Are Call of Duty’s top pros being overworked in their battle to earn a place in this year’s premier competitions?
This year’s Call of Duty circuit is arguably the best yet.
Activision have been prompt and decisive with guidelines and event details, including with their system of ranking and seeding the pros, known as Pro Points.
Pro Points are earned by placing well at events, in online tournaments and most crucially, by winning games in the online GameBattles Pro Points Ladder.
While players and fans alike have praise this year’s much improved event schedule, the use of the GameBattles Pro Points Ladder has come under major criticism, with claims that it’s forcing the scene’s top competitors into playing for outrageous amounts of time.
Veteran, Tom ‘Tommey’ Trewren has seen it all in Call of Duty; from playing in shop basements to the world stage at Call of Duty XP.
We caught up with the Briton to see how he had been affected.
“Right now we’re all having to play from the minute we wake up to the minute we can no longer keep our eyes open.”
“It just isn’t healthy, but it has to be done.
“People are trying to out-do each other and get more games in, which then causes the next person to do the same.
“The only positive at the moment is that all of this non-stop playing will be gone in a few week’s time due to the 2K and event announcements.”
Unlike last year where the same system seemed to become largely obsolete, this year Pro Points are set to play a much larger role in deciding event invites for major competitions, and likely the overall outcome of tournaments.
In the short term, the incentives for EU teams for having a large number of pro points are considerable: Not only will the top 6 European teams earn a fully paid trip to CWL Atlanta, but they’ll also bypass the unforgiving Open Bracket and start their competition straight in Pool Play.
This guarantees a Top 20 finish, as well as avoiding unnecessary fatigue associated with playing such a large volume of matches.
With so much to play for, it’s understandable then that the limitless number of points attainable through the online ladder is causing players to grind till their thumbs get sore.
For the EU pros, they simply cannot afford to take their foot off the gas for one minute, or risk being left behind by hungrier competitors who will stop at nothing to earn a top 6 ranking.
The new system has created a battle for who can play the most, rather than who is the best, in many instances closing the door to perspective future pros who can’t commit the same number of hours as their full-time counterparts.
Thankfully, the end in sight for Europeans.
CWL London is set to take place at the end of January, with enough Pro Points up for grabs to cement the top 6 places for CWL Atlanta.
The Top 10 American teams, who will also automatically advance to the Pool Play stage of CWL Atlanta, will share the same cut off date but do not have the luxury of a final offline event to bolster their standings.
This means the importance of the Pro Points Ladder is even greater in the run up to the January 30th cut off. The slog continues.
What do you think of this year’s Pro Points system? Let us know by Tweeting us on @DexertoIntel.