Should Vanguard's Volk Receive A Ban?
The metagame within competitive Call of Duty rarely changes but when it does, the community is quick to cast judgement on whether the changes fit the meta or if the Gentlemen's Agreement (GA) needs another new addition. The Volk assault rifle (AR) made its debut during the second Major event of the Vanguard season and as the Los Angeles Guerrillas managed to run the gauntlet of the loser's bracket, substitute Kris "Spart" Cervantez utilised the rifle to his and the team's advantage.
As the team lifted the trophy after conquering Atlanta FaZe in the finals, professional players were quick to consider moving the Volk onto the ever-expanding restricted list. While some want the AR banned altogether, others want it as a hybrid between an AR and a submachine gun thanks to its impressive levels of mobility. Should the Volk remain in competitive play or become another weapon deemed too overpowered for the highest level of competition?
Why Ban The Volk?
According to players, the Volk features a higher headshot multiplier than other weapons in the category. This particular imbalance causes the rifle to possess an incredibly fast time to kill (TTK) if players can land their shots. The European Challengers circuit was quick to act on the appearance of the Volk, adding it to their GA list almost immediately following the Minnesota Major.
With the Volk out of the question, the meta of the Automaton and MP40 with a sprinkling of the Kar98k sniper rifle remains. Seeing the same weapons used on a regular basis is far from a spectacle but maintaining some kind of balance often outweighs the demand for an increase in weapon variety.
Rounds of weapon balancing often take place within Call of Duty games throughout their life, and perhaps most importantly, during competitive seasons. With the headshot multiplier of the Volk looking like the main factor for its restriction, is there a way for players to communicate with Sledgehammer Games to discuss a potential nerf? The case of the Volk wouldn't be the first time the developer has entered a battle between the casual and competitive community. During the World War 2 season, competitive players wanted a nerf to the M1 Garand much to the annoyance of casual players and after weeks of debate, the nerf never materialised resulting in the rifle joining the GA list.
The same scenario could happen with the Volk, despite it not featuring in the casual Vanguard metagame. If a slight nerf to the Volk's headshot multiplier could materialise, then there's no reason as to why the AR has to receive an instant dismissal from competitive play. Its inclusion could provide the perfect weapon for flex players that have to strike a balance between aggressive slaying and filling any role required of their team.
Should The Volk Stay In Competitive Vanguard?
While there are plenty of reasons to remove the Volk from competitive Vanguard, its inclusion in the Call of Duty League (CDL) and Challengers injects a breath of fresh air into a meta that has remained the same since the start of the season. The appearance of the rifle is also great from the perspective of the viewer as it's often tedious seeing exactly the same set of weaponry used in all competitive matches. What's so bad about all teams using the Volk to their own advantage? The LA Guerrillas did just that and managed to win a tournament from the brink of defeat so what's stopping others from making the same impact?
With so many weapons already on the restricted list, the selection of guns available on a professional level is minimal due to the superior performance of the Automaton and MP40. In an ideal world, competitive Call of Duty would run on an entirely different build compared to the version used in a Team Deathmatch, enabling developers to fine-tune individual elements to create a diverse weapon pool where most ARs are viewed as viable options.
In my opinion, I think the Volk should remain in the competitive Vanguard arsenal. Seeing it used to great effect during Major 2 was a welcome change and showcased how slight innovations can make a huge difference at the highest level of competition. Its headshot multiplier might be too high so raise the issue with Sledgehammer Games and see if anything can be done rather than unnecessarily throwing it on the huge pile of restricted items.
The status quo of competitive Call of Duty rarely changes and when it does, it causes uproar. If one team uses something that's overpowered, there's absolutely nothing stopping other teams from following suit in order to gain the upper hand. When the skill gap is so close, finding a weapon or an attachment capable of eliminating a player a few milliseconds faster than the other makes all the difference. Yes, the Volk might be broken, but players should have the option to use it regardless.
A fan of the Volk? Check out our best Vanguard Volk loadouts for Warzone and ranked.