Doug “Censor” Martin has been a divisive figure in the Call of Duty community for much of the last five years. He has skipped in and out of retirement and his confidence to some is comparable to delusion. Despite not playing for the Black Ops 3, Infinite Warfare or recent Black Ops 4 seasons, he had a semi-successful World War II in 2017-18 and has won national championships and multiple MLG events in the years prior. The drive to compete and win is clearly there, so why do fans refuse to believe he has a lot to offer an organisation?
Ambition in abundance
There’s no secret of Censor’s ambition and drive to be the best and to do incredible things, both in and out of Call of Duty. He’s expressed aspirations of being president, being a Hollywood actor and becoming a Call of Duty World Champion. He clearly knows what he wants and will do anything to achieve it, including releasing an emotional video detailing how badly he wants to be in the franchised Call of Duty league and how he has been wronged over the years to garner the reputation he has now.
His incredible confidence and overtly positive demeanour often sit funny with fans, many of whom struggle to take him seriously, especially since his most recent performances haven’t been on par with other pro league players.
That’s not to say he hasn’t done well with what he’s been given, though. At the start of the World War II season, Censor came back despite not having been pro for two years and built teams of scrap players around himself, and he came out swinging. He came out at every event and the team placed well, whether it be Next Threat, Enigma6, Lightning Pandas or Complexity. He built a team to get into the pro league, he picked up players that ended up being some of the best in the game, and even if his individual talent wasn’t quite at that skill level, the fact that he could bring his team to events and still place well is a testament to Doug’s ability as a leader and teammate.
Immediate brand recognition
No matter what you think of Censor, whether you like him or not (and, really, there’s little reason to dislike him), you can’t deny that he has built a brand for himself beyond what many current active players have, and what many of the franchises will be able to offer. He is arguably one of the biggest names any franchise could pick up going into the inaugural season, behind only perennial winners such as Seth “Scump” Abner, Ian “Crimsix” Porter and Damon “Karma” Barlow. In fact, Censor has a winning record in grand finals against Crimsix, Call of Duty’s most decorated player; make of that what you will.
There’s also the simple, impossible-to-ignore fact that he looks great. From the outside looking in, a Gymshark sponsored, ripped bloke with a great jawline and flawless hair would be perfect when pitching to external investors or for marketing plans. We all know that the old gamer stereotype of overweight men with no social experience is overplayed and quite frankly ignorant, but some of these people don’t. Taking this lad into a meeting is going to turn heads, but it’ll also show people that esports isn’t what they imagine it to be, and his is a face they feel that they can get behind.
He has a distinct brand and his charisma is enough to pull in any potential fans looking for a team to support. Even if a team wanted to bring him on board but not as a player, he has a lot to offer when it comes to branding and building the team.
He’s actually a good player
Perhaps a controversial point if the echo chamber that is CoD esports fans is to be believed, but Censor is actually a good Call of Duty player. He never has been and never will be the player that tops the Kill/Death charts, but when you look at his objective stats (at least from World War II, his most recent time at the pro level), he has a lot to offer a team.
He’s clearly a player that doesn’t seek personal glory – if he was, I don’t think he would bother trying at this point in time. But he’s the type of player that will die first so his teammates can thrive, who will sit in an objective and allow his teammates to shine. Maybe that’s not so much by choice; as I said, he isn’t the most skilled player you’ll ever see. But needless to say, he’s able to get the job done.
It’s possible – or indeed, likely – that Censor isn’t a starting player on a franchise team. I don’t think any of us believe he’ll waltz into a team and be on the starting roster. But as I mentioned before, he’s a fantastic team player and is more than fitting to come in and help out younger players and provide some of the play that may have been lost in recent years, with games that emphasise fast play and 5-man hitting sites.
The main thing to consider, though, is that with 12 teams in the league of up to 10 players on each team, does anybody really believe that there is 120 players better than Censor right now? Does he offer less to a team than some of the players who dropped out of Pool Play at Champs with an average K/D of around 0.5? I know I couldn’t name 120 players to pick over him, which really is the fundamental point to consider.
There is no doubt that Doug has areas in which to improve, he would be the first person to tell you that. But if you think he would be a bad pickup for a franchise, you’re missing the mark completely.