Call of Duty

How League Play works in Black Ops Cold War: Skill divisions, ranks, maps & modes, rewards, more

Published: 8/Feb/2021 18:35 Updated: 8/Feb/2021 19:49

by Albert Petrosyan


At long last, Treyarch and Activision have finally debuted League Play in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and we’ve got everything there is to know about how this new ranked mode works.

It’s been a long time coming but after months of waiting in anticipation, Call of Duty players can finally enjoy the latest iteration of the ranked mode known as League Play in Black Ops Cold War.

League Play is a classic, fan-favorite mode that’s been in most CoD titles since Black Ops 2. In this, players get to face others that are at or around the same skill level for a chance to move up the leaderboards and earn rewards and bragging rights.

Matches are played in public playlists but follow the official competitive ruleset, meaning that many of the game’s weapons, attachments, perks, scorestreaks, and equipment are restricted from use.

League Play events: schedule & how it works

Black Ops Cold War League Play is live!
League Play is finally live in Black Ops Cold War!

League Play events are essentially periods of time during which you can compete in the ranked mode and then go up or down Ranks once the event is over. There are two LP events each week: the Weekday Events run Monday through Friday, while Weekend Events are Friday through Monday.

How well you perform determines how high you climb up the Division Ladder; at the end of each event, where you are in the Ladder determines how much progress you’ve earned towards promoting to the next Rank.

Your first LP event will be different from the rest since it will start with five placement matches to determine which Skill Division and Ladder you start off in.

League Play Skill Divisions & Ladders

Black Ops Cold War League Play has 5 Skill Divisions.
There are a total of five Skill Divisions in Black Ops Cold War League Play.

There are five Skill Divisions in League Play, and which one you get placed in at the beginning gets determined by your placement matches. The divisions are based on percentages of players, meaning that where you are is partially dependent on how everyone else is doing.

  • Master: Top 2% of players
  • Elite: Top 3-10% of players
  • Expert: Top 11-15% of players
  • Advanced: Top 16-20% of players
  • Competitor: 50% of players

During each event, winning earns you Ladder Points that move you up your division’s Ladder while losing reduces your points and moves you down. Winning several matches in a row activates a win-streak bonus that can help you climb quickly. However, those who quit LP matches receive “increased” penalties and a match loss.

League Play Ranks & Rewards

Black Ops Cold War League Play Ranks
Doing well in each League Play event will help you earn promotion to higher Ranks.

After each LP Event, where you are in the Skill Division Ladder will earn you Gems, which are needed to advance to the next Rank. There are 30 Ranks in total, so there’s definitely lots to strive for in this ranked mode.

Reaching each “milestone” Rank (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30) unlocks a unique League Play Calling Card, of which there are six in total. Furthermore, placing at the top of a Ladder or winning an LP Event will upgrade your Rank badge to reflect your success.

“Finish in the top 10, top 5, or first to permanently upgrade your Rank from Bronze to Silver, Silver Gold, or Gold. Finish first six times, and you’ll permanently upgrade your Rank to Diamond.”

Leveling up Ranks in League Play.
Finishing high up in a Skill Division Ladder will upgrade your Rank badge all the way to Diamond.

League Play maps, modes, restricted items, & ruleset

As mentioned above, this ranked mode follows the official competitive ruleset used by the Call of Duty League in both the professional and Challengers ranks.

Thus, the maps and modes used in Black Ops Cold War’s League Play are the same as those featured in the CDL:

  • Hardpoint: Checkmate, Garrison, Crossroads, Raid, Moscow
  • Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Moscow, Miami, Raid
  • Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid

As for the restricted items, there are several weapons, attachments, scorestreaks, gear, perks, that cannot be used in LP matches.

League Play restricted items
There are a lot of weapons, attachments, perks, and other items that can’t be used in League Play.

That said, LP does allow you to use your own custom classes, weapon camos, and Blueprints – although any restricted attachments on those Blueprints will be removed before each match starts.

However, for those who don’t know enough or can’t be bothered to make their own classes, you can use the preset CDL ones that were recently added, featuring weapons and attachments used by professional players.

Call of Duty

Why Clayster flipped off CDL on-broadcast during Royal Ravens matchup

Published: 24/Feb/2021 4:13 Updated: 24/Feb/2021 4:14

by Brad Norton


James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks flipped the bird to the Call of Duty League moments before the New York Subliners took on the Royal Ravens. Here’s why the veteran was all too frustrated before his latest matchup.

As players got settled into the lobby for the second week of CDL action in 2021, something clearly ticked off NYSL. There was visible frustration from the players before they kicked off the opening map.

Coming off a difficult 0-3 loss to the Los Angeles Thieves a week prior, the lineup was looking to rebound with a bang. Before they got their boots on the ground, however, a key moment from the previous week was broadcast for the world to see.

The CDL stream revealed Clayster’s heated comms after the disappointing loss. This private matter shouldn’t have been aired at all, according to Clay, let alone moments before their next match.

So, he took out his frustration the only way he could: flipping the bird on-stream.

“I had complained last time about showing my cam when I was super upset with my team,” he explained. “So I was pretty upset with them airing my after-match comms.”

Despite the 0-3 scoreline, NYSL’s series against the LA Thieves was one of the closest all week. The Hardpoint came within nine points, SnD went to a round 11, and Control went the distance as well.

Understandably, Clayster was fairly heated after the extremely close series that very well could have been a 3-0 in their favor.

“That was really bad guys,” he said in the now-public aftermath. “I don’t know what the f*** I watched. That was so stupid. We’re up 5-3 in the Search and we can’t close it out?”

This moment was captured on the broadcast last week but the comms were only just revealed today. Frustrated with the CDL running it without permission, Clayster stuck his middle finger up the next time his camera was on-stream.

“It was basically a nice little screw you before the match,” he said.

“I don’t appreciate that. I’m going to be having a talk with the league. If they’re going to make us sit here, I think it’s a little unprofessional to use the comms in the video. Especially right before we play a match.”

The NYSL vs Royal Ravens series begins at the 1:31:50 mark below.

While the video could have brought the team down, they didn’t let it get to them. NYSL dominated the Royal Ravens to rebound with a lopsided 3-0 win in Week 2.

If the League does try to punish Clayster, it looks like he’ll be alright: the official Subliners account tweeted “we’ll pay his fine” in response to the situation.