTic Karma, were opened to being contacted by other teams.
Most recently, we’ve seen Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez officially join NRG Esports. Although all of this didn’t just happen in one day, it seems that way. From watching the last official CWL match to seeing where we’re at today, it’s hard to accept how fast things move in this industry. The only thing I can do is to keep moving forward, and out of everything that has happened regarding the organizations, I hope players who are without a team find a place to call home soon.
OpTic Gaming Memorabilia In Demand?
Ian “Crimsix” Porter said in a recent IG post that it’s a “sad day to the end of an era“. It’s hard to see the chapter close on OpTic the way it did, but I have come to terms with everything that has happened. Now, I’ve changed my focus to something a little more positive. I’ve been on a hunt to find old OpTic jerseys. The collector in me wanted to have a piece of OpTic history by finding some old memorabilia that represented the team in their hay day. That’s when I began my search for OpTic Gaming jerseys and apparel.
The first place I decided to check was the official OpTic Gaming store in case there was anything new that was added. Currently, the OpTic Gaming store has a few items for sale such as their 2019 jersey which you can buy on its own or customized with your name. For the remaining apparel on the site, the most popular sizes are all sold out. The next logical place was to do a search on Google for “OpTic Gaming Jersey”. The only place I found that has anything related to OpTic Gaming was the ESL Shop. They are currently selling the “all black” 2018 jerseys with no sponsors on it. Last month, the official OpTic Gaming Twitter account tweeted a commemorative jersey that would be released for a limited time:
To the players who have worn this jersey with pride and the fans who have cheered across the globe, this is for you. It’s time for Champs.
— OpTic Gaming™ (@OpTicGaming) August 14, 2019
Unfortunately, I missed the sale of this (insert sad emoji here). So my spidey senses brought me to eBay. The only results that come up for “OpTic Gaming” would be a bunch of Football cards, gaming mouses, bootleg OG shirts and of course, the OpTic Gaming: The Making of eSports Champions book (it’s a good read!). You’d think that there would be more items available, especially since they are one of the oldest teams in CoD esports history. But eBay is as dry as the desert, and it seems like fans are holding onto their memories of the OpTic they once knew.
I then decided to do a “Completed listings” search on eBay to see what was sold or not. As I was going through the completed listings, my eyes fell upon one of the greatest finds in OpTic Gaming history, and possibly the holy grail of OpTic Gaming memorabilia. Staring right at me was the listing titled:
*FIRST EVENT* OpTic Gaming CoD Jersey
At first, I thought it was a bootleg of some sort, but after clicking the completed listing and thoroughly looking through the auction as well as doing some Google searches, I was able to confirm that it was the real deal! But how on earth could someone be selling this artifact? Unless it was an original OpTic Gaming member?
The listing was for two jerseys; white and black. The back of the jerseys had the name “Flawless” written on it. Rich “Flawless” Ferreira played for OpTic Gaming in 2010. Here’s a YouTube clip of the team in 2010 at MLG Dallas. But was the seller actually Flawless? Part of my searches that confirmed the jerseys were real was a YouTube video I stumbled upon of the buyer who acquired the jersey. The title of the YouTube video was “1 of 5 OpTic Gaming treasures acquired!!!“:
Interview With Greenwall Member, Ethan G. Ortega
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you heard about OpTic Gaming.
Sure, so my name is Ethan G. Ortega. I’ve been playing FPS games for many years now and my gamertag is TheAvenger732. I started to watch CoD eSports the same time I became a member of the Greenwall in March of 2016, but I had known about OpTic since the MW3 era of CoD. I remember playing online with some friends on MW3 and one of them asked me if I ever heard of the team “OpTic Gaming” before, and I was like “who’s OpTic Gaming?“. I heard about OpTic because of the “myth” that was told which was, if you were allowed to join the team you were now able to have 5 letters in your clan tag as opposed to 4 (Call of Duty only allows four letters in a clan tag till this day). I heard of Nadeshot because of him winning the CoD XP 2011 and people would say if you got into a lobby with him and he thought you were good enough he’d let you “try-out” for the team. OpTic was also the first eSports team I’ve ever heard about and I’ve followed them since 2016.
2. You said something interesting in the quick chat we had on Twitter. What felt different after the 2017 Championships?
Regarding the whole Infinite/Immortals situation, it’s a tough subject for us as the Greenwall in my opinion. I remember binge-watching Vision and thinking how cool it’d be to live in a place like 6050 or the Scuf house and play video games for a living. For me personally the vibes felt different for OpTic right after winning CoD Champs 2017. Yea we just won one of the biggest tourneys of the year but something just felt different. I guess you could say the feeling of “Hectors OpTic” was gone before we knew it was really gone. The organization became more “corporate”, and that’s when the players moved from the Scuf house to Dallas Texas and started streaming and making content from their own homes/apartments. Content just felt different. My thoughts regarding the Immortals Acquisition of Infinite, I’m not a fan, and really no one is; truthfully and honestly. I know it’s meant to help the eSports scene grow, but nothing will ever compare to “Hectors OpTic”. Immortals may own a portion, but anyone in the Greenwall will agree that OpTic will always be Hectors!
3. The reason I contacted you was that I noticed you purchased the 2010 OpTic Gaming jersey. How did you find it and what was the whole process like?
