Call of Duty Academy: 107
Here is the list of the best professional Call of Duty players of all-time. These players have made a career off of playing Call of Duty, and here is the order of the best to ever touch the Call of Duty franchise. I looked at a number of factors for these rankings, including total earnings, number of tournament victories, and number of World Championships throughout their career.
Dylan “Attach” Price has played Call of Duty professionally since 2015 when he made his rookie debut for Denial Esports in Advanced Warfare. Immediately, Attach was one of the best players in the world and led his team to the Call of Duty World Championship in Advanced Warfare.
Attach is known for his fast-paced playstyle with an SMG and being lethal with a sniper rifle, no matter what Call of Duty he plays. Attach is one of the best natural aimers in Call of Duty right now and consistently plays at a high level.
Currently, Attach is a member of the New York Subliners and has continued his superstar play into this season. New York struggled early but is on a resurgence lately, and Attach can be thanked as part of the improvement.
The 10th spot on the list was tough to decide because there are many great Call of Duty players that were left off the list. Players such as John and TeePee are world champions as well with amazing pedigrees but were slightly edged out by Attach.
Career Earnings: $380,500
LAN Wins: 6
Austin “Slasher” Liddicoat began playing Call of Duty competitively during Black Ops 2 but did not burst into the forefront of competitive Call of Duty until Advanced Warfare in 2015. Slasher has been a top 3 AR player in the world since 2015, along with FormaL and Octane.
Slasher has a slight edge over Octane as the second-best AR player in that period behind FormaL because he as a World Championship while Octane does not. Slasher was the pivotal member of team Envy in 2016 during Black Ops 3, playing as the main AR for the team at all times.
Slasher was one of the most consistent if not the most consistent player during the entirety of Black Ops 3 and is a major reason why they were able to win the World Championship.
Envy was not as good the following year in Infinite Warfare but still managed to compete at the top due to Slasher. Slasher dragged Envy on his back to the World Championship finals in 2017 but they were ultimately outmatched by Optic Gaming.
Slasher has always been the best player on his team and the leader of his squad since he started competing, and that is the case again this year. Slasher is a member of Optic Gaming Los Angeles and is the reason why the team is not one of the worst in the league. In recent tournaments, Slasher has been one of the best players in the entire CDL, leading Optic to the semifinals and finals respectively.
By the time his career is finished, Slasher will most likely be higher up this list, because he continues to play at an elite level year in and year out.
Career Earnings: $623,700
LAN Wins: 7
Rings: 1 (2016)
Bryan “Apathy” Zhelyazkov has competed in Call of Duty since Black Ops 1 in 2010. He is no stranger to competitive Call of Duty and is one of the faces of the sport. Apathy competed on and off during the early years of his career because of high school and college commitments. He did not start playing Call of Duty full-time until Call of Duty Ghosts in 2014.
Apathy quickly cemented himself as one of the best players in Call of Duty early into Ghosts, and eventually joined Faze Clan to win a major tournament that year.
Since his rookie year, Apathy has consistently been a top player in the Call of Duty league. In 2016, he won his first-ever Call of Duty world championship as a member of Team Envy, alongside Slasher. Apathy was the main SMG player for Envy and was able to shine as one of the premier SMG players in Black Ops 3.
He returned to the grand finals a year later as a member of Envy once again, before succumbing to Optic Gaming. Apathy’s reign at the top was not limited to two years, however. The following year, in 2018, Apathy reached the grand finals once again, this time as a member of Evil Geniuses. EG was considered an average team all year, but got hot during the final tournament and managed to upset multiple teams on the way to Apathy’s second World Championship in three years.
Now, Apathy is a member of the Seattle Surge, a team that is struggling heavily in the 2020 Call of Duty League. He is hoping that Seattle can make a miraculous run, just as EG did with Apathy two years ago.
Career Earnings: $574,300
LAN Wins: 7
Jordan “JKap” Kaplan has played professional Call of Duty since its inception back during Modern Warfare 2. JKap is known as one of the best players if not the best player from the early generation of Call of Duty games. His dominance from Modern Warfare 2 through Black Ops 2 on an individual level has not been duplicated by many ever.
JKap’s career has mirrored the length of competitive Call of Duty perfectly. As the years passed, JKap moved from a superstar role into more of a support role for his other teammates, showing his amazing versatility as a player. He could play any role for his team because of his knowledge and experience with Call of Duty.
