Despite narrowly missing out on the knockouts. It was clear to see Toronto Ultra Academy NA made a name for themselves. With their 2-1 record being good enough to qualify through any other group, it was an unfortunate evening for the rookies. There was once a time where this promise was not likely, this is the history behind Toronto Ultra Academy NA.
Two days into the Pro-Am and the biggest question was just why Toronto Ultra’s Academy team are just this good. After stunning reverse sweeps against Los Angeles Guerrillas and Boston Breach, fans will be wondering who they are and how unlucky they were not to progress.
In truth, these players are not unknows, they have been grinding for years looking for an opportunity to prove themselves at the highest level. When giving the opportunity, the team are flourishing and are effectively advertising themselves for a future in the league.
This team came from nowhere. Announced a few months ago, the NA team had struggled to win an event but took their opportunity at the CDC Minnesota Major finishing first. They had stopped the dominance of Texas Nation, while also beating all the EU teams included. This led them to a spot at this Pro-Am tournament.
Despite this team being the North American academy team for Toronto, there is still two EU players on the roster. This keeps up with the consistency of the Toronto Ultra brand with a heavily European way of recruiting. Let’s look at the players that make up this team.
The British Beast
One of the main reasons this team was able to happen, was through the backing of pro CDL team Toronto Ultra. This was heavily down to Charlie “Hicksy” Hicks, who was picked up to be the substitute of the Toronto Ultra at the start of the season. Hicksy was ultimately allowed to find a team with the backing of Toronto and was able to find an outstanding set of teammates.
Hicksy, last year stood out from many of the competition in the EU and showed himself to be one of the most promising SMG players in the game. Playing mostly for Elevate, Hicksy managed to win 5 challenger cups, before finishing joint fifth in the European finals. His great performances were enough for the team to pick him up, just as the Vanguard season had started.
The first few months of Vanguard were indifferent for Hicksy, he felt the struggles of moving teams often in challengers and could not find any consistency. The best finish being fifth, Hicksy also got a chance to show his skills in the CDL and impressed filling in for ill players with a 3-0 win on his debut.
After these matches he was able to find a new pick up team. This team instantly came fourth in 3 days together. This team ultimately got picked up in a partnership with singularity becoming Toronto Ultra Academy NA.
The Spanish Sensation
Javier “Vikul” Milagro might be the next hero from Europe. It has been a long time since Spain has been present in the pro scene of Call of Duty. With Minnesota Rokkr’s full Spanish team not qualifying for this tournament, the hopes of a nation lie with Vikul.
Vikul, who has been playing for years, had even won 5 LAN tournaments before he was 18. Vikul really made a name for himself in Cold War with six tournaments wins, including going unbeaten in stage 5 of challengers with Mav3ricks Gaming Club.
Despite only finishing joint fifth in the EU finals, he had made a name for himself and even got 21 kills in a game 5 against Hicksy’s Elevate in stage 5. With this, Vikul moved to the US to try and elevate his career. Vikul had some success instantly, winning the challenger cup three with his pickup team. This eventually led him to hook up with Hicksy and join the team.
The Cold War Champ
The name Mohak “Mohak” Kumar will be very common to fans of the challenger scene in NA. Mohak first burst on the scene in Black Ops 4, playing search tournaments with future professional players. Making a name for himself, Mohak decided to try and play professionally in Modern Warfare, but to little avail.
Mohak’s whole career shows how determination and hard work can really get you anywhere. Mohak slowly began to gain better career placements in Cold War and finally won his first challenger cup in June. This then led to back-to-back cups and Mohak found himself on one of the best challenger teams with only a few months left of the season.
This was great timing for the young man and despite placements not being what he would have hoped for, his team managed to win North American finals in Cold War. This not only being his biggest win to date, was only his third CDL challenger tournament win ever. It showed how much he had grown in such a short time.
This team also included Kris “Spart” Cervantez, who Mohak continued to team with in Vanguard. To the surprise of everyone, none of the team got picked up to start by the CDL. With Spart being moved to a starter when Peirce “Gunless” Hillman became unwell, it left Mohak looking for a team. This led Mohak to link up with his old teammate Thomas “Scrappy” Ernst to complete the team.
The Shouting Star
The most exciting player in challengers right now is Scrappy. Scrappy, who is known for his amazing trash talk and LAN reactions, is also making a name for himself as one of the best ARs in Vanguard. Originally, Scrappy gained popularity through the Cold War season and played with current Toronto player Jamie “Insight” Craven, and teammate Mohak to moderate success.
Scrappy finally was able to win his first COD challenger cup with Mohak in June, coming at a crucial time. Despite this, Mohak found his way onto another team and Scrappy was left behind, not being able to win NA finals in Cold War. Despite this, Scrappy did not give up and had a great start to Vanguard with a second-place finish in the first challenger cup.
Known for his aggressive playstyle, Scrappy is a vocal mouthpiece across the team and can be heard from anywhere. Scrappy briefly moved onto UYU in Vanguard and came second in the stage 1 playoffs, losing to Texas Nation. This was his last match for the team.
This team made up of Vikul, Hicksy and Mohak, struggled to make a real impact throughout its first few months. But with an astonishing LAN performance to win the Minnesota Open and now upsetting CDL pro teams, this team is really the big deal. Don’t be surprised to see these players destroying the league in the future.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Call of Duty League
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