Switching Gears: Why COGnitive Gaming Isn't Slowing Down in its Pursuit to Repeat as World Champs
One week ago, COGnitive Owner David Fry had been on top of the world; Prime had won the Smite World Championship, sister team Red had taken third, and former roster Aquila had taken second under their new organization. Sponsors had finally approached his home-grown organization - all of his hard work had validation and his eyes were firmly set on Season 2 of the Smite Pro League. His plans quickly changed as Prime and Red informed him that they would not re-sign with the organization and the sponsorship dollars disappeared as quickly as they had materialized.
“As their friend, I had mixed feelings. I wanted them to stay, but the businessman in me pointed out they could make a lot more with a larger organization,” says Fry, who goes by the tag of Smugglinrum in game and on social media.
“At first, I was unsure I wanted to continue with the organization, but in the end I wanted to continue to prove all the naysayers in the community wrong. COGnitive started in Smite and conquered Smite. I didn’t want to let the fans we had down. Plus, being the first North American organization to win a World Championship in an MOBA didn’t hurt either,” he says. With that in mind, he began to find the next diamond in the rough to build into a Smite powerhouse.
He didn’t have to look far.
While rumors surrounded the whereabouts of former COGnitive teams, another cropped up in regards to the organization’s new team. “I was approached by pretty much any team that didn’t have an established organization, but I never had any intention to sign Eager (Former Dignitas) since they had always been their own brand,” says Fry. “It was a community-started rumor around the fact that we were friends and had been hanging out together at Disney. The community should continue to fully support them since they’ve taken the initiative to further build their own personal brand.”
With so many options, Fry had settled in on one core criteria that he had used since the beginning: How do I get back to Worlds in 2016 and who has the knowledge and capacity to listen and learn how to win?
Enter the roster of “What’s Kraken,” or as former COGnitive Red support player Eonic described to Fry, “The New Gamechangers” - COGnitive Red’s team name before they joined the organization. Fry quickly agreed, “Jigz gave me the same gut feeling that I had with Red, they simply wanted to win. Despite their age COGnitive had always built teams in Smite and I believed that I could turn this team into a champion.”
Despite concerns about some of the players tendency to be “troll-y,” Fry moved forward, taking Eonic’s advice, jokingly referring to him as his “Magic 8 Ball” on Ask.FM. On the other side, the players we’re ecstatic to be given not only the opportunity to compete for a SPL spot, but to represent COGnitive. “Cognitive has a big reputation of taking teams that are relatively new and sprinkling their magic on them until they become the best teams in their respective region. We love David and we have huge hopes of continuing the Cognitive legacy of incredible improvement,” says support player and team captain Connor “Jigz” Echols
Mid laner Tyler “Hurriwind” Whitney says, “I chose COGnitive because there isn't a better organization for Smite. The owner knows everything there is to know about being the absolute best team in the game. I know COGnitive has our back and will be there to help my team and I whenever and however we need it.”
With glowing remarks from his former player and the will to win, Fry has assembled a team that he believes will be able to contend for not only the number one spot in North America but in the world - and the players can’t wait.
AD carry Damian “FaymousHate” Gudel was quick to challenge his team. “I look forward to playing against C9 the most because they are the best team in NA,” he says. “I would love to see how we do against such a team.”
For now, Fry is content with them getting better day by day, knowing that the road to another world championship is a long one and they are still at the starting line. When asked about how the new roster will fair against his old teams on Ask.FM, Fry is quick to temper expectations and says, “Cognitive will need a little more time to beat seasoned teams with almost a year of no roster movement…. There are a large number of mental factors associated. No offense, but I think that the biggest hurdle will be the fact the team looks up to C9 and TNC. Though, I think that even more than both, they want to prove the COGnitive name belongs to them now. I believe with a little luck, and one hell of a draft, it could go either way.”
He adds, “There's a certain point where mentality is the biggest hurdle, when the entire team is ready to go, that is their biggest hurdle. Though they are not at the point where they are always ready to go. It took Andinster 4 lans to finally kill Landinster. New Cognitive is very much a Cognitive team, they have the ability and the will to win, CAN they do it when it matters; is an entirely different question.”
Fry isn’t done yet though, and has stated publically that he wants to build another Academy roster to help support the current team. As for other another foray into Europe? Ever the businessman, Fry remains cryptic. “I will expand if I see the opportunity.”
It is now week one of the SPL and Fry is sitting at his desk watching the new team play their first match against Enemy E-Sports. COGnitive wins two quick decisive games in sub twenty-five minutes and Fry smiles knowingly. “I know my guys can be a successful Smite team and can’t wait to once again prove why COGnitive is the world’s best Smite organization.”
It’s hard to disagree when Fry’s “Magic 8 Ball” always seems to come up saying,“Yes.”