NaDeSHoT's "Leave of Absence"
Since making a decision of quitting McDonalds to playing video games full time, Matt "NaDeSHoT" Haag has been a quintessential cornerstone of shaping the lives and molding dreams of many young boys and girls in North America. From competitive play, to entertaining on MLG and YouTube, supported by OpTic Gaming for the majority of his gaming career and to being backed by major youth related companies such as RedBull, Scuf and Lootcrate, NaDeSHoT is who many aspire to be, even if its only a fraction.
Despite not being the most successful competitive gamer in the Call Of Duty FPS Genre, his major wins at the Call of Duty XP for MW3 in 2011 and his most notable Gold Medal win at the X-Games for COD Ghosts in 2014, Game Award for Esports Player of the Year in 2014 and countless top 10 finishes, places NaDeSHoT in elite company and in the COD Hall of Fame. Even though this "leave of absence" may feel like a retirement to many #GreenWall supporters, for someone that has given the better part of 8 years to his fans, his teammates, his now co-owned with Hector “H3cz” Rodriguez OpTic organization, there's only so much one person can do without feeling the need to simply decompress.
Is this a "Leave of absence... or break" or a forced step down due to the recent loss at COD Champs in March 2015? More than likely, the teammates had a confidential conversation saying we can win without Matt despite winning 3 of the last 5 events. And when you add his need to be something other than he is and his team is looking for answers to win, it was a natural fit for both sides to move in this direction. Sure enough, I believe Matt will circumnavigate in due time and return to a “true” COD competitive scene again with a team he will captain under OG or ON (Optic Nation). I am certain many roster changes will happen before the next COD game launches in Nov 2015. I am certain Matt feels confident that he is capable of being an elite competitive gamer and ascertaining and retaining high caliber players. Now with him playing competitive SnD online tourneys for UMG and GameBattles, while also providing more content for his MLG and YouTube channels, simply put, NaDeSHoT will make more money leaving the OpTic competitive team scene, be happier following his own schedule and pace, provide better content for his followers and fans and allow him to have something he hasn't had in a while; a true unique quality of life. I suppose the question really is, is this the beginning of the end for his competitive cod career?
We (as a society) still have a tough time believing Esports is a 'real' sport, a real job, a real business and something that requires real skill. However, it is all of these things and more… If this were the beginning of the end for Matt’s cod competitive career, why would he stop between the ages of 22-25? Let's look at retirement age of hockey players 34, Baseball at 35, football at 30, basketball 33, golf… 70, so why is it that Esports Players have a shelf life between 25-30 when it isn’t a physical demand on our bodies like these other sports? It’s because it’s a demand on the mind, especially when our sport keeps us connected to our supporters and haters 24/7 on all social platforms. It takes its toll and fatigue sets in. It's fitting hearing Matt say in his latest video "I have something to tell you guys..." where he even caught himself off guard making this decision but, "People Change... I Changed".
One could argue; ‘hey, he makes millions of dollars, he gets to travel the world, he has all of the product and sponsorships and women and toys and everything that I want...’ yes this is true, yes he signed up for this, yes this is a 'type' of quality of life, but with those rewards comes the toll. BEWARE THE FINE PRINT. In accepting the role of captain, co-owner of OG, player, teammate, entertainer and ambassador... one loses the ability to be oneself because you’re constantly being in demand, in the spotlight and being something for someone or something else. There comes risk, obligation, rights and contractual obligations. There is a loss of time, relationships, family and even friends. It’s an amazing job; yes a job, that not many can handle the stressors, pulls and pushes, sacrifice and commitment it takes to get to this level, stay at this level and even evolve from this level. Sure everyone wants to be like Matt, but it takes hard work, determination and discipline, which 99.99% of the Esports Community aren’t able or willing to do... yet.
With that being said, Matt has opened the door, created a mold, and developed a successful business model and plan that will pave the way for future gamers and entertainers. But, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Who do you think will be the next NaDeSHoT?
Who will OpTic pick up as their new 4th on the team as Scump is the new captain?
Comment below and tell us why.
NaDeSHoT plays several hours of SnD with STDx and the YouTube videos playing and shouting out STDx:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-wNPacDAro (2:20 Mark)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsMpZgoiH4Q (Raise your booches created)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqPiOqvtu-4 (STDx Rainman gets an ACE)
Find NaDeSHoT at:
NaDeSHoT's Leave of Absence video: