The 17th player in our best players of Modern Warfare is Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat. While the OpTic Gaming LA season was a disappointment, SlasheR was one of the lone bright spots in the squad, providing leadership and solid AR play helped turn in good results at the end of the season.
Last year was the first iteration of the top 20 where analysts, content creators, and personalities voted on the top 20 players in the recent season. This year we have 16 voters today, with the likes of Brandon “NovusVita” Hewitt (Paris Legion Analyst for the ’19-’20 season), Ryan “Flux” Oldfield (Toronto Ultra analyst), and Cam Allen joining us to vote on who their top 20 players were for the Modern Warfare season.
Build up to Modern Warfare
SlasheR has had a storied career, starting in the amateur circuit during the Call of Duty Ghosts season. While he didn’t have great success through the season, he’d end it on a high note to help build up his name. Attending the MLG CoD League Season 3 Playoffs, SlasheR’s team of Chino, Sender, & Miyagi would take down Rise Nation, Most Wanted, and Denial Esports to make a run into the Grand Finals, where they’d fall to Envy. This success would help him land on a high caliber team heading into Advanced Warfare.
After a hot start during the 2ks to begin the season, SlasheR would find himself being picked up by Censor, Apathy, and ACHES to be a part of FaZe Clan. The star AR would find instant success, winning the MLG Columbus Open 2014 to take home $10,000. This would be the first career victory for SlasheR, one of many to come down the pipeline, but not the case in Advanced. He’d finish in runner up 4 times during the season, and 3rd at Call of Duty Champs. He’d see a team change mid-way through the season, going to the Denial Esports team that won CoD Champs with Huke, Temp, and Crowder, but still continue the dry spell.
This would all change in Call of Duty Black Ops 3. SlasheR would help Team Envy create a powerhouse team with JKap, TeePee, and JKap to contest for titles. But his dry spell would continue, failing to make it into the grand finals of 2 LAN tournaments and 2 online tournaments. This would result in ACHES & Teepee being dropped from the team in favor of Apathy and John. Instant success would happen, winning Stage 2 of Pro League, finishing 2nd at the MLG Orlando Open 2016, and coming out victorious at CoD Champs 2016. It’d be a turning point for Liddicoat, showing that he was among one of the best main AR players and can be a leader of a winning squad.
The next two years, Infinite Warfare & World War 2, came with varying results for SlasheR. He’d fail to win in IW, but come out with a very strong showing during CoD Champs 2017 to finish second with the same Team Envy squad as the year before. But this wasn’t a true success for the in-game leader. He wanted victories, and this year would be a disappointment for him. The struggle would continue in World War 2, as the Envy squad would continue to be a letdown. The second iteration of SlasheR, Huke, Temp, and Classic would not be a success, failing to reach any grand finals. He wouldn’t find success until he left the Envy org for Rise Nation in April of 2018. He’d win 2 championships with the squad but ended the season failing at CoD Champs. He’d strive to change this going into 5v5.
This is when he’d join the legendary 100 Thieves organization, rounding out the roster with Kenny, Octane, Enable, and Fero going into Call of Duty Black Ops 4. They’d struggle despite all of the star power until they benched Fero, and brought in Flex Priestahh and Head Coach Crowder from FaZe Clan. The team would rebound, winning CWL London 2019 and CWL Anaheim 2019, before making a miracle losers’ bracket run to finish 2nd CoD Champs 2019. This season would show that SlasheR can not only win in the 5v5 format but also with another star main AR on the team. His stock and form were at a high going into the first season of franchising.
Modern Warfare year in review
With his stock at a high going into the Modern Warfare season, SlasheR had plenty of team options and the pick of almost any teammates he wanted. The first move was to stick with Kenny from the 100 Thieves Black Ops 4 team and find 3 teams to fit their playstyle. With the salary cap in play & former teammates Octane, Enable, and Priestahh all moving on to different teams, SlasheR found himself joining the OpTic Gaming LA franchise.
SlasheR and Kenny would be joined by Dashy and TJHaly, players that OpTic had first rights from last season. The key would be identifying a weakness in the squad and picking a suitable 5th to make the team work. With firepower aplenty, the team decided that they needed a selfless player that would fill the gaps and make smart plays for the team to win. The player tasked to fill this role was JKap. He was an exceptional player with a high game IQ that would help play the dirty roles for the team. Fans and experts alike thought this was a top 4 team going into the season.
