Kansas City Pioneers exit CDL Challengers amid scene's uncertain future
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The Kansas City Pioneers announced on Thursday that they’ve decided to depart the CDL Challengers scene. The Pioneers were a part of the amateur Call of Duty League circuit for nearly two years, first starting with the Modern Warfare season. However, before the Vanguard Challengers season begins, the Pioneers are releasing their four-man roster.

“We are saddened to be departing Call of Duty Challengers,” the Pioneers’ statement said. “We have been in the scene for almost two years and will continue to support these great players from afar. With the current ongoing legal ramifications Activision Blizzard is facing and the deteriorating Challengers ecosystem, we no longer feel this is the Call of Duty scene we had hopes to be part of this season. We wish the players the best in their future endeavors.”

Kansas City Pioneers depart CDL Challengers

The Pioneers were heading into the 2022 season with a four-man roster consisting of former pros, including Doug “Censor” Martin. They also just signed Nicholas “Proto” Maldonado and Carson “Brack” Newberry in late November.

Following the roster announcement, the Challengers scene began to deteriorate. The state of competitive Vanguard faltered, starting with an incorrect and worrisome ruleset released by the CDL. Pioneers obviously felt that this, compounded with ongoing issues in Vanguard and the Activision legal situation, was enough to leave the scene.

The players on the roster are presumably now still a team of four going into the first Challengers Cup, which was rescheduled to begin after Season 1 of Vanguard releases. The players hope the Season 1 update will deliver the changes they requested in the statement  they released last week.

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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