Karma doesn’t rule out potential CDL return for CoD 2024

Ryan Lemay
karma wins third ring cod champs infinite warfare 2017

CoD legend Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow isn’t quite ready to hang up the controller forever, as he teased a potential CDL return in an exclusive interview with Dexerto.

Karma accomplished almost everything a player could dream of during a professional esports career. Proclaimed by many as the GOAT of CoD, he became the first player to win three World Championships, playing an integral part in the CompLexity and Evil Geniuses dynasty and OpTic Gaming’s dynasty.

After a dominant run in the Call of Duty World League (CWL), Barlow got a brief taste of the Call of Duty League during its inaugural season. Karma played under Seattle Surge before returning home to OpTic as a full-time content creator.

Despite being away from the scene for over a year and already reaching the mountaintop, that competitive itch never entirely leaves professional athletes. Karma still thinks about the bright lights of the main stage

Ranked Play brings Karma back to CoD

Scump Crimsix Call of Duty League CDL Union
Scump, Crimsix, FormaL, and Karma, formed one of OpTic Texas’ strongest rosters to date.

Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play reignited Karma’s love for Call of Duty. The competitive game mode brought CDL pros, retired players and coaches, and casual players together in one place, fighting for a spot in the top 250.

“We have had Ranked play in the past, but I feel like this ranked play, the progression, point system, top 250, all of that has made it that much sweeter,” Karma argued.

“I wish we had a ranked play like that when I was playing.”

Karma spoke about his experience reconnecting with CDL veterans and meeting new pro players.

“That’s the cool thing. I get to play with many people I used to know, but I also get to play with many new players like Vikul and Hydra.

Viukul and Hydra’s excitement to play with Karma shocked him, and he emphasized how much of a cool experience it was.

Karma hints at a potential CDL return

Karma returned to playing CoD through Ranked Play and watching competitive action again, thanks to Scump’s watch parties. The CoD legend reflected on his time as a pro and shared how things have changed.

“I feel like when I played, it was serious, but I feel like it is a little more serious now. Whether it be money or organizations, you are playing for something big. If you mess around, you are gone. Everyone wants to be the best, and if you don’t win, something is probably going to happen.”

“It would have been cool to play in this era of it. I got to during the first year, and I feel like it’s improved a lot since the first year I played in 2019. I think it is in a really good place.”

Before the Challengers Texas Open started on March 10, The Rotation reported Lao, Gio, and Whiz needed an emergency sub.

Karma heavily considered stepping in after learning MW2 through Ranked Play.

A fan in the comment section tagged Karma, and he responded, “I’ve never gotten out of bed so fast,” and joked about not knowing the Hardpoint locations.

“People wanted me to play in Challengers this weekend, and I was that close to doing it. I was pretty close because I knew that from what I had seen, it seemed like the guys were a good squad, and I knew who they were. I just didn’t know if I wanted to go through with that.”

Karma ruled out a return to playing this season but didn’t totally shut the door on playing during CoD 2024.

“Personally, I don’t think I would on this game, maybe in Treyarch’s iteration, I will give it a try. I am not ruling it out.”

Seeing Karma on the main stage again would be a treat for every competitive CoD fan.

About The Author

Ryan is a former games writer for Dexerto. Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer for the Morning Times newspaper before joining Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan.