Zeta Division are taking Japanese Call of Duty to the next level - Upcomer
Call of Duty team Zeta Division

Zeta Division are taking Japanese Call of Duty to the next level

After so long at the top, Zeta Division are bringing their success outside of Japan
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Takahiro “Sitimentyo” Koshikawa felt confident heading into the Copper Box Arena in London. He had come a long way from his home in Tokyo, but once he saw dozens of steel chairs lined up on the floor of the 2012 Olympic venue, it was like he was back in his bedroom.

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“We always feel good about our chances heading into an international tournament,” Sitimentyo, whose name means turkey in Japanese, told me through a translator. “Even when there are some scary good teams.”

Call of Duty, like many esports, is all about mental fortitude. Sure, hitting shots is important, but staying focused when you’re almost 6,000 miles from home, jet lagged in a tournament environment that’s wildly different from anything in Japan, is paramount. Sitimentyo said he wanted to get comfortable as he walked up to the setup for his team’s first match of the day.

He sat down on the wobbly chair, checked the PS4 controller and carefully untied his shoes. He slipped them off before kicking his socks off as well. He stretched his toes over the temporary padding on the floor.

“It’s what I like to do when I play at home,” he said. “It makes me comfortable.”

Sitimentyo didn’t realize that everyone in the immediate vicinity had eyes on him until a referee walked up to his chair.

“No,” the Call of Duty World League official said. “You can’t do that here.”

With no other options, he put his socks back on and tried to focus on the game.

Sitimentyo and his three teammates were in the United Kingdom for the CWL London open bracket in 2019. They came a long way from Tokyo, where the Call of Duty scene has developed independently from other communities in America and Europe. Zeta Division, formerly known as Libalent Vertex, is one of the best squads in Japan since forming in December of 2018 while playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Copper Box Arena in London
The crowd at the Copper Box Arena in London is one of the best that Call of Duty has ever seen | Provided by Major League Gaming
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Aron Garst
A guy who likes Fortnite and Animal Crossing.