James “Crowder” Crowder is the head coach for the Atlanta Faze and a former Call of Duty World Champion. Crowder is an integral part of Faze and arguably one of the best coaches in the league. Here is a look at his professional profile and what it means to be a Call of Duty coach.
The Role of a Coach
Just like in any sport or esport, a coach is required to correctly analyze and guide players so that their team maximizes their full potential and winning ability. A coach may also study other team’s techniques and master the rules of a game to counter an opponent successfully and ensure their team withholds integrity at the highest standard.
In Call of Duty, a coach’s role is subject to change following the release of a new game. A coach will need to learn the game inside and out to understand spawns, map rotations, class setups, callouts, etc.
Call of Duty Involvement
While the idea of a Call of Duty coach has been around for years, the extent of their involvement in competitions has changed immensely.
Back in Black Ops 2, coaches could speak to their players mid-match. Argued as being counterproductive, allowing coaches to talk in-game gave teams a designated fifth man responsible for relaying crucial information. But that all changed following the release of Advanced Warfare back in 2014.
Coaches were no longer allowed to speak to their team mid-match or remain on stage. This spurred up controversy over the true value of a coach. On one side, they were viewed as the designated hype-man. They were unnecessary because teams were winning major championships without them; at the end of the day, it all came down to a player’s performance. On the other side, coaches were essential to a team. They provided new strategies and individualized feedback crucial to a team’s success.
While coaches still don’t have the freedom they did back in Black Ops 2, players and teams have started seeing the value in coaches.
James Crowder: The Glorified Hype Man
A great team always begins with a great leader…
— Atlanta FaZe (@ATLFaZe) September 22, 2019
Crowder has been around since Modern Warfare 3 and won the 2015 World Championship with Denial Esports. After failing to qualify for the 2019 CWL Pro League, he was hired as the head coach for 100 Thieves.
Starting his coaching career with a fourth-place finish at CWL Fort Worth, Crowder led his team to back to back championships at CWL London and CWL Anaheim. By the time the CWL World Championship rolled around, 100 thieves were one of the best teams in the league and ended up in second place after a loss to eUnited in the finals. Despite the loss, the team praised Crowder for his ability to keep the team on the same page and help with in-game strategies.
Now on the Atlanta Faze, Crowder’s key to success lies in his ability to keep his team focused. He is surrounded by talented players and will look to secure his team’s first championship in Atlanta, February 22-23.
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Featured photo via Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America
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