In an exclusive interview with Dexerto, Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda and Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan praised Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play for connecting fans and players.
In February, MW2 players finally got their hands on Ranked Play, and the game mode couldn’t come at a better time. Infinity Ward had just unveiled Season 2’s roadmap, and multiplayer fans called out a “depressing” offering of content.
Warzone 2 was set to receive a new map and an overhaul to several gameplay mechanics. On the other hand, all multiplayer fans had to look forward to was a map remake and Valderas Museum, which was initially part of the beta.
Season 2 launched, and against all odds, the tides shifted in multiplayer’s favor. Viewership numbers surged with the introduction of Ranked Play, and disgruntled WZ2 players abandoned ship in favor of the new competitive game mode.
Why Ranked Play came at the perfect moment for Modern Warfare 2
Warzone 2 YouTuber JGOD claimed Season 2 “failed.” Community members blasted the “out of touch” devs for adding AI to Ashika Island, bringing back bomb drones, and adding a “broken” shotgun.
TimTheTatman, Dr. Disrespect, and other Warzone 2 streamers started making Ranked Play content instead of battle royale gameplay. CharlieINTEL reported MW2 viewership surpassed WZ2 viewership during the first week of Season 2.
Besides content creators, CDL pros also relentlessly played the new competitive game mode in a race to secure a spot in the game mode’s top 250. Treyarch added a new feature in which pro players received a special image and card for locking down a top 250 spot.
Leading most CDL pros, Drazah became the third highest-ranked player, and Temp secured a top 15 placement.
“Everyone has been grinding and streaming. It’s free content, and it is so beneficial to have,” Temp explained. “I am just amazed at how well it is doing.”
“I think Ranked Play is huge, and I was pretty surprised by how many viewers there are,” Drazah said. I think it’s really good for the community, and there are many streamers who have grown a lot since it came out. It is definitely a W.”
Ranked Play brings CDL pros closer together
Before Ranked Play’s emergence, when pro players wanted to play casually but still at a high level, they would play pro 8’s. CDL pros would mix and match with players from other teams and play private matches.
Ranked Play replaced the pro 8’s scene, and fans got the chance to see pro players interact with each other.
“I don’t talk to many pros outside of playing 8’s, so it is definitely something that adds content with different creators, and you can learn more about pros,” Drazah said. “So I think it is a W for the pros as well, making more connections and content.”
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“I am playing with Shottzy, Skyz, Dashy, and Cellium, and you even get to learn,” Temp explained. “We are playing for fun, but I am still going to steal anything I see them do. If it works in Ranked, it is probably going to work.”
That’s not to say it’s the best form of practice, though, and Temp believes that 8’s lobbies are still necessary for improvement.
“I definitely think that money 8’s is better because you definitely do get a lot of Ranked Play games where you are not playing the greatest people or playing against hackers. 8’s has been dead because of it, but I think 8’s should come back,” he said.
How bad is hacking in Ranked Play?
Despite glowing reviews, CDL Pros slammed “garbage” cheaters for plaguing the game mode. Drazah and Temp argued that hacking is worse at the lower levels of Ranked.
“For the first few days, it was pretty bad,” Drazah said. “I feel like you were running into them every three to five games, but recently I was playing a few days ago, and I only run into one every 10 to 15 games. So it has gotten a lot less, and they have done a good job at least of the higher ranked games.”
“I honestly feel like the top level when I play with my four stack of pros, we don’t really lose many games, so I can’t tell when people are hacking,” Temp argued. “I feel like it’s crazier at the lower ranks because hackers don’t want to hack in front of big streamers.”
What needs to change to make Ranked Play better
MW2 and CoD Vanguard launched in November, yet Ranked Play came out for both games in mid-February.
“I think that’s the main focus, Drazah claimed. “With how much hype was around it, and how much it has shown with viewership and support, if it is not in at the beginning of the next game, that’s a huge L.”
Obviously, pro players have a better chance of reaching higher ranks, but Temp argued the game mode’s release date plays a significant part.
“Us pros have a huge advantage because we have been grinding since November, so if we could at least have it in December or January, it would help the whole community as a whole.”
From the top level down to friends casually attempting to rank up together, Ranked Play has bridged the gap between casual and competitive play in a significant way.