H3CZ on OpTic buyout: “You’d have to try to mess up OpTic. ... It came natural to them."

OpTic Gaming CEO voices his displeasure.

Call of Duty's Icon Alexander Lee · 5 Jun 2019


Screenshot via Nadeshot

OpTic Gaming CEO Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez recorded a podcast episode with Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag to share his thoughts on the prospective buyout of OpTic by Immortals. It was his first public statement on the matter since a tweet on May 21.

In the podcast, H3CZ spoke frankly about his struggle with OpTic’s shifting culture following his decision to sell a majority share of the organization to Infinite Esports & Entertainment.

“I knew that the tide was turning when somebody decided to release a jersey after we had already released the 2018 jersey,” said H3CZ. He related an anecdote in which an Infinite Esports & Entertainment executive, while informing him about the new jersey design, seemed to be completely unaware of OpTic’s traditional one-jersey-per-year release schedule.

According to H3CZ, OpTic’s eventual downfall was the result of serious mismanagement by Infinite Esports & Entertainment. “Crawl before you walk,” he said, “and they were sprinting.”

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H3CZ spoke proudly about the player-centric culture that he fostered at OpTic during his years at the helm of the company. “If you focus on the players first, everything else is going to come second, and everything’s going to work just fine,” he said.

Instead of following this mantra, said H3CZ, companies throughout the esports scene are focusing on the quick buck, citing Activision Blizzard’s decision to franchise the Call of Duty World League without involving players or organizations as his prime example.

Of course, as a CEO, H3CZ is one of the fat cats who gets a share of that quick buck—and he admitted as much on the podcast: “What sucks about all this is that I benefit no matter what happens.”

Still, his concern over players’ rights was heartfelt, and his sorrow over the demise of OpTic was plain to see. “You’d have to try to mess up OpTic,” said H3CZ. “But they didn’t. It came natural to them.”

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