After an intense trial process, Colt “Havok” McLendon joined Minnesota Røkkr’s starting roster, and the new lineup made their debut at the CDL Pro-Am Classic 2022 last weekend.
Ahead of the Major III Qualifiers matches this weekend, Havok sat down with us to share his thoughts about the trial experience, reflect on his journey as a professional Call of Duty player, and offer life advice to aspiring young players.
Havok: “There were three different rosters I was part of during the trial process. I won’t get into specifics about who was on which one, but the first roster was really good. It was a little weird with roles, but it felt good. There was some natural synergy. The second one didn’t work out at all, to be honest. The last roster we experimented with during trials got off to a bumpy start, but on the second day of scrims, everything just clicked.
At the end of the process, we had a lot of discussions with our coach and with each other about what we wanted to do. It was one of the toughest choices I’ve made in my career, but I had to be incredibly objective about the situation.
See, the first roster was good. We were consistent and played well together. The skill floor of the lineup was pretty high. But that third roster was amazing — on the second day we were trying it out, everything suddenly came together and we were absolutely unstoppable. We were playing off each other perfectly. It was incredible. I haven’t felt that good about a group of players in my entire career.”
The Pro-Am Classic
Havok: “I felt a lot of pressure going into it. I think I put too much pressure on myself. I didn’t quite play up to my standards, but I think the team played really well, especially for having only a week of actual practice.”
The boys are dialed in. pic.twitter.com/dq46lQsZ4H
— Minnesota RØKKR (@ROKKR) May 4, 2022
Havok: “We had incredibly close matches against Florida and OpTic — the loss against OpTic was really tough. We should have won that series and made bracket play, but when I look at the situation objectively, our team showed a lot of promise. It sucks to lose, obviously, but that series made it clear to me that we’re going to absolutely dominate after we develop our systems a bit more and keep practicing together.”
Maturing As A Player
Havok: “I started competing when I was 15, and launched my professional career at 16. I want to be perfectly clear about this: I was an absolute ****head at the time. I was literally the worst teammate you could possibly imagine. I didn’t listen to anyone. I’d show up late. I’d chalk scrims. I was streaming all the time. I had a horrible attitude, I didn’t give a **** about practice, and my focus was all over the place. It took a while for me to come to my senses.”
— Eric Olsen 🎥 📷 (@xCaptainEO) May 13, 2022
Havok: “Growing up is a process. I think I started to turn a corner after World War II came out. It was the absolute worst year of my career. I didn’t have a pro team. Didn’t make Top 24. I felt like such a failure, and that was when it hit me that I needed to get my **** together. It was a big wake up call, and I decided it was time to focus on being the best teammate I could possibly be and see how far it gets me.
It’s been a process. I’m not perfect. It takes time to be the kind of human being you want to be, and the more I focus on my mental and physical health and trying to be a good teammate, the better I feel about myself and the more successful I’ve been as a player.
Look, if you’re a young player who’s amazing at Call of Duty, and you’re the kind of ***head I was back in the day, this is what I want you know. You might not listen to what I’m telling you, and I know I probably wouldn’t have when I was that age, but I’m going to say it anyways. Listen to the people around you who are giving you advice. Really listen to their feedback and criticism. Don’t just brush it off. If someone’s giving you advice, it’s because they’re trying to help you and they care about you. I would have found success in my career a lot earlier if I had done that.”
The Dream Team
Havok: “Someone once did a video about me where they said that Minnesota was always the team I wanted to be on, and they were right. I love the org, and I heard great things about how they take care of their players. When I first got the call that I was going to be part of the trials process, I was so excited. This is what I had been working towards, and it was finally happening. Everything was paying off. Challengers is hard to get out of — and coming from that environment and joining this organization is an actual dream come true.
— Minnesota RØKKR (@ROKKR) May 11, 2022
The pacing that we’re starting to develop is incredible, and you saw this at the Pro-Am last weekend — this lineup knows how to play fast and super aggressive, and that type of gameplay is what’s going to help us win more Hardpoint matches.
You can’t play at full speed all the time and expect to win — you need to learn how and when to slow down, and that part is starting to come together the more we practice. If you don’t have the ability to play fast, it doesn’t matter if you’re good at playing slow. We’re going to do big things with this roster.”