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Call of Duty League

Opinion – Black Ops Cold War’s League Play is a colossal failure

Black Ops Cold War’s League Play launch has been nothing short of a heartbreaking failure for a blossoming esports community.

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Black Ops Cold War’s League Play launch has been nothing short of a disappointment among the fanbase it was created to please.

It has been no industry secret that the release of Black Ops Cold War has been a shaky one for developer Treyarch, who had to step in to finish the development of Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty title.

With one less year under their belt for development of their next title (two compared to the usual three) Black Ops Cold War was off to a shaky start. Unfortunately for Treyarch, the responsibilities would continue to amp-up with the success of Infinity Ward’s Warzone, which was due to be handed down to them and Raven Software during Black Ops Cold War’s year as well.

As a result, Multiplayer in their premium title feels all but a side-piece in the larger picture. Black Ops Cold War has all of the customization and gunplay of a standard Call of Duty title, but doesn’t do anything particularly different from previous titles, nor offers much variety in launch content.

Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer Launch - Miami Map

With the passing of time, Treyarch is adding more free DLC to Black Ops Cold War, which has included some remastered multiplayer maps, small gunfight maps, and maps for the oddball “fireteam” mode. Fireteam is rumored to be using a similar strategy in content delivery to Infinity Ward’s “Ground War” mode, using pieces of the much larger Battle Royale map – due to drop in the coming months.

As you can clearly see, Treyarch has a lot of work on their plate – this isn’t including the various bug fixes and optimization for a total of five gaming platforms as well. (PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox Series X|S)

Unfortunately, this has shown up clear as day in the newly added “League Play” mode to Black Ops Cold War, which has disappointed many esports fans on launch.

Black Ops Cold War's League Play/Ranked Play start screen

League Play’s Failed Launch

Fast-forwarding to day 1 of the official League Play launch, disaster is possibly the best term. “Playing like the pros” has never felt worse, and core issues with the modes ruleset and ranking were quickly brought to light by the community.

Unfortunately, due to the unrestrictive and outdated nature of the CDL league ruleset, professional players have opted to play on a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” or “GA” system to restrict access to equipment and streaks in-game that are considered to have low competitive integrity.

This list includes the Jammer field upgrade, Molotov lethal, Perks Gearhead & Gung-Ho, and the Wildcard Perk Greed. The full GA list is quite tedious and large, but many players will agree a large portion of the list is acceptable to be banned in competitive play.

At launch, all of these aforementioned items were usable in-game, which transitioned to a mess of an experience, to say the least.

Worst of all, scorestreaks persisted between deaths – which means all players can get powerful scorestreaks at least once with ease, each and every game.

Black Ops Cold War's League Play skill divisions explained

A Horrid Ranking System

The cornerstone of any effective ranked system is a fair and exciting skill rating system that awards players for improving at the game. In Black Ops Cold War, the League Play system feels like it goes against these very principles.

Instead of opting for skill rankings that go up based on overall performance, players are hard-locked into their placement ranks for a set amount of days. These are called “events” and last four days each. Players are put into a division against 49 other players and grind out League Play to fight for the top of their division to take a set amount of gems to advance their rank.

If players place first place in six separate events, they’ll be permanently placed in the top “Diamond” rank for the season. Sound confusing? That’s because it is. The whole system is centered around grinding for more wins than your fellow competitors rather than judging your individual skill. As players progress, the true competition at the top level lies in time played, and not player skill.

Even worse, the placement games seem to be either bugged or just random in nature, with some professional-level players getting placed in Competitor League – the bottom 50% of players.

This system prioritizes quantity over quality and seemingly does not take any player metrics into account besides wins and losses. For a video game with a $25 million esports franchise buy-in, this system crumbles when compared to ELO based systems in games like Blizzard’s Overwatch and Valve’s Counter-Strike.

Simply put: You shouldn’t need a PhD in Call of Duty to understand your League Play rank, and as an individual player you should feel like you’re being judged by your individual skill in-game vs your time played. It should not take several weeks (events) for you to reach a proper rank.

Worst of all, the Black Ops Cold War League Play ranking system is a complete copy/paste of the unpopular Black Ops 4 system, which is even more of a slap in the face to the competitive community.

