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Black Ops Cold War League Play: divisions, ranks, rewards, and more

Black Ops Cold War’s League Play is almost here, and we have everything you need to know about the format, maps, classes, and more.

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Black Ops Cold War player

After months of clamoring from Black Ops Cold War fans, Treyarch have finally confirmed that League Play is officially in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

With Modern Warfare failing to feature any kind of ranked playlist for the first time since Call of Duty: Ghosts, fans were desperate for Treyarch to implement it in this year’s title, and thankfully, the devs have obliged.

Here’s everything we know about Black Ops Cold War League Play, and what you need to know to dive into the brand new mode.

What is League Play?

League Play is a competitive playlist with a skill-based matchmaking system designed to put players of similar skill levels together. Players will compete in game modes with restrictions to weapons, perks, and attachments in line with the official Call of Duty League ruleset, and be awarded a ranking based on how they perform.

Game modes are also adjusted to custom rulesets, and maps are restricted to a custom map pool, voted on by the Call of Duty League’s players and coaches. This is the ultimate mode to play like the pros.

Official Call of Duty League skin set, Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

How does Black Ops Cold War League Play work?

League Play in Black Ops 4 was by far our most-played ranked competitive mode in Black Ops series history, setting new records for the number of matches played and time invested by the community. Its accessible Ladder system kept players coming back for more, and its core design solved several fundamental problems with Black Ops II’s model by introducing a progressive rank system, running more frequent Events in shorter sprints, and ensuring faster and healthier matchmaking for participants.

We’re building on that foundation this year, implementing a total of 30 new Ranks to achieve, returning to the classic 4v4 format of the Black Ops II days, and providing players with more flexibility in gameplay rules, such as available Scorestreak selection, compared to the full official CDL 2021 ruleset.

League Play in Black Ops Cold War supports custom classes, including camo customization and Weapon Blueprint support for custom loadouts. Please note, any restricted attachments will be automatically removed from Blueprints in League Play to adhere to the CDL 2021 rules. Check out the full list of CDL 2021 restricted items here, and check back often as the rules and restricted items will change throughout the year.

For those looking to use official Call of Duty League pro loadouts, League Play’s default classes are made up of presets used by every team in the 2021 season. And if you want to play like the pros in private matches, we’ve also added the new CDL Pro mode to Custom Games for Hardpoint, Search & Destroy, and Control, which only offers preset Call of Duty League classes and more specific gameplay rules.

SKILL DIVISIONS AND LADDERS

After your first League Play Event starts, you will be placed in a Skill Division of up to 50 players around your same skill level to compete for the top position in your Division Ladder.

League Play utilizes skill ratings to determine how active players are bracketed into the five Skill Divisions: Competitor, Advanced, Expert, Elite, and Master. Your Skill Division placement is relative to all other active League Play players, and may increase or decrease as your skill rating or the active player population changes.

Here’s how the active League Play population breaks out across all five Divisions by skill:

  • Master: Top 2% of players
  • Elite: Top 3-10% of players
  • Expert: Top 11-15% of players
  • Advanced: Top 16-20% of players
  • Competitor: 50% of players

Wins will award Ladder Points that increase your position on the Ladder. Losses will decrease your Ladder Points and can drop your position on the Ladder. Winning consecutive matches will earn you a Win Streak Bonus, and you can earn a Daily Bonus by playing every day.

We take match integrity seriously, and poor sportsmanship isn’t tolerated. Any players who quit a League Play match will receive Ladder Point penalties and a match loss, and increased penalties will be applied for players who quit a match before anyone else on their team does.

LEAGUE PLAY RANKS AND REWARDS

Similar to our previous League Play system, you’ll earn Gems based on your final position in the Division Ladder at the end of each Event. Earn enough Gems, and you’ll advance your Rank.

Each milestone (earned at Rank 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30) has a unique League Play Calling Card reward to unlock. There are six distinct Calling Cards to earn across all 30 Ranks, each of which can be equipped in the Barracks to show off your skills to the rest of your lobby in League Play, Multiplayer, and Zombies.

Your progressive Rank will reflect if you’ve ever placed near the top of the Ladder or won a League Play Event. Finish in the Top 10, Top 5, or 1st to permanently upgrade your Rank from Bronze to Silver, Silver Gold, or Gold. Finish first six times, and you’ll permanently upgrade your Rank to Diamond.

Of course, you’ll also earn XP and Battle Pass progression as you compete in League Play Events, so you’ll always make progress toward your next Prestige Level and Battle Pass Tier whether you win or lose your next match.

Victory Flames also make their return in Black Ops Cold War’s League Play, showcasing the highest performance level for the best of the best. Finishing in first place will add the initial stage of Victory Flames to your Rank, and finishing in first in consecutive Events will advance your Flames to new stages. Your Victory Flames will last until the next League Play Event ends, and will degrade or disappear if you fail to place first in consecutive Events. Maintain your streak and keep those Flames burning bright!

What maps & modes will be in Black Ops Cold War League Play?

