Just two days after winning the inaugural Call of Duty League championship with the Dallas Empire, three-time world champion James "Clayster" Eubanks is now a restricted free agent.
The veteran Call of Duty player announced the Empire's decision Tuesday in a social media post.
"Only can blame myself for not doing more to secure my spot and the league for making this decision," Clayster said in the post. "Pretty heartbroken with how things turned out, got about 24 hours of happiness before I got thrown back into the blender, but that's the story of my career."
The news comes after the league announced Monday that Season 2 of the Call of Duty League will be contested in teams of four, as opposed to five. ESPN also reported that according to sources, the Call of Duty League will forego expansion ahead of Season 2, staying at 12 teams for the coming season while aiming for expansion in 2022. This means that 12 starting positions will be eliminated across the league.
"I've known for a month it was gonna be me," Clayster told ESPN via Twitter message. "I got told last night. But I've been prepping and planning for a month."
Clayster had previously won a Call of Duty title during the final season of the Call of Duty World League in 2019 with eUnited and also won the CWL championship in 2015 with Denial.
Eubanks received an outpouring of support on social media, including from his former coach, Ray "RamboRay" Lussier, who posted a reaction video to Twitter.
"It's honestly the dumbest thing I think I've ever had to be a part of in my history of my competitive life or anything I've done professionally," RamboRay said. "We were forced, basically. Our hands were tied. We just had to drop a two-time, back-to-back world champion with this 5v5 to 4v4 s***."
CDL free agency officially begins on Sept. 13 at 11:59 p.m. ET. At that time, any player contracts that are not extended will terminate, and a player becomes a free agent. Teams have until Sept. 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET to exercise extension options for a player.