Black Ops Cold War League Play menu

The Future Of League Play

With all the negative player reception, Treyarch acted fast in order to restore some competitive integrity to the playlist. While overhauling the ranks in just a few days, or even a few weeks is an unrealistic expectation – they did what they could, changing the ruleset.

Just one day after the launch of the mode, Treyarch banned many GA’d items from League Play – including some scorestreaks, weapon attachments, perks, and equipment.

This update is far from making things perfect, but at least it worked as a quick band aid fix for the mode. While debates regarding the ranks were up in the air, games were playable yet again and were not nearly as messy compared to its first day.

Unfortunately, the scorestreaks persisting on death was not removed (and has yet to be removed), so expect games to be filled with RC-XD’s and mid-tier streaks like Napalm Strikes.

This update is most certainly a gesture from Treyarch that they are determined to fix this mode and is supported by Treyarch Studio Design Director David Vonderhaar, who took to Twitter to collect feedback and comment on League Play.

In a response to a tweet regarding the overall ranking system, Vonderhaar replies “Keywords: Scope. Accessibility. Deadlines. Franchise.” perhaps hinting that time was partially to blame for the porting over of the Black Ops 4 League Play system. In addition he states “We got some work to do IMO to evangelize how it works after we clean up some of the obnoxious bugs”.

Vonderhaar also reached out CDL player for Dallas Empire, Crimsix for feedback on the ranking system for League Play as well. It’s unknown if this means he is set on overhauling the League Play system, but this could possibly be good news for the future. If anything – it shows dedication to the hardcore community from a high-up developer at Treyarch.

With Black Ops Cold War still being in the early stages of its year-long Call of Duty cycle, there is still time for the League Play to receive some well-deserved love. Unfortunately, with all the responsibilities piled on Treyarch’s plate, we could be waiting several months for any meaningful change to the core ranking system.

For now, if you’re looking for a “competitive-like” experience, League Play at least accomplishes just that. There still are a few more ruleset tweaks it needs, but after those changes are in place, the ranking system will be the bigger issue in the future for Treyarch.

Image Credits: Treyarch/Activision

Call of Duty League

How to earn CDL 2022 Champs viewership rewards for Vanguard & Warzone

Here’s how you earn Vanguard and Warzone Weapon Blueprints and a MW2 beta code by watching the CDL 2022 Championship weekend.

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CDL Championship weekend 2022

Vanguard and Warzone players can unlock unique cosmetics just by watching the Call of Duty League 2022 Championship weekend, so here’s how to connect your account and unlock Weapon Camos, Calling Cards, XP, and more.

As is traditional, the Call of Duty League 2022 season provides Call of Duty Warzone and Vanguard players with the opportunity to earn some unique in-game rewards simply by watching the matches.

Following the New York Subliners’ incredible run at Major 4, the final eight teams are locked in for the Championship weekend. Let’s go over how you can earn Champs rewards such as a Modern Warfare 2 beta code, Automaton Weapon Blueprint, Operator, Calling Cards, Emblems, and XP Tokens for watching CDL Champs 2022 matches.

How to earn CDL Champs 2022 viewership rewards

Call of Duty League 2022 season

If you want to earn CDL 2022 viewership rewards in Vanguard and Warzone then all you need to do is connect your Activision account to YouTube and watch the CDL 2022 Champs weekend.

The Call of Duty League can either be watched on YouTube or the CDL website, so here’s how to link your Activision account on PC and mobile:

  1. Open YouTube.com or the YouTube app
  2. Select your profile photo on the top right and hit Settings
  3. Click on Connected Apps
  4. Locate Activision and hit Connect
  5. Sign in to your Activision account

Then, simply watch the Call of Duty League Champs weekend through either YouTube or the CDL website, and you can earn all of the free rewards on offer.

CDL Champs 2022 viewership rewards for Warzone & Vanguard

CDL 2022 Season viewership rewards

Vanguard double xp tokens

Players can earn a ton of Double XP and Double Weapon XP by watching live matches throughout the CDL 2022 season.

