Team WaR are an organisation that consistently champion the Call of Duty Challengers scene.
Deprived of love and attention from many of the higher ups, the scene benefits consistently from the effect and support from Team WaR and CEO/Owner Kevin Pichardo.
It started out as an LA outfit, with teams teetering around the first round of Challengers Cups. Now, they’re right at the top.
Pichardo told The Rotation: “When I first started WaR, I was definitely staying local, west coast. Teams like WestR, you know, those guys.
“I expanded, I got to meet people like, you know, Ricky who played for us, and eventually even got Dylan “Envoy” Hannon in. We had players like that on our roster and things were going well.”
The drive to win
That didn’t stop the drive for the team. Pichardo saw some success with the team and instantly wanted more.
He added: “I was always striving to do better. One day in BO4, after we didn’t qualify for the pro league, we got approached by Joshh.”
Joshh was in and around the best teams during the Black Ops 4 team. Nowadays he’s coaching the Toronto Ultra Academy EU team.
“He was looking for an org and for us that was crazy. They were like placing really. his team was placing really good at these tournaments.
“We thought it could be a good opportunity to just expand globally.”
WaR’s humble beginnings, when they were at the lower end of the Challengers system, mean that it means, even more, to be in the position that they are now.
Pichardo added: “When I first started WaR, we’d be happy to get T64. That was our first goal.
“Then it was top 48, then top 32, then pool play, then to make champs. Progress in increments.”
It all culminated with Team WaR winning back-to-back Champs titles in Black Ops 4 and Modern Warfare.
Things didn’t quite work out in Cold War but they almost certainly lost out to some cheaters during the online era.
Pichardo added: “Now that we’ve won both, it’s just a constant pursuit of winning. Like if we don’t win, it’s not a success.
“That’s our mentality. We’re always going in there with the mentality that we need to win this.”
The team mentality
The winning mantra of WaR trickles all the way down from the top. The most successful orgs and teams in in all sports in the world always have the most driven and passionate leaders.
Although not the leader of the team itself, Pichardo’s passion is evident and completely refreshing.
He told us: “We’re all carrying it. We’re all dying for it. Every time we lose it’s we’re not having a good time.
“As soon as we get back home after a loss, we’re trying to get better, better ourselves.
“The players are really good. This team’s really good at communicating with each other. What’s going right? What’s going wrong? I like that.”
That teamwork has been evident at all of the events that WaR have been successful at this year.
“They’re very open at events. We’re always together. We’re, we’re a unit.”
The brand “WaR” has become synonymous with supporting the Challengers scene in Call of Duty. They have consistently supported teams but they’ve also stuck with players.
Kev thinks that the consistency that they show helps develop the way WaR is seen by the public.
He said: “I think what’s important to build a brand is just to have consistency. If your players are hopping rosters every week, how are your fans supposed to be attached to the brand?”
Fans are incredibly attached to that WaR branding. The team have one of the biggest and most passionate fanbases outside of the Call of Duty League.
Frankly, many teams in the league could stand to learn a thing, or six, from the way Team WaR operate.
That branding has culminated in WaR signing a deal to work alongside SCUF controllers. They’ll head into Champs knowing that they are in a fantastic position both in and out of game.
That position is down in no small part to the impact of Kevin Pichardo, who will remain committed to Challengers and Call of Duty beyond this season.
Team WaR are seeded  for Challengers Champs. They play D1 Gaming LATAM  in their first game of the tournament on Friday (August 5).
Follow along with the Rotation’s journey: