We spoke to Toronto Ultra captain Daniel “Loony” Loza before the start of the new Call of Duty League (CDL) season. Loony got his start during the Black Ops 2 season and has a strong reputation for his tenure in Rise Nation. His development as one of the best in-game leaders (IGL) that CoD esports has to offer took place during the jetpack era. Following a successful run with Rise Nation in the World War II season and an underwhelming Black Ops 4 season, he now has a new home in Toronto Ultra.
Daily Esports: You’ve been known as one of the best IGLs in CoD, what was the strategy in building the Toronto Ultra?
Daniel “Loony” Loza: That’s a good one. First and foremost, the plan when building a team is you always want your main AR and SMG. Last year I played the flex role which fit my comfortability early on. But as the game progressed I wasn’t as comfortable and we obviously underperformed. So going into this game I told myself that I was going to be the main SMG once again.
After that, [Anthony “Methodz” Zinni] was one of my targets for the main AR with the options I had. Zinni and I formed a duo and tried to figure out our other three players. [Toronto] Ultra wanted to go down the route of a 10-man roster which is kind of tricky because there are a lot of talented players out there. So the signing of a lot of these players was the signing of a lot of potential. There’s a lot of rosters that we can mix and match and see which the best is. That’s kind of what the thought process behind it.
DE: You mentioned it that you’re back teaming with Methodz from Rise Nation during the World War II season. That didn’t end too well in the mid-season, but now you two are back together?
Loony: Yeah, I kind of made it clear even when we released him from Rise Nation that it was only because [Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat] was available. If any other AR was available we wouldn’t have dropped him. Slasher is obviously known as one of the best in the game so it was one of those opportunities the team didn’t want to miss.
We picked up Slasher, went back-to-back, finished second, and then had a disappointing Champs finish. It’s one of those things where teaming with Methodz again isn’t that big of a deal to me. I know he’s good, I know he’s talented, and I know what he can bring to a team.
DE: What do you have to say to allegations on social media that this roster wasn’t your “desired” roster?
Loony: It is what it is, isn’t it? I wanted to team with [Thomas “TJHaLy” Haly], obviously, we had a lot of success together in our World War II season and during the Black Ops 4 season we kind of talked about teaming again. So I mean, you always have your go-to options, the teams you want to create. But you can say that about a lot of teams.
You always have your desired roster but in an environment with franchising, it’s a lot different. You’re not always going to get the players you want in this new franchising system. This is our job, it’s not like I don’t want to play with the guys I have right now. At the end of the day, that’s just the truth and I’m not going to shy away from it.
DE: What are your top five CDL teams?
Loony: Just based on recent results and online performance: Dallas Empire. We haven’t really played against other teams like the Subliners per se. But Seattle Surge is really good and so is Atlanta FaZe. The other two, I’d have to put New York Subliners and either Chicago Huntsmen or OpTic L.A.
DE: What is your most anticipated match?
Loony: I think the one I want to play the most is OpTic L.A. Like I said, they have some players that were on my desired team. I kind of want to beat up on them a little bit.
DE: Favorite map in Modern Warfare?
Loony: I’d say Gun Runner. It’s the only one that is traditional and makes sense somewhat. I’m definitely not picking a map like Rammaza, Arkolov Peak or St. Petrograd, so it’s either Gun Runner or Hackney. Between those two, I think Gun Runner is the best right now.
DE: Most overrated player right now?
Loony: I feel like it has to be someone from Dallas Empire. I’m just gonna say [Ian “Crimsix” Porter], because every single time I play him, he literally can’t gun me. He gets smoked by me.
DE: What other city do you think deserves a franchise spot in the future?
Loony: I’d say, San Francisco. North Cal represent, I think it would be cool to have a North Cal city since we’ve already got two L.A. teams.
We’d like to thank Loony for having a chat with us. Loony is set to lead Toronto Ultra this weekend at the CDL Minnesota Launch Event. Matches will broadcast live from the official Call of Duty Twitch channel. For more Call of Duty coverage, player interviews, and roster mania news, stay up to date here with Daily Esports.