Hicksy was weeks away from returning to the UK.
Toronto Ultra’s newest starter Charlie “Hicksy” Hicks appears to be the final piece in the puzzle for the Canadian franchise to become a winning team once again in the Call of Duty League.
Hicksy came into the team after one week of qualifying matches for Major 3. After moving to the starting roster, the team became almost unbeatable.
The fairytale start to Hicksy’s CDL career was topped off by beating a home team OpTic Texas at their own Major in Arlington, TX.
Ultra took the Grand Finals series 4-2 to complete an undefeated run on LAN through the tournament. They beat the best of the best along the way.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling and it still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Hicksy told esports.gg. “With so much adrenaline pumping round my body I wasn’t really sure what was happening. Hopefully it’ll settle in soon but it is still an immense feeling.”
The first since Scump...
In winning the event, Hicksy becomes the first pro player since 2011 to win their first Major Call of Duty event on LAN. The last player to do it? The legendary Seth “Scump” Abner.
“It’s good company, me and Scump,” Hicksy continued. “You can’t call me the EU Scump though, hell no. There’s a lot more chips to come before that can happen.
“On Thursday against New York it wasn’t convincing, we could have gone map five quite easily. It gave me a bit of belief and I never thought that we could win.”
Thinking of winning the event didn’t come until late in the tournament for Toronto. They matched up against the ever-excellent Atlanta FaZe in the upper bracket final and managed to take them down on LAN for the first time in franchise history.
“To be honest, I thought we could get top three at best,” Hicksy said. “Every time we went out there we just kept winning. Boston we clutched up and then with FaZe we clutched up. The first time we’ve beaten them on LAN. We were 0-8. Now 1-8. It was just our tournament to win.”
The final map of the tournament for Ultra and the winning moment for the team ended up being an El Asilo Control. Due to the way that map vetoes work for Grand Finals best of seven series’, Ultra had an advantage in choosing which map they played.
“Because we’re from winners they don’t get a veto for control,” Hicksy added. “We just banned Fortress and then we knew that we would have the advantage in the mode. We thought we were unbeatable on Hotel and El Asilo and we should have won both.”
Hicksy nearly went home to the UK
Hicksy getting a chance in the starting roster for Toronto wasn’t always the plan. He had been their substitute player for more than a year before being given the call up.
It got to a point where Charlie was considering leaving Canada and returning to the UK to play in Europe’s amateur Challengers circuit. A decision he is now thankful that he didn’t make.
“I didn’t think I was going to get a chance in the team,” he said. “At LAN they were getting top four or top six and then they were top two going into each Major. I never thought I was going to get a chance.
“I was going to go home and play EU Challengers again because I thought I was going to have a better chance of getting on a different team. But now I’m here and I’ve won a chip so I really don’t know.”
It didn’t get to a point where Hicksy had a team ready to go in EU but the conversations were serious enough for him to be strongly considering it.
“I didn’t full speak about it with players,” he added. “My agent and I were talking through our options of staying where I didn’t think I was going to start or going back to EU where I would be guaranteed to be on a good team. I would have liked it.”
Toronto have made Scrap an honorary EU player
Hicksy slipped seamlessly into his role in the Toronto team. He played last year with Thomas “Scrappy” Ernst, who has been adopted as a European alongside the Danish Tobias “CleanX” Jonsson and Englishman Jamie “Insight” Craven.
“He’s like half-EU now,” Hicksy said. “He’s been around EUs long enough to count as an EU player now. He doesn’t have a football team but when Leeds lose he sticks it on Jamie and when Liverpool are shit, which we are, he sticks it on me.”
Hicksy has a long-running friendly rivalry with fellow British player Ben “BEANS” McMellon. The two of them go way back but it just so happens that Beans can’t touch Hicksy on LAN. So playing against his friend is one of the best things to come from the Major for Charlie.
“I love it,” he said. “I don’t know how many times I’ve played him but I’ve beaten him every time, I think that’s the third time on LAN now. Minnesota, Boston and here.
“I don’t think there’s any reason, in Vanguard I had the better team and here it could have gone either way in the map five.
“I’m not going to be a dick and say that he’s never going to beat me, I’m sure we’ll go back and forth with those wins.”
Next LAN at home
The next time that Hicksy will take to a LAN in front of a live crowd in the Call of Duty League will Toronto Ultra’s home Major in the 6ix. That event takes place May 25-28 and will feature all 12 CDL teams in action once again.
Toronto will have the crowd backing them all weekend at their home Major, which wasn’t exactly the case in Texas.
“It’s going to be insane,” Hicksy said. “The crowd here were crazy and against Boston they were on our side because Ben was sticking it on OpTic so they liked us and then for FaZe they liked us too. In the Grand Finals obviously they weren’t.
“I think I got a little bit too gassed map one, I got up and I started shushing them and my entire team were telling me to just sit down. I got a bit too excited but I kind of pissed on them so I had to get a little bit loud.”
Toronto Ultra and Hicksy return to CDL action for Major 4 qualifiers starting with a rematch against Beans and the Boston Breach on Apr. 1.