Call of Duty

CDL Challengers event location sparks surprising debate in CoD community

by Scott Robertson
Activision Blizzard / Tim Kiser via Wikimedia Commons

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Footage from the inside of the Challengers open bracket tournament at the Call of Duty Launch weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota led to an online debate between members of the CoD and esports communities regarding the venue.

On the eve of the launch weekend for the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League, players with pro aspirations have already made their way to the frozen North for the Challengers Open tournament.

With $250,000 and a plethora of Challengers points on the line, players arrived at the Minneapolis Armory with their PS4 controllers ready to sign up early on Thursday, January 23. But before matches could take place, footage from the venue appeared online, drawing lots of attention from the gaming community.

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The footage comes from Challengers player KingGudnite, a pro player for WolfBlood eSports, who commented that the Challengers games are being played “in a parking garage.”

The tweet blew up, drawing lots of commentary about the potential for cold and bad acoustics, while others claimed that the perception of players playing in a parking garage could be a bad look for the league.

However, many Call of Duty pros chimed in to say that people complaining were overreacting, and that there are no issues of cold affecting the players. Toronto Ultra player Anthony 'Methodz' Zinni said that the “Challengers area is completely fine,” and that the players who were complaining “haven’t seen it in person or will lose in the first round.”

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Thomas ‘Tommey’ Trewren doubled down on Methodz’s sentiment, saying that Challengers players playing in a $250k open event t complaining about the location are “pathetic.”

The Minnesota ROKKR account confirmed on their Twitter account that the venue is indeed heated, with GM/coach Brian Saintt saying it's actually a basement and not a parking garage.

Esports caster Alex ‘Goldenboy’ Mendez commented on the ROKKR statement, saying that “anyone with common sense” would have known the event is heated, and alleged that the area is only cold now because there are no games going on.

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KingGudnite, who tweeted out the footage that sparked the debate, even replied to the Minnesota franchise’s tweet, confirming that the venue was heated.

It’s possible that complaints and outrage towards the Challengers area were compounded by the other issues that the Call of Duty League have experienced heading into Launch Weekend. A massive new patch was released just two days before the first set of games, catching several members of pro teams off guard by how last second it was.

On top of that, a plethora of players in Minnesota are furious that their setups aren’t working, leaving them unable to scrim while the ROKKR practice without problem at their training facility.

While it appears now that the problems with the Challengers event were perhaps overblown, for a league worth millions of dollars heading into opening weekend, the fewer problems surface this weekend the better.