Treyarch pushed the boundaries on how a Call of Duty game should support and be part of eSports with Black Ops 2. Competitive Call of Duty went from a subtle notice with MW3, to be one of the biggest games in competitive scene with Black Ops 2. But how will Infinity Ward continue this success?
With Call of Duty: Ghosts, Infinity Ward and Activision have already committed to bringing the Call of Duty: Championship back in 2014. The Call of Duty: Championship 2013 was a huge success; it had the biggest viewership out of any competitive Call of Duty scene ever. They’ve also confirmed that Call of Duty: Ghosts will be the exclusive FPS for all MLG Pro Circuit events throughout 2014, starting with MLG Columbus in Nov 2013.
The support with events is confirmed, but what about the features in-game? In Black Ops 2, Treyarch added new features including in-game live streaming, CODCasting mode for casters, full support of LAN lobbies, and more.
Infinity Ward’s MW3 didn’t have any support for eSports. It took them over 5 months to add the basic feature of competitive LAN settings. By that time, MLG didn’t bother to add MW3 to the competitive scene.
For Ghosts, Infinity Ward appears to be on the right track. They’ve added a new ‘spectator mode’ (it’s different from CODCasting as CODCasting won’t return), which allows casters to see the game, change player views, see scoreboards, and more. Infinity Ward has removed the live streaming feature, but as the competitive scene will be played on Xbox One, that won’t be a big problem.
Infinity Ward has added a new playlist – which will replace League Play – called ‘Clan vs. Clan’ playlist. This playlist will allow you to play with other members of your clan against other clans. Mark Rubin said that they plan to use the leader boards of the Clan vs. Clan playlist to determine some, not all, of the qualifiers for the 2014 Championship.
Infinity Ward has also added new game modes, including Search & Rescue and Blitz, which should help increase viewership of the competitive Call of Duty scene by adding new gameplay and tactics from pro players.
It looks like Infinity Ward has chosen the right path with how to approach the eSports scene of Call of Duty. They’ve kept the features that are a must – competitive LAN, spectator mode – and added new modes to help diversify the competitive scene.
What do you think about Infinity Ward’s approach to Call of Duty eSports? Let us know in the comments below!