Nadeshot Sounds Off on Call of Duty Ghosts

Call of Duty's most popular pro has a bone to pick with Ghosts.
OpTic Nadeshot at the 2014 CoD Chamionships
OpTic Nadeshot at the 2014 CoD Chamionships © Activision
By Ryan Smith

Matt “Nadeshot” Haag's aim was steady during last weekend’s Call of Duty Championship in Los Angeles, where he and his OpTic Gaming teammates took third. But the prolific CoD pro saved some of his best targets for his interview with Red Bull eSports.

Nadeshot was outspoken about his problems with Call of Duty: Ghosts, why he’s looking forward to Sledgehammer Games’ involvement with the franchise and more.

You didn’t care for Ghosts during the prelaunch preview. Now that you’ve had several months with it, have you adjusted to it?

Call of Duty Ghosts is the worst Call of Duty in the franchise. There is just a lot of things they did wrong. They’re stubborn about it. They’ve gradually come out with changes that have improved things, but collectively everyone realizes that this is a game that doesn’t have a lot of longevity. The skill gap is very low. It’s just the way it is.

When you change developers every year, you don’t know what direction they’re going to take the game. It just so happens that the direction they took it wasn’t ideal for the competitive community. It sounds harsh, but if more pro players were more outspoken about it and collectively gave feedback to the developers to make those improvements, the CoD process would be more smooth. Hopefully in the next few months when Sledgehammer announces the new CoD, we hope they can bring in someone who can represent the competitive community and let them know what we need so that we can have a competitive platform firing on all cylinders. 

Call of Duty Ghosts

It doesn’t make you nervous that a new developer is coming in?

To be honest, it doesn’t. A lot of Sledgehammer’s staff has openly showed their support for the competitive community on social media. I’ve seen pictures of them watching tournaments from their war room. So their staff seems to be behind it. A lot of people from Sledgehammer came out to the CoD Championship last year and that’s before anyone knew they were making the next one. Not to be harsh, but it can only get better from here just because this one was done so poorly.

I realize that the competitive community is a small percentage of the casual demographic, but if Activision is hosting a $1 million tournament every year and putting their game on a gigantic championship, I don’t see how such small features are passed up. They just didn’t put in the extra effort. Usually I’m not vocal on Twitter but I have been this time because they took the wrong direction. I’m just happy that they’re going to three developers now because we can maybe not deal with Infinity Ward every other year.

Does Titanfall have any eSports potential?

Not right now as the game stands. I’ve heard rumors that they might expand into it, but Respawn has a very small team and it was hard enough for them to get the game out by the deadline. Right now it’s not an option but down the line, they could add features and settings that could be for eSports. Maybe a sequel down the line.

Can it be difficult to be a progamer?

People may not see it as a job, but there is a lot of work that goes into it. Seven days a week, no breaks. If you want to be a progamer, it’s all motivation, timing, hard work and luck. I’m stressed out 24/7 about 70 million different things. Even my dad doesn’t understand where the stress comes from, but I get to stay at home and do whatever I want, but it’s such a bubble doing what we’re doing, you never know when it’s going to pop. I’m just trying to get the most out of it.

You've got to deal with the people watching your stream, deal with the negative comments, deal with entertaining thousands of people, while trying to be professional, while trying to beat this other team, while trying to get along with your teammates. It's just –so many things pile on.

There's also having to deal with three other people. You rely on your teammates for everything. You can’t win without them. We have a lot of different personalities on the team, we get in arguments here and there. Compared to a game like StarCraft where it’s you, it’s only you – you play your game, but when you have four people that have to be on the same page, the stars need to align for everything to go right. There's so many dimensions, and so many people don’t understand the pressure and stress that go along with this.

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