Mike “Magxck” Libeccio is confident heading into Sunday’s Challengers Champs Last Chance Qualifier.
This is in spite of the fact that his Boston Breach Academy team holds the  seed for the event.
It means that they technically face the most difficult run through the event.
Only the winners of the LCQ will qualify for a place at Champs at the start of August.
Magxck told The Rotation: “It is very, very annoying. It’s a massive kick in the gut to everyone who is trying to make a career out of this.
“They’ve been grinding all year round for this. It’s not the bread and butter of what makes Call of Duty at a competitive level.
“They could have at least upped the number of teams in the LCQ.”
It isn’t ideal for the squad to have to go through the gauntlet of a LCQ but Magxck won’t dwell on things he can’t control.
He said: “I’m not gonna stress about it too much. I know it’s unfair.
“We’ve tried everything we can, it is what it is at this point, it’s the cards we’ve been dealt. We’re going to just try our best to qualify.
“If we don’t, that fucking sucks. I know the players will be heartbroken. I’m gonna do what I can to as the coach to maximise our chances of getting through.”
Even with the prospect of not making Champs, Libeccio is confident in the ability of his team heading into the event.
“I believe that we can qualify. I may be naive in saying that, but I’ve got full confidence in my team.
“The odds are stacked against us, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of competition within it, but, at the end of the day, when it comes to the game day, they’ve just gotta go out there, play their game.
“We need to make sure we apply everything that we preach about in practice. And if we do that, then we’ll qualify.”
Feeding on Boston experience
The Academy team had a wonderful run at their home event in Boston. They placed T4 after a sensational day of matches on the Saturday of the event.
They eventually lost to Electrify Steel in the lower bracket semi-final.
Magxck said: “We did the vetoes and it was set out to be a really good series. We were expecting it to go to the final map but it didn’t.
“They completely outplayed us and it showed us what kind of quality they, and the other teams, have.”
The experience of the event was a massive confidence boost though. The only other team that Boston lost to were the eventual champions, Toronto Ultra Academy NA.
Libeccio added: “We only lost to the two teams in the finals though. That shows us that we have the quality to contend.
“It’s about that final step against the best teams that we need to take. That’s what is separating us from Championship calibre.”
To do that, the team are going to have to rely on many different aspects of their game. None more so than the experience that former London Royal Ravens player Sean “Seany” O’Connor brings to the setup.
Magxck said: “Sean is that guy. Sean keeps them grounded in reality, which I think is a really good aspect.
“It’s so important to sort of keep that level head, especially in this game, you need to know your limitations.”
Volants, the unsung hero of the team
The one player on the Boston Academy team who gets less attention than the others around him is certainly Kyle “Volants” Haworth.
Whilst his teammates like Doug “Censor” Martin and Dan “Ghosty” Rothe get all of the attention, Volants is quickly becoming one of the best up-and-coming players in Challengers.
All this whilst playing on 90+ ping when competing in online events, due to him living out on the west coast.
Magxck told us: “He’s got the correct attitude. He turns up, he puts in the work. He’s so mechanically gifted.
“Sean and I watch him in VOD. When we’re watching Kyle’s POV, we’re just like jaw-dropped. He’s so cracked.
“Obviously, when he is playing from California, he’s not on the best ping. It’s hard.”
The complication of higher ping means that the playstyle needs to be altered slightly in order to account for the disadvantage against him. Magxck has been able to help him learn what to do in certain situations.
He said: “I gave him some Shotzzy VOD to watch on certain maps. So he could introduce more re-pinches into his game. Stuff like that to make him a bit more dynamic.”
“I think if he could like add a different element or a different style to his game, he’s going to be in the league soon.”
Volants, along with Censor, Ghosty and Seany will be in action during Sunday’s Last Chance Qualifier for the Challengers Champs.
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