JKap is a 2-time Call of Duty World Champion and is one of two players ever to win back-to-back years. The championships came after JKap moved into more of a support role on games with futuristic movement, which did not favor his playstyle. He took a backseat and allowed the other players to slay while he did the dirty work for the teams and used his experience to lead the teams.
JKap won the 2015 World Championship in Advanced Warfare as a member of Denial Esports. He won it a year later with a completely different roster as a member of Team Envy during the Black Ops 3 campaign.
Currently, JKap is a member of Optic Gaming Los Angeles but was benched earlier this year due to poor performance. I think JKap will give it one more go next year, but he could retire after the season and move into a coaching position as well.
Career Earnings: $678,300
LAN Wins: 10
Patrick “ACHES” Price is a two-time world champion and was a member of the Complexity dynasty from 2013 to 2014, the first dynasty in competitive Call of Duty. ACHES has also won 17 professional tournaments in his 7 years competing, putting him near the top of overall wins in Call of Duty.
ACHES is known for his trash talk towards his opponents while competing. The cameras often catch him making gestures towards the other team as well as bombarding them with expletives while competing.
Early in his career, ACHES was known as a slayer for Complexity, leading the league in kills for both Black Ops 2 and Ghosts respectively. As his career progressed, ACHES transitioned into a slower player, allowing other players to play as slayers, while he was the leader of the team.
ACHES was a member of one of the most dominant teams in Call of Duty history, Complexity Gaming, which was a dynasty for nearly two years. They dominated their way to the title in 2014, reaching the finals for every major tournament during the Ghosts era.
In 2018, ACHES reached the top once again as a member of Evil Geniuses. EG was not expected to do well but behind the leadership and
slaying from ACHES at championship weekend, they were able to make a run and win the World Championship for Call of Duty World War 2.
ACHES is known as a villain in competitive Call of Duty because he always seemed to knock out the fan-favorite Optic Gaming from playoffs every year.
Currently, ACHES is a member of the Los Angeles Guerillas but was benched early in the season due to poor play. He remains on the Guerillas bench as of now.
Career Earnings: $466,000
LAN Wins: 17
Matt “FormaL” Piper is the best AR player to play Call of Duty professionally. FormaL began his Esports career playing competitive Halo and made the transition to Call of Duty during Black Ops 2.
During his first full year competing in Call of Duty in 2014, FormaL established himself as one of the best AR players in the league. He was top 5 in k/d ratio as well as kills for an AR player and made a name for himself as one of the best.
The following year. FormaL joined Optic Gaming for the Advanced Warfare season in 2015 and immediately transformed as the best AR player by far. Joining the star-studded roster of Scump, Karma, and Crimsix, the pressure faded from FormaL, and he came into his own as the main AR player for Optic Gaming.
FormaL continued his dominance during his run with Optic Gaming through 2018. He was the main AR for the second Call of Duty dynasty, Optic Gaming, that lasted from 2015 through 2017. FormaL often led the team in slaying and was a crucial part of the success of those rosters. During that time, the best SMG and AR players in the world played together for Optic in Scump and FormaL. The deadly duo called themselves “T2P” meaning Time 2 Pound because they pounded every opponent into submission.
FormaL’s career is topped off by his performance during the 2017 World Championship playoffs. Optic Gaming cruised through playoffs on the way to their first-ever World Championship, and FormaL was the main reason. FormaL holds the record for most kills totals during a World Championship run, as well as the record for k/d ratio. FormaL could not be stopped en route to his first ring.
Currently, FormaL is a member of the Chicago Huntsmen, where he has won two tournaments already this year and is in a prime position to add another ring this year. He is still teammates with Scump, and T2P still dominates the league side-by-side. FormaL does not have the same amount of rings as some of the other legends on this list, but his pure dominance catapulted him to the 5th spot.
Career Earnings: $800,000
James “Clayster” Eubanks is another pro that has been around since the inception of competitive Call of Duty. Clayster has been able to adapt to every change that Call of Duty has made without a hiccup in his game, which is one of the reasons why he is this high on the list.
Clayster is the oldest pro player currently active at 28 years old. He would be known as a wily veteran even if he wasn’t the oldest player, however. Clayster is known to being versatile and filling in whatever role is needed for his team. Traditionally, Clay plays with as the main AR for his team but has changed when needed to help his team win, at the expense of his personal stats.
