Call of Duty events aren’t usually the time to talk about League of Legends, but perhaps this instance is a sign of the times in esports.

DBLTAP’s Max Mallow caught up with OpTic Gaming CEO Hector "H3CZ" Rodriguez over the weekend at Call of Duty World League New Orleans and asked about OpTic’s foray into League of Legends. H3CZ opened up about entering League of Legends and how he went about piecing together that part of the organization.

“It’s been something I’ve wanted to be involved in for a very long time, since 2010, 2011 almost,” he said. “It’s been a while that I’ve wanted to step into LCS, and it just wasn’t viable for us at the time. Now that Riot is really, really putting all their efforts into the LCS, it was the right time for us to get into that.

“For me it was all about being the most honest and organic going into it to make sure we hired the proper experts to run our League of Legends team. It’s an esport that demands the utmost respect in terms of the status of what the esport as a whole is, so I wanted to make sure every step we took was the appropriate one.”

OpTic was revealed in November as one of the 10 teams that will join the newly-franchised NA LCS. OpTic has long been rumored to have interest in League of Legends, and apparently it took franchising to make it happen.

A longtime console stalwart, OpTic first ventured into Counter-Strike in 2016 before also picking up an Overwatch League and Dota 2 team last year in addition to League of Legends.

“From a culture standpoint, I wanted to make sure we respected (League of Legends’) values and didn’t just come in and put our own values in it but be complementary to (theirs),” H3CZ said. “Very carefully was our approach to it.”

OpTic’s first match in the NA LCS will be against a familiar face. The team will play 100 Thieves, a team run by Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, formerly a content creator and professional Call of Duty player for OpTic.

H3CZ had some playful trash talk ahead of his first NA LCS showdown.

“There’s nothing to call out,” he said. “The student will never defeat this master. There’s a story that goes on in all cartoons and fables, but not this time (laughs). “I will say this, though. If he does end up winning, good for him. I just think my lineup is better. My dude Arrow (No Dong-hyeon) is a tank.”