From maps to metas, here's why pro players aren't keen on MW.

18:00, 22 May 2020

The 2019 reboot of the Modern Warfare sub-franchise has certainly been a success from the perspective of the casual audience. Multiplayer features frequent updates which include brand-new content in the form of new cosmetic items, new maps, game modes and more, keeping the game feeling fresh and offering more reasons for players to continue playing the game.

Despite the success from a casual perspective, the opinion given by the professional scene is the polar opposite, with many going as far as saying this is the worst Call of Duty game that has been used for competition. There must be a reason for such a contrast in opinion, so why is Modern Warfare disliked by so many professional players?

The Spawns

The spawn system in Modern Warfare has been under fire since it was released back in October. Since then, Infinity Ward has attempted to rectify some of the issues in early patches but failed to do so, leaving the spawn system in disrepute. More often than not, the unpredictable nature of spawns has seen a game turn on its head when one team had complete control on the map.

But why is this bad? Looking back at previous Call of Duty titles, players have been able to manipulate the spawns in such a way where it gives their team a huge benefit over their opposition. On Modern Warfare, the inclusion of squad spawns has made them extremely hard to predict and from a competitive standpoint, such a big inconsistency in the game does raise the question about how much Infinity Ward actually cares about the competitive scene which has just entered its first season of city-based franchising.

“If you sneak through, you spawn on your teammate…it’s the worst Call of Duty ever made” exclaimed Chicago Huntsmen star Seth “Scump” Abner in a recent YouTube video. Squad spawning has certainly had a negative impact on in-game strategy and in-game roles too. Past titles saw one player of each team lock down the spawns for the rest of the team in Hardpoint in order to be in the best position for certain hills. It can be done on Modern Warfare to an extent but in the blink of an eye, an enemy player can spawn behind the team in complete control and cause chaos.

The Maps

The spawns are just one element of Modern Warfare that makes it one of the worst competitive titles to date. Rather than opting for a traditional map design with three lanes and plenty of chokepoints around the map, Infinity Ward designed the maps to cater for the casual audience, filling the maps with plenty of hiding places and increasing their size in order for new killstreaks to function properly.

“The maps are horrible. There are zero good maps” Scump added. He isn’t wrong either. Typically, a Call of Duty game as a handful of maps that are always great, but on Modern Warfare, there are no original maps that are fun to play thanks to the design catered for the casual audience.

The lack of thought for the competitive side of Call of Duty is abundantly clear in Modern Warfare. Maps such as Hackney Yard and Gun Runner are in the competitive map pool because they are perhaps the only two maps that are somewhat viable for competition. The rest of the maps, even the reworks of classic maps, are terrible.

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Weapon Balance

Now at the halfway stage of the Modern Warfare game cycle, there is usually some form of a shift in the competitive metagame thanks to the developers buffing and nerfing various elements of the more popular weapons. Since October, the M4A1 Assault Rifle and the MP5 submachine gun have been the go-to weapons for competition. Black Ops 4 saw some variation when the Rampart, KN44 and Galil were added to spice up the weapon pool but there appears to be no sign of that happening in Modern Warfare.

There were glimpses of a potential change in the SMG meta, with Atlanta FaZe star Chris “Simp” Lehr putting on a clinic with the SMG during practice against the Toronto Ultra back in March and former world champion Christopher “Parasite” Duarte attempted to add some variety into the AR meta by equipping a Kilo 141 with a 100-round magazine. This sort of unorthodox strategy is something that can cause a swing in the meta but with the M4 and MP5 still the best weapons in the game, there appear to be no signs of any variations coming.

The lack in variation has seen the competitive meta plateau and with no signs of any weapon balancing arriving in the near future, it looks like the M4 and MP5 meta is here to stay for the foreseeable future unless there is some form of weapon tuning which spices up the meta as we head into the second half of what has been a highly competitive Call of Duty League season.

 

Images via Activision

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