Call of Duty League roundtable: Change is on its way
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The Call of Duty League 2022 season is starting in hot water before its first official matches have even happened, with major community figures like Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag and Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez speaking about their problems with the league. Officials finally addressed those concerns today.

“We really just want to get out in front and talk to you all,” said Call of Duty League general manager Daniel Tsay in a video on Twitter. Tsay addressed the late start to the season, Control being the third confirmed game mode and future Majors including all 12 teams. The update included a lot of information, but still leaves the community with several questions going forward.

Warzone, which was never considered as a third game mode, is still part of the league. What will a CDL Warzone event include? Will Control be ready to go by February? Upcomer’s Call of Duty team has thoughts on all of the above, below.

What do you think about Control being confirmed as the third game mode?

Danny Appleford: Control has been the third game mode for Call of Duty for awhile now. Outside of the occasional Capture the Flag and Domination modes seen in other years, Control is one of the better modes to watch, in my opinion. However, I think the lack of Control being in Vanguard at the game’s release was a huge question mark for the franchise.

Aron Garst: Control can be a glorified team deathmatch on some maps. It offered some exciting matchups in Black Ops Cold War but wasn’t present in Vanguard at launch and is currently in a rough state with some technical issues. Even if Control is ready to roll by February, I’d love to see Patrol get a shot in the big leagues. It’s incredibly similar to Hardpoint, but it’s unique to Vanguard. I’d be open to having something unique from each game make its way to the highest level of play.

Call of Duty League Kickoff
The CDL Kickoff Classic starts later this month. It’ll be the first time we see these new rosters in action on the big stage. | Provided by Activision

Joey Carr: In its current state, Control is unplayable in Vanguard. The spawns make zero sense, there are constant bugs while playing and the UI for the mode looks like it never made it out of beta testing. However, if Sledgehammer Games can fix the main issues professional players have brought up, then Control could play well in Vanguard. It’s the clear choice for a third game mode, as Domination is a snooze-fest to watch and there’s no Capture the Flag mode.

What do you want to see from the Call of Duty League Warzone event?

Appleford: Something more interesting than what we had during Modern Warfare, with teams all hopping into a lobby. It felt stale, like everyone was hiding from each other in most situations. I think for a real Call of Duty League Warzone event, the teams would have to remain the same and the lobby would have to be filled with randoms. Make it an opportunity for fans to play with their idols from Call of Duty.

Garst: I think it’d be great if they put teams on Rebirth Island, adding some more strategic depth to some high level Warzones. Players would still respawn if they play their cards right, matches would be much quicker and they’d have a lot more action. Battle royales are supposed to be chaotic and I don’t want to lose that. The match shouldn’t have any bearing on the standings of the greater Call of Duty League but it should be a nice detour for viewers and players.

Carr: I think for the event to be a success, it would need to include some outside content creators. Someone like Kris “Swagg” Lamberson or Nick “Nickmercs” Kolcheff joining CDL players on the mainstage or online for some matches would bring in some fresh viewers and also give the players something else to play for. Also, seeing professional Warzone players compete against CDL pros in an actual match is something viewers have been craving since the battle royale was released.

How do you feel about having four teams start out in the loser’s bracket at Majors?

Appleford: I have mixed opinions about the brackets that we have seen in general. I think it’s impossible to carry over statistics from the previous season when most of the teams are different and they are competing in a different title. Like with the CWL, the fact that all teams started in the same part of the bracket was part of the fun. It was much more enjoyable to watch some of the bigger teams get upset because they didn’t have an advantage.

Garst: I’m not a fan of it, but I can see why it’s happening when there’s multiple weeks of qualifying play in the leadup to each Major. I think we should have a double-elimination bracket for every Major, but teams will have to prove that they deserve to be in the winners bracket long before the Major starts in 2022.

I’m not sure if it’s a scheduling issue, but LAN is what Call of Duty is all about. Don’t give me less of it to save time.

Nadeshot Black Ops Cold War Alpha
Nadeshot, who’s organization originally did not join the CDL before it’s inaugural season, has been vocal in late 2021 and early 2022 | Provided by Nadeshot

Carr: This decision felt inevitable when the CDL returning to a 12-team format for Majors leaked. I personally feel a classic double-elimination bracket makes more sense from a viewer’s perspective. It also gives the players more opportunity to play on LAN, as those chances are few and far between in the current age.

Do you feel the league has addressed some of the issues with Challengers that players brought up earlier in the season?

Appleford: I think this is the start of (hopefully) the revival of Challengers. With Halo on the rise, there isn’t much left for the Challengers scene to compete for. If things can move back to the way they were before and amateurs had the chance to play against the pros, it would make things better overall. I think the CDL needs to take more pages from the CWL book.

Garst: The Pro-Am tournament, like Danny said, is a start. Losing the face of Challengers to another company doesn’t help the scene at all, but this community update was a start in showing that league officials want to make things right.

Carr: I think the only way to completely satisfy Challengers players is to revert back to the old CWL-style brackets. Have Challengers players compete in a huge open bracket and the top three or four teams get thrown into pool play with the 12 professional organizations. This allows Challengers players to get their name out there, as they can compete against several pro teams, and provides an extra element of drama to each event.

That said, the updates to Vanguard and throwing one Pro-Am tournament in 2022 is a decent start for the CDL.




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