Scump claims Warzone’s slide-canceling made CoD “less skillful”

Theo Salaun
call of duty warzone optic scump
Activision / Twitter, @OpTicTexas

Professional Call of Duty’s biggest name, OpTic Scump, isn’t sold on the slide-canceling era brought about by Warzone and Modern Warfare. Instead, he thinks the movement mechanic lowered CoD’s skill gap.

A skill gap is a relatively simple concept. In a game, the difficulty of mastering certain mechanics creates a window that can separate low- and high-skill players. 

RNG elements, for example, are considered to lower a skill gap – as their randomness can give low-skill players an advantage against those who have honed their talents. This is one of the reasons why many consider battle royales to be inherently non-competitive.

A common sentiment is that CoD’s movement mechanics, whether in jetpack or slide-canceling titles, increases the skill gap by giving players new skills to practice. Conversely, OpTic Gaming’s Seth ‘Scump’ Abner believes it’s the opposite. 

Scump argues that Warzone slide canceling is “less skillful”

(For mobile users, segment begins at 32:24)

While discussing fast- and slow-paced CoD titles on the OpTic Podcast, Scump revealed his issue with the current movement era: “The more variables, I feel like lessens the skill gap.”

Teammate Brandon ‘Dashy’ Otell wasn’t quite convinced, so Scump elaborated: “Slide canceling and jump mechanics, it creates unpredictability… He could slide cancel you and you could not expect it because he has so many things in his arsenal that he can use. It’s unpredictability, which makes it less skillful.”

Scump was very aware that this might not be the most popular opinion, especially with co-podcasters Dashy and Nick ‘MaNiaC’ Kershner not being necessarily persuaded.

It does raise an interesting debate, though. Inherently, difficult mechanics should theoretically mean a higher skill gap because there’s even more skills to practice. Scump, on the contrary, believes that “the more vanilla it gets, the more skillful it becomes.”

 

With CoD’s longstanding emphasis on “breaking cameras” (as explained by Tommy ‘ZooMaa’ Paparatto back in June 2020), Scump’s right that there is some randomness due to movement mechanics. You can see just how chaotic slide cancels appear in the clip of someone facing Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro in the clip above.

If someone is able to do a movement that the game struggles to balance out visually on an enemy’s screen, then there is some randomness which could harm the skill gap. Still, one has to wonder if that’s an issue with complex mechanics or simply an issue with the game (and servers) keeping up. 

Regardless, it seems that Scump wants CoD to be more about thinking and shooting straight than breaking ankles.

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