With Call of Duty League’s 2021 Champs event drawing near, current pro players and former world champions alike have rallied across social media to call for a drastic format change.
As the fifth and final Stage of the 2021 season approaches, so too does the $2.5m Championship event. Undoubtedly the biggest competition on the calendar, it’s where a full year of effort finally comes to ahead for the world’s best teams.
However, many of the most accomplished players in the CoD scene aren’t quite satisfied with the format this time around. Only eight of the CDL’s 12 franchise teams are able to qualify for this end-of-year tournament.
As a result, many current pros and veterans have been vocal on social media in hopes of reverting back to last year’s all-inclusive Champs format.
Octane pleads for CDL Champs 2021 format change
“The format of only eight teams going… I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Sam ‘Octane’ Larew said to kickstart the conversation in a June 22 YouTube video.
While he acknowledged that Seattle’s uninspired 2021 performance is their own fault, a good showing on LAN at the Stage 4 Major has him wishing for even a chance to go on a run at the biggest event of the year.
“They could just as easily have another loser’s bracket,” he stressed.
“I feel like there’s minimal effort required to have every team there. Especially since there’s only 12 teams. I understand the principle behind it [though]. Why would you have a dogs*** team throughout the entire regular season go to a world championship event?”
Reflecting on the historic tournaments that have come prior to the CDL, he added that Champs is “supposed to be a grind.”
“The gauntlet of CoD that has to be played to win a championship in previous CoD’s just feels so much better as a viewer and a player.”
“FaZe has to win like two f***ing series again. I don’t think having to win that amount of series for a world championship is something that should ever be a thing. That’s just a horrible f***ing idea.”
Crimsix, Karma, ACHES, and more call for CDL Champs shakeup
Before long, a good number of current and former CoD pros were chiming in. Almost unanimously, everyone argued that this year’s Champs should allow every team to at least play.
“Let all 12 teams compete at Champs,” Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter tweeted. Justin ‘SiLLY’ Fargo-Palmer, Donovan ‘Temp’ Laroda, and Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Williams all responded in agreement among many others.
Let all 12 teams compete at Champs @CODLeague
— Empire C6 (@Crimsix) June 23, 2021
With the change in size for Champs, there’s more to it than just giving the bottom four teams a chance. As three-time world champion Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow put it, teams are winning fewer games now than ever before.
“Seven series and three group matches,” he shared along with a picture of OpTic’s bracket run through the 2017 Champs event. “Now, you win three and [you’re a champion].”
“Champs ain’t Champs anymore,” two-time world champ Patrick ‘ACHES’ Price added. “Just a completely different tournament with a huge prize pool.”
Champs ain’t champs anymore. Just a completely diff tournament with a huge prize pool.
— PATTYP (@ACHES) June 23, 2021
Without a date currently locked in for the 2021 Champs tournament, there’s still time left for format changes to come through.