CDL Playoff matches apparently being played off-stream to combat booters - Dexerto
Call of Duty

CDL Playoff matches apparently being played off-stream to combat booters

Published: 21/Aug/2020 20:59 Updated: 22/Aug/2020 20:36

by Albert Petrosyan


With player disconnects dominating the headlines at the Call of Duty League Playoffs, it appears that the CDL has decided to play matches ahead of time before showing them on their official broadcasts.

The CDL Playoffs are underway, but instead of the attention being on the intense competitive action and the $4.6 million prize pool, everyone’s been talking about the sudden increase of cases where players are disconnected from matches mid-map.

It started on day one, when OpTic Gaming LA’s Kenny ‘Kuavo’ Williams lagged out twice during their match against LA Guerrillas, ultimately forcing the Green Wall to sub in benched star Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell.

This followed into the next day when London Royal Ravens’ Trei ‘Zer0’ Morris similarly disconnected from their game four Hardpoint against Toronto, which the Ultra won to seal the 3-1 series victory. In both cases, the players felt that they were being targeted by “booters,” or those who intentionally try to knock someone’s internet connection offline.

On August 21, the third day of competition, fans noticed that the official CDL Playoffs website was already showing the final scores for the first two maps of the Chicago Huntsmen’s second-round series vs the Subliners before the match had even begun on-stream.

The league quickly took down the page but not before it had become clear that they’d called an audible and allowed the two teams to start their series early and then broadcast it with a delay, which would essentially mitigate the threat of booters since they wouldn’t be able to target any of the players live.

Surely enough, when the stream began showing the match, the first two maps ended with the same result that had been shown on the website, confirming that they had already been played.

It’s no coincidence that this sudden sharp increase of player disconnects is happening all on Hardpoint matches, with each one taking place after the point in time which the CDL allows the maps to be replayed.

In his post-match Twitter rant on August 20, Zer0 insinuated that they were being targeted as a result of the league’s “Perfect Bracket” challenge, which awards $100,000 to anyone who is able to predict the playoff bracket down to who wins each series and by what scoreline.

“I don’t give a f**k about a fine or anything, there is zero chance the tournament can f**king go ahead,” he wrote. “You have allowed a $4.6 million tournament to go ahead online with a $100,000 prize to someone who predicts a bracket right. F**king brainless, I’m sorry.”

The CoD League’s decision to try and address this by playing matches prior to them being shown on the broadcast is probably the smartest move they had to go with, but the issue with most fans was the fact that their website was showing the map results too early.

This, of course, can directly affect the betting on these matches, since the online gambling sites, unaware of the CDL’s change of plans, were still basing odds on the series being scoreless.

Players who were privy to the early information could simply bet on the scores already knowing what they would be ahead of time, taking advantage of the situation.

At the time of writing, the league has not made any announcements regarding the matches starting early off-stream other than taking the page down, presumably because they probably didn’t mean for the public to find out via their auto-updating website.

You can follow all of the action live via our Call of Duty League Playoffs and Championship Weekend hub, which includes streams, brackets, scores, and more.

Call of Duty

7 players to watch during 2021’s CDL Kickoff Classic

Published: 22/Jan/2021 19:02 Updated: 22/Jan/2021 22:40

by Theo Salaun


Activision’s Call of Duty League is finally here and things are getting started with the CDL Kickoff Classic — a preseason event where x-factor players on all 12 teams can begin making their mark. 

With an exodus of 12 starters as the CDL shifts to a 4v4 format in Black Ops Cold War, individual play is paramount. Players have less backup on the battlefield and, with a deep talent pool in the Challengers scene, more competition for their roles.

Representing Chicago, OpTic Gaming are back with Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, Seth ‘Scump’ Abner and the gang. Delighting fans, Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag’s 100 Thieves return to competitive CoD for Los Angeles. Teams have shuffled since the inaugural season and each team’s expectations will be tested by at least one player’s CDL Kickoff performance. 

Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson (Atlanta FaZe)

The best AR in CoD?

Chicago Hunstmen Arcitys CDL
Call of Duty League
Did the most stacked roster in CoD add the league’s best AR?

While Michael ‘MajorManiak’ Szymaniak was highly regarded by his teammates last season, few rank him in a tier anywhere near Arcitys. FaZe’s submachine gun and flex play was never a question, but adding Arcitys on the assault rifle could push them past the Dallas Empire in power rankings.

If Arcitys continues, let alone improves upon, his 2020 form, then Atlanta should be an early favorite. Tested by a strong Florida Mutineers squad, fans should get a quality temperature check on FaZe’s newest member.

Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter (Dallas Empire)

Did Dallas release the right veteran AR?

Crimsix celebrating a Dallas Empire win
At 28 years old, Crimsix needs to continue disproving his doubters.

