What a year it has been for Matt ‘Nadeshot’ Haag. After winning the first ever X Games eSports tournament on Call of Duty: Ghosts, his Optic Gaming team dominated in the first half of the Advanced Warfare season. Yet it all came to an end at the 2015 Call of Duty Championship when, after finishing seventh, Nadeshot decided to take a break from competitive gaming. He’s not walking away from eSports entirely (he’ll be focusing on his role as co-owner of Optic Gaming and content creator), and he’ll still be a big presence on YouTube, but we’ll always associate him with his years playing for OG. Here are his greatest moments.
Call of Duty XP
Winning Call of Duty XP in 2011 was arguably Nadeshot’s biggest achievement. As the first ever Call of Duty $1m tournament the stakes were high and, despite being a replacement for one of the two regular Optic Gaming players who were unable to complete, Nadeshot took his team to the grand finals of the event. They beat British team Infused - featuring the likes of XLNC and Gunshy - to take the title and $100,000 each. This was Nadeshot’s only major achievement on Modern Warfare 3, and he moved on to play for Optic Nation for the rest of the season.
Call of Duty Championship 2013
There wasn’t a $1m Call of Duty title in 2012, but by the time it returned in 2013, Nadeshot was a permanent member of the new Optic Gaming roster. After finishing first at UMG Chicago and sixth at the MLG Winter Championship just a few months ahead of the event, it was clear that Nadeshot’s roster was a line-up to be feared coming into the big event. After a fairly successful run throughout the tournament, Nadeshot’s team was knocked out by Impact who went on to win the tournament, but they still finished third, taking away $30,000 each.
Call of Duty Championship 2014
Ghosts hadn’t been great for Nadeshot. Going into the 2014 $1m tournament, his team had only managed to finish seventh at the US Championship Finals and many doubted his team’s chances of replicating or improving on their third place finish at the 2013 CoD championship. However, after a slow start in the group stages, Nadeshot’s team started to prove the doubters wrong, beating the likes of Team Kaliber and Strictly Business, to make it to the final bracket. Successive losses against eventual winners Complexity and EnVyUs meant they had to settle for another third place finish and $30,000.
MLG X Games
The MLG X Games Invitational was the first time eSports had featured at the summer extreme sports event. Following their third-place finish at CoD Champs, a runners-up spot at MLG CoD League Season 2 and seventh at UGC Niagara, many wondered if Nadeshot’s team had what it takes to actually win tournaments. However, despite low expectations, they strolled through their group, beating CoD Champs runners up EnVyus and Faze Red. Following this, Haag’s team were paired against pre-tournament favourites Evil Geniuses in the semi-finals. Optic took this game with ease, winning 3–1 and progressing to play Team Kaliber in the grand finals. Nadeshot and his team had already surprised many, but they went on to win the grand final 3 – 2, taking away the gold medal.
UMG Orlando 2015
Coming into UMG Orlando, Optic Gaming were a team to be feared again after finishing in second place at MLG Columbus, the first major Advanced Warfare tournament. Now one of the world’s most popular teams, there was a huge amount of pressure from the Green Wall fans who expected OG to perform at a high standard. Things didn’t look good after they lost their opening two games 3-0 against Team Revenge and Stunner Gaming, but that proved to be a blip as they came back the next day to defeat TCM and Aware to get through their group. Successive victories against Prophecy and Synrgy put OG into the final and a rematch with Stunner Gaming, The scoreline was the same, but this time in Optic’s favour as Nadeshot's team won 3-0 to take first place and the grand prize of $6000.
MLG Pro League Season 1
Following a great start on Advanced Warfare for Nadeshot and his team, the MLG Pro League was a great way for him to prove that his team were the new leaders in Call of Duty. That they certainly did, finishing with a 38-5 record in the MLG Season 1 and qualifying for the play-offs as first seed. Nadeshot and his team then went on to secure victory at the play-offs, taking away $7,500 each.
Follow Elliot Sowersby on Twitter: @ElliotVS
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