Toronto Ultra Academy NA are fresh on the back of winning Challengers Elite Stage 3. Javi “Vikul” Milagro was essential to that run.
The team, alongside their EU counterparts, are looking to back up their respective Elite wins with success at this weekend’s Toronto Open.
Vikul told The Rotation: “The best way to prepare an Open Tournament is through good and effective practice.
“Even though we cannot practice against EU, APAC and LATAM teams, we already know we can beat them and we just have to do it again.
“The Elite Stage 3 win was definitely a confidence boost for Toronto, but our feet are still on the ground and we know Toronto is still going to be a struggle to win.
“We are very confident we can take it home again.”
This confidence is reflected in the fact that Vik and his team will start as the number #1 seed at the tournament. In no small part down to the fact that they won the previous event in Minnesota.
He added: “Running with first seed, we are all confident we can win this event the same way we did in Minnesota.
“We put a battle every time we play top tier pro teams, so we feel our team is ahead in terms of the amateur scene, just have to prove it during the weekend.”
Despite being the Toronto Open and playing on the Toronto Ultra Academy, the event still feels like a travelling one for Vikul.
He said: “I am Spanish and I live in Houston. It might sound weird, but I do not feel it’s a home event.
“I still have to catch a four-hour flight, so I have the exact same feeling as Minnesota. [I] just want to get there and play.”
The win in the Minnesota event earned the team a chance to play against the Pros at the inaugural Call of Duty League Pro-Am.
They managed reverse sweeps against Boston Breach and current Major Champions LA Guerrillas. A 3-1 loss to Paris Legion meant that they missed out on the bracket play at the tournament.
Even still, having that experience of beating pro teams has done wonders for the way the team plays together.
Vikul told us: “To be honest, more than motivation, it was a way of proving ourselves that we could all compete in the CDL.
“As soon as we got home after the Pro-Am, our goal was to dominate the AM scene for the rest of the season and lock in CDL spots for the 2023 Season.”
And CDL spots they may have next year. Two of the four members of the team have already shown their ability in the League.
Charlie “Hicksy” Hicks and Thomas “Scrappy” Ernst have both made stand-in appearances for the Toronto Ultra first team this season. Both debuts went down fantastically well.
Vikul said: “As soon as Hicksy and Scrappy message the groupchat saying they have to play for the main team, the rest of us congratulate them and watch the match with more energy, hoping they prove themselves in the league.
“I was extremely proud of both matches, the Florida match with Hicksy and the New York game with Scrappy. Both of them proved they have to be in the league with starting spots.”
In Minnesota, 10 of the 12 players in the last three remaining teams were from the EU. Both Vikul and Hicksy represent EU on the Ultra Academy NA team.
Vikul thinks that the EU region will represent itself well in Toronto, with a specific eye on his compatriots from Spain.
He said: “I feel like this event is going to be an EU fest.
“I see Toronto Ultra Academy EU, ROKKR Academy and AYM Esports all placing top 4. Obviously behind us.
“Minnesota already had 10 EU players in the top three and both Spanish teams had a flu tournament.
“Both Spanish teams are my friends, and I know they both will do very good. I just hope there can be nine Spanish players in the top four this event. We need to prove that Madrid needs a CDL Spot.”
The Toronto Ultra #UltraMajor gets started on Thursday (June 2) with Challengers play slated for a Friday start.
Photo via Team Singularity
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