The transition from 5v5 to 4v4 was not without heartbreak and few splits were as tough as the Empire’s. Dropping James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks instead of Crimsix was a difficult decision and, at the CDL Kickoff Classic, that decision will receive its first evaluation.

When the two veteran ARs face each other, Crim will be with the same absurd, young trio of “Xeo” gunners and Clayster with… one standout sophomore and two formerly projected bench players. It shouldn’t be too hard of a test for Dallas, but fans should be curious to see how much Crim’s thumbs have aged.

Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda (Los Angeles Thieves)

Big Brand meets Big Ego

temp la thieves
Twitter, @LAThieves
Temp talks the talk, but must walk the walk for the CDL’s next big brand.

Tying for 5th at CDL Champs wasn’t enough to keep OpTic in Los Angeles so Nadeshot got to buy into the league. Although the team’s Challengers call-ups, Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan and Darien ‘Hollow’ Chervchko, played admirably in the postseason — 100T replaced them in the starting lineup with one of the league’s most confident ARs.

The self-proclaimed top “gunnie” in the CDL, Temp has an unrelenting belief in his ability (alternatively, a ‘strong personality,’ per general manager Eric ‘Muddawg’ Sanders) backed by a strong history of top-tier, albeit streaky play. While his year with the New York Subliners was disappointing, Temp now rejoins former teammates Austin ‘SlasheR’ Liddicoat and Thomas ‘TJHaLy’ Haly. With 100T’s enormous fanbase and a matchup with OpTic Chicago, the gunner gets a large stage to prove his play can rise to both the occasion and his own expectations.

Preston ‘Priestahh’ Greiner (Minnesota ROKKR)

The honorary Tiny Terror?

Atlanta FaZe's Priestahh.
From teaming with the Tiny Terrors to a much larger role, Priestahh can make a statement in 2021.

FaZe were the second-best team in 2020 and Priestahh would likely still be on the team if not for the swap to 4v4. Instead, one of the league’s most selfless players gets to turn a new leaf with a fully revamped ROKKR squad.

Starting with Minnesota’s preseason matchup against the Toronto Ultra, Priestahh should shift from flex to his more natural sub role. Expectations for what was a miserable ROKKR team will hinge on his ability to prove he was being overshadowed in Atlanta and can transition from dirty work to slaying.

Makenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley (New York Subliners)

No ZooMaa, No Hydra: Return of the Mack

New York Subliners' Mack.
MackMelts (Twitter)
A 2020 MVP candidate, Mack needs to take another step for NY to compete.

Easily one of the top rookies in 2020, Mack jumped into New York’s starting lineup and almost immediately surged into the MVP conversation. The Subliners had a quality offseason after fizzling in the playoffs, but new issues mean Mack will have to go above and beyond to start 2021.

With rookie Paco ‘HyDra’ Rusiewiez dealing with visa issues and Tommy ‘ZooMaa’ Paparatto retiring due to injury, Mack is moving to SMG for an unfinished roster. He’s back in his preferred role, but the season depends on his ability to reach 2020’s near-MVP form.

Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell (OpTic Chicago)

Heeding Chicago’s Bat-Signal

Dashy on stage
Back with his guys, Chicago’s hopes depend on Dashy’s return to form.

Like Atlanta, Chicago shuffled pieces after falling just short of the championship in 2020. With Arcitys eager to rejoin former teammates on FaZe, H3CZ celebrated the return of OpTic with the return of one of the brand’s former players.

But 2020 was an ugly year for Dashy and, aside from some big moments as a suddenly summoned bench player in CDL Champs, questions surround the formerly elite AR. Expectations are high for the biggest brand in CoD, but will rise and fall depending on Dashy’s play.

Peirce ‘Gunless’ Hillman (Seattle Surge)

Started from the bottom, now we Peirce

Chicago Huntsmen's Gunless.
In just a few years, Gunless has gone from star to substitute to starter with a chip on his shoulder.

Like Dashy, no one questions the raw mechanical talent that Gunless holds. Unfortunately, also like Dashy, the gifted player spent most of a porous 2020 on the bench with rumored character concerns. 

Now, he joins two others as reinforcements for Sam ‘Octane’ Larew on 2020’s worst team: Seattle. If the Surge are going to improve upon a 5-18 record that ended dead last at CDL Champs, Gunless will need a return to form beginning on Day 1 against the Los Angeles Guerrillas.

While the Call of Duty League is chock-full of players with high expectations, low expectations and everything in between, these seven stand out as those with the most notable stocks in the preseason. A variety of other rookies and transferred players can make statements during the Kickoff Classic, but power rankings and fan expectations should hinge entirely on our listed x-factors.