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Call of Duty: Warzone

NICKMERCS reveals surprising pick for most underrated Warzone ‘SMG’

Streamer NICKMERCS has revealed his underrated AS VAL loadout, which he believes is ‘better than the MP5.’

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Warzone streamer NICKMERCS has been paving the way with his META loadouts, and now he has revealed his ‘better than the MP5’ AS-VAL setup.

Award-winning streamer Nick ‘NICKMERCS‘ Kolcheff has been testing different weapons and loadouts for his YouTube channel since Warzone’s release in March.

Some credit him, for better or worse, for bringing the over-powered Bruen and R9-0 shotgun to the limelight. Now, he has been trying out the AS VAL as his secondary and has declared it ‘better than the MP5.’

Interestingly, this “submachine gun” is actually an assault rifle. With Modern Warfare and Warzone’s detailed Gunsmith system, the AS VAL can be modified to be a CQB weapon performing as an SMG. It has an insanely high rate of fire, allowing it to tear plates off enemies in the blink of an eye.

NICKMERCS admitted the VAL’s low magazine size and high fire rate makes it unsuitable for fighting trios and quads. However, “when you’re running duos or solos, I don’t know how you run an MP5 over this thing,” said Nick. “In every way possible it’s better.”

Here’s what NICKMERCS runs on his AS VAL.

Nickmercs’ Warzone AS VAL loadout

  • VLK 200mm Osa
  • Commando Foregrip
  • 30 Round Mags
  • Stippled Grip Tape
  • Sleight of Hand

The VAL is automatically silenced, so you can afford to swap a suppressor for Sleight of Hand. The largest magazine size it holds is 30 rounds, so you need to minimize the reload penalty as much as possible.

Recoil is quite high on the AS VAL, so the Commando Foregrip allows greater control of the weapon. To increase your mobility, NICKMERCS added Stippled Grip Tape. This increases both ADS time and sprint to fire time, allowing this weapon to act more like an SMG.

As this ‘SMG’ is actually an assault rifle, you might need to keep an eye on your ammo count. The VAL uses the same ammunition as ARs such as the Kilo and M4, so if you’re using the VAL as a secondary, you might find your ammo quickly depleting.

Call of Duty: Warzone

Activision issuing “hardware bans” to thwart Warzone cheaters

Activision have confirmed that they are handing out “hardware bans” to banned cheaters who keep making fresh accounts.

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Call of Duty Warzone gameplay

Cheaters and hackers have plagued Call of Duty: Warzone since its launch, but on top of account bans, Activision has confirmed that they are issuing hardware bans to thwart repeat offenders.

Cheaters have been a thorn in both players’ and developers’ sides since Warzone launched in 2020. It has been common to run into players blatantly wall-hacking and aim-botting, ruining the game for casual players and pros alike.

Raven Software has been providing regular updates on how many cheaters have been banned, and Activision recently confirmed that 475,000 permabans have been issued since Warzone’s launch. The likely reason why this number is so high is that Warzone is free-to-play. It’s widely believed that even if a cheater’s account gets banned, they can simply create a new one and carry on as if nothing happened.

Activision is aware of this issue and player’s concerns and released an in-depth update on their anti-cheat progress on April 12.

Because so many players have been concerned that account bans are ineffective, Call of Duty staff responded to this, saying that “Removing cheaters and taking away their ability to move to alternate accounts is a key focus for the security teams.”

They confirmed that if you’re cheating, not only could you be unknowingly downloading malware to your system, you could also receive a hardware ban.

To make sure players don’t keep creating fresh accounts to cheat with, Activision said, “We do issue hardware bans against repeat, or serial, cheaters. This is an important part of our effort to combat repeat offenders.”

This means that players who receive a hardware ban will be permanently locked out and won’t be able to simply create a new, free account and go back to their cheating ways.

Helicopters flying to Warzone's Verdansk Stadium

Activision also confirmed that not only are they targeting individual accounts with cheats installed, but also “the commercial market of cheat providers and resellers.” They revealed that they have recently banned “45,000 fraudulent, black market accounts used by repeat offenders.”

Cheaters will likely still make their way into your Warzone sessions, but Activision is making sure it’s continuously more risky and difficult to do.

In the meantime, you can check out our guide on how to spot cheaters in Warzone so you can assist Activision by reporting these players.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

When is the next Cold War & Warzone Double XP event?

