Competitive CoD has seen significant variation in the third game mode featured, depending on the title and the game modes it shipped with.
This year’s Black Ops 4 sees the first inclusion of Control, a game mode with limited lives centered around capturing or defending two zones.
However, the 3rd game mode has varied significantly in recent years, with a number of modes supplementing Hardpoint and Search and Destroy.
CoD: WWII used Capture the Flag (CTF), Infinite Warfare used Uplink, Black Ops 3 and Advanced Warfare used both CTF and Uplink, while Ghosts used Blitz (and domination in place of Hardpoint). Blitz is a game mode that has not been in any CoD since and was the center of many complaints throughout the Ghosts season.
On June 2, Crimsix tweeted his tier list of the best third game modes, with Blitz on top, followed by Uplink, CTF and then Control. In fact, he even sarcastically put "massive pile of dogshit" above the latter three.
Best 3rd game modes in COD:— Ian (@OpTic_Crimsix) June 2, 2019
[Massive pile of dogshit]
Blitz required players to reach an enemy goal to score points. On doing this, they were instantly teleported back to their own spawn point. Some members of the competitive community felt that Blitz's focus on 'sneakiness' over skill made it a poor representative mode for Call of Duty at the highest level.
Jordan ‘JKap’ Kaplan disagreed though, arguing that Blitz was “by far the worst” after Crimsix doubled down and stated it was 'the best' - although his follow up reply suggests he was being sarcastic all along.
I feel like you’re trolling me but Blitz was by far the worst— Jordan Kaplan (@JKap415) June 3, 2019
The OpTic star went on to say that the whole thing was a "troll" and that, in fact, the best third gamemode was sabotage: “Sabotage is the best and there’s no contest.”
Sabotage is a bomb-based game mode, similar to Search and Destroy, and was a staple in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, but the mode has been absent from CoD title's since 2011’s Modern Warfare 3. Ex-CoD pro turned analyst Jonathan ‘Pacman’ Tucker agreed with Crim’s assessment, saying “Sabotage >>”.
This is a troll. Sabotage is the best and there’s no contest.— Ian (@OpTic_Crimsix) June 2, 2019
Current OpTic Gaming SMG Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly, said that Uplink was the best third game mode. Uplink was dropped after Infinite Warfare, despite its return as ‘Gridiron’ in Sledgehammer Games’ WW2.
It’s clear that Hardpoint and Search and Destroy are established favorites among the competitive community, with the 3rd game mode still hotly debated.
With fans, professional players, developers and organizers alike still looking for that perfect combination of game modes for Call of Duty esports, those included in the franchise's next release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, are anybody's guess.
Love it or hate it, though, spectators and players will have to put up with Control for the remainder of the Black Ops 4 season.