Black Ops Cold War’s League Play will feature the same maps and modes as the CDL, which means a rotation of Hardpoint, Control, and fan-favorite Search & Destroy.

There are currently six maps in the official Call of Duty League competitive settings, with Express expected to be added to the S&D pool in the near future. You can view the full maps and modes below.

Game ModeMaps
HardpointCheckmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow, Raid
Search & DestroyCheckmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Raid
ControlCheckmate, Garrison, Raid

Will Black Ops Cold War League Play have custom classes?

It’s currently unclear if Black Ops Cold War League Play will allow players to use their own classes, but it appears that this will likely not be the case.

With the newly added CDL Pro modes coming with pre-set classes that mimic what the pro players use, it’s likely that we’ll have to choose from their setups when we play this mode.

Image Credits: Treyarch / Activision Blizzard

Call of Duty League

How to earn Call of Duty League Championship viewership rewards: Blueprints, Champs Pack, more

Here’s how to start earning exclusive viewership rewards including a CDL XM4 Blueprint for watching the Call of Duty League Championships.

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Call of Duty League championship weekend

The Call of Duty League 2021 Championship Weekend is here, and players can earn various viewership rewards for watching the final stage of competitive action. Here’s how to link your account and earn an XM4 Blueprint, Calling Cards, and the chance to get the Champs Pack for free.

After months of Call of Duty’s best playing for the championship crown, it all comes down to the Championship Weekend, kicking off on August 19 and concluding on Sunday, August 22. While the pros compete for the $1.2 million prize pool, you can also earn various viewership rewards to use in Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, just for watching.

Alongside an exclusive CDL-themed XM4 Blueprint, you can earn Double XP tokens, player signature stickers, and the chance to receive a CDL 2021 Champs Pack code.

Here’s how to link your account to start earning rewards and everything on offer.

How to earn CDL Championship viewership rewards for Cold War & Warzone

Earning the Call of Duty League Championship viewership rewards is simple; the longer you watch, the more rewards you’ll earn. But you’ll need to make sure that your Call of Duty account is linked to YouTube, where the CDL will be broadcasted.

Rewards are earned by watching the CDL Championships 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.

Call of Duty League Championship stream

Above, you can find the stream for the CDL Championship weekends. As long as your Activision account is connected to YouTube, you’ll begin earning incremental viewership rewards.

All CDL Championship viewership rewards

Call of Duty League 2021 Viewership rewards

CDL Thursday viewership rewards

  • 1 Hour: 60 Minute Double XP Token
  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes: Shane and Zaptius Weapon Stickers
  • 2 Hours: 60 Minute Battle Pass Double XP Token

CDL Friday viewership rewards

  • 1 Hour: 60 Minute Double XP Token
  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes: Zed and PaulEhx Weapon Stickers
  • 2 Hours: 60 Minute Battle Pass Double XP Token

CDL Saturday viewership rewards

  • 30 Minutes: COD Timing Calling Card
  • 1 Hour: 60 Minute Double XP Token
  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes: Venom, Classic, and Vivid Weapon Stickers
  • 2 Hours: 60 Minute Battle Pass Double XP Token
  • Chance to earn CDL 2021 Champs Pack code

CDL Championship Sunday viewership rewards

  • 15 Minutes: Sweep Emblem
  • 30 Minutes: Thunderclap Calling Card
  • 45 Minutes: CDL Champs 2021 XM4
  • 1 Hour: 60 Minute Double XP Token
  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes: Standy, Temp, and Huke Weapon Stickers
  • 2 Hours: 60 Minute Battle Pass Double XP Token

What’s in the Cold War & Warzone CDL 2021 Champs Pack?

Call of Duty League 2021 Champs Pack

For watching the Championships on Saturday, Call of Duty will give out codes for the CDL 2021 Champs Pack to random viewers. These include Blueprints for the AK-47 and LW3 – Tundra with Gold Tracers, as well as CDL-themed Emblems, Charm, Calling Card, and Sticker.

This bundle usually costs around $18, so it’s well worth trying to get it for free by watching the CDL.

  • AK-47 Champs ’21 Blueprint
  • LW3 Champs ’21 Blueprint
  • CDL Championship Trophy Charm
  • Better On LAN Emblem
  • Online Warrior Emblem
  • Championship Weekend ’21 Calling Card
  • CDL Championship Ring Sticker

The CDL Championships marks the end of Black Ops Cold War’s competitive season, with 2022’s being played on the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard game, which returns to the series’ WW2 roots.

Image Credit: Activision

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ASTRO Gaming & US Army ends sponsorship of Call of Duty League amid lawsuit controversy

The Call of Duty League has lost one of its long time sponsors just before the biggest CDL event of the year.

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Activision Blizzard Esports division appears to be taking the biggest impact from external partners over the harassment lawsuit with sponsors opting out of partnerships with the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League.

The latest sponsor to end its relations with the Call of Duty League is ASTRO Gaming (and now U.S Army).

