Call of Duty is perhaps the one modern video game franchise with the richest history of skill shots, internet montages, and online virality. If the spirit of dumbfounding plays and a million-to-one shots lives on in anyone in Warzone Pacific, it’s got to be Crossbow Mike.
If you’ve spent any amount of time on Call of Duty social media, or follow the official Raven Software or Call of Duty accounts, you’ll have run into one of Mike’s clips. Whether shooting unsuspecting drivers as they drive past back in Verdansk, or quickly swapping over to the passenger seat of a plane before picking off players below on Caldera, Crossbow Mike has defined his own brand of Call of Duty trickshots.
But who is Mike? Plenty of influencers and websites have taken notice of this Vanguard high-flyer in recent months, but how did this all come about? To find out, we reached out to Michael, to learn more about his eagle-eyed hobby.
“It actually started during corona. Everybody went into lockdown and there wasn’t much to do. It was around that time that Warzone came out, and believe it or not, before that time I wasn’t that into playing games. Warzone was the first game I really got into. So it’s a hobby that has grown into this big thing it has become now."
“I was actually pretty much done with the game when the crossbow came out. I remember playing with it in Black Ops 2 and decided to give it a try. I found that learning the timing, the arrow drop, how far in front you need to shoot was very interesting compared to other weapons, and that I was quite good at it! The more I did it, the better I got, and I noticed I was hitting shots basically no one else was hitting."
Mike continued to use the crossbow as their primary weapon for around a year, at which point he started going for trick shots and long-distance snipes. When he managed to hit one, he’d upload the footage to the Call of Duty: Gaming Community Facebook group where over 266,000 people post and react to Call of Duty content.
“A friend of mine has a Call of Duty group, and suggested I post my clips there. After 2-3 months, people encouraged me to make my own page. At first I was just having fun, but people kept urging me to create my own presence online. Peer pressure!”
“One of my signature moves is actually doing it off the back of a quad bike, where I seat swap from the driver seat to the passenger seat, quickly shoot someone, then drive off with a ‘Beep Beep’. People really love that!”
Then Call of Duty: Vanguard released, and with it a whole new opportunity to score new clips emerged in Warzone Pacific: “At first it was only Vanguard weapons which meant I couldn’t use my crossbow. So I practised sniping people at first. There were one or two people who were doing it before, but I was the most consistent with aeroplane snipes. Then, when they added the ability to use crossbows, I hit the first plane-to-plane snipe. That was the one that went really viral, shared by Raven Software and the developers! That was also the shot that inspired them to make a calling card in game.”
Recently, Mike has been going for barrel roll seat swap kills, which require a touch more prep work than your typical impressive longshot. “I play on a PlayStation 5, which allows me to quickly record the last 30 seconds or minute of gameplay footage. Usually I play just to have fun, but whenever I see an opportunity to get a longer ranged kill, I take it. With the planes, I need to intentionally get my loadout, get into a plane, and go for these shots.”
“The plane-to-plane shot took two weeks of missing, white hit markers, and blue hit markers. Those are the worst. That means you have them one shot from dead. I must have five or six clips where I geta blue hitmarker from vast distances away…”
As for why Mike goes through all this, he claims it’s the personal joy he gets from seeing people react to his clips that keeps him going. “I’m just having fun doing cool shots in the game, and when I hit them people tend to share it, and I really enjoy them getting excited about my shots. People usually just upload regular gameplay, where excellent players get 40-50 kills which is something people love to see, but there aren’t a lot of people doing what I do.”