Call of Duty

Call of Duty League Playoffs move online with "new integrity measures"

by Theo Salaun

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The Call of Duty League’s 2020 season playoffs and championship weekend will officially be held online, but with the introduction of additional competitive integrity enhancements.

Many have hoped for CoD’s return to a LAN environment, as the online phase has brought connectivity issues as well as a lack of player and gear visibility for officials to oversee. In light of continued safety precautions, the CDL has confirmed Champs is going to be online and that they will have some security measures to enhance the experience.

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As it stands, one measure enables more player and gear visibility, another creates better server options for teams to choose from, and a third simply enlists more support staff to help manage the events. All three of these should, in theory, help produce a more consistent online experience than the fanbase and players have become used to.

Universal camera setup

One major benefit of LAN is that league officials can monitor players and their setups, but this has been inconsistent online given the different (or sometimes nonexistent) camera options players have. To compensate for this, the CDL is providing every single player with a “universal camera setup” that should help provide more transparency.

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Improved server control

While players like the Seattle Surge’s Sam ‘Octane’ Larew aren’t thrilled with the announcement, this measure should help make life slightly easier for players. While teams can currently choose to veto three of the CDL’s nine available servers for matches, that number is being upped to five for the Playoffs and Championship Weekend.

This should hopefully improve connectivity for each match, as teams will have been able to whittle servers down to a few options that work best for them.

More support staff

The third measure is a simple one: more staff. The league is confirming that they will be reinforcing their “production, technical, and officiating staffing teams.” Although this doesn’t fix the roots of the issues with online play, it should at least provide some safety blankets in case any issues do arise.

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It’s the biggest Call of Duty prize pool ever, at $3 million, so players, casters, and fans will most certainly be disappointed that a bubble format solution (like the NBA is currently working towards) couldn’t be reached. But as noted by the Dallas Empire’s James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks, this was likely a necessary decision.

Given current conditions, the league is obviously reluctant to put and player or staff member at risk. Adding on, a team like the Toronto Ultra may not physically be able to reach the United States for Champs given the possibility that travel bans continue heightening. 

While this may be a disappointing announcement, at least it comes with some efforts to improve the online experience. The CDL has also expressed that it will be sharing more updates in the coming weeks.

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