Black Ops Cold War dev explains how Call of Duty’s SBMM is “tunable” - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War dev explains how Call of Duty’s SBMM is “tunable”

Published: 20/Sep/2020 10:26 Updated: 20/Sep/2020 13:35

by Andy Williams


A Treyarch developer has explained that every Call of Duty game has “tunable” SBMM of some degree amid controversy surrounding Black Ops Cold War’s matchmaking during the Alpha weekend.

Treyarch’s highly anticipated Black Ops Cold War has Call of Duty fans itching to get their hands on the latest iteration to come from the studio. The Cold War multiplayer reveal left fans eager to hop into the server — a wish that was granted for PlayStation players, who have enjoyed early access throughout the Alpha weekend.

But there has been one topic that has stirred the pot and has been the prevalent discussion point throughout the Alpha — skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). Essentially, the inclusion of SBMM ensures that players of equal skill are pitted against each other, to avoid landslide victories.

While this appears logical on the surface, many argue that SBMM should only be present in a dedicated Ranked playlist to ensure casual matchmaking remains, well, casual. Naturally, this has sparked debate, with several Call of Duty pros weighing in with their opinion against the inclusion of SBMM.

BOCW sand dunes.
Black Ops Cold War became available on Sept 18, with SBMM being the focal point of discussion.

Treyarch dev breaks the ice

Treyarch dev, Martin Donlon, says that he was the developer responsible for writing Black Ops 2’s SBMM implementation. With that in mind, he responded to a fan’s Tweet, which explained that: “If you make the game good in the first place, it doesn’t need SBMM.”

The fan also claimed that some of the most memorable Call of Duty titles of all-time didn’t include SBMM, which Donlon immediately stated otherwise.

After detailing that every Call of Duty has a degree of SBMM embedded, Donlon then explained how SBMM is one of a plethora of “tunable” parameters that creates a functioning matchmaking system.

“Perfectly valid viewpoint to have. SBMM is one of many many tunable parameters in a matchmaking system. It’s funny watching people talk about it like it’s a big switch that can only be turned on or off,” he tweeted.

While this Tweet doesn’t indicate whether Treyarch are investigating to make changes to SBMM, it does highlight that the developers are aware of the backlash and have the power to dial it back if necessary.

While having the option to go head-to-head with an opposite number who is equally as skilled, some prefer the appeal of being able to load into a server and play on a much more casual basis. Only time will tell whether Treyarch decides to dial SBMM back before the Beta becomes available in October.

Call of Duty

How to watch $25K Mutineers Pro-Am Warzone event: stream, teams, bracket

Published: 27/Oct/2020 20:44 Updated: 27/Oct/2020 20:45

by Albert Petrosyan


Call of Duty League franchise, Florida Mutineers, are hosting the Elite Gamer Pro-Am Warzone tournament featuring big-name pros and content creators battling it out for a slice of the $25,000 prize pool.

With the dog days of the Call of Duty League offseason very much upon us, more and more teams are entering the business of hosting Warzone competitions, with the Florida Mutineers being the latest example.

Along with one of their leading sponsors, Cox, the Mutineers have organized the Elite Gamer event, a series of Warzone tournaments that, today, culminates with a $25,000 championship featuring a lot of popular figures in and out of the gaming world.

Before that players in the United States got the chance to compete in several smaller play-in competitions, which featured their own prizes as well as qualifier spots for today’s main event.

Warzone Florida Mutineers
Infinity Ward
Warzone tournaments have been all the rage in CoD since the CDL’s offseason began.

When is the Mutineers’ Elite Gamer Championship?

The competition is taking place on Tuesday, October 27, starting at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET / 9 PM UK and expected to last at least several hours.

It’s being streamed live on the Florida Mutineers’ official Twitch channel, which we’ve included below for your convenience.

Elite Gamer Warzone tourney teams & bracket

There are a total of 18 teams competing in this competition – ten that were invited and another eight that qualified via that four qualifier tournaments held throughout October.

The ten invited teams feature a mix of Warzone “pros” and high-profile amateur players, including the likes of athletes, musicians, and other celebrity figures.

Invited teams:

  • Antwuan Woods & Splack (play-in)
  • Seth Curry & LGTN (play-in)
  • LEGIQN & ZLaner (play-in)
  • MerK & Maven (play-in)
  • Symfuhny & Tfue
  • FaZe Bloo & Clutchbelk
  • Pamaj & Skyz
  • Karma & Stukawaki
  • Super Duper Kyle & ScummN
  • Might Mouse & BigDaddyRyyy

Qualified teams:

  • Tommey & Aydan (Qualifier #1)
  • aHTracT- & Dezmond (Qualifier #2)
  • GunsWorld & Djmas23(Qualifier #3)
  • PaceSetter & GangstazSalute88(Qualifier #4)
  • Kekoa & RussDaddy (Qualifier #5)
  • SloppyHarry & Unifyz(Qualifier #6)
  • Immude & Cinco (Qualifier #7)
  • Falnets & Shmelt (Qualifier #8)


Mutineers Warzone bracket
Florida Mutineers
The starting bracket for the Florida Mutineer’s Pro-Am Warzone tournament.

Format, rules, prizing

This is a single-elimination duos tournament that uses the popular bot-race format, meaning that teams matched up in the bracket must queue into a public quads lobby together. So, while they’re technically teammates in-game, they’re opponents for the purposes of the event.

All matches are best-of-three, with the combined number of kills between each pair of players counting as their score. The duo that gets more eliminations in a single game of Warzone is considered the victor of that game, and the first to win two of those advances in the bracket.

As for the prizing, $15,000 of the $25,000 goes to the champion team, $5,000 to the second-place duo, and another $5,000 will be donated to the Call of Duty Endowment.