We have the dates and times for the next CoD: Cold War and Warzone Double XP event to help rank, weapon, and Battle Pass progression.

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With so many Prestige levels, different weapon levels, and Battle Pass levels in Cold War and Warzone, it’s only natural to want more XP. Here’s when the next CoD Double XP event is going to be.

XP has been a vital component of Call of Duty’s multiplayer for many years. It’s the quintessential upgrade mechanic that allows you to increase your in-game level and provide you access to better gear and attachments.

Every now and again CoD will throw out some awesome Double XP events that allow players to increase their earnings and level everything up faster. Season 2 of Cold War and Warzone has already provided lots of new content to help the race for XP, and now another ample opportunity is being offered.

This will be the final one for Season 2 as Season 3 is set to begin shortly.

cod black ops cold war warzone season 2

How to get Double XP in CoD: Cold War & Warzone Season 2

It’s been announced that Call of Duty’s next Double XP promotional event will officially start on April 16 and will expire on April 19.

PlayStation players will actually get a head start on Xbox and PC players by a full 24 hours. Meaning that PlayStation users can start earning Double XP from April 15.

What time does CoD: Cold War & Warzone Double XP start?

Here’s a full list of the event’s start time & dates in some of the key timezones:

  • EST – 1pm
  • CST – 12pm
  • PST – 10am
  • GMT – 5pm

Double XP will be available on Black Ops Cold War’s Multiplayer and Zombies, and all currently available playlists in Warzone.

As well as your player level, the boost will also apply to the Season 2 Battle Pass too.

These special Double XP Events usually occur during a weekend, and this one is no different. It naturally gives players the most free time as it’s away from school hours and generally when people are off work.

If you’ve got those last few items to clean up on the Battle Pass, or you’re a touch shy of Prestige Level 200, then this is a great opportunity to try and do just that.

Don’t miss out on leveling up and getting the new Season 2 additions, the FARA 83 and LC10, added to your best loadouts!

Image credits: Treyarch / Activision

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Call of Duty: Warzone

Activision files complaint over Warzone trademark dispute

Activision has filed a lawsuit to proceed with Warzone trademark registration following a dispute.

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Activision has filed a complaint this week in a California district court to end a dispute over the “Warzone” trademark.

The creator of a browser game, that is barely known, called Warzone.com apparently filed a trademark dispute against Activision for using “Warzone” as the name for their Call of Duty Battle Royale experience.

Fizzer, the creator of a browser game called Warzone, claims Activision should not be granted the trademark for Warzone because it has caused confusion over their own game. The dispute began in June 2020, when Activision filed a trademark for “Warzone” and “Call of Duty Warzone,” as first reported by PC Gamer.

In a lawsuit filed by Activision on April 8, 2021, Activision says that they are seeking declaratory relief because Warzone.com’s owners won’t stop attempting to halt their trademark usage of ‘Warzone.’ The lawsuit also says that Warzone.com’s owners stopped negotiating after declining the company’s counter offer sent at the end of March.

Activision also says they first filed trademark for Warzone in June 2020, with the browser game company only filing for the trademark in October 30, 2020. The browser based game has been available since 2017, but the company behind the game never filed a trademark for it until Activision’s Warzone became popular.

Defendant’s threats of litigation and active efforts to block Activision’s trademark registrations have created an actual and live controversy as to the parties’ respective rights to use or register trademarks that include the word “Warzone.” Because Activision’s use of the “Warzone” title is both protected by the First Amendment and unlikely to cause consumer confusion, Activision is entitled to a declaration that it has not infringed Defendant’s alleged trademark and is entitled to have its pending trademark applications mature to registration.

In the trademark filing in October 2020, the Warzone.com owner claimed that Activision’s trademark of Warzone “has already and will continue to result in the relevant consuming public being confused, mistaken or deceived” despite the fact that not many people have heard of the .com game.

Activision’s lawyers went off against the company in their latest filing stating that no one could compare Call of Duty Warzone to their “low budget” browser based game.

Activision’s filing says, “Call of Duty: Warzone could not be more different from Defendant’s game, a low-budget, niche virtual board game like Hasbro’s Risk. It is inconceivable that any member of the public could confuse the two products or believe that they are affiliated with or related to each other.”

Call of Duty: Warzone and Warzone have both been filed by Activision as “live” trademarks per the US Patent & Trademark’s office website. The two were registered on June 20, 2020 and are waiting to go live, per Activision’s new lawsuit.

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