The Call of Duty League has announced that two post-launch maps in Black Ops Cold War – Express and Apocalypse – will be part of the map rotation for Stage 2 of the 2021 season.
This change had been expected after several CDL teams, including OpTic Chicago, were spotted scrimming on Apocalypse following the Stage 1 Major. Apocalypse will officially replace Crossroads in the Hardpoint rotation, as the winter-themed map was picked by far the fewest number of times during Stage 1.
As for Express, the iconic Black Ops 2 map that was remastered for BOCW will slot into the Search & Destroy rotation, taking the spot of Garrison. Unlike Crossroads, which was only part of the HP pool and has thus been completely removed, Garrison will remain for Control & Hardpoint.
New maps in the rotation for Stage II!
🌴 Added Apocalypse HP; removed Crossroads HP
🚅 Added Express S&D; removed Garrison S&D
Which map are you most looking forward to seeing in action: 🌴 or 🚅? pic.twitter.com/cpiKdgoDQ6
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) March 15, 2021
It’s hard to argue against the addition of Apocalypse to the map pool, considering that the pros really seem to enjoy competing on it in the limited practice sessions they’ve had since the Stage 1 Major.
Replacing Crossroads was an obvious choice; almost everyone in the league agreed that it was not the best map for competitive Hardpoint, especially following the change in BOCW Season 2 that saw one of the points get moved to a very unpleasant open area.
As for Express, much like Raid, it was part of the competitive rotation back in Black Ops 2, so it almost felt like an inevitability that it would get slotted in. The only question was which map it would replace, and while Garrison is decent for HP and Control, it was just too one-sided for S&D, with the A-site almost never getting used.
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CDL 2021 Stage 2 map/mode rotations:
- Hardpoint: Apocalypse, Checkmate, Garrison, Moscow, Raid
- Search & Destroy: Express, Checkmate, Miami, Moscow, Raid
- Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid
Fans will be able to check out both Apocalypse and Express in action when Stage 2 kicks off with the Toronto Ultra Home Series on March 18. Both maps are likely to get picked a decent amount of times, so be sure to tune in and see how they play out.