Modern Warfare 2 Is The CDL’s Biggest Test
After a turbulent few years thanks to the pandemic, the Call of Duty League (CDL) is slowly finding its feet. The switch to a geolocated franchise model isn’t the most popular format for the highest level of competition but it’s clear the team behind the CDL is determined to make the most of what it has.
More often than not, the annual release needs significant adjustments through an official ruleset and gentlemen’s agreements (GA) to create a somewhat balanced playing field. In comparison to casual Vanguard multiplayer, the competitive game looks much different. As attention begins to turn towards the launch of Modern Warfare 2, concern is growing among some sections of the competitive community.
2019’s Modern Warfare was far from ideal thanks to inconsistent spawn logic, the arrival of doors, and the return of Domination as a third competitive game mode. With Infinity Ward back at the helm, 2022’s title is the biggest test for the CDL as it attempts to consolidate its position as one of the world’s top franchised esports leagues.
Pressure on Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward has a dreadful track record when it comes to supporting competitive Call of Duty in any capacity. Despite 2019’s Modern Warfare containing cosmetic items for each of the 12 franchises, the lack of a dedicated ranked playlist was a major problem for those looking to get their competitive fix. The developer has never included a ranked playlist in its games and with plenty of eyes already locked onto the 2022 season, removing it entirely would be a huge mistake.
It’s not just the lack of a competitive playlist that paints Infinity Ward games in a negative light from the perspective of Call of Duty esports. The fast time to kill minimises any kind of skill gap while the appearance of squad spawns leads to occasions where some players appear in an unexpected location despite perfect positioning.
On top of that, the map design is the icing on a poorly baked cake. Infinity Ward hasn’t created a strong map pool since the launch of Infinite Warfare and even then, they still were far from ideal. With rumours of Modern Warfare 2 featuring a map editor that allows creators to adjust spawn points, objective locations, and the layout of the map, there’s a chance competitive Modern Warfare 2 featuring some of the best maps ever seen if they’re eligible for competitive play.
The Third Mode Dilemma
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Prior to the arrival of Control as the CDL’s third game mode, Call of Duty esports often switched between various modes depending on movement mechanics and the pace of the game. Advanced movement titles featured Uplink while boots-on-the-ground offerings contained modes such as Blitz and Capture the Flag, the latter of which continues to prove popular.
Despite the popularity of Capture the Flag (CTF) and Uplink, Infinity Ward often decides to use Domination as the swing match of a series much to the annoyance of fans and professional players. While some matches can be close, many are blowouts where one team holds two flags while the other struggles to escape their own spawn. It is time for Infinity Ward to embrace Control as a Call of Duty staple or even bring Capture the Flag back into the fold for Modern Warfare 2?
Depending on map design, CTF could be a viable option in comparison to another season of dull Domination with the odd sprinkle of excitement. Let’s hope player feedback and the CDL can avoid a repeat of 2019’s Modern Warfare mode problems.
Will Modern Warfare 2 Be A Good Competitive Title?
Based on Infinity Ward’s questionable track record regarding competitive Call of Duty, the likelihood of Modern Warfare 2 being a fundamentally sound competitive title is slim. Despite this, there’s a cautious sense of optimism in the air, especially with the low bar set by Vanguard. The prospect of designing maps optimised for competition without impacting the casual side of multiplayer is extremely exciting. The idea of squad spawns could be a thing of the past if things are done correctly.
Although there is a chance of Domination returning, map design has the potential to bring CTF back to the forefront of the esport after several years of sitting on the sidelines. If the core mechanics of Modern Warfare 2 can match the potential of its features, the 2023 CDL season could be the best in its short history.
Professional players have had the chance to play the game ahead of launch but early positive feedback is tricky to read considering the numerous non-disclosure agreements (NDA) likely in place. The only real opportunity players can tell if Modern Warfare 2 is going to prove a solid title is when practice begins in the latter stages of 2022. Until then, it’s probably best to keep expectations in check.