Matt ‘Nadeshot’ Haag
Matt Haag, otherwise known as Nadeshot, is a former professional Call of Duty player. He played for eSports giants Optic Gaming between 2010 and 2015. In fact, he was the captain of the team from 2013 onwards. His name derives from ‘grenade shot’, which is a term from the popular Halo series.
He made his professional Call of Duty debut when he was just 16 years old. He played for Genesis between 2009 and 2010 before making the switch to Optic. His first major win came in 2012, when the team won COD XP, where the prize pool was $1 million. Optic won the tournament, meaning that Haag took home $100,000, even though he was only 19 at the time. This led on to the next game in the COD series, Black Ops 2. In the first event of the season, UMG Dallas, the Greenwall triumphed again. Nadeshot’s next biggest win was in 2014, when the team won the gold medal at MLG X Games in Austin.
However, during the next season of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the Optic team disappointed and Haag retired towards the end of the year. This was a huge shock to the whole COD community, as it is rare for a player of his calibre to retire so suddenly. During his time in the competitive scene, Haag had been building a large following on YouTube by posting videos of himself playing, among other things. Because of his charisma and charm, as well as his achievements in the competitive scene, he was voted eSports Player of the Year in 2014 by the community. His YouTube channel currently has 2.9 million subscribers and this is growing rapidly every day.
Chris Puckett is possibly the best known caster and commentator in eSports. A former Halo player in his youth, Puckett is a caster of games including Call of Duty, Halo and Counter Strike. He is employed by Activision to broaden the appeal of eSports to a wider audience. He does this with his great energy and charisma when commentating over games. He has also been a host on American television such as TBS. Puckett was already involved in eSports when he was at university, helping out at tournaments run by MLG. Now, he is on the biggest eSports stage in the world, and is one of the most recognisable faces in the community today.
Dexerto are the main source of eSports news and opinion right across the globe. They formed in early 2015 and even in this short space of time have enjoyed huge success. They already have hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch. They also get 400,000 views per month on their website dexerto.com. All of their news can be viewed in either English, German, Spanish, Italian or French.
Dexerto do not only give the community eSports news. They also work on advertising campaigns and produce online media for companies such as Red Bull, Coca Cola and Papa John’s. They also work on broadcasting eSports events live to millions of people online. While they have already been very successful, Dexerto has marked these areas down for improvement and expansion:
• Content producers
• Smartphone application
• Commercial staff
• Increased social media activity
• On-going website development
• Evaluation of gambling and fantasy team platforms
Seth ‘Scump’ Abner
Seth Abner, more commonly known as ‘Scump’, is widely considered to be one of the best Call of Duty players in the world. He has been playing professionally since 2010 and has created a very successful career out of eSports. He is currently captain of COD powerhouse Optic Gaming, following in the footsteps of Matt Haag, another of our top 5.
He won his first major championship in 2012, when the Optic team won UMG Chicago during the Black Ops 2 season. Alongside Nadeshot, Scump won his first X Games gold medal in 2013, in what was one of his most impressive tournaments to date. Already, so early in his career, the community was expecting big things from the ‘ginger ninja’. It was in Advanced Warfare where Scump really stepped up to the plate. After Nadeshot retired from eSports, Abner became captain of the team. He then went on to lead Optic to 6 championships that season, bringing the total Optic wins that season to 12. Scump’s fast and furious playstyle, and his habit of making big plays, were a huge reason for these wins. This cemented him as one of the greatest Call of Duty players of all time.
He continued this great form into last year, during Black Ops 3, when he led Optic to win 13 tournaments out of a possible 20. This year, in Infinite Warfare, Optic started off slowly, placing badly at the first couple of events. Now however, they have picked up their form and are the top team going in to MLG Dallas, after winning ESWC Paris and placing second at MLG Atlanta.
Aside from his competitive COD, Abner also has a large following on YouTube. At current count, he has 2.1 million subscribers. He is also sponsored by several large companies, such as Turtle Beach, Gymshark and Brisk Mate. For someone of such a young age, he is a hugely successful individual and is loved by millions.
Although not an individual person, Faze Clan are still one of eSports’ biggest personalities. Faze Clan are a team founded in 2010 that focused on sniping in Call of Duty games. From there, it has grown into one of the world’s biggest eSports organisations, with fans right across the globe. The organisation currently has teams in Call of Duty, Counter Strike and Overwatch.
Their most successful team is the COD division, which has consistently been performing at the top level for a number of years. They win numerous tournaments each year and their current roster is Clayster, Enable, ZooMaa and Attach. The Counter Strike and Overwatch teams were only formed recently. However, they are still playing at a reasonably high level.
Although they were only involved with three games, they have a huge following on YouTube and social media. Each individual current Faze player as well as retired players are all active on YouTube and are all known under the Faze heading, meaning that their exposure is huge.
This concludes the list of the top eSport’s personalities. All of these people and organisations are a huge part of modern competitive gaming, and are a key factor in it’s increasing popularity the world over.