Challengers players have been treated to regular online competitions throughout the Modern Warfare cycle. Each major region is able to participate in frequent Challengers Cups along with Open events. All of these tournaments have been building towards the prestigious Championship event in August.
The final event of the competitive cycle comes boasting the biggest collective prize pool thus far at $500,000 USD. This is then split across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. However, players immediately started criticizing how funds were divided after the official announcement on July 14.
More teams than ever before will be walking away with a good chunk of change. The top 24 in NA and EU along with the top 12 in APAC will all be rewarded. Taking away from the potential earnings of those at the top of each region and leaving a poor impression on those that have been grinding all year long.
$250,000 is up for grabs in the biggest region as NA players battle it out. Players have taken issue with how this money has been allocated, however. In every Cup and Open event throughout the year, only the top four NA teams have made it ‘into the money.’
With the Finals event money will now run down all the way through to the 24th placed team instead. Rosters that have been highly competitive all year are essentially seeing a good chunk of change taken from them and given to teams that perform far worse. Naturally, Challengers players lashed out at this prize pool split.
“In all seriousness though can we stop giving out participation medals and make the prize bigger at the top?” Steven “Stamino” Damiano of Team Vengeance pleaded. “T24 in an [amateur] bracket is ridiculous and should not be rewarded.”
Only 32 teams will actually be allowed to compete in the NA region Finals. 24 of which will qualify with Pro Points earned throughout the year. While an additional eight will make their way through a separate ‘Last Chance Qualifier’ event. This means that only eight teams in total will walk away empty-handed. Winning just a handful of maps could put your team in the money without much difficulty.
In all seriousness though can we stop giving out participation medals and make the prize bigger at the top? T24 in an AM bracket is ridiculous and should not be rewarded
— Stam (@Stamino_) July 14, 2020
“Don’t like complaining, but top 10 getting paid out for APAC Champs has got to be a joke right?” Australian player Kerrin ‘Crimzah’ Tuner said. Competing under the Renegades banners, Crimzah and his team have dominated the APAC region all year long. Winning every single Cup and Open event.
Fewer than 30 teams even participated in the last online tournament. Despite this, 12 rosters will still be able to come away from the final event with cash in hand. Players that have been working all year are adamant this money should be weighted more heavily towards teams at the top of the local scene.
Seattle Surge Head Coach Joey ‘Nubzy’ DiGiacomo even put together his own version of a prize pool split in light of the backlash. His version was much more rewarding for the successful teams. Effectively doubling the take for the top NA team while cutting down to just six teams being in the money in APAC.
The final Challengers event of the Modern Warfare cycle is still a ways off. Last Chance Qualifiers don’t begin until August 1 and the actual Finals start a fortnight later on August 15. There’s still plenty of time for the tournament organizers to take player feedback into consideration and change the prizing split.
As teams gear up for the biggest event of the year, here’s our overview of how the latest Challengers tournament played out.