The CDL Online Tournaments have been facing issues.

18:00, 14 Apr 2020

Amid the current global situation, esports leagues have been quick to transition offline competition into an online environment with relatively seamless results.

Given its rich history of online competition in past titles, online Call of Duty competition is northing out of the norm. What is certainly abnormal, is the distinct difference between playing Call of Duty over the internet and how the game performs in an offline setting.

The latest instalment of the franchise, Modern Warfare, appears to be no different. Despite dedicated servers being implemented into the game and test runs of the servers taking place prior to the Dallas Home Series event, issues still arose, raising the question of whether competitive integrity of the league could well be thrown into doubt.

What’s the Difference?

Playing Call of Duty in an offline environment is far superior to competing in online tournaments thanks to internet connection not being an issue, providing a stable platform for matches to take place on a level playing field.

Online CoD is an entirely different kettle of fish. Despite the addition of dedicated servers and a dedicated Gamebattles section within Modern Warfare to enable online matches to take place in a somewhat fair setting, several issues still seem to be occurring when if the games were played in an offline studio environment, these issues would not cause concern.

Why the Complaints?

During the Dallas Home Series event, several professional players expressed their concerns regarding the freshly implemented dedicated servers into the game. Despite the league’s best efforts to provide a fair competitive setting for matches to take place, there was plenty of criticism being dished out be several high-profile players.

Dallas Empire veteran Ian “Crimsix” Porter stated that the servers were so bad that during the Empire’s game against the Los Angeles Guerrillas, one of the LA players attempted to cook a grenade and it exploded in his hand, implying that the lag spikes experienced during the games lasted for at least four seconds, affecting numerous players.

Dedicated servers have been a hot topic, especially on Modern Warfare. On release, it was revealed that the private match servers were running at 12Hz while the public match servers were running at 60Hz, providing a much better experience for the casual players but a distinct lack of performance on the servers that were hosting competitive matches.

To compare this, standard Counter-Strike servers perform at 64Hz with the likes of FaceIt and ESEA offering 128Hz servers for better performance. These two services, in particular, have enabled professional CS to continue in a somewhat stable environment whereas CoD looks to have gone backwards from what was a very promising start to the first year of the newly franchised league.

Will it Improve?

Traditionally, Infinity Ward has always been the CoD developer that invests a minimal amount of time into the competitive scene, with its only offering being the introduction of a “CDL Playlist” rather than a fully-fledged ranked playlist that has often featured in Treyarch and Sledgehammer offerings of the franchise.

The Call of Duty League and the developers did collaborate to bring some form of dedicated server in order to make online play as smooth as possible but it appears that it has not gone to plan so far.

The league is only in its first week of online competition but with only two weeks until the Chicago Home Series taking place, it is unlikely that any improvements will be able to be made to iron out the issues that have been highlighted after the first weekend of online competition.


Image via Activision

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