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Call of Duty League 2020: Launch Weekend Review

Call of Duty League 2020: Launch Weekend Review

The opening weekend of the Call of Duty League has concluded. Over the weekend, the 12 franchise teams got their seasons underway while amateur teams battled it out in the first Challengers event of the season. In this article, I take a look a the good and the bad from a solid opening weekend.

Call of Duty League 2020: Launch Weekend Review

Launch weekend marked a new era for the Call of Duty esports scene. Now operating under a geo-located franchised structure, the CDL kicked off with some excellent matches.

Much to my surprise, competitive Modern Warfare plays extremely well despite some of the glaring issues that remain in the game. Some of these issues had a detrimental impact on one of the games which I will get into later on but for an opening weekend, the Call of Duty League looks to have laid some solid foundations to build on throughout the duration of the season.

Credit: Dartfrog - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Credit: Dartfrog

The Good

There were many good things that the CDL introduced over Launch Weekend. The video content prior to the matches was exceptional, hammering home the several storylines between teams and players. These rivalries are what CoD esports is made of, and to see an increased focus on these is a significant improvement from previous years.

After a pretty rocky first game, which was almost impossible to follow thanks to some questionable observing, the viewing experience improved constantly as the weekend progressed. The use of new camera tools to highlight an action-packed area of the map made a welcome addition to the viewing experience.

The Bad

The bad parts from the event were mainly down to the fundamental flaws that are still in Modern Warfare. During a map between hosts Minnesota and the Los Angeles Guerrillas, the Guerrillas managed to win the map comfortably but it was later revealed that one of the LA players equipped a restricted item, leading them to forfeit the map.

Because there is no viable perk to select in the second slot, the standard procedure is to select Ghost, rather than have an empty slot. What is even more annoying is due to the restriction of Killstreaks, the Specialist perk feature is used. Once enough kills have been scored, players have access to every single perk in the game. In the current CDL ruleset, this even includes the perks that have been restricted. If the developer had any form of interest in the competitive side of the game, a bug of this scale would not exist, meaning that the Guerrillas would not have forfeited the map.

A Solid Foundation

It is hard to be critical of the first event of the season as the possibility of teething problems is always a possibility but considering it is the first event of a new league, it has laid some solid foundations to build upon as the season travels around the globe.

The finer details such as the observing will all be refined throughout the year and will ultimately lead to one of the best viewing experiences there has ever been in Call of Duty esports.

The cautious optimism of the league is still there for many. Activision Blizzard and the event hosts will be trying their best to make the product as good as it can possibly be but until Infinity Ward shows some form of interest in its competitive side of Modern Warfare, the problems that occurred at Launch Weekend could well happen again in the future, damaging the competitive integrity of the league.

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Jonno Nicholson
Jonno Nicholson

Head of Call of Duty & FIFA portals at Millenium US. Call of Duty esports extraordinaire.

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