The Positives And Negatives Of The CDL Returning To LAN
After several months of online competition, many Call of Duty fans rejoiced as the Call of Duty League (CDL) announced that it would be returning to offline competition at select events for the remainder of the Black Ops Cold War season.
The return to LAN certainly a positive step forward after the COVID-19 pandemic saw the league and other esports events transition to online competition in order to protect the players and staff. As expected, online CDL events featured a number of technical issues in the early stages, but for the majority of 2021, it has been smooth sailing.
There are many reasons as to why a return to LAN is viewed as a positive but with the CDL managing to create such a polished product remotely for a fraction of the cost, keeping the league online is also something that may be considered for future seasons. We take a look at the positives and negatives of the highest tier of COD esports returning to LAN for the first time in 2021.
No More Connectivity Issues
The early stages of online CDL competition saw a wealth of issues surrounding players being able to connect to lobbies and server performance, much to the annoyance of players and fans that tuned in to see world-class action rather than the now infamous “Stay Tuned” intermission screen.
Due to the remote nature of online matches, it’s difficult to intervene in such a way that will result in a fair outcome for both teams involved. With LAN and on-site staff available as soon as any kind of technical hitch occurs, these issues will be a thing of the past, and the broadcast will run a lot smoother than previous online events.
Alongside being able to act quickly on any problems, staff will also be able to utilise the pause feature to their advantage. The feature has been used in online matches, but with officials in attendance, the process of implementing a pause will ensure that there is no need for any restarts.
Some Kind Of Crowd
Although the Stage 4 Major won’t feature thousands of fans cheering on their favourite teams as they compete for championship glory, the event staff could well act as some kind of crowd in a bid to create some kind of atmosphere.
Players often thrive on hearing the crowd screaming their names during a match, and having a few people able to watch the action will bring some kind of normality back to offline CDL events until it is safe enough for spectators to return.
In-Person Trash Talk
More often than not, Call of Duty esports features some of the very best trash talk in the entire industry and with players finally returning to compete on the big stage; there is every chance that players will be hurling all kinds of phrases towards their opposition during the heat of battle.
While shooting bodies during an online match still gets under the skin of players, having the enemy team a few metres away will certainly light the fire under players that often thrive when a war of words is taking place alongside the gameplay.
Trash talk often adds to the many storylines between teams, and if recent Twitter spats are anything to go by, the return to LAN could result in old rivalries being settled and new ones beginning.
While players and event staff will be attending the Stage 4 Major, the commentators and desk will be covering the event remotely. During an event, commentators often thrive from being close to the players during a match and being unable to feed off the energy within the event will add an impersonal feel to Call of Duty’s return to LAN.
The hosts and commentators will still do an incredible job but being unable to call the action at the event isn’t exactly ideal, even though it is for health and safety.
Is It Worth It?
Recent broadcasts of Home Series events and the previous three Majors have been exceptional, considering it’s all done remotely. With the quality of the product already high, is there any real need to return to LAN and spend even more money on something that can be done online?
It’s obvious that offline is better than online in terms of competitive integrity and the overall performance of the game but wouldn’t it make more sense to stick with the current formula until fans are able to return for the huge spectacles that competitive Call of Duty is known for?
Despite the negative aspects of a return to LAN, Call of Duty and offline competition has gone hand in hand for several years, and it’s safe to say that the positives do outweigh the negatives. I can’t wait for the CDL to return to its rightful place and see the best in the world perform on the stage once again!
Images via Call of Duty League | MLG