H3CZ tees off on Call of Duty developers for lack of competitive support
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Call of Duty: Vanguard hasn’t gone through the smoothest launch from a gameplay perspective. There are numerous bugs, broken weapons and confusing features that developers Sledgehammer Games haven’t yet fixed. This has led to professional and amateur players speaking out about Vanguard’s current state from a competitive standpoint.

The problems with the game are magnified when playing in a competitive atmosphere, which is readily apparent to the community. This includes one of the scene’s largest figures, OpTic Texas CEO Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez.

In a video released Sunday, H3CZ spoke out about the Call of Duty developers and their lack of attention to competitive play. Aside from just pointing out the problems with Vanguard, though, H3CZ also claims that someone, likely Activision, told him and the other team owners that Call of Duty titles would receive a much higher level of competitive support.

So far, that hasn’t seemed to happen.

H3CZ criticizes Call of Duty devs

H3CZ’s rant took place on the 55th episode of The OpTic Podcast. The podcast focused on Halo Infinite possibly coming for Call of Duty’s place in the first-person shooter market from a casual and competitive perspective. This topic triggered a discussion around Call of Duty developers due to 343 Industries, the Halo Infinite developers, putting an emphasis on esports from the get-go. There are team operator and weapon skins in-game, a refined ranked system and more all at launch.

Call of Duty has not had any of that refinement or structure in several years, which H3CZ took issue with.

“We have private lobbies f***ing Krampus,” he said, referencing the Festive Fervor game mode over the holidays hampering pro team’s prep for a time. “We are a f***ing second thought to competitive. It is the developers that are falling way behind and letting us down. You can’t come at us and say that you care. You don’t.”

H3CZ clarified that employees at the Call of Duty League want the scene to succeed before laying into the developers. Krampus appearing in private lobbies, which actually forced pros to stop scrimmaging for a period, was a huge problem that only exacerbated the thinking that competitive is an afterthought.

Aside from current issues in Vanguard, H3CZ also wants to see some changes to the format of the CDL, especially when the first tournament takes place.

“The game launched in November,” the Call of Duty legend said. “Our first match is in January 2022.”

It seems that H3CZ would be alright with the CDL taking two months to begin if there was a proper League Play system in Vanguard at launch. However, that hasn’t been released yet. Leaks say that it’s coming with Season 2, which lines up with the start date of the CDL.

However, delayed launches to ranked play don’t line up with what H3CZ was seemingly told at the conception of the CDL.

“Two years ago, I was told we were going to have League Play because it’s important,” he said. “Season 3 of the CDL is about to start, and there’s no League Play.”

The frustrations are boiling over for H3CZ and the rest of the league. Professional players have been wary to speak out since they’re at risk of being fined, but that didn’t stop Sam “Octane” Larew. In response to H3CZ’s rant, the LA Thieves player simply said, “He’s gotta be careful he’s telling too much truth.”

Sledgehammer Games is currently on holiday break, so no updates will arrive in Vanguard until at least after the new year. Hopefully, when the next update releases, it contains some solid fixes for the game.

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.
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