I like to search for old OpTic Gaming merch online, and I came across an auction for the first-ever OpTic Gaming jerseys from MLG Dallas 2010. When I saw it my heart dropped. I knew this was a rare opportunity since the first OpTic Gaming jerseys were never sold to the public. The 2010 Jerseys were made only for the members of OpTic at the time and no one else. So no one could have bought the jersey or get their hands on it, especially since the players needed it to compete. I contacted the seller who happened to be Rich “Flawless” Ferreira, one of the original members of OpTics’ first competitive cod team. When I contacted him, I said, “what would it take for you to end this auction right now“. He told me “Name a price I can’t refuse” so I ended up submitting a ridiculous offer and he said he would keep me in mind. I also had to create a Twitter account since I didn’t have one prior just to gain his trust and show him I’m not some scammer and a real person. We went back and forth and I told him about my collection and that I’m a huge OpTic Gaming fan. Realizing what he had I ended up telling Flawless that he should keep his Championship white jersey as proof that he played for OpTic and made it to Championship Sunday (White jerseys are only for OpTic players that make it to Sunday). He can also have something to look back at years later. I even told him that I would offer the same price that I did for both jerseys and only buy the black one from him. He agreed and thanked me for being understanding about the whole thing. I paid him for the jersey and around a week later it arrived at my house. The jersey is signed by him and till this day I can’t explain what it feels like to own it. Flawless and I still communicate from time to time and I consider him a good friend now.
4. Would you consider yourself the biggest OpTic collector?
No haha, I don’t think I am. I mean I may be at the top with some of them when it comes to how rare certain things I have are, but I’m sure there are guys with bigger collections. I’m not trying to be the fan with the most memorabilia, but if there’s a chance to grab something special, I definitely will.
I know this might sound crazy, but I would love to open up an esports museum in the future. There’s so much that has happened in the industry and there’s no museum to showcase all of the special moments, trophies and memorabilia that exist. It would be really cool if one existed and I would love to be the person to open one up or help open one up.
5. You might not have the biggest OpTic Gaming collection, but you are in a class on its own now with the first-ever OpTic jersey. Do you know of any other notable OpTic Gaming collectors?
Yeah, there’s someone by the name of Major Braxton; huge member of the Greenwall. He went to the Scuf house back in 2017 and was on an episode of the OpTic Podcast. Major Braxton is the only other person that I can think of that owns some of the rarest OpTic Gaming memorabilia ever. He owns all the championship white jerseys from 2011 to 2017.
6. So what other notable OpTic memorabilia and merchandise do you own?
Here’s what I own:
- The 2010 black jersey (from Flawless)
- 2014 black jersey, 2017 black jersey, 2017 Championship White jersey, a framed 2017 Champ white jersey, 2018 “blacked out” jersey, 2019 black jersey, 2019 Legacy White jersey
- 2016 OpTic player jacket
- 2017 player hoodie, old school Greenwall Nike hoodie (Nike check on pocket, older MLG logo on sleeve), modern Greenwall Nike hoodie (greenwall logo is bigger and has updated design, Nike check on upper right shoulder area, modern MLG logo on sleeve) Greenwall Under Armor hoodie, OpTic gaming Nike hoodie
- King Scump Nike hoodie
- Pamaj Northern lights Nike hoodie
- Pamaj Electric blue Nike hoodie
- MLG Nike hoodie, MLG Nike hoodie (newer MLG logo)
- Limited edition Camp white OpTic Scuf controller and T-shirt
- Greenwall shirt
- OpTic Nadeshot T-shirt
- 6050 Champion T-shirt
- HECZ Glitch Champion T-shirt.
For the record, whenever I come across old merch that I already happen to own, I don’t keep them for myself, I try to give them away to other esports/OpTic fans that I know personally because I know they’ll appreciate it’s value just as much as I will. For example, I have found an OG Nike hoodie in a size small but I came across another one in a bigger size so I gave the smaller one I owned to a friend. I found a Faze clan Nike hoodie and gave it to my friend Matt because he’s more of a Faze fan than I am. I have found and given an MLG Nike hoodie and Nadeshot T-shirt to my good friend Chris because he’s one of the few people I know that loves the eSports scene just as much as I do.
7. Are there any other OpTic jerseys/apparel that you’re looking for?
Yeah, I’m always on the lookout for stuff I don’t have, and maybe someone reading this article might have what I’m looking for. But I’m currently searching for:
- Crimsix Nike Hoddie (Large)
- Greenwall Nike Hoodie (Large)
- OpTic Nike Hoodie (Large)
- Grey Pamaj Nike Hoodie (Large)
- 2014 OpTic Gaming jersey
- 2015 OpTic Gaming jersey
- 2016 OpTic Gaming jersey
Some of the stuff I already have but the size is either too big or too small, so when I find one that’s my size that’s when I take the opportunity to give my extras away to other eSport fans.
8. Ethan, I want to thank you for your time and everything you’ve shared with Game Life and the readers. You really do own a holy grail and I can’t wait to see the jersey framed. Do you have any last words for the readers?
Yes, I want to thank Rich “Flawless” Ferreira for giving me the opportunity to own a timeless piece. The jersey represents a Call of Duty esports organization that really changed the scene and turned so many gamers into esports fans. They’ve played a huge part in the way I follow the industry now and I’m thankful for all the memories they’ve created for us members of the Greenwall. I also want to give shout outs to The Greenwall, love you guys. Hector H3Cz, Rodriguez, Matt Profitical Vega, Chris RE2PECT Gioello and Rich FLawLesS Ferreira! ATTENTION GREENWALL MEMBERS! If you are a fan of the music used in OpTic Vision, check out my playlist, it’s still growing but I’ve found a good amount of tracks so far! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPNFxt1jr882rwYRN-i57Q3aivkIYxvZH
*EXTRA* If you’d like to contact Ethan about some of the items he’s looking for, or you’d like to have a chat to reminisce about the glory days of OpTic Gaming, you can send him an email at [email protected], or you can reach him via his Twitter account. Ethan also has a YouTube which you can check him out here.