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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War SBMM test shows some harsh realities

YouTubers JGOD, Drift0r, TheXclusiveAce & S0ur have conducted a study on Black Ops Cold War’s skill based matchmaking system.

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A test on the Black Ops Cold War skill-based matchmaking system shows some grim data for skilled players.

In a test conducted by YouTubers JGOD, Drift0r, TheXclusiveAce, and S0ur, some alarming conclusions were found regarding the skill-based matchmaking system in Black Ops Cold War.

Using data points across multiple accounts with varying skill levels, the group was able to draw a few conclusions on the matchmaking algorithm. The results may surprise some.

What is skill-based matchmaking?

Skill-based matchmaking is the term coined for the matchmaking system in video games that strategically puts players of similar skill levels in the same game.

In most games, this system is only applied to ranked modes but sometimes are also included in the regular public matchmaking pool.

In Call of Duty specifically, there is more of a performance/engagement-based matchmaking, where the game will flex match by match, putting you in games of varying skill level depending on your past matches’ performance. This is most likely why players can feel like games get easier if they perform worse.

Skill Based Matchmaking test results

Three major conclusions were drawn for this test, which mostly impacts the highest percentile of players. If you’re the best of the best, these results will likely be something you come in contact with.

Firstly, the group found that connection is impacted by player skill, which is different from the previous Call of Duty titles.

Normally, the matchmaking algorithm puts player connection over every single parameter, but from the testing conducted, ping was raised by 50% in some cases just because the account used had a higher score per minute and K/D ratio. (Among other stats)

You can see the data in the graph below, where the rightmost bar on each graph is the main account of each respective content creator, compared to their test accounts of lower skill.

Secondly, it was found that higher skilled players in the top percentile are actually much more likely to match with players under their skill level due to the scarcity of players on the same level.

Unfortunately, due to the discrepancy caused in team averages due to the high-tier player, the matchmaking is likely to place the game’s worst players on the same team as the best player.

This means that in many instances, top-tier players will not taste victory unless they do some serious work for their team, which seems to be the stem of frustration for these specific players. Other than that specific percentile, though, the vast majority is most likely to play evenly matched games against their average skill level players.

Lastly, as stated by TheXclusiveAce, it was found that Black Ops Cold War’s “Skill based matchmaking system” is more-so an “engagement based matchmaking system” that adjusts based on player performance on a game to game basis, in an effort to keep players hooked for as long as possible.

It will give you easier games and harder games, depending on how you’ve been performing as a player.

If you’d like to watch the full study by all the content creators, we’ve included links to all of the videos made by JGOD, Drift0r, and TheXclusiveAce. S0ur has yet to make a video, and we will link it if he does.

Call of Duty League

Call of Duty League 2021 Stage 1 groups & fixtures revealed

The groups for Stage 1 of 2021’s Call of Duty League have officially been announced, alongside the fixtures for the coming weeks.

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Call of Duty League 2021 Stage 1 begins on February 11, and at the CDL Kickoff Classic, the groups and fixtures for this first stage were officially announced.

While it was fun seeing the new 4v4 rosters facing off against each other in the Kickoff Classic event, perhaps the most important part of the weekend was seeing Stage 1’s group selection take place.

Before the highly-anticipated OpTic Chicago v LA Thieves show match, we saw members and owners of each CDL team choose who would be playing in opposing groups, officially revealing the Stage 1 groups.

Here are the groups going into CDL 2021 Stage 1, how they were chosen, and what this first stage will look like.

CDL 2021 Stage 1 groups

Group AGroup B
Dallas EmpireAtlanta FaZe
LA ThievesOpTic Chicago
Minnesota RØKKRFlorida Mutineers
London Royal RavesToronto Ultra
New York SublinersLA Guerrillas
Seattle SurgeParis Legion

How the CDL Stage 1 groups were chosen

In a slightly confusing format described as a ‘reverse snake draft,’ teams chose who would play in the opposing group.

As the top two teams from CDL 2020, Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe were placed into different groups, A and B. Teams then picked who would be competing in the opposing group, beginning with Dallas Empire.

Dallas Empire, last year’s champs, chose first, and then FaZe chose after. The selection process went like this:

  1. Dallas Empire chose OpTic Chicago for Group B
  2. FaZe chose LA Thieves for Group A
  3. OpTic Chicago chose Minnesota RØKKR for group A
  4. LA Thieves chose Florida Mutineers for Group B

Teams continued to choose teams turn about until each group had been decided.

Atlanta FaZe Home Series

Each stage consists of three Home Series weekends, with Atlanta FaZe hosting the opening weekend on February 11. Group A will be playing on Thursday and Saturday, with Group B playing on Friday and Sunday.

Atlanta FaZe Home Series schedule

It kicks off with newcomers LA Thieves going against Minnesota RØKKR, and champs Dallas Empire taking on Seattle Surge.

After getting knocked out by Atlanta FaZe in the 2020 semi-finals, OpTic Chicago (formerly Chicago Huntsmen), will be looking to settle the score on Sunday. To add further rivalry, FaZe’s Arcitys played for the Huntsmen in last year’s league.

You can check out the fixtures for the entirety of Stage 1 on CallofDutyLeague.com.

