Call of Duty pros are generally pleased with Activision’s decision to move to a four-versus-four format for Black Ops: Cold War, and while Dallas Empire’s James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks is also supportive of the decision, be believes that the timing couldn’t be worse.
With the Call of Duty League’s inaugural season all wrapped up, Activision are naturally looking to improve upon their first year.
As part of this effort, The CDL is reverting to a traditional 4v4 format for the 2021 season. Prior to the Black Ops 4 season, this was the standard team sizes for all of CoD esports history.
4v4 not only creates a more tactical game for players to navigate, but also a more digestible viewer experience. But in the previous two seasons, players have been fielding an extra player per side, which naturally lent itself to more fast-paced action.
CoD pros react to 4v4 change
As franchising was introduced for the 2020 season, players settled into their franchised teams for what they thought would be the foreseeable future. Recently crowned world champ, Clayster, was vocal in his distaste for the timing of the transition.
“They should’ve made this change when every player was a [free agent] and was building rosters like, [I don’t know], before this f**kin’ year? Why make teams build like this just to revert?”
Eubanks continued to vent, explaining that “nobody deserves to go,” from the world championship roster that both he and veteran partner, Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter, built from the ground up.
“Pretty upsetting that we can’t see what this team can do next year, just wish it wasn’t like this. Nobody deserves to go.”
Then again, this looks and smells like a cost-cutting measure for orgs to be able to maintain their investment during COVID. Not gonna talk about it anymore, pretty upsetting that we can't see what this team can do next year, just wish it wasn't like this. Nobody deserves to go
— Empire Clayster (@Clayster) August 31, 2020
Dallas Empire teammate, Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland, shared the same sentiment. While he agreed that reverting to the traditional format is better for the competitive Call of Duty, the 20-year-old expressed his concerns with needing to remove one of the current members of Empire’s active roster.
“First team I’ve been on since I came back to CoD where all five players actively cared and worked towards the same goal, and it goes to 4v4, tough scenes.”
Although 4v4 is definitely better for competitive cod, we will see how it plays out ?
— Empire Huke (@Huke) August 31, 2020
Chicago Huntsmen’s self-proclaimed ‘king’ simply expressed his gratitude for the switch, but explained how he’s still hopeful for a return back to offline events.
So thankfully 4s are back. Now just have to hope we can play on LAN again
— Seth Huntsmen (@scump) August 31, 2020
Scump was one of the most feared players in 4v4 for the best part of a decade, so it’s no surprise that he’s excited to return back to CoD esports’ roots.
Fellow veterans of the space in Doug ‘Censor’ Martin and Jordan ‘JKap’ Kaplan were also in high spirits following the announcement.
Call of Duty is returning back to 4v4
Biggest W of 2020 ??
— Censor (@Censor) August 31, 2020
We love 4v4 CoD ?? https://t.co/4DUk6qosrD
— Jordan Kaplan (@JKap415) August 31, 2020
Seattle Surge’s Bryan ‘Apathy’ Zhelyazkov teased that the esport will be an entirely different meta. This shift in meta will likely favor long-time players such as Apathy, who’s a two-time world champion in the four-versus-four format.
4v4 next year, I can’t believe it.
Beyond excited!! It’s going to be a whole new world ?
— Surge Apathy (@Apathy_BZ) August 31, 2020
Patrick ‘ACHES’ Price, a two-time world champion in four-versus-four CoD, was very pleased with the change also.
Just a 2 year hiatus for nothing. Back to 4v4 woooo https://t.co/XXoNPE7tWL
— PATTYP (@ACHES) August 31, 2020
With Activision reportedly setting their stall with the current 12-team league for the 2021 season, this season’s rostermania is primed to be one of the most cut-throat transfer markets ever.