First Black Ops 4 CWL rule set features new game mode and only one Specialist restriction

Matt Porter. Last updated: Oct 26, 2018

The first version of the official rule set to be used in Call of Duty esports during the 2018/19 Black Ops 4 season has been released by the CoD World League.

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Competitive fans of the popular FPS title have been crying out for the rules to be revealed since the game was released in order to practice anything but Search and Destroy.

The official announcement on Friday, October 26 gives professional players just over a month to practice with these competitive rules, with the first competitive event of the year scheduled to take place on December 7 – 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Notably, the rules feature a lack of restrictions with only the Nomad Specialist banned, however, there have been a number of perk and weapon bans. It has been made clear that following CWL Vegas, the rules regarding Specialist’s will be extensively reviewed.

It was also confirmed that new game mode Control will be added in replacement for Capture the Flag that featured during the WWII season.

Maps and Settings

Search and Destroy Maps:

  • Arsenal
  • Firing Range
  • Frequency
  • Gridlock
  • Hacienda
  • Payload
  • Seaside

Search and Destroy Settings:

  • Time limit decreased to 1:30
  • Round Win limit increased to six rounds
  • Select Spawn disabled 
  • Silent Plant enabled
  • 15-second pre-match timer
  • Five second pre-round timer

Hardpoint Maps:

  • Arsenal
  • Contraband
  • Frequency
  • Gridlock
  • Seaside
  • Slums
  • Summit

Hardpoint Settings:

  • Two second respawn delay
  • Three-second suicide penalty
  • 15-second pre-match timer

Control Maps:

  • Arsenal
  • Frequency
  • Gridlock
  • Jungle
  • Payload
  • Seaside

Control Settings:

  • Two second respawn delay
  • Three-second suicide penalty
  • 15-second pre-match timer
  • Five second pre-round timer


The following Specialist is restricted from use in CWL competition:

  • Nomad

Specialists in the game can be used by one player on each team, just like in regular Multiplayer lobbies.

Specialist Equipment

The following Specialist Equipment is restricted from use in CWL competition:

  • Sensor Dart
  • Tac-Deploy (Restricted in Hardpoint and Search & Destroy only)

Weapon Restrictions

The following will be restricted for competitive play.

  • Titan
  • Hades
  • VKM 750
  • MOG 12
  • SG12
  • Hellion Salvo (temporary restriction, see below for details)

Rocket Launchers have traditionally been restricted from competitive Call of Duty due to free fire functionality and the damage that they apply to other players. However, they will be permitted in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 competitive play after a tuning adjustment has been made to significantly reduce damage to players.

The ultimate goal of keeping Launchers in play in competitive is to serve as a tactical counter to equipment and scorestreaks exclusively, and not affect player-to-player combat.

For that reason – specifically, when selecting Esports settings in custom games, which will be added to the game in the near future – damage to players from Launchers will be dramatically reduced, such that it will be insignificant.

Hellion Salvo  until the tuning update is released. Since some online events may occur before the update, we want to make sure Launchers are only used as intended. We will announce when the update has been made and launchers have been removed from the restriction list on Twitter.

Other Restrictions:

The following will be restricted for competitive play.


  • High Caliber 
  • High Explosive 
  • Laser Sight II
  • Max Load
  • Rapid Fire
  • Rocket Cache
  • Steady Grip


  • Fast Lock


  • Gung-Ho
  • Skulker
  • Team Link
  • Tracker


  • Overkill
  • Primary Operator Mod
  • Secondary Operator Mod


  • UAV
  • Care Package
  • Counter-UAV
  • Sentry
  • Mantis


  • Acoustic Sensor

Lobby Settings

In all modes, some standard game settings will be changed, including:

  • Friendly Fire enabled
  • Battlechatter disabled
  • Revenge voice disabled
  • Announcer disabled
  • 3 Person Spectating Disabled
  • 3 Person Gestures Disabled
  • Gesture Camera Controls Disabled
  • Team Assignment – Open

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Back in early October, Activision PR Manager Xav de Matos revealed that Treyarch had flown in professional Call of Duty players like Gunless, Enable and Attach to Los Angeles to help work on the rule set.

The rule set will be used on MLG’s Gamebattles site and other competitive platforms, and will be used on LAN for the first time during the CWL Las Vegas Open.

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The Call of Duty World League began in January of 2016 on Black Ops 3, with the upcoming Black Ops 4 season being the fourth year it has ran.

The CWL for Black Ops 4 features one Pro League tournament which will take place in early 2019, culminating at the 2019 CWL Finals, with the 2019 CWL World Championships set to take place later in the year.