Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter, Dallas Empire pro and Call of Duty legend, has shared his concerns for the future of the competitive scene after Black Ops Cold War. He highlights the shift to PC and lack of Theater mode as potential issues.
The CDL offseason has, as fans have become accustomed to, thrown up a number of changes ahead of the second season getting underway in 2021. Major organization changes have seen Chicago Huntsmen replaced with OpTic Chicago, back in the hands of H3CZ, and Nadeshot’s 100 Thieves now owns the LA franchise. However, one of the biggest changes is the platform competitive matches are now played on.
In past seasons, every player would compete on a PlayStation 4. That will change in the upcoming season, with players now allowed to compete on PC while using controllers. This allows better graphical quality, higher frame rates, and games to run more smoothly, but it also comes with major drawbacks – the most notable of which is cheating.
The ability to cheat has largely left the top level of competitive CoD unaffected but CDL Challengers has experienced major issues with various tournament results coming under scrutiny amid cheating allegations.
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On January 10, Dallas Empire veteran Crimsix weighed in with his views, explaining that it’s a major concern for competitive Call of Duty moving forwards. “If Activision won’t invest the money into creating an anti-cheat for Call of Duty, and since the next COD isn’t made by Treyarch (meaning that Theater mode is highly unlikely)… Anything competitive COD under the Pro League level will be dead upon release of the new game.”
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Many players – both casual and competitive – have called on Activision to improve their anti-cheat systems. Not only has CDL Challengers had issues with cheating, but Warzone’s major problems with hackers are well-documented.
In Black Ops Cold War, the presence of Theater mode allows players to review gameplay and identify cheaters. However, CoD titles not developed by Treyarch do not tend to include this mode, and Crim is clearly concerned that this will allow cheaters to get away with their behavior.
If Activision won’t invest the money into creating an anti-cheat for Call of Duty, and since the next COD isn’t made by Treyarch (meaning that Theater mode is highly unlikely)…….
Anything Competitive COD under the Pro League level will be dead upon release of the new game.
— Empire C6 (@Crimsix) January 10, 2021
Similar calls were made by two-time World Champion ACHES, who also criticized Activision over their failure to implement a robust anti-cheat system.
Idk who’s cheating or who’s not. But it’s unfathomable to me that in an esport in 2021 with this much money invested THAT ITS EVEN POSSIBLE TO CHEAT. Where is a half decent anti cheat?!
— PATTYP (@ACHES) January 10, 2021
When asked what prompted the move away from console gaming into PC, Crim explained that he believes Activision were able to make more money through the switch.
“They did it to get around the percentage cut that MS/Sony takes from microtransactions/DLC/etc,” he said. “Activision also then doesn’t have to pay MS/Sony for hosting rights for CDL on a platform. Financially, it is an incredible move for them. Rumors are that the platform cut was 33-50%.”
While the move may have made financial sense for Activision, it is currently inhibiting fair play at many levels of competitive CoD. In the meantime, calls for Activision to sort CoD’s snowballing cheating problems will continue to grow.