There will be sixteen 30 Minute Double XP tokens up for grabs, with a new level reached for every hour of watch time. Players will earn a regular XP and Double Weapon XP alternating for each hour watched.

  • 1 Hour: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 2 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 3 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 4 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 5 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 6 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 7 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 8 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 9 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 10 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 11 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 12 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 13 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 14 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 15 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 16 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token

With four hours of Double XP to be gained, you’ll find leveling up your weapons much easier across Vanguard and Warzone.

CDL 2022 championship sunday viewership rewards

CDL Champs 2022 rewards

Vanguard and Warzone players can also earn rewards such as Calling Cards, Emblems, and exclusive Blueprints for watching at least half an hour of August 4’s CDL Championship weekend hosted in LA’s Galen Center.

Perhaps even more exciting is the chance to earn a code for early access to Modern Warfare 2’s beta. There are 50,000 up for grabs in random drops, so make sure to keep an eye on the CDL website to see if you’ve been given one.

Here are the CDL 2022 Champs rewards and their watch time requirements:

  • Thursday, August 4
    • Camper Calling Card (30 Minutes)
    • S&D Star Emblem (1 Hour)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (1 Hour 30 Minutes)
    • Wall Banged Calling Card (2 Hours)
    • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token (2 Hours 30 Minutes)
  • Friday, August 5
    • First Blooded Calling Card (30 Minutes)
    • Round 11 Emblem (1 Hour)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (1 Hour 30 Minutes)
    • Spawn Trapped Calling Card (2 Hours)
    • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token (2 Hours 30 Minutes)
  • Saturday, August 6
    • Donut Weapon Charm (30 Minutes)
    • Sprinkles Volk Weapon Blueprint (1 Hour)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (1 Hour 30 Minutes)
    • COD Timing Watch (2 Hours)
    • EGO CHALL Calling Card (2 Hour 30 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token (3 Hours)
  • Sunday, August 7 – Championship Sunday
    • The Chip Emblem (15 Minutes)
    • Champs Automaton Weapon Blueprint (45 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (1 Hour)
    • Down to the Wire Operator (1 Hour 30 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token (2 Hours)
    • Chance to earn Modern Warfare 2 beta code

For more, you can check out the leak claiming Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play arrives “shortly after” launch.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty League

How to register for Warzone $100k CDL Resurgence Rebirth Island open tournament

Here’s how to register for Warzone’s upcoming CDL Resurgence Rebirth Island tournament and compete against pro players for $100k.

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Call of Duty League Resurgence Rebirth Island tournament

Warzone players have the chance to compete against Call of Duty League pro players by qualifying for the CDL Resurgence tournament, where $100k is on the line. Here’s how to register for the tournament taking place on Rebirth Island.

Just after the completely overhauled Rebirth Island Reinforced arrived in Warzone with the Season 2 Reloaded update, the Call of Duty League announced that players can compete against CoD pros in an open tournament.

The Call of Duty League Resurgence: Rebirth Island tournament gives eight teams of North American players the chance to make it to the finals, where they’ll be playing against 12 teams of Call of Duty pros with $100k on the line.

Here’s how to register for the CDL Resurgence open tournament, and compete against pro players for your share of $100k.

How to play in CDL Resurgence $100k Warzone tournament

The CDL Resurgence Warzone tournament is open to any player, as long as they’re over 18 years old, live in North America, and are free to stream their gameplay on YouTube, regardless of platform or input device.

Registration is done through GameBattles, so here’s everything you have to do:

  1. Log in to GameBattles, or create an account if you don’t have one.
  2. Register your squad on GameBattles by April 7, 2022, at 3PM PST.
  3. Play in the “Call of Duty League Resurgence” playlist on April 5-6.
  4. Be within the Top 40 teams to be invited to the qualifier stage
CDL Resurgence Warzone tournament schedule

CDL Resurgence $100k Warzone tournament schedule & format

Warzone players will need to drop into the Call of Duty League Resurgence playlist, where each player in the squad’s 10 best games will be scored. Then the top 40 teams will progress to two Qualification Stages, where the final eight teams will compete against the 12 Call of Duty League organizations.

