How to Break Through as a Professional Gamer
Some Tips on What You Can Do to Further Your Esports Career
If you call yourself a fan of esports, and you are one of the few who have not yet heard of Chris “Simp” Lehr, then just wait a couple months and he will be impossible to ignore.
The young phenom has established himself as one of the greatest Call of Duty prospects of all time. And after his commanding performance at the Call of Duty World League event in London, it is crystal clear to see why everyone is so excited.
Simp has only been on the scene for the past 2 CoD World League events, and the only reason he hasn’t started sooner is his age. Simp only turned 18 in February of this year, and according to CWL rules, that was the first opportunity that he got to compete on the grand stage.
It’s not like he has just been waiting for his opportunity either. Simp has been absolutely crushing it in local and LAN events since he was 14 years old, and his skill stayed at peak level through Black Ops II, World War II, and Black Ops III.
During Black Ops III, he established himself as one of the best Search and Destroy players in the game, all while still attending high school. In November of 2017, Simp signed with the eUnited Cadets, and went on to keep winning tournaments, both local and online, until he finally got his chance.
Considering that he had already totaled over $58,000 in winnings before even entering the CWL, it is no wonder then that the CoD world has been eagerly awaiting his arrival. And he certainly did not disappoint.
Simp joined eUnited’s main squad as a substitute in March of 2019, however, at the first major event he was eligible for, CWL Fort Worth, his team did not have an open spot for him. As a result, Simp played as a part of FC Black, Faze Clan’s academy team.
And from there, he never looked back.
Simp was an instrumental piece of an FC Black team that was unstoppable at CWL Fort Worth. Over the course of the whole tournament, the team only dropped 4 maps, and took down Mindfreak multiple times to win the MTN DEW® AMP® GAME FUEL® Open Bracket.
Simp finally got the chance to prove his worth, and it spoke volumes about what was to come.
After that extremely impressive performance in Texas, eUnited was faced with a decision. They had just placed very poorly at Fort Worth and were looking for a way to reverse their fortunes in London, the very next CWL event.
Not two weeks after Fort Worth, after a laundry list of rumors, eUnited announced they were bringing Simp onto the starting roster. More surprising was that he would be replacing Jordan "JKap” Kaplan, the two-time world champion.
Of course, there were many, in the league and observers, who knew how talented Simp was, but were unsure how quickly he would adjust to the high-level of play at the professional level.
But it seems like nobody told Simp that he was playing against professionals, because he was unfazed by the pressure.
As an individual player over the course of his first ever professional tournament, CWL London, his stats are almost ridiculous. His overall tournament K/D ratio was a massive 1.351, good enough for second best overall and best among players on the Saug SMG.
On Search and Destroy, no one could touch him, as his 1.820 K/D was almost .2 points higher than the next closest player in the event. He also dominated Control maps, with a 1.417 K/D, separating himself from the rest of the competition by a full .1 points.
But things get extremely impressive when looking at how he fared on the final day of the competition, where he only faced off against the best of the best.
And the high schooler took them to school.
He had the best K/D of any player on Championship Sunday, where he played four total matches. And when you look at how he did it, it shows a consistency across the game that is seldom seen from any player, let alone a rookie.
· #1 in K/D on Hardpoint maps.
· #2 in K/D on Control maps.
· #3 in K/D on Search and Destroy maps.
Of note was what happened in that final match of the tournament, where Simp was absolutely vicious with the sniper rifle on the first Search and Destroy Map, which is not even his primary weapon.
One of the things that sets Simp apart from the rest is his versatility and really impressive gunskill. Simp is extremely overpowering in his 1-on-1’s, allowing his teammates to rotate effectively and control the pressure points of the map without having to worry about Simp and whoever his matchup is at that moment.
In addition, while he plays some of the best Saug SMG of anyone around, he also can get it done with the sniper rifle, displaying his very quick reaction time and can’t-miss flicks that always get the crowd pumped.
After killing it at both major tournaments so far this year and helping eUnited finish tied for 1st in division B of the Pro League, Simp is well on his way to being one of the most dominant forces in Call of Duty.
There is no doubt that eUnited, as it currently is composed as a roster, has the talent to continue to lead the division and put themselves in contention at the CWL finals. When you look at the rest of this starting squad, you struggle to find many weaknesses:
· James “Clayster” Eubanks, the hype-man who is one of the most decorated players in Call of Duty history.
· Preston “Prestinni” and Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson, the twin duo who have been playing together for years at the highest levels of the game.
· Tyler “aBezy” Pharris another young gun who has yet to reach his best game yet.
For the near future, Simp’s energy is focused on the rest of eUnited’s matches in Pro League play, and the upcoming CWL Anaheim event next month. After that, should eUnited continue to play hot, Simp will find himself at his first ever CWL finals, with a chance to bring his team the world championship later this summer, in July.
As for the long term, there are many rumors circling about the fact that the Call of Duty Pro League could be undergoing massive changes next year. The most prominent (and most intriguing) is the thought of switching the league to a franchise-based model, much like the Overwatch League and NBA 2K league.
If this does in fact happen, the league will be forced to redraft teams. And while there are many players who would be highly coveted by teams picking early in this draft, Simp’s name is right up there with the best.
His performances at London and Fort Worth, combined with his age, should make him a big target that has very suddenly jumped straight to the top of many potential mock drafts.
But that draft won’t occur until after the season concludes anyway, and if Simp can continue to keep this insane pace, don’t be surprised if the 18-year-old is one of the first few, if not the first, pick off the board.
In his short time in the big leagues, Simp has already demonstrated not only that he can play big and go off at any time, but that he can do it with different rosters and tactics.
He mans his Main SMG role with exceptional awareness, precision call outs, and some of the best reaction time in the game right now. Plus, at his core, this is a guy who loves to play the game, and perhaps even more importantly, he has a team around him that loves to play with him.
The scariest part of it all? We probably have yet to see peak Simp. While it did not appear that there was anything left for Simp to learn after torching CWL London, there may still be another level, if not multiple higher levels, that Simp can reach with just a little bit more feel for the way the game is played in the league.
The future for Simp is as bright as can be, and there is no limit to where this guy can go.
For now, all we can do is watch in awe as the kid from Long Island puts the league on notice.
Simp has arrived, and he is here to stay.
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