A lot is going on right now in the North American Critical Ops scene, with some of the top teams having changes in their rosters.
One of them is D2R, and by the looks of it, they might have to start from scratch.
In this interview, we’ve asked the owner of D2R (Legacy) for his opinion on the recent happening in his organization and also the current state of the scene among other things.
Let’s not keep you waiting and jump right into it!
During December, you've announced that you are no longer a part of U4X.
What is the reasoning behind this decision if it's not a secret that is?
Simply put, the merge was a learning experience, but an endeavor with a bad outcome.
I choose to always look at the bright side of things and take it as a learning experience regardless if it is good or bad.
Many people tend to always look to point fingers and blame others.
I take full responsibility for the miss-handlings of the team as they deserved much better as their fate was in my hands.
Now, by the looks of it, there are big changes happening right now in the North American scene and your team seems to be involved.
Can you tell us what is going on with your team's roster?
The North American scene is no different than it was last year.
At the beginning of the previous year, there were many roster juggles for all major teams.
The difference now, is there aren’t any “Major” orgs out there.
The competitive player base only consists of a small community who generally don’t give newcomers a chance.
Yes, big names have decided to move on, and I wish them the best of luck in their endeavors.
I look at this as an opportunity to scout for new talent while also keeping seasoned veterans at the helm to guide players who have had less opportunity in the past.
With that being said, it is very important to get to know any new talent, while making sure all proper device checks are being done so the player or players are being held to Critical Force’s TOS and Anti-Cheat standards for fair play in the competitive scene.
Even though you were not able to win the Critical Ops Autumn Invitational, your team still performed really well.
Would you say it's strange for the players that are at the top of the scene to simply leave what they've worked toward for quite a bit of time?
This is a tough question to answer, as I don’t know what it is like from a player’s perspective in Critical Ops.
Anyone who dedicates massive time to any craft eventually hopes for a payoff, whether it’s a win, title, advancement, opportunity, or in this case prize money.
From what I know from my competitive experience in Rainbow Six, and Counter-Strike 1.6 before there were massive prize pools all around, we played for the love of the game.
We played for the glory to be known as the best.
At the same time, esports is becoming more of a business.
Owners are looking for ROI (Return on Investment), while players are looking for a salary.
My opinion is that the mobile esports realm is still massively growing compared to established platforms such as PC and console.
The only really big major tournaments in 2018 were held by Tencent’s mobile games including Arena of Valor and PUBG Mobile, both of which have a massive backing through the company.
If a player is looking for money and in it to get rich, there’s a long road ahead to achieve that in the mobile scene.
But here’s what they can do to help themselves.
Develop a brand, sell merchandise, stream, and find partners to help you in the mobile community.
What are your plans to do now with the team - are you going to seek new players and try to rebuild D2R?
With the current state of Critical Ops competitive scene, there are still players out there.
With many professional players leaving, it also makes the North American bracket weaker.
I’m sure we will find a team to represent for the upcoming seasons who still want their first Valiance Championship and are hungry for it.
Looking at the scene realistically, how would you rate your chances of acquiring really solid players in a short time for the up and coming competitive events?
As an owner it is difficult.
You have to make business decisions that affect your brand, but also make decisions based on your heart.
I’ve been lucky enough to say some of the best players in the world have represented D2R in the past years.
Some have gone on to win with other teams by getting noticed from being in D2R, while some have brought us championships.
The tough part is fiscally providing what the market value for the team is.
Some players overvalue their worth but don’t understand that.
If a team as a whole is asking for a budget of $1000 a month for 6 months, that’s an investment of $6000 for half the year.
While they may be worth it, from a owners side, I have to look at the facts.
When do I get my return on investment?
For instance, Gankstars won $15,000, and say they took %20 off the top for the organization.
That is only $3000 and you are still in the red $3000 for minus $3000 loss at that point.
You also have to look at the risk of not winning or placing at all leading to a complete financial loss.
There needs to be a balance between what the competitive tournaments are offering and what makes sense fiscally to pay players.
With that being said, I won’t leave the scene as I still find that Critical Ops has the potential to still fulfill a competitive players dream.
What are your thoughts on the North American scene right now and what needs to be done in order to improve it?
Again, the North American scene has always been a revolving door of select players from team to team.
Of course, you want to find the best players who give you the best opportunity to not only win but who also love your brand and want to represent it full heartedly.
In my opinion, I believe there need to be more Major tournaments for the competitive scene.
With only 1 partnered tournament organizer, it doesn’t provide enough motivation for teams to keep grinding.
In the past, there was Mobile Esports, Critical League, Valiance, ESL Major, and others.
This gave the team that constant motivation knowing that if they fell short, they could try in the next tournament.
I think we simply need to know if Critical Force is still going to develop the esports scene, as the casual side for the game is at full launch.
Do you think the trend of organizations leaving Critical Ops will continue?
Organizations join or leave scenes based on opportunity, the growth of the brand, and potential profit.
You see it happen when an org picks up a top team to compete for a major LAN.
If a $200,000 prize pool was announced tomorrow for Critical Ops, there would be a plethora of “ORGS” who would jump in.
Also, the retired players would return even though they said its dead or don’t enjoy it anymore.
Money talks at the end of the day.
Is that best for the community?
I don’t know.
I can say I’ve seen ORGs leave after they don’t win as well.
The only real way to maintain a stable growth keep organizations interested would be massive advertising by Critical Ops, and partnering with a Major tournament host to do giant prize pool majors consistently throughout the year.
Give the Organizations that comfort to know that the scene is stable with the opportunity to flourish in it.
It is a business at the end of the day and an owner wants to see potential growth, and profit for their investment to remain in an industry regardless of what the product, platform, or scene is.
What needs to be done in order to attract new players and bring back the old ones?
I don’t know what the numbers of daily players are any more for Critical Ops.
I still believe there are many players playing.
In the past weeks, ESL Open Cups for Europe have grown each week consistently with 60+ teams competing in Cup #3.
If you look at other game models, they have strategically partnered with someone to help host their Major LAN events.
One example includes PUBG Mobile’s Star Challenge.
Not only did they give anyone the opportunity to compete in this event across the world, but they encouraged content creators and streamers to compete for a prize pool of over $600,000 before any major organizations had joined.
The live event was partnered with the Galaxy Note9.
ESL also recently partnered with AT&T for the live events for mobile, with Razer also being involved in many mobile events.
Obviously, Tencent has major backing and can afford to put up such a massive prize pool, but I also do remember CFE getting investments in the past year which were said to help go towards the esports scene.
Also, I do believe giving more incentive to content creators would help as well.
Give them the opportunity to give out cases to fans.
Many of the major content creators have now left for different games who have built their fan base from Critical Ops.
I respect their decisions to continue their growth in a new platform, but Critical Force shouldn’t keep catering to them if they want to abandon their product.
Message for the fans of D2R?
Thank you to the fans out there who keep D2R alive.
We appreciate every one of you.
It’s because of you that we continue to strive for greatness.
Maybe you could be the next member of D2R.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and opinions.
D2R is one of the synonyms for the North American Critical Ops scene.
They’ve bounced many times back before, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to do so yet again.
Do you agree with Legacy’s thoughts?
Let us know how you feel about it in the comments below.
You can follow Legacy at - twitter.com/D2RLegacy