The pressure would build on the squad, as streamed scrims went poorly and fans’ expectations high for the Launch Weekend. It didn’t help that the organization was looked down upon by a majority of fans after the removal of Hector “Hecz” Rodriguez. The players were receiving unwarranted pressure and hate their way, which made the early season very important in building confidence within the five players. It’d be a big test for the leader of the squad, SlasheR.
Kicking off Launch Weekend in Minnesota for the team was matchups versus Paris Legion and the team regarded “The Old OpTic” in Hecz’s Chicago Huntsmen. The first series would go in shocking fashion, dropping 3-2 to the Paris Legion. The weekend wouldn’t get much better, as they’d fall in quick fashion, falling 3-0 to Chicago. SlasheR would personally struggle, finishing with a 0.89 overall KD for the weekend. SnD would be a major problem, having a 0.77 KD in the mode and 0.92 deaths per round. The AR player would be dying at the pace aggressive SMGs were, and would have to find ways to knock that number down.
The team would have 4 weeks to fix the mistakes they had during the first weekend, as they prepared for CDL Atlanta. Unfortunately, the squad was matched up against the home team, Atlanta FaZe. The game would end in quick fashion again, ending in a 3-0 loss with SlasheR having just a 0.72 KD. The team would drop down into the elimination game to face the Florida Mutineers. After winning the first HP 250-139, OGLA would drop the next three maps to lose 3-1. While SlasheR would play better, finishing with a 1.01 for the series, he was struggling to be effective in the flex role.
Going into their own Homestand, the team decided to switch SlasheR into the Main AR position and Dashy into the Flex. With two weeks of practice, the team looked much better in the group stage of the tournament. They’d reserve sweep LA Guerrillas and sweep the Minnesota Rokkr 3-0. The team looked to be turning a new leaf but would be matched up against the Dallas Empire in the semi-finals. The tall challenge started with OpTic Gaming LA winning Gun Runner Hardpoint 250-172 to kick off the series. But the Empire would fight back, winning 3 consecutive maps to eliminate the OGLA squad. SlasheR would play amazing in the tournament, finishing with the 3rd highest overall KD in the event (1.30). He’d finish with a 1.20 KD in Hardpoint, 1.21 in SnD, and a ridiculous 1.60 KD in Domination (#1 in the event). Liddicoat looked much more comfortable in his natural role.
With a solid Top 4 placement under their belt, OpTic Gaming would look to build off of it. But then came COVID-19. The League would be put on pause, only to return with online tournaments in April. OpTic would participate in CDL Chicago, facing off against Dallas in the first round. It would not go as planned, with Dallas winning 3-1. The team would try to shake it off, as the prepared for LA Guerillas in the elimination matchup. They weren’t able to do so, falling in a 3-1 loss to their LA rivals. SlasheR played solid, ending with a 1.04 overall KD, but his team played poorly. JKap finished with a 0.80 overall KD and TJHaly with a 0.82 overall KD. The team was fractured and suffered from playing from LA in the online setting.
Going into the next tournament, the team would bring in Chino to replace JKap in the starting lineup. Chino helped mask a lot of the online issues for the team, bringing in a new fresh competitive outlook and good vibes for the team. With minimal practice going into CDL Florida, the team would start slow, falling 3-2 to the London Royal Ravens. They’d rebound very well, sweeping the Paris Legion 3-0 and taking their revenge versus the London side, sweeping them as well 3-0. The team would find themselves in the semi-finals yet again, this time facing off against the Toronto Ultra. They’d start off strong, winning the first Hardpoint, but find themselves in a 1-2 hole. SlasheR and co would dig deep to win the final two maps, including a round 11 game 5, to make the Grand Finals. The Finals would be a rematch against the Atlanta FaZe. Although they’d win the first Hardpoint, the squad would fall 3-1 to the FaZe side. This would be a major accomplishment for the OGLA side, powered by SlasheR’s 1.22 overall KD, which was the second-highest in the tournament. He’d continue his dominance in each mode, but the standout was a 1.39 SnD KD. This would include a 16-7 performance vs Toronto in the semi-finals, and 14-7 against the FaZe in the Finals. SlasheR would be looking like a top 10 player yet again.
