Activision bans Call of Duty League trophy over fears it’s “too gruesome”

CDL Major 4 trophyNew York Subliners / Call of Duty League

Having designed their own trophy for the CDL Major 4 event, the New York Subliners quickly learned the custom build wouldn’t be allowed on-stage as the Call of Duty League swiftly banned it over fears of being “too gruesome” for an adult audience.

Throughout the 2022 CDL season, the league has refused to provide its own trophies. For each of the four Majors in Texas, Minnesota, Toronto, and New York, event hosts have been required to manufacture their own, should they wish to even have a trophy for the winner.

The first event went without, the second provided a Nordic shield as its trophy, the third handed the winners a crown, and the fourth has just been revealed. For Major 4, hosts New York Subliners designed one of the more original rewards to date.

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Taking shape as a more traditional trophy, the custom build featured New York’s own Statue of Liberty split down the middle with a skull revealed underneath — similar to the logo for NYSL sister team in Valorant, New York Fury (NYFU).

Although fans were quick to praise this standout design, it turns out we won’t see it at the event as Activision swiftly moved to block the trophy.

“Presenting the trophy for Major 4 in all its glory,” Subliners shared on July 13, just one day out from the tournament. The custom craft pays homage to Major 4’s location, serving as an original one-off specifically for New York’s event.

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Shortly after the CDL team displayed its trophy, however, Subliners Creative Director Matt Lucero provided an update. Despite the fanfare surrounding its reveal, Activision allegedly turned it down and blocked it from the competition.

“[The] League rejected our trophy,” he announced. “[They] said it was too gruesome.”

Despite Call of Duty being rated 18+ and thus, its official esports tournaments targeting an adult crowd, the trophy design was deemed too over the top for Major 4.

Fortunately, the trophy will live on to some degree. Sources have informed Dexerto the winners will still take home the Major 4 trophy, only, it won’t be featured on broadcast whatsoever.

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“For a game where you can get blown to pieces, this ain’t graphic at all,” one player chimed in on Reddit. “The CDL doesn’t provide trophies and then denies the ones the orgs make,” another added.

Dexerto has reached out to Activision for further comment.