The top two teams from Stage 1 will have first pick in Stage 2, which is set to begin on March 18.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War Zombies Firebase Z: release date, setting, new perk, more

Black Ops Cold War Zombies’ second map, Firebase Z, will launch during Season 1. Here’s everything we know about the new map.

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Black Ops Cold War season 1 brings a new Zombies map, Firebase Z. Here’s everything we know about Cold War Zombies’ second map.

Firebase Z, also called Outpost 25, is the brand new Zombies map coming to Black Ops Cold War during Season 1.

Set in the jungle of Vietnam, Firebase Z continues the storyline that started in Die Maschine. As described in Activision’s blog, “with the destruction of the WWII-era “Projekt Endstation” site after investigating the otherworldly Dark Aether anomaly in Poland, Requiem now sets its focus on the latest Dark Aether outbreak site: Outpost 25, known by the code name “Firebase Z.”

black ops cold war zombies firebase z map

A picture uploaded by Treyarch in their 115 Day blog post gives us a grainy, aerial view of the map. However, like any Zombies map, expect many more areas to be discovered when Firebase Z drops.

When does Cold War Zombies Firebase Z map release?

The new Black Ops Cold War Zombies map, Firebase Z, is set to launch on February 4 and will be free for all players.

It comes during Season 1, as part of teased new Zombies maps and modes that were announced in the roadmap. In the weeks leading up to its launch, a reveal trailer and more information surrounding the zombie-infested firebase will be revealed.

Tombstone perk coming to BOCW Zombies

black ops cold war zombies tombstone perk

Along with the launch of Firebase Z comes the return of an old perk: Tombstone.

If you don’t know already, when downed, Tombstone will allow you to “become a shadow in the Dark Aether armed with your weapons that can revive you.” Be careful though, “if your shadow loses all its health, you die.”

New to Black Ops Cold War Zombies, perks can be upgraded. Spending Aetherium Crystals will grant Tombstone the following upgrades:

  • Tier I – Shadow form can regenerate health.
  • Tier II – Increase downed duration to 60 seconds.
  • Tier III – On death, drop a Tombstone stash that saves your weapons, equipment, and resources.

Tombstone will be available through its perk machine in Firebase Z on February 4, and can also be purchased through the Der Wunderfizz machine in Die Maschine.

Can you still play Die Maschine?

Die Maschine will still be available to play in Black Ops Cold War Zombies.

Black ops cold war zombies die maschine

We know this through the confirmation that the Tombstone perk will be available to purchase through the Der Wunderfizz machine on Die Maschine on February 4.

Treyarch provided a friendly reminder that if you haven’t discovered all of the in-game intel hidden on Die Maschine and Onslaught yet, you should try to find it all before the story moves on. It will be crucial to understanding the overarching Zombies story.


Keep an eye on this article, as we’ll update it with every new piece of information we learn about the upcoming Black Ops Cold War Zombies map, Firebase Z.

Image Credit: Treyarch

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Call of Duty League

How to get Call of Duty League Stage 1 rewards

Call of Duty League Stage 1 kicks off on February 11, and by watching you can get in-game rewards such as calling cards and double XP.

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CDL Stage 1 rewards

Call of Duty League 2021 kicks off on February 11 and offers viewers a ton of free in-game items to earn, so here’s how to unlock the CDL Stage 1 viewership rewards.

Following the CDL Kickoff Classic, the Call of Duty League will officially kick off on February 11 with the Opening Weekend hosted by Atlanta FaZe.

With Dallas Empire looking to defend their title, the return of H3CZ’s OpTic, and newcomers LA Thieves looking to prove themselves, it’s shaping up to be a great year for competitive Call of Duty fans.

While watching the narratives of the year unfold, you can also earn free in-game rewards such as calling cards and double XP just for watching. Here’s how to get the CDL Stage 1 rewards.

How to earn CDL Stage 1 rewards

black ops cold war gameplay

To earn the free in-game rewards for the CDL launch weekend, you must have an Activision account. If you don’t have one already, you can create one on Activision.com by heading to ‘register’ in the right-hand corner.

Link CoD account to YouTube

Rewards are earned by watching CDL Stage 1 through a YouTube account linked to Call of Duty.

To link your account on PC and mobile:

  1. Open YouTube.com or the YouTube app
  2. Select your profile photo and hit ‘settings’
  3. Click on ‘Connected Apps’
  4. Locate ‘Activision’ and hit ‘connect’
  5. Sign in to your Activision account

While signed in with your linked YouTube account, watch CDL matches on YouTube, CallofDutyLeague.com, or the COD companion app to earn the rewards.

Account linking begins on Wednesday, January 27, so make sure to link accounts between then and February 11.

CDL Stage 1 in-game rewards

CDL viewership rewards

For watching at least 60 minutes of the CDL opening weekend on February 11-14, you will earn the ‘cash stack’ weapon charm to hang on your weapons in multiplayer and battle royale.

And as you watch matches throughout Stage 1, you’ll earn Double XP and Double Weapon XP tokens to redeem for Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

For watching at least three hours of the Stage 1 Major in the first week of March, you can earn three competitive CoD themed calling cards and an emblem. With these, you can channel your inner Cellium by rocking the ‘Snaked’ calling card and taunt your opponents with the ‘salty’ emblem.

With League Play confirmed to be arriving in Black Ops Cold War in the coming weeks, the calling cards and emblem will be perfect additions to complement your grind.

Image Credit: Activision

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