Replays - "I mean you always go into a tournament thinking that you can win it."

By Taylor Keating
August 8, 2017

James ‘Replays’ Crowder, one of Echo Fox’s newest players, has a lot to prove. As the 2015 Call of Duty World Champion comes out of retirement, he’ll have to lead his team through Group A, which includes OpTic, Epsilon, and 3sUP, to have a shot at the Call of Duty World Championship trophy.

For the majority of the year Replays had been a coach for FaZe Clan, but in the middle of July, weeks before the Last Chance Qualifier, Echo Fox announced the acquisitions of Mosh, MRuiz, and Replays to play alongside Methodz. On paper, they’ve got what looks to be the best roster from the LCQ. It’s only a matter of them coming together to form a cohesive unit that could stop them from upsetting the best teams in the world at the Call of Duty World Championship.

But how did Replays get here? How did a Call of Duty World Champion make his way from coach to player in a matter of weeks to play for another World Championship?

We asked Replays about retirement and the upcoming World Championship to get his thoughts on the matter.

What was the reason for Denial’s falling out after you won the 2015 World Championship?

The reason for Denials falling out was simply due to the fact that after CoD champs was over the rule changs. The modes being played went from (Hardpoint, Search and Destory, Uplink, Capture the Flag, Search and Destroy) to (Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, Uplink, Hardpoint, Search and Destroy). Hardpoint happened to be our worst game mode on a consistent basis, which lead to us becoming a worse team. A change needed to happen.

What went into your decision to retire?

I was not enjoying playing anymore. I felt that it was more of a chore to get on than me actually wanting to get on. I never really knew if it was the team situation I was in or what but I knew that I wasn’t at 100% and if you can’t be 100% you are putting the other three players on your team in a bad spot. I did not want to be that guy so I decided to retire for a bit.

You were briefly on the analyst desk, why did you leave to coach FaZe full time?

I was the coach of FaZe before I was on the analyst desk and then I decided to commit full time to FaZe as a coach because I felt that I wasn’t doing my job as much as I could have while being on the desk.

You’ve been a captain on almost all of your teams, how crucial is your leadership in a tournament of this stature?

I think that I can bring a lot to a team when it comes to practice but at the same time, I find that being a captain doesn’t always mean that everything I say goes. I want all four players on the team to have a say and put their input in as well.

I think having a team that communicates with each other goes much further than just having one person do it all. I just make sure that when we are playing that we all are going 100% and giving it our all, which surprisingly enough a lot of teams don’t do sometimes.

This Echo Fox roster is not even a month old, but what can we expect from the team and yourself at the World Championship? What are your goals/expectations?

I mean you always go into a tournament thinking that you can win it. You need to have that confidence because that's what everyone is there to do. Although we are a fairly new team I think that when we are all playing our best Call of Duty, we can beat anyone. I would want to say that I expect to go far in the tournament depending on how everyone is playing on the day. Call of Duty can be a very day to day game so if play like we practice and do our thing we can have a great event for sure.

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Replays may be keeping his expectations low, but he's certainly optimistic about Echo Fox’s chances at the Call of Duty World Championship. We’ll see just how well Echo Fox’s new roster has settled in on Wednesday, August 9 at 10 AM ET when the team takes on Epsilon in the first game of the World Championship.