Nadeshot Steps Down: Call Of Duty's Biggest Star Is No Longer Competing, Replacement Named For Optic Gaming [VIDEO]

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Apr 05, 2015 07:17 PM EDT

The biggest name in Call of Duty eSports, Matt "Nadeshot" Haag, is stepping away from competing.

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The popular player, captain and co-owner of the highly successful Optic Gaming Call of Duty: Advance Warfare team, announced in a video (below) that he will no longer be competing. He's not calling the move a retirement as he plans to play again one day, but feels it's the right time to step back from his role on the team.

His reasoning for the decision is multi-faceted. Nadeshot feels burned out having participated in the circuit for so many consecutive years, and has lost some of his passion to compete at the high level. He also feels, as a partial owner of the company, that Optic can improve by adding another player in his place--the team has announced it picked up Damon "Karma" Barlow from Optic's sister team, Optic Nation. Nadeshot thinks he's been scapegoated for his team's failures and is tired of seeing himself at the bottom of the scoreboard without the passion to play.

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Finally, he will be able to do more outside of the competitive scene and follow his whims without being beholden to his three teammates--he'll be streaming other games and pumping out more video content than before. He may return before the end of Advance Warfare's run on the circuit, but more likely will compete again some day when the next game releases.

Nadeshot's team finished a disappointing 7th place at the Call of Duty Championships after high expectations. Optic Gaming won three of the first four Advance Warfare events, and were favorites entering the championships after winning the regional tournament. Good luck to Nadeshot, and the rest of the Optic roster that now includes Karma.

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