Scrap: Call of Duty's Latest Generational Talent

Published On: 5/16/2024

The term “generational player” is often misused in esports. A newcomer excels for one year, gets dubbed the next best thing, then falls off before you even notice they’re gone. This could have happened to Toronto Ultra’s Scrap too — had he let the hype cloud his vision.

The term “generational player” is often misused in esports. A newcomer excels for one year, gets dubbed the next best thing, then falls off before you even notice they’re gone. This could have happened to Toronto Ultra’s Scrap too — had he let the hype cloud his vision. 

Scrap was the Call of Duty League’s rookie of the year in 2023, and he nearly ended the season with a World Championship. Unfortunately, his squad ran into a blazing hot New York Subliners squad and was promptly handed the most lopsided loss in Championship history. Instead of letting the loss get to him, though, he got back in form for the first Major of the Modern Warfare season and dominated anyone who got in the way. 

“Coming into [Major 1], we slammed everyone,” the young superstar said. “I think we lost two maps, and it was the same map, and we were feeling good. We really liked how everything was playing out. I think everything was working in our favor.”

A strong start doesn’t guarantee a favorable result, though, and now, his team is once again coming off a Major 2 tournament in which a few key stumbles cost them most of their momentum. So where does another comeback begin? Knocking a top team out at LAN would be a great start. Toronto’s series count against OpTic and FaZe has been dismal since Major 1, having won just 3 maps across 4 combined matchups against the two squads. Simply put, that’s not good enough to be a contender. Scrap acknowledges that the team faltered during the last cycle, and attributes that trouble to the shuffling map set. 

For those out of the loop, Rio, Vista, and 6 Star have all joined the competitive map pool since Toronto raised the Major 1 trophy. Other maps have seen spawn point changes as well as Hardpoint locations flipped around or removed entirely. It’s no wonder how a team could lose its edge under those conditions. 

“Major 2 came around, and in the qualifiers, map changes happened and stuff didn’t benefit our team the best like [at] Major 1,” Scrap said. “I think we just had a rough spot. It’s hard to consistently win in this league. There are a lot of good teams. Well, maybe not a lot of good teams, but definitely teams you can lose to…I didn’t think we were going to lose to any of the bottom eight teams. It was more of the Top 4 [matchups] we were going to have trouble with. We weren’t playing to our standard.”

Scrap isn’t too worried, though. His team is still finding their legs in this new map pool, but their confidence continues to grow. 

“Adding these new maps has brought a new pace to the game,” he said. “Both Vista and 6 Star are super fast maps. You can get mixy with a [submachine gun]. There’s a lot of kills going down, but we’re trying to adapt as quick as possible. We try to play the map the way we feel comfortable in it, and we’re excited, we’re getting better at them every day. [Major 3] is going to be a fun time. ” 

There’s no questioning the last statement. North American crowds tend to be criticized for lack of energy, but the Toronto faithful are always a delight. Not only are they fiercely loyal to their squad, but the Canadian crowd is well known for elevating the rest of the tournament too. You will never have to guess who the fan favorites are during a match. A cacophony of cheers and jeers will paint a picture of the narrative just as well as the casters’ commentary. Scrap believes the home crowd support is crucial.

“[The home crowd] is something you can’t even really explain,” he said. “You have to be there in the moment and take it all in. It’s crazy to us [that] we have this many supporters from playing Call of Duty. It’s a dream some people can’t even think of. We like it. It fuels us. We walk out through the middle, through the crowd. By the time you get on stage, you just want to run through a wall and get ready to play. Our fans are just unbelievable…I can’t wait to get on stage with them again.” 

Toronto isn’t strictly relying on the hometown buff, though. They went back to the lab ahead of Major 3, and the online qualifiers showed it. The team’s only loss was an 0-3 blowout against FaZe. They’re still hunting for another marquee win, but posting a 6-1 record has restored some confidence. 

“I think the main thing for us was [Search and Destroy],” Scrap said. “Our [Hardpoint and Control] at Major 2 wasn’t the best, but it really wasn’t that bad, there were just a few mistakes that ended up costing us some maps. Then in S&D, we were kind of getting smoked on it, 6-1, and stuff like that. That can’t happen if you want to be a championship-winning team…people say Search and Destroy wins Championships and to be honest it’s true. You can win by winning all respawns, but it’s much harder than winning all of your S&Ds.” 

Every team goes through certain pitfalls, but a cursory glance at the season stats confirms Scrap’s performance has still been stellar despite the road bumps. According to BreakingPoint, he has the 2nd highest kill-to-death ratio in both Hardpoint and Control this season. While K/D doesn’t tell the entire story, factoring in his stellar damage-per-ten-minutes stats in those modes shines an even brighter light on how great he’s been this year. Few people have ever posted stats as good as his this season, and less than a handful have done it in their second season as a pro. 

There’s more on the line than one Major though. The season is barreling to an end. Following Major 3, there will only be one event left ahead of the CDL Championships in Texas. We know Ultra is good enough to win it all this year, but eliminating any distance between potential and performance is crucial from here on out. Every team is hungry to lock up the #1 seed going into Champs, and Scrap’s unit is behind Atlanta FaZe by 50 points. Nabbing 100 points with a win at their own Major would do a lot towards overtaking their rival. 

Nothing is set in stone yet. Even with a shorter season this year, there are still a lot of matches left to be played. Still, if you’re a fan, it’s hard not to look ahead. Last year showed everyone what was possible. Major 1 proved it wasn’t a fluke. At Major 3, Ultra could prove that 2024 is as much their year as anyone’s — and they could do it in front of the home crowd.