James “Clayster” Eubanks might be tied for most championship wins in Competitive Call of Duty history, but his career has been anything but smooth. Just fresh off the back of a championship win, and another team change, he is hoping to find a fourth championship victory.
“The adversity I face throughout my career is something that I firmly believe is a huge reason for my success,” Clayster stated in a featured video for the Call of Duty League. “You know, me five years ago… I was kind of a little shit. Through all these obstacles I’ve faced and through all the hardships and the highs and the lows has shaped me to become a more sensible, more caring, more compassionate human being. I just want to prove to myself and to my supporters that I’m still me. I’m still a world championship caliber player.”
After winning the first championship produced by the franchised Call of Duty League, Clayster was dropped from the team days after after all teams in the league were required to shift back into a 4v4 system. While he understood the situation, he did state that he was “heartbroken with how things turned out.” According to him, he only had “about 24 hours of happiness before I got thrown back into the blender, but that’s the story of my career.”
“I was never upset at those guys on Empire. Honestly, this one has been the easiest to stomach for me just because it’s not like I was getting replaced,” he continued. “In this specific situation, it was a league-mandated trimming of teams from 5v5 to 4v4. Even in my own head if I’m GMing this team where I’m on it with these other four guys, I’m the one cut. I get it. I understand. Some people are like, ‘Oh, let him enjoy his win before you do this!’ In reality, they did the best thing for me in giving me as much time as possible to find a team.”
Unfortunately, the situation still stings. This is the second time Clayster has been dropped from a team after a championship win. The first was with Team Complexity, who replaced him with Damon “Karma” Barlow moving into 2014.
He added, “On one hand, I think it really sucks and is unfortunate, but on the other hand I think it’s a huge contributing driving factor for me. I keep saying I’m like the luckiest unlucky person. Like, I’ve obviously won back-to-back world championships. I just can’t catch a break when it comes to, you know, just a team.”
Now with the New York Subliners, Clayster is determined more than ever to earn a fourth world championship title. As the 2021 season prepared to launch, the Subliners had to face a last minute roster change when Tommy “ZooMaa” Paparatto was forced to step away from competitive Call of Duty due to an injury. To Clayster it was just another jab at his luck.
“One of my best friends, one of the best players in the world now retiring before the league starts, and it’s just another obstacle in the way that I feel like I have to overcome,” he said. “Eventually, I’ll get to a point where I’m over it, but I’m not there yet. I’m still going to keep putting my best foot forward and make sure I try to go back-to-back-to-back.”
Clayster plays again with the New York Subliners on Friday, Feb. 19 against the London Royal Ravens.