By: Zachary Lange
For most high school seniors, now is the time where students wait around the mailbox for a highly anticipated college acceptance letter.
For Chris “Simp” Lehr, however, the next step in life came a little faster than originally anticipated. Beginning next week, Simp will join the starting lineup of the eUnited Call of Duty team, taking the stage at MLG Studios in Columbus, Ohio for continued action in the CWL Pro League.
“I was extremely excited when I was told about moving up to the starting roster,” Simp said. “Because I was really stressing out about my professional career and where I would be going.”
The former substitute player had been participating in online tournaments and other non-CWL sanctioned events prior to turning 18 years old in February. During the CWL Fort Worth Open last weekend, the SMG player won his first major tournament in his first ever attempt, helping FC Black secure the top prize of $15,000.
Meanwhile, eUnited suffered a setback during the 16-team pro league event at Fort Worth with a disappointing last place finish. The squad will certainly be glad to welcome the young prospect who comes fresh into the league riding a personal hot streak.
“That feeling of winning will never ever get old,” Simp said. “My first open major tournament gave me the confidence (needed) that I can carry throughout the rest of the year to help me win more.”
It was inevitable that Simp would eventually be competing at a professional level. A recent downturn in performance, coupled with what Co-General Manager Matthew Potthoff described as a stressful roster change period helped further accelerate the time table on the move.
“I’m really excited to see Simp thrive on our professional roster,” Potthoff said. “Chris brings unmatched, raw gun skill and can hopefully be a breath of fresh air to the team.”
The way in which he has made it to the pros is unique and closely resembles the minor league model that traditional sports have used for decades. Simp has been signed to the organization since late 2017 as a developmental player on the eUnited Cadets, a youth team that Potthoff devised to assist the main roster in practicing Search and Destroy during last year’s competitive title.
Simp’s role on the team will be to complement another impressive young gun in Tyler “aBeZy” Pharris as an aggressive entry-kill player. This will free up Preston "Prestinni” Sanderson to transition to becoming the team’s main Maddox gunner, an assault rifle that is heavily used in professional play.
The move will ultimately hope to serve as a reset button for a team that started off strong with a runner-up finish at CWL Las Vegas but has lost its way in recent weeks.
“With a new front line and Preston finding his comfort zone, I believe eUnited Call of Duty will be back on top after a week of high quality practice,” Potthoff said.
The team will face off against Evil Geniuses on Monday. Fans can tune in on the official Call of Duty Twitch channel or MLG.tv.