ASTRO Gaming’s logo has vanished from the Call of Duty League site, alongside the U.S Army logo. These two logos used to appear to the left of ZENNI Gaming’s logos.

Here’s a look at the new sponsorship strip section on the CDL site, with ZENNI Gaming, SCUF, Game Fuel, and USAA still partners.

Update August 13 – 1PM ET: After we posted this article, the logo sponsorship section on the Call of Duty League site was updated again to remove the U.S Army logo. The CDL now has only four sponsors left as CDL Champs approaches.

ASTRO Gaming was a long time sponsor of Call of Duty esports, dating back to its early days. The company was the official headset sponsor of the Call of Duty League and Call of Duty Challengers.

Per Activision’s initial announcement of the CDL back in 2020, ASTRO Gaming “extends its sponsorship of Call of Duty esports through the 2022 season.”

Instead, the sponsorship has ended just before the CDL’s biggest event of the year, Call of Duty League Championship. The Championship event will take place August 19 – 22 at the Galen Center in LA.

The U.S Army started its sponsorship of the CDL with the inaugural season in 2020. The U.S Army was the presenting sponsor of all schedule related assets on the CDL site.

Their logo has now been completely removed from the site.

Activision Blizzard has declined to comment.

ASTRO had in broadcast segments for the Call of Duty League including the main ASTRO Gaming Listen In, allowing fans to hear team comms during intense moments of matches.

ASTRO also was the presenting sponsor of the Call of Duty League MVP Award, which was awarded at the end of the Champs event. Since the partnership has ended, as early as this week, the CDL’s site MVP page no longer shows the ASTRO Gaming logo.

The site before August 10th:

The site as it appears now, available to view here:

ASTRO & US Army are the latest two sponsors of the Call of Duty League to drop, after T-Mobile distanced themselves a few weeks back.

ASTRO Gaming partnered with the CDL to sell custom-designed CDL team headsets on their website. That collection has been deleted from the site.

The Call of Duty League is not the only Activision Blizzard league facing backlash. The company’s Overwatch League has lost 5 sponsors over the last two weeks, including Coca Cola, State Farm, IBM, Kellogs, and more.

The sponsorship drops comes as Activision Blizzard is being sued by the state of California for sexual harassment and diversity in-equality across the company, with many instances coming out of Blizzard’s side.

Activision Blizzard responded to the suit with Blizzard President J. Allen Brack resigning and putting Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra as co-leaders of Blizzard.

The company still faces immense pressure from employees to change some of the practices, like removal of attribution clauses and changes to the law firm that is investigating the allegations at the company. So far, Activision Blizzard executives have not met their demands.

We’ll continue to keep everyone updated as more information on the lawsuit and sponsorships happen.

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Activision

T-Mobile reportedly no longer a sponsor of Call of Duty League & Overwatch League

T-Mobile appears to have ended their sponsorship of both the CDL and OWL after Activision Blizzard harassment lawsuits surfaced.

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T-Mobile appears to have abruptly ended their sponsorship of the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League this past week. The company’s logo has been removed from the sponsorship section of both of the websites.

T-Mobile was one of the largest non-endemic partners of the Call of Duty League. The US wireless carrier was the Official 5G Sponsor of the League and featured weekly 5G T-Mobile Drops for fans to enter to win real life prizes.

The Call of Duty League features sponsors including the U.S. Army, Astro Gaming, SCUF Gaming, Zenni Gaming, Game Fuel, USAA Insurance, and Google Cloud.

T-Mobile’s logo was seen on the Call of Duty League site as recently as July 21 alongside the other sponsors, per the Wayback Machine, as seen in the screenshot below:

Call of Duty League website – July 21, 2021

Now, visiting the Call of Duty League website and looking at the same sponsor area, T-Mobile’s logo has been removed. The other sponsor’s logos are still featured.

Call of Duty League website – July 31, 2021

Another part of T-Mobile’s activation with the Call of Duty League was their 5G Weekly Drop activation, where viewers could text a code to a number to enter for a chance to win bonus items – like free controllers, phones, headsets, and even a trip to CDL Champs.

However, for the Stage 5 Major event (taking place July 29 through August 1), the official rules website says the Weekly Drop was cancelled with no explanation provided.

T-Mobile was also a sponsor of Activision Blizzard’s other major league, the Overwatch League. But on the OWL’s website sponsor section strip, T-Mobile’s logo is gone. It was there as soon as Monday, July 26. T-Mobile’s branding still appears on their site for Viewership Drops as those assets appears to have not been updated yet.

It’s not officially confirmed as to why T-Mobile has decided to end its sponsorship of both of the leagues so suddenly or if the sponsorship is truly over, but the timing seems suspicious with the recent harassment lawsuit against Activision Blizzard from the state of California.

Activision Blizzard employees staged a walk out on July 28 in protest of the company’s responses to the harassment lawsuit over a toxic, sexist workplace culture.

Activision Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick responded in an email published on July 27 that the company’s responses were “tone deaf” and they would work to build a better, safer culture.

Activision Blizzard and T-Mobile both have not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

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