After OpTic Texas’ slow start to the 2022 Call of Duty League season, Brandon “Dashy” Otell took residence on one of the setups at OpTic’s team facility. He booted up Vanguard and dove into Tuscan, Berlin and other maps by himself.
“I was running around trying different angles, trying to find little situational advantages,” he said. “Just extra reps in a different way than usual practice.”
This is something that Dashy and other Call of Duty players do with every new game, but he was spending extra time after his team lost their season opening matches to Minnesota Røkkr and London Royal Ravens. Both games came down to the final map and a single round of Search and Destroy.
“That’s one of the main reasons I was putting in the extra time,” Dashy said. “I didn’t like the way I was personally playing.”
OpTic Texas look hot going into Major I
Dashy believes that OpTic Texas have been two different teams over the course of Stage I. The first squad was high on their own supply, believing they could take on anyone. The second one still believes they are great, but they know they need to put more work in for that greatness to translate onto the hectic farms of Bocage.
They head into Major I on a three-game winning streak.
“I think it was more of a wakeup call. We thought we were the shit,” Dashy said. “The two [losses] weren’t bad. We lost two maps of Search and Destroy. In the long run, they could be blessings in disguise.”
It was a hallmark offseason for Dashy, OpTic Chicago and the Dallas Empire. The two teams merged, creating a supersquad known as OpTic Texas. Two players from each team, Seth “Scump” Abner and Dashy from OpTic and Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro and shot caller Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal from Dallas Empire came together for what could be a huge 2022 season.
Dashy looks to shape up in 2022
The Call of Duty League season has been full of drama for Dashy, who’s played competitively since 2017. Fans, community members and former players love to trash talk and give their thoughts on one of the most popular teams in Call of Duty, especially after a weak start to the season.
“I feel like, every year, I go through some type of drama. I see this outside perception of me,” Dashy said. “Some are gassing me up and others are just going crazy. I’ve seen it all.”
There’s been talk about how Dashy doesn’t take the game seriously and how he comes in late to practice. One of his biggest criticisms is about how he overcommits himself in-game during fights that aren’t in his advantage. It’s what the community calls “ego challing.”
“I guess you could say I was ego challing,” Dashy said. “I was challenging stuff that wasn’t in my favor.”
The star AR player believes that a good chunk of that criticism is noise — he’s always put a huge effort within his team, even if he has been late in the past — but he did recognize an area where he needs to improve.
“My energy. Some days in the past I wouldn’t communicate my energy,” Dashy said. “My teammates wouldn’t see how I was really feeling. That’s one thing I’m working on this year that [FormaL] taught me.”
5 for 3? we take those pic.twitter.com/LXixEUywJZ
— brandon (@DashySZN) January 30, 2022
Dashy’s life has changed quite a bit over the last few years and he’s learned a lot from those transitions. VALORANT taught him that’s it’s always better to take on fights with a teammate rather than going for a two-piece on his own. And his new coach, Ray “Rambo” Lussier, helped him learn that it’s not good enough to win based on talent alone.
“I always viewed the game the same way I’m playing it now,” Dashy said. “I was always trying to play the game the way [Rambo] viewed it, but I wasn’t actually doing it in some situations.”
You can catch Dashy and the rest of OpTic Texas in their first match against the Seattle Surge at 7:30 p.m. EST on March 3. Bruce (one of Dashy’s nicknames in the Call of Duty community) will try and help his team win their first trophy of the 2022 season. That means less ego challing.
“It’s just hard not to chall everything,” Dashy said with a laugh.