With another two weeks of practice with Chino, the team would return for CDL Seattle minus their Head Coach Pacman. He would be released after the loss to the FaZe. OpTic would start the tournament putting in a solid effort against the Minnesota Rokkr, but dropped 3-2 to the Minnesota side. After dropping into the elimination match, they’d rebound very well, beating Paris 3-1 and Minnesota 3-0 to make it into the Semi-Finals. Matching up versus the Royal Ravens, OGLA would drop both SnD maps and fall 3-2 to the London side. SlasheR’s 1.32 KD in the series wasn’t enough to carry them to a victory. SlasheR would lead the tournament in overall KD, dropping a 1.34. His lowest KD in a mode was a 1.25 in Hardpoint. He’d star in SnD with a 1.56 KD and 0.95 kills per round. Last but not least, in Domination, he’d finish with 1.45 KD with 25 kills per game. SlasheR was a juggernaut on the map this tournament.
Next up, CDL Paris. The team would have ample time to prepared for their first opponent, New York Subliners. They’d take the first Hardpoint 250-167, but drop the next three maps to fall 3-1. It’d be a disappointment, but they’d have a chance to rebound versus Toronto Ultra in the elimination match. Unfortunately, the team would get swept in an embarrassing fashion. Being blown out 250-49 on Hackney Yard Hardpoint and not being able to get going in the 6-3 Rammaza SnD loss. No one on the OGLA side would do well, with everyone finishing below a 0.88 KD.
The team would make big changes, with both Dashy & Chino being benched. They’d bring in rookie Challengers players Drazah & Hollow from UYU to fill their positions. Their first challenge would be CDL London, against the Florida Mutineers in the first round. Even with a strong showing, they’d fall 3-2 to the Mutineer side. OGLA would rebound, beating the Seattle Surge 3-1 in the elimination match, before falling to Florida again in the decider match 3-1. The team would struggle again, with only SlasheR finishing with a 1.00 overall KD or higher. SlasheR would continue to put up a solid performance in SnD, finishing with a 1.19 KD in the mode and 0.84 kills per round.
Entering the final tournament of the regular season, the team needed a stellar finish to start CoD Champs in the upper bracket. They’d start off slow, losing 3-2 to the Toronto Ultra in the first round. The team would rebound yet again, beating Seattle 3-0 and taking down the Chicago Huntsmen 3-1. The team would still need help, as the Toronto Ultra made the semi-finals as well. OGLA would face the Atlanta FaZe in their semi-finals match, needing a victory. Sadly, FaZe were just too much for the squad, as OpTic would be swept out of the tournament. SlasheR played very sub-par, finishing with just a 0.94 overall KD. He’d only finish with a positive KD in Domination (1.05), failing in Hardpoint (0.89) and SnD (0.88).
Since the team had multiple poor performances over the course of the season, they’d have to start in the lower bracket at CoD Champs. The team would start to make a run though, taking down LA Guerrillas 3-2 in the first round, Minnesota Rokkr 3-0 in the second round, and the Florida Mutineers 3-0 in the third round. In the final match of the opening weekend, OpTic Gaming LA would match up against the Chicago Huntsmen, with the winner making it into the top 4. It’d be a back and forth series, with OGLA leading with a 2-1 map count heading into map 4. Chicago would take the Rammaza Hardpoint 250-218 to set up a game 5 Arklov Peak SnD. The two teams would go back and forth, bring us to an epic round 11. Scump and Arcitys would blow up the round for Chicago, helping put the round in a 1v1. Envoy would put the final nail in the coffin, taking down TJHaly to win the game 6-5 and series 3-2. It’d be a disappointing end to a disappointing season for OpTic Gaming, finishing the top 6 in at CoD Champs.
SlasheR would be solid at Champs, posting a 1.15 overall KD and 86.84 slayer rating. He’d continue to be an all-star in both Domination and Search & Destroy. In Domination, he’d end Champs with a 1.29 KD and 21.25 kills per game. For SnD, he’d finish strong with a 1.16 KD, 0.67 kills per round, and a low 0.58 deaths per round. Growing from his performances at the beginning of the season till the end, SlasheR had a very impressive individual season.
