David Vonderhaar responds to criticism about Black Ops Cold War League Play
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When players voiced their frustration after League Play arrived in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War yesterday, Treyarch’s lead designer, David Vonderhaar, stepped in to explain the rationale behind the mode’s creation

The problems started when players realized the latest League Play mode didn’t use an Elo rating system, which games like Overwatch and Valorant utilize. Instead, Cold War’s League Play is similar to the poorly received Black Ops 4 version. This led Call of Duty YouTuber SalvationsElite to ask Vonderhaar for some clarity about how his team designed League Play.

Vonderhaar explains League Play in Black Ops Cold War

Vonderhaar offered SalvationsElite a handful of keywords that hinted at the reason League Play exists in its current form.  He also said that a longer explanation would be better suited for a blog or Reddit post.

Additionally, Vonderhaar stressed that COVID-19 complicated League Play’s launch, since the pandemic robbed Treyarch of the livestream studio where they would have normally introduced the game mode and addressed any concerns.

While Treyarch had to work around some barriers, it is still unclear exactly how League Play works. The system has even confused professional players like Joseph “Owakening” Conley who was placed in the mode’s lowest division.

To clear this up, Vonderhaar stated that Treyarch could “expose some of the math” behind the system. While this doesn’t help players who want a rehaul of the system, it would create more clarity.


Ultimately, Vonderhaar admitted Treyarch has some work to do in order to please parts of the community. While some have called for a switch to an elo-based system like Call of Duty: WWII, there won’t be any drastic changes in the short-term.

Stay tuned to Daily Esports for updates on League Play and all Call of Duty news.

Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.