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The topic of skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in Call of Duty has been exhausted up to this point. The player base knows for a fact the feature is in multiplayer. However, Activision and Treyarch still don’t acknowledge this, which just further enrages the community. The story is years old now and the simple fact of the matter is SBMM is not going away anytime soon. Still, though, it will never get old seeing a clip of skill-based matchmaking in action. A Black Ops Cold War YouTuber recently posted a clip that shows just how strong the SBMM feature can be.

Skill-Based Matchmaking confirmed in Black Ops Cold War

There was really no doubt SBMM is a part of multiplayer this year. If you’re anywhere near an above-average player, your lobbies are full of players trying their hardest, using the MP5, and jumping around corners to kill you. While there’s no official statement from a developer, it’s impossible to deny at this point.

black ops cold war skill-based matchmaking sbmm
Skill-Based Matchmaking is among the most controversial topics in Call of Duty. Image via Activision

Although, this hasn’t stopped YouTubers from trying to compile data on the subject. XclusiveAce, a popular Call of Duty creator, was among the first to discover that Modern Warfare featured strict SBMM last year. This year, he’s using the same type of test to determine just how strict Black Ops Cold War‘s skill-based matchmaking is.

For his tests, he needed to create a dummy account that would have below-average stats. This allows him to see if he’s placed in lobbies around that same skill level. Well, it’s safe to say that he was matched up with players of that same skill.

As you can clearly see, XclusiveAce was matched up with players who are presumably brand new to the game. In Call of Duty, this is known as the “protected bracket” of players. Essentially, SBMM in Black Ops Cold War matches these players up specifically so they don’t get crushed by veteran players and stop playing multiplayer.

To be fair, very few are arguing that this bracket shouldn’t exist. It helps retain these newer players and ensure they keep playing Call of Duty. However, this also likely proves that strict SBMM is featured in the higher brackets as well. We’ll have to wait for XclusiveAce’s official data results before confirming anything, though.

Make sure to stay tuned to Daily Esports for 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.


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