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Should Call Of Duty Esports Use A Fixed Map Pool?

Images via Activision
CDL

Written by 

Jonno Nicholson

Posted 

2nd Aug 2021 14:08

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Competitive Call of Duty heavily revolves around the viability of several factors. In order to form some kind of ruleset, players and developers must determine which pieces of weaponry aren’t overpowered in order to be considered to be included in the rules, alongside the various pieces of equipment that can be used to get the upper hand over the opposition.

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Alongside the weapons, attachments, and equipment, the choice of maps often determine whether the game is a success from the perspective of players competing at the highest level, and the tens of thousands of viewers that tune into the broadcasts.

Well-designed maps play a hugely important role in Call of Duty esports. If they’re not up to standard and feature a flawed spawn system, the gameplay is often frantic and involves minimal strategy due to the unpredictable spawns. With every new Call of Duty title featuring a range of brand-new maps complete with all-new designs, it’s hard to guarantee a competitive map pool that is fit for purpose. However, this could well change in future seasons if the recent additions to Black Ops Cold War are anything to go by. Recent seasons of post-launch content have featured the return of several maps from older titles that are widely considered to be the best competitive maps in the history of the franchise.

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With developers taking a stroll down memory lane in order to guarantee a competitive map pool with a mixture of brand-new and familiar battlefields, is it worth Call of Duty esports to utilise a fixed set of maps in every title?

A Solid Foundation

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Whenever a new Call of Duty title releases, it often takes several months for the Call of Duty League (CDL) to create a map pool comprising the new settings that have arrived as part of the new game. Having a ready-made set of maps that have a proven track record when it comes to viability would enable teams to take part in pre-season practice, alongside developers being able to create a ranked playlist that is ready to be used as soon as the game launches. Rather than players having to wait several months in order for some kind of competitive playlist to emerge as some kind of afterthought, having three or four maps that work on a competitive level and can be implemented into a playlist will hugely benefit the competitive scene on all levels.

Although the idea of having a fixed map pool sounds like an excellent idea, getting each of the three Call of Duty developers to join forces in order to make the competitive game accessible on all levels could prove to be difficult. Activision has managed to utilise the assets of Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games effectively with Call of Duty: Mobile, which features a number of maps from Black Ops and Modern Warfare games. If the publisher can get the developers to collaborate on one project, then why can’t it be done on an annual release?

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New Isn't Always Best

Over the years, the release of a new title hasn’t always featured the best maps, much to the annoyance of the competitive community that would’ve preferred to continue playing its predecessor. To avoid any issues involving the map pool in Call of Duty esports, the fixed map pool laying the foundations while the CDL and players decide on which maps are deemed appropriate will provide an ideal balance between the new battlefields and the classic maps that have played hosts to numerous plays that have transcended into the history books.

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Call of Duty could learn an awful lot from other titles that have managed to withstand the test of time despite new and more modern competition attempting to encroach onto its territory. Counter-Strike has used iterations of maps that were created decades ago, and there is very good reason for this. Maps such as Dust II and Inferno have been re-worked and re-imagined to give them a fresh coat of paint, but the core design of the maps has been maintained. If the maps continue to provide plenty of competition, then there’s no need to change or replace them, so why does Call of Duty replace the maps that have been tried and tested in favour of new maps that don’t work as well?

With the release of COD: Vanguard on the horizon and with reports of eight multiplayer maps being available on release, implementing existing maps into the competitive map pool is a sure-fire way to guarantee the best maps for the top level of professional play are being used on the biggest stage. The likes of Raid and Standoff are timeless, and I doubt many players and fans would complain if they received a World War 2-themed makeover in order for them to remain in play for the 2022 season.

 

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Can The Los Angeles Guerrillas Contend For Titles In 2022?

Call of Duty League

Written by 

Jonno Nicholson

Posted 

10th Sep 2021 19:22

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