With Warzone on the rise, we look at what Call of Duty Esports can learn from Warzone.
It’s no secret that Warzone has been a resounding success from all fronts. With tens of millions of players dropping into Verdansk on a regular basis, the free-to-play battle royale has skyrocketed to popularity thanks to its unmatched gunplay and simplicity.
The success of Warzone has led to several third-party tournaments offering high prize money, enabling the top Warzone players to make a career from the game. With each tournament seemingly offering a variation on the elimination race format, teams of two juke it out against each other, attempting to score as many kills as possible in order to advance in the tournament.
Some of these tournaments have seen several celebrities, stars from the sporting world and Call of Duty League players come together and compete against each other in high stakes competition. With several tournaments attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers week in, week out, there are a number of things that the top level of Call of Duty esports could learn from the BR.
#1 - Promotion
In recent years, promotion for the competitive side of Call of Duty has got better but the Modern Warfare season as certainly been a step in the wrong direction in several aspects and one of those is a distinct lack of promotion of the CDL.
On the odd occasion, players will see a message highlighting an event taking place in the in-game menus but in comparison to the promotion of Activision-endorsed Warzone competitions, promotion of the CDL has been poor across social media and from within the game.
In every edition of the “This Week in Call of Duty” blog post, there is a section highlighting the upcoming Warzone tournaments taking place in that particular week but there is no mention of the top flight of competition whether that’s acknowledging an event that has just concluded or an event that is slated to take place at the end of that particular week.
Promotion is key for the success of the league and considering that the CDL is still in its infancy, it wouldn’t hurt to take a leaf out of Warzone’s playbook in order to spread awareness of the competition.
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#2 - Support
Every now and again, the official Call of Duty Twitter account will post clips of epic Warzone plays from all players but if something extraordinary happens in a Home Series event, there is no acknowledgement of it ever happening by the account armed with over four million followers. A clip of a relative unknown doing something spectacular in Warzone can change their life for the better but there is nothing of the sort for both amateur and professional competition.
The amateur Call of Duty scene has taken a significant hit this season, with the transition to online competition with inadequate settings to practice and compete on. Stuck on the now infamous 12hZ servers, there have been instances where the integrity of the points system has come under fire, with CDL substitutes receiving tens of thousands of points while others miss out.
Infinity Ward has expressed its commitment to supporting Warzone which is certainly a positive but there are other areas of the community that desperately need some intervention by the developer and Activision in order to prevent an already struggling scene from falling further behind.
On the other hand, the CDL and Activision have significantly improved coverage of Challengers, providing broadcasts of the Challengers Cup and adding more tournaments to compete in but while the professionals are practising and competing on dedicated servers thanks to Infinity Ward, the very same developer has left amateurs in the dark as they continue to compete on an entirely different game.
#3 - A Good Quality Game
The third and final point has been lacking since the release of Black Ops 3 and has a detrimental effect on how well the competitive side of the game fares throughout the season. When it’s a release of a Treyarch game, the quality of the game doesn’t come into question all that much thanks to the developer’s support for the competitive scene but Modern Warfare has arguably been the worst competitive Call of Duty title in history thanks to the lack of developer support from Infinity Ward.
In comparison, Warzone undergoes updates on a regular basis either adding in brand-new weaponry, adjusting the balance of the weapons and even introducing new in-game events to keep the playing experience fresh and exciting. The same can’t be said for competitive CoD, which has received hardly any form of update since the release of the game back in October. The metagame has grown stale, players and fans have grown bored of the maps and let’s not even get started on the inconsistent spawn system that will never be fixed.
The 2020 release of CoD can draw on all three of these factors and with Treyarch at the helm once again, fans and players are hoping for a significant improvement to the competitive game when the new release comes around later in the year.
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Image via Activision