Major changes made to CWL ruleset ahead of CWL Vegas tournament – map pool, item restrictions, and more

The Call of Duty World League has released an updated version of its official ruleset for the Black Ops 4 competitive season.

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Several changes have been made in this newest version of the ruleset, tabbed as version 1.2, with just about three weeks to go until the first major tournament of the season kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada.

These changes come after Treyarch implemented a CWL Custom Games feature into Black Ops 4 Multiplayer, allowing players to load up custom matches using the official CWL ruleset.

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Changes have been made in several sections of the ruleset, including the map pools for all three competitive modes and the lists of restricted Specialists, Equipment, and items.

For the Hardpoint map pool, Contraband, Slums, and Summit have been removed from the rotation, while Firing Range and Seaside have been taken out of the rotation for Search and Destroy.

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The map pool for Control has been reduced down to just four, with Jungle and Payload having been removed out of the rotation.

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Slums has been removed out of the Hardpoint map rotation after much debate among the competitive CoD community.

In terms of Specialists, the Torque has been removed off of the restricted list and is now enabled in competitive play, leaving the Nomad as the only banned Specialist.

As for Equipment, the Sensor Dart is no longer restricted and is available for use in competitive modes, which leaves the Tac-Deploy as the only restricted Equipment for Hardpoint and S&D.

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[ad name=”article4″]Torque is now off the banned Specialists list and can be used in competitive play.

The Hellion Salvo launched has been removed from the restricted weapons list, but a tuning adjustment has lowered its damage to players so that it does not become too over-powered.

The updated CWL ruleset v1.2 can be viewed in its entirety below:


Note: As this is the initial version of the ruleset, it is subject to change. Please follow, as well as @CallofDuty, @CODWorldLeague and @Treyarch on Twitter, for future updates.

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Maps and Modes

For this year, all competitions will be played on three game modes: Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, and Control.

Control is a new signature game mode that brings out the best in Black Ops 4 team tactical gameplay. It brings together some elements of S&D and Hardpoint in a way that feels completely unique. Like S&D, teams alter between attacking and defending two pre-determined objective areas on the map. Like Hardpoint, these objectives are hills where attackers must stand in to capture them.

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Each team gets a collective 25 lives per round. A team takes a round when they either capture both hills on offense, run out the clock on defense, or expend all of the other teams’ 25 lives on either side.

Our initial slate of maps may be reduced ahead of CWL Las Vegas. We want to make veto strategy an important element this season but have kept the map pools for each mode purposefully larger to allow us to adjust in the future.

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At this time, Control will be our third game mode – replacing Capture the Flag from the previous CWL season.

Here are the maps and main settings changes for Control:

Maps: – Updated November 15

—   Arsenal

—   Frequency

—   Gridlock

—   Seaside


—   Two second respawn delay

—   Three-second suicide penalty

—   15-second pre-match timer

—   Five second pre-round timer

As for the other two modes, here is the initial map pool and settings changes for Hardpoint and Search and Destroy:

Hardpoint Maps: – Updated November 15

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—   Arsenal

—   Frequency

—   Gridlock

—   Hacienda

—   Seaside

Hardpoint Settings:

—   Two second respawn delay

—   Three-second suicide penalty

—   15-second pre-match timer

Search and Destroy Maps: – Updated November 15

—   Arsenal

—   Frequency

—   Gridlock

—   Hacienda

—   Payload

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


The following Specialist is restricted from use in CWL competition:

—   Nomad

Torque has been removed from the restricted Specialists list and has been re-enabled in competitive play (Updated 11/15)

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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:

—   Tac-Deploy (Restricted in Hardpoint and Search & Destroy only)

Sensor Dart has been removed from the restricted Specialist Equipment list and has been re-enabled in competitive play (Updated 11/15)

Following CWL Las Vegas, special attention will be paid to the tuning of specific Specialist Gear (specifically for esports competition), adjusting elements like the damage dealt and durability of some offense-based equipment as well as the active time and impact of persistent support items.

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Some equipment the studio would like to try adjusting – specifically for Esports Modes – include how Tac-Deploy operates and how many spawns it can generate, Reactor Core’s strength and radius, the damage and durability of Torque’s gear and more.

Weapon Restrictions

The following will be restricted for competitive play.

—   Titan

—   Hades

—   VKM 750

—   MOG 12

—   SG12

Hellion Salvo has been removed from the restricted weapons list and has been re-enabled in competitive play (Updated 11/15)

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.

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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.

Other Restrictions:

The following will be restricted for competitive play.


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—   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

—   3 Person Spectating Disabled

—   3 Person Gestures Disabled

—   Gesture Camera Controls Disabled

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—   Team Assignment – Open

—   Announcer – Enabled

Remember, this is just the initial ruleset; rules are subject to change, and we will continue to fine-tune these settings throughout the remainder of the year.

Player feedback is valuable to us and we continue to receive feedback each day. As we inch closer to CWL Las Vegas we will refine the ruleset further.

Online Ladders will begin October 29, 2018. The First CWL 2K of the season will kick off November 4, 2018. Check MLG GameBattles for more information.

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For the full and updated competitive ruleset, visit the official handbook page here.

Get your squad for CWL Las Vegas and get ready for the biggest season in Call of Duty® World League history!

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