OpTic Texas were 5-1 down against the London Royal Ravens in Bocage Search and Destroy. Seth “Scump” Abner managed to activate his timeless qualities to enable his side to come back and mount a near-unbelievable comeback.
His experience is invaluable when it comes to those clutch situations. When he gets his back pushed up against a wall is when he thrives most.
Regardless, he still managed to give us a very honest look into the way he assesses his own game this season.
Scump told The Rotation: “Honestly I’ve been struggling in Search this year. I’m only now finding my footing at this event which is really nice.
“The rest of this year, I’ve been uncomfortable in Search. A lot of our strats, I have to play the annoying, slower paced roles and not be able to fly.
“This event I’ve settled in and made some big plays. It feels really good because it’s been my only weakness in my personal opinion throughout the whole year.”
1-5 down, 6-5 up
It’s hard to know what to say when a team is losing. The communication between players can become irrational and scrappy.
The coolness and calmness of OpTic in the situation helped them to be able to methodically think about the way they wanted to approach the map with the deficit that was established.
Scump said: “I mean, what can you say? When we were down we just thought that everything we tried up to that point wasn’t working.
“We threw some oddball stuff at them. Some different strats that maybe they won’t expect.”
The change is strategy led to a swing in momentum and ultimately allowed Scump and his teammates to secure an eventual series win.
“We got a little bit of momentum doing that and it allowed us to go back to some of our other strats that were working against them. We just managed and adapted during the map.
“In SnD, a lot of it comes down to luck and pre-round strategy. Florida did that to us in map five. They studied us so well that they managed to hard-counter us.
“You never know if you’re going to get nice timing or whatever in Search. You get one life. You’ve just got to stay composed.”
Closing it out on control
The final map of the series was Tuscan Control, a map that Texas had lost against Florida Mutineers in their eventual 3-2 loss against them in the upper bracket.
They looked a different monster on the map this time around. The team didn’t just win the map, they bodied London and took a 3-0 win.
Between the second and third round of the map, there was an extended delay, with Ravens player Trei “Zer0” Morris experiencing technical issues.
Despite the delay, Scump and co. still came out firing and managed to close out the map and the series in the very next round.
Scump told us: “It definitely iced us but I think that after the 1-5 comeback, we were honestly so comfortable up there.
“We had full momentum and it woke me up. I needed that really bad. We played second match and waited around all day to play again so we needed the boost.”
Bouncing back from Florida loss
The fact that OpTic managed to bounce back from their loss on Tuscan Control against Florida with an emphatic win against London feels important.
It feels as if they team are able to withstand any problems that arise and adjust in a way that they can twist series in their favour.
Scump said: “I wouldn’t say we changed anything. We just had a really sloppy showing against Florida.
“We weren’t communicating what we were watching so much. In Control, one person gets through one lane you’re not watching and they can just take down your whole setup.”
On Tuscan, it can be difficult to win one attacking round, so as soon as that happens, teams know they’re on the right path.
“Reece “Vivid” Drost got through our setups one time and that was all they needed for an offence and once you get an offence on Tuscan, it’s so hard.
“If you go down 0-2, it’s so hard to come back because it’s the hardest offence map in the game in my opinion.”
The evolution of OpTic Texas
Part of the joy of watching OpTic this season is their endless adaptability. They’ve managed to adjust and change the way they play their game to suit almost every situation.
That doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and rainbows for the squad. Just like in any competition, things need to get difficult before they can be improved.
Scump told us: “We struggle with it at times, which everyone does in Call of Duty at some times.
“There’ll be milliseconds in a game. It comes down to so many snap decisions, you know, one little thing can make or break a map or a series for you.
“You just have to take that in and just look at what teams are doing. That’s been evolving for us.
“We’re evaluating during the match and not just head-bashing our strats, we’re really working things slower and that’s working for us.”
Prolute still subbing in for iLLeY
At Major 3, OpTic are having to play with a substitute. Bryan “Prolute” Vera has looked really good in the team in his first few appearances.
On LAN it looked a little different, with him struggling to get up to speed in the Florida match.
But now the team are back to feeling themselves.
Scump said: “We feel good. That was our eighth match with Prolute. We’re still comfortable but there are times that our cracks show.
“We need to keep ourselves composed. We beat ourselves in the Florida match and I think that everybody on the team would tell you that, even Ray.
“As a team, we made a lot of careless mistakes and try and make sure that everything is perfect, which is so difficult in Call of Duty.”
The whole situation of having to play with a substitute player is always difficult. You never know what you’re going to get with players at times.
OpTic have played with two substitutes this season. Before Prolute, Jordan “General” General stepped into the team for the Pro-Am.
Scump added: “It’s been difficult. We first did it with General at the Pro-Am. We saw the way his first series went.
“When you throw someone into the roster, it’s not easy to get them on the same page and get the teamwork flowing with them.
“They could have a different tendency on a certain map that can throw things off.”
The coaching team at OpTic deserve full credit for their ability to integrate Prolute into the team so quickly.
Scump agreed: “Huge shoutout to the coaching staff, they’ve been putting in a lot of work to make sure we’re as good as we can be. We just want to win and we want to show that with our hard work.”
Despite getting knocked out of the upper bracket at the first hurdle, the goal of the team is still to take home the title come Sunday.
The experience of Los Angeles Guerrillas winning the Major 2 tournament from the same position really backs that up.
Scump told us: “I don’t know how other teams function, I don’t see inside their practice sessions. Every day is productive for us.
“We have a few here and there that aren’t as good but for the most part we do a good job.”
The team are one of the best teams in the game and will continue to be throughout the rest of the bracket.
Scump added: “[We can win it], definitely. LAG did it at the last Major.
“We can definitely do it. It’s a long road and a hard road. It requires a lot of consistency. We survived the day and that’s all we care about.
“Today was our harder day, I guess. We played two matches and tomorrow we only play once. It was a grind playing second match and waiting four hours.”
OpTic will play the loser of the FaZe vs LA Thieves series in tomorrow night (June 4)’s final matchup. If they win that, they’ll book their place at Championship Sunday.
Follow along with the Rotation’s journey: