A major shift in the overall gun meta is predicted, with popular weapons like the Maddox receiving significant nerfs, while other, perhaps underused weapons like the VAPR, will be receiving improvements.
For competitive play, the 'meta' has remained steady since the game's launch, with three main weapons - ICR, Maddox and Saug - in use, creating a general balance in gunplay.
With the balancing changes, it is expected that this meta will shift drastically, with perhaps all but the ICR going out of fashion, and new weapons like the VAPR, MX-9 and GKS coming into play.
Stock 2 will be ungad. Grip will no longer be used and QD will take its spot as the handle. Anyone looking for alternatives will use a mx9 and the vapr will replace the Maddox place. That’s my take on reading the patch but we’ll have to wait and see how everything feels.
— Christopher Duarte (@Parasite) February 16, 2019
But it's not just contents of the update which have caused concern, but also the timing. With Division A of the Pro League just concluding its first split, Division B is up next, and the update will land right in the middle of matches.
Pro teams in Division B will have no time to practice or adjust to the changes, meaning they will have to simply adapt on the fly. Meanwhile, Division A teams will be free to practice with the new update well in advance of CWL Fort Worth.
Wouldn’t be cod competitive without a meta change mid event/league
— 100T SlasheR (@SlasheR_AL) February 16, 2019
Get to play our first match on the patch we've played on for two months then our second match on a brand new one :))))))))))))))))
— eU Clayster (@Clayster) February 16, 2019
These might be the worst nerfs/ buffs I’ve ever seen
— NV Justin Fargo uwu (@silly702) February 16, 2019
why would they do this??????????? THE META WAS GOOOOOOOOOOOOD
— John (@Xotic16) February 16, 2019
CWL's own Xav de Matos has stated that the the first week of Division B matches will not use the new update, instead only applying it for week 2 onwards.
Our goal, per the r/CODComp Reddit thread, is to hold off using the patch for the first week.
— Xav de Matos :flag-ca: (@Xav) February 16, 2019
Only time will tell if the weapon balancing changes improve the overall competitive gameplay, and perhaps it will promote more weapons being viable.
The patch is geared more towards the large casual player base than the competitive scene, with the Maddox particularly being one weapon which casual players have voiced concern over.