Clayster is another two-time World Champion, winning in 2015 and 2019. In 2015, Clayster was the key member of Denial Esports, leading the young team to the World Championship in Advanced Warfare, and winning MVP along the way.
The situation repeated itself four years later, in Black Ops 4 as Clayster was the captain of eUnited. The rest of the roster was made up of first and second-year players, with Clayster as the only veteran. This time Clayster played more of a support role for the other people on the team, securing his second World Championship.
Clayster is currently a member and the captain of the Dallas Empire, one of the top teams in the Call of Duty League. He has a great opportunity to add a 3rd world championship with this current roster, as he is teaming up with some of the best rookies in the league once again.
Career Earnings: $750,000
LAN Wins: 16
Seth “Scump” Abner has been the face of competitive Call of Duty since he started competing in Black Ops 1 as a high schooler. Scump is known for his charismatic personality and content creation, as well as his unmatched slaying ability.
Scump is the best pure SMG player to ever play Call of Duty. His aggressive play style and perfect aim have allowed Scump to be the best slayer in Call of Duty history. His role on every team has been, go kill the other team and put pressure on them 24/7, and Scump does it to perfection.
Scump was a member of Optic Gaming from 2010 to 2019, the longest tenure for any Call of Duty pro with one team. As Optic became the most popular team in the league, Scump was at the forefront because he was the most popular player as well as a top 5 player in almost every single game.
The Jetpack era of Call of Duty (2015-2017) was the peak of Scump’s career. Scump was widely regarded as the best player overall in Advanced Warfare, and a top 3 player in both Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare. The long wait for Scump’s world championship also ended in 2017, as he led Optic Gaming to the Infinite Warfare World Championship.
As of right now, Scump is the captain of Chicago Huntsmen. It is still weird to see him playing for anyone besides Optic Gaming, but I will get used to it eventually. Scump is one of the leaders of the team as well as one of the better SMG players in the league as well. He is a major reason why Chicago is a top 3 team with chances at winning it all this year.
Career Earnings: $675,000
LAN Wins: 27
Ian “Crimsix” Porter is a two-time world champion, and another professional player that began his career on Halo, and made the transition to Call of Duty is Black Ops 2. Immediately, Crimsix established himself as one of the best players in Call of Duty. As a member of the Complexity dynasty during Black Ops 2 and Ghosts, Crimsix reached the finals for all but two tournaments and won more matches than any other player.
Crimsix has been a part of both of the illustrious Call of Duty dynasties, as a member of Complexity as well as a member of Optic Gaming after that. He has been a member of a top team every year since he has been a competitive player in Call of Duty. Throughout his career, he has teamed up with half of the players on his list.
Crimsix has the most tournament wins in Call of Duty history, and has been a part of a dominant team every year of his career, but one could argue that he was never the best player on his team. On Complexity during Black Ops 2, Crimsix was the best player on his team, but going into Ghosts, Complexity added Karma, who instantly became their best player.
Right now, Crimsix is a member of the Dallas Empire and is experiencing success once again this year. He is a major reason why Dallas is a top 3 team in the league this year and will rely on him for experience when they are in the Playoffs.
Career Earnings: $753,000
LAN Wins: 33
Damon “Karma” Barlow tops off the list of best Call of Duty players of all-time, thanks to the dominance throughout the entirety of his career. Karma is the only player ever to win three World Championships (2013, 2014, 2017) and is considered the GOAT of Call of Duty.
At the beginning of Karma’s career, he one of the main superstars of the league. He carried Fariko Impact to multiple tournament victories and eventually the World Championship in 2013. He then joined the rival squad, Complexity, and won the World Championship again a year later with them.
Karma’s role changed as he aged. As a young player, Karma was a superstar that could elevate any players around him. As the years passed, Karma transitioned into more of a role player, supporting the other superstar players on the roster.
Karma, along with Crimsix, were members of both of the Complexity and Optic Gaming dynasties. He joined Complexity late in the dynasty but managed to win a World Championship in just one year with the team. He joined Optic in 2015 and was a member of the dynasty from 2015 to 2017. Karma often did the dirty work for these great teams, a consistent player that sacrificed personal stats for the sake of the team’s success.
Currently, Karma is a member of the Seattle Surge organization but is not an active player. Earlier this season, Karma announced his retirement from professional Call of Duty. It was a sad day to see the best walk away from competing forever, but he will remain around as a coach or an advisor for Seattle moving forward.
Career Earnings: $760,000
LAN Wins: 24
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