Scump explains why Black Ops Cold War’s SBMM needs changes

Huntsmen / Activision

As the SBMM debate continues, Chicago Huntsmen’s Seth ‘Scump’ Abner has delved into his reasons for wanting Treyarch to dial it back before Black Ops Cold War is released to the public.

It’s about that time of year where Call of Duty fans begin to look forward to the next iteration in the franchise. After the multiplayer reveal looked promising, many were eager to get their hands on the Cold War Alpha when Treyarch announced they’d be flicking the switch live between September 18-20.

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But while certain aspects of gameplay — such as sniping — were raised as a cause for concern throughout the Alpha, skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) stole the show. Scump and other CoD pros were vocal about their distaste of its inclusion.

In a September 19 Tweet, Abner wrote: “SBMM does not belong in Call of Duty.” There should be a ranked playlist for people to sweat in.” And Scump expanded upon this in a recent video, where he laid out what Treyarch needs to do to make the game more enjoyable for pros.

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Scump: Ranked & SBMM tuning are needed

Scump was eager to get in some game time on the Alpha, in early preparation for the Call of Duty League 2021 Season. But after merely one day of playing, the ‘king’ of Call of Duty went right back to Warzone. Why? SBMM.

According to Abner, the level of competition while playing public matches during the Alpha was comparable to playing the CDL Playlist in Modern Warfare. And because of the impact it had on his Cold War experience, Scump planted his flag firmly in the camp that wants SBMM to change.

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The 2017 World Champion believes that a solid ranked playlist — where SBMM is in full effect — would be a better implementation. But Scump doesn’t want to get rid of SBMM in public matchmaking altogether. Instead, he believes that it needs to be “tuned” or dialled back, to ensure that skill level is still evenly distributed throughout the lobby.

Incentivizing a ranked play system is a solution which streaming megastar Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is an advocate of, saying that it would “deter” those looking to pub-stomp on beginners.

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Of course, Scump is biased to give his opinion from a content creator’s standpoint, with the CDL pro saying that it can sometimes take two to three hours just to record the perfect gameplay for YouTube.

It’s for this reason that Abner trolled and ‘reverse-boosted’ in a bid to be matched up against less skilled players — something which he claims he’s never had to do before in his Call of Duty career.

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Scump has competed on the biggest stages, and thinks Multiplayer for CoD shouldn’t lend itself to woes that come with SBMM.

Another solution that Seth put forward would be for Treyarch to adopt connection-based matchmaking, with a hint of SBMM. “I don’t want to play against the bottom 10-30% of players, but I also don’t want to play against the top 5% of players all the time.”

But of course, this would require the Cold War devs to fine-tune the matchmaking algorithm further, which might actually impact on the speed in which matches are found. What would be your perfect balance? Be sure to have your say on our Twitter poll.

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