SlasheR was the star main AR player for the team, bringing the slaying punch that the team desperately needed. While he struggled in the Flex position, he was top tier on the M4, providing very good impact in each of the three modes. Here is a breakdown of his key statistics throughout the season:
The statistics are formatted for their individual tournaments. If the cell is red, then it was on the low percentile for that said tournament. For the remaining colors, green is high percentile and yellow is average.
While he did struggle on the Flex role during Launch Weekend & Atlanta, he bounced back on the Main AR. He struggled during CDL Paris & Toronto after Chino left the team, but he ended the season very well at CoD Champs. He was very up and down in Domination and SnD. In Search, six tournaments ended with a KD 1.16 or higher, but 3 tournaments at a 0.77 or lower. In Domination, he finished four tourneys at 0.90 or lower, but finished 4 at 1.24 or higher. He had a lot of ups and downs that hurt his chances of being higher on this list.
This season was the main AR’s dream for respawn modes. It was unusual to see ARs go negative in those modes. SlasheR would start off slow, going negative in the first 5 of 6 HP maps. But he’d bounce back and go on an impressive run. He’d climb from a 0.79 to a 1.13 in the mode, before ending with a 1.07. With his team struggling all season in the mode, it was impressive that SlasheR was able to do so well during the middle of the season.
Search & Destroy
Arguably one of Slasher’s strongest modes, SnD was a bright spot after the initial two tournaments. He really found his stride mid-season, hitting his second highest KD peak of 1.28 (He had a 2.00 his first SnD map). It reached that point after 7 straight positive maps, including a +7, +9, and +10 maps. The IGL helped the team turn around their season in the mode, competing with the best teams by the end, especially on Gun Runner.
The third and final mode was Domination. Again, SlasheR started slow in the mode, dipping way below the 1.00 mark. But the Main AR turned it around, reaching a high of 1.21 in May. It’d be one of his best modes, hovering around a 1.13 for the majority of the season.
Slasher proved this season that he is still a top Main AR and IGL, even in a game that didn’t suit himself or his team. He’d set a high for kills in a single series in March vs LAG, dropping 103 kills over 5 maps. He’d hit 100+ kills in a series three times (102 vs LDN in May, 100 vs ATL in May). Finally, he’d set his high for KD in a single series at 1.61 vs the Minnesota Rokkr on March 7th. Check out more series data below:
Why #17 for SlasheR?
Even though SlasheR didn’t find team success during the Modern Warfare season, he was one of the top ARs once he got going. He lands at #17 thanks to the multiple top performances in the middle of the season. He’d finish with a strong 1.10 overall KD, 88.97 slayer rating (2nd highest for AR players), and 1.12 adjusted overall KD (4th for AR players). When looking at all players through the Modern Warfare season in Search & Destroy, SlasheR had the 11th best KD in the mode (1.15), 16th best kills per round (0.77), and tied for the 4th highest kills in a single game (16). When looking into Domination for all players during the Modern Warfare season, SlasheR finished with the 11th highest KD (1.13), 13th highest kills per game (21.27), and 17th lowest deaths per game (18.76). He was a really strong asset statistically to OGLA even in the off-year.
SlasheR really hit his high when the team had Chino apart of the squad, keeping the team competitive with MVP-caliber numbers. During CDL Florida and CDL Seattle, he was the driving force of the team, finishing with 1.34 and 1.22 overall KDs in the tournaments. He also had a standout performance during CDL LA, when he transitioned over to the Main AR role. He’d post the 3rd highest overall KD in the event (1.30), and finish with a 1.20 KD in Hardpoint, 1.21 in SnD, and a ridiculous 1.60 KD in Domination (#1 in the event). Even with the team struggling with roles, connection, and chemistry, SlasheR found a way to be an all-star on the M4 and help bring the team some success in tournaments.
A look towards 2021
SlasheR was extended by OpTic Gaming LA going into the offseason, along with Kenny and Drazah. The team announced that they have signed TJHaly, and rumors are that the team will be adding a 5th player to be a starter. This team should be a lot better in the 4v4 setting, compared to the 5v5, due to the players having 4v4 fundamentals down solid. With the better spawn system, traditional maps, and Control back into the competitive setting, look for SlasheR and co to have a bounce-back year.