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BIG appoints Christian ‘Blizzard’ Chmiel as COO

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German esports organisation BIG (Berlin International Gaming) has appointed former Counter-Strike player Christian ‘Blizzard’ Chmiel as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).

In his role, Chmiel will collaborate with the organisation’s executive team and is expected to play an integral role in helping shape the organisation.

Image credit: Berlin International Gaming

RELATED: BIG partners with Philips OneBlade

Chmiel found success in Counter-Strike 1.6, winning CPL Spain in 2005 alongside nine ESL Pro Series championships. His appointment as COO marks his return to the industry after retiring from competitive play in 2010.

Following his retirement, embarked on a career in economic engineering with companies such as Viessmann and AVM.

Daniel Finkler, CEO of BIG, spoke on the appointment in a release: “I am very pleased to officially welcome Christian ‘Blizzard’ Chmiel, one of Germany’s greatest esports legends, to BIG.”

“After Christian Chmiel has already been able to successfully lead important projects within the organization for a longer time, including the establishment of the #GoBIG League and other partner projects, I am convinced that he will be able to take on new responsibilities with his outstanding skills.”

RELATED: BIG partners with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase

The arrival of Chmiel marks the second personnel hire for BIG in 2022. On January 16th, the organisation announced former Counter-Strike player Roman ‘Roman R’ Reinhardt as its chief of CS:GO.

Newly-appointed COO added: “I am delighted to have found my way back into esports. Things that belong together are now coming together again! I am especially looking forward to working with old companions and esports pioneers at BIG again and to face many exciting challenges in my position as COO, and significantly contributing to the development and strategic direction of BIG.”

Esports Insider says: The appointment of Christian Chmiel is one of significance for BIG as it looks to build on a fruitful 2021. As COO, Chmiel will play an integral role in a range of business initiatives that will benefit the organisation.

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2023 Call of Duty League Major 1 Qualifiers: CDL Scores, Schedule, and Results

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The latest Call of Duty League season is officially starting earlier than ever before.

The 2023 CDL season kicked off on Dec. 2 with the opening qualifier matches for Major One, which will be the first LAN of the Modern Warfare 2 season held in Raleigh, North Carolina from Dec. 15 to 18. The tournament will be a $500,000 pro-am event featuring the 12 CDL franchises and four Challengers teams.

Before Major One, the 12 CDL teams will play two weekends of online qualifying matches to determine the seeding for the LAN event. These matches will be best-of-five series played using the CDL maps, modes, and ruleset.

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Schedule for the qualifier matches from Dec. 2 to 4. | Image via Call of Duty League

A lot has transpired between now and when the Los Angeles Thieves ended the 2022 CDL season by winning CoD Champs, though. Before we even get into all of the roster changes made this offseason, arguably the most notable announcements were the retirement of Crimsix and the pending retirement of Scump following the 2023 CDL season.

The L.A. Thieves, OpTic Texas, and Seattle Surge retained their starting lineups from 2022. Every other franchise made at least one roster change, including the Atlanta FaZe, who swapped Arcitys for SlasheR. Arcitys will now play for the Los Angeles Guerrillas, while the Boston Breach also made a one-person change by acquiring Owakening from the Florida Mutineers.

The Paris Legion has relocated to Las Vegas and built a roster around Clayster and Temp. And several other organizations, including the Minnesota RØKKR and Toronto Ultra, made multi-player changes heading into the start of professional Modern Warfare 2 action.

Here are the results from the qualifying matches for Major One of the 2023 CDL season.

Saturday, Dec. 3

Toronto Ultra vs. Minnesota RØKKR

Toronto lead 1-0

  • Embassy Hardpoint: 250-167 Toronto

Friday, Dec. 2

Los Angeles Guerrillas vs. Seattle Surge

Los Angeles win 3-2

  • Al Bagra Fortress Hardpoint: 250-126 Seattle
  • Al Bagra Fortress Search and Destroy: 6-5 Los Angeles
  • Breenbergh Hotel Control: 3-2 Los Angeles
  • Breenbergh Hotel Hardpoint: 250-91 Seattle
  • Breenbergh Hotel Search and Destroy: 6-2 Los Angeles

Los Angeles Thieves vs. Vegas Legion

Los Angeles win 3-1

  • Breenbergh Hotel Hardpoint: 250-204 Los Angeles
  • Al Bagra Fortress Search and Destroy: 6-2 Vegas
  • Breenbergh Hotel Control: 3-0 Los Angeles
  • Mercado Las Almas Hardpoint: 250-198 Los Angeles

OpTic Texas vs. Minnesota RØKKR

Minnesota win 3-1

  • Zarqwa Hydroelectric Hardpoint: 250-203 OpTic
  • Embassy Search and Destroy: 6-0 Minnesota
  • El Asilo Control: 3-2 Minnesota (win via OpTic forfeit of round five)
  • Al Bagra Fortress Hardpoint: Map wasn’t played; Minnesota win via OpTic forfeit

Boston Breach vs. Atlanta FaZe

Boston win 3-1

  • Embassy Hardpoint: 250-207 Atlanta
  • Al Bagra Fortress Search and Destroy: 6-3 Boston
  • Al Bagra Fortress Control: 3-0 Boston
  • Zarqwa Hydroelectric Hardpoint: 250-203 Boston

This article will be updated throughout the Major One qualifiers.