You can check out each stage and their dates below:

  • In-Game Open Stage (April 5-6)
  • Qualifier Stage Round 1 (April 11-14)
  • Qualifier Stage Round 2 (April 15)
  • Main Stage (April 24)

The CDL Resurgence Warzone tournament will be based on players’ eliminations, with a multiplier in place for placements.

Here’s how the CDL Resurgence tournament will be scored:

  • 1 Elimination = 1 Point
  • Placement Multiplier
    • 1st = 2x Points
    • 2nd and 3rd = 1.5x Points
    • 4th – 10th = 1x Points

CDL Resurgence $100k Warzone tournament prizing

Out of the twenty teams that make it to the Main Stage, only the top 10 teams will be in the money  — including the Call of Duty League franchise teams.

Here’s a breakdown of how the CDL Resurgence’s $100k prize pool will be divvied up.

Placement$ Per Team $ Per Player
130,0007,500
220,0005,000
315,0003,750
410,0002,500
55,0001,250
64,0001,000
74,0001,000
84,0001,000
94,0001,000
104,0001,000

Although there isn’t $100k on the line, players can play like the pros in Vanguard’s Ranked Play and earn free rewards such as Blueprints and Operator skins.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty League

Scump reveals best Vanguard Ranked Play MP40 loadout

Here are Call of Duty pro OpTic Scump’s MP40 loadout, attachments, and Perks you can use to dominate Vanguard’s Ranked Play mode.

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Scump ranked play MP40

Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Ranked Play is here, allowing players to play like the pros, grind through the ranks, and earn unique rewards. You’ll need to best weapons to secure victory, so here’s OpTic Scump’s MP40 SMG loadout for Ranked Play.

Seth ‘Scump’ Abner is one of the most accomplished Call of Duty players of all time, being a member of the OpTic Dynasty and the fifth-highest earning player. After helping OpTic Texas secure a winners bracket slot in the CDL Major 1, Scump dominated Vanguard’s new Ranked Play mode.

As a sub player, Scump runs the MP40 in both the CDL and Ranked Play. If you’re looking to win more matches and raise your ELO, here’s Scump’s MP40 loadout including the Perks and Equipment he uses.

Scump’s Vanguard Ranked Play MP40 loadout

Scump's vanguard ranked play mp40 loadout
  • Muzzle: No. 3 Rifle Break
  • Barrel: Krausnick 317MM 04B
  • Optic:
  • Stock: Krausnick 33M Folding
  • Underbarrel: SMLE Pistol Grip
  • Magazine:
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Stippled Grip
  • Proficiency: Brace
  • Kit: Quick

Revealed in a February 21 stream, Scump’s MP40 is designed to help him quickly rotate around the map and break into hills. This is also his CDL loadout, so you’ll notice he’s opted for the No. 3 Rifle Break rather than the GA’d F8 Stabilizer which also boosts range.

He has also gone against the grain by not using the Krausnick ISO 1M iron sight, which many pros prefer, and using the default optic. The rest of the attachments are typical for a pro player MP40 build, improving accuracy and mobility.

Scump Vanguard Ranked Play Perks & Equipment

Scump's Ranked play perks and equipment
  • Perk 1: Survival Training / Ninja
  • Perk 2: Radar
  • Perk 3: Double Time
  • Lethal Equipment: Frag Grenade
  • Tactical Equipment: No 69 Stun Grenade
  • Field Upgrade: Dead Silence
  • Secondary weapon: Ratt

Scump usually runs Survival Training in respawn modes so that Stun Grenades have much less of an effect, but will sometimes switch to Ninja in Search and Destroy to be much more stealthy on the map.

Radar and Double Time are standard Perks for competitive CoD, allowing Scump to see enemies firing on the minimap and move around much quicker. He also uses Frag Grenades and No 69 Stun Grenades due to the others being banned.

And finally, he uses the Ratt pistol as his secondary to get around the map quicker and give him another weapon to use when the MP40 is empty.


If you want a more varied selection of the best weapons, Perks, and Equipment across all roles, you can check out the best Vanguard Ranked Play loadouts.

And for more on Vanguard’s Ranked Mode, you can check out how to fix the frustrating Dev Error 6144 and how the Skill Rating and Ladder systems work.

Image Credit: Activision / Scump

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