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OpTic Texas Forfeits First CDL Series As Tempers Flare

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It was a season debut like no other, and owing to some memorable and somewhat tragic moments, it’s one that won’t be forgotten for a while. For OpTic Texas, it was a heartbreaking season opener, with a complex and (in the eyes of some) potentially malicious situation bringing about the decision to forfeit the fixture against Minnesota Rokkr. It doesn’t matter if you’re blaming the stability of the game or the decisions of Rokkr’s Cammy, it’s a sour situation all-round.

In the closing seconds of the third-round match, a Control on El Asilo, Cammy summoned an SAE – a GA’d killstreak. There’s a known bug concerning the SAE at present, and it causes the player to freeze in place upon kicking it off, and that’s exactly what happened. There were single-digit seconds left in the game when Cammy called it in and owing to the bug surfacing, the COD League rules determined that the entire round should be replayed.

At that point, OpTic Texas had already won the round.

Controversial, To Say The Least

optic texas forfeit scump

This isn’t how Scump wanted his final season to begin. (Image Credit: COD League)

There are several key pieces of information to take away from this situation. Firstly, given that the SAE killstreak is GA’d, Cammy shouldn’t have been running it in the first place. Furthermore, as a top-tier professional competitor, he should have recognised what it was that he was about to deploy, as the in-game menu does allow for a preview. Unfortunately, owing to limitations in the Modern Warfare II platform, once Cammy had set the SAE up, he couldn’t remove it again.

For now, there are arguments hailing from all sides of the debate. There is the party that believes Cammy was playing maliciously, deliberately using the SAE to trigger the bug and force a replay, especially considering there was no way that Rokkr could have won at that moment, and triggering the bug did bring a replay order around. There’s another party that believes it’s an unfortunate series of events made up of several mistakes and shortcomings of the platform.

Fortunately, Cammy was on hand after the match to explain the situation from his perspective:

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Astralis announces new LEC 2023 roster

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Another LoL news was introduced as the European League of Legends team, Astralis, has announced its roster for the upcoming LEC season. While keeping mid laner Dajor and the bot lane duo Kobbe and Jeonghoon within the organization, Astralis also acquired Finn from EXCEL and 113 from Karmine Corp.

Ready for the new season

One of the most famous esports organizations especially in the western world, Astralis never had great success in League of Legends. Unlike its success in different gaming titles, Astralis failed to achieve anything worthy in LEC. The team placed ninth in LEC 2021 Spring, 7-8th in LEC 2021 Summer, tenth in LEC 2022 Spring, and lastly, ninth in LEC 2022 Summer.

Despite the disappointing result of the last split, Astralis decided to keep its core within the organization and make a change for the top side of the map. Last split, Vizicsacsi and Xerxe were the top laner and jungler of the lineup but Finn and 113 will replace them in the upcoming LEC season.

astralis-2023-lec-roster

Image Credit | Astralis

As mentioned, Finn will take on the top laner responsibility. The Swedish player started playing professionally under the Magistra roof and player for nine different teams before signing a contract with Rogue to compete at LEC. He attended Worlds 2022 with his team and then signed with Counter Logic Gaming. After a year in North America, Finn made his return to Europe with EXCEL. This year, he will be a part of the Astralis roster.

The new jungler of the organization is the young Turkish player 113. He started career in Turkey, with SuperMassive Academy. After his success with the team and insane solo queue performance, 113 was acquired by Giants Gaming. He spent the last season with Karmine Corp with names like Cabochard and Rekkles and won the EU Masters 2022 Spring Trophy. He recently parted ways with the organization to join Astralis.

The original core remains

Other than the top side of the map, rest of the 2022 Summer Split roster will remain within the organization. The German mid laner Dajor, Danish marksman Kobbe and South Korean support Jeonghoon are going to stick with the team. Looking at the roster from last year, only Vizicsacsi and Xerxe are not going to be a part of the team. Dajor, Kobbe, and Jeonghoon had decent individual performances last year but they failed to show it as a team. Astralis lacked chemistry last year and that is why they failed to qualify for playoffs.

On another note, the organization has not made it to the playoff stages since it was founded. Astralis’ success in the European LoL esports world is surely not optimal. However, the organization still tries to form the best roster combining talented players to succeed in the region.

The new Astralis roster will compete against some of the best LoL players as the competition in Europe is pretty tough. With the combination of youngsters and experienced players, Astralis might be a real threat if they can build the chemistry needed. All of the players are very talented on an individual level but their communication and chemistry will decide their performance in the ucpoming LEC season.

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