Seth 'Scump' Abner, Call of Duty veteran and Chicago Huntsmen SMG, has outlined his concerns for his team following the news that the 2020 CDL Playoffs will be played online.
The inaugural CDL season has been far from ideal, with the ongoing global health crisis forcing the overwhelming majority of competitions online. As countries slowly reopen, there was quiet hope in the CoD community that the first CDL Championships could be played on LAN, even if it was without the presence of fans.
However, on July 4, the CDL confirmed that this season's playoffs and Championship weekend will be played online because of the ongoing health risks.
In light of continued COVID-19 health risks, the CDL postseason will be held online. The League and teams are collaborating on additional competitive integrity measures to be taken. More updates to follow in delivering the best experience for all. https://t.co/nyGMEZNAI4
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) July 5, 2020
There was a mixed response in the community, with some frustrated but others understanding the exceptional circumstances the CDL has to navigate.
While Scump tweeted that he "understood" the decision, he outlined his concerns for his Chicago Huntsmen roster during a July 4 live stream.
He said: "The teams that have been performing recently all have crazy splits. Florida's got like two [players in] Chicago, one tri-state and one Texas... For us, we have four [in] Texas and one [in] California, so most of our matches, we're playing on a Chicago server."
Four players in the same location may have previously benefitted the Huntsmen, but the ability for teams to veto servers now works against them. Because they have four players in Texas, most teams will veto the Texas servers to avoid giving the Huntsmen an advantage.
Some Twitch viewers suggested to Scump that FormaL needs to move to Texas, following the latter's announcement that he would not be travelling from his home in California. Regardless, Scump explained why FormaL's location is not that important.
"Even if he did come to Texas, we're still in the same boat," Abner said. "We're playing on Chicago [servers] pretty much every series, and we're playing against people that live in Chicago... Every team is just gonna veto Texas against us, and the next closest server that's gonna get played on is Chicago."
While the CDL have announced multiple measures to boost competitive integrity, playing any major tournament online was bound to result in certain teams facing geographical issues.
Whether the Florida Mutineers can take their online form into the biggest tournament of Modern Warfare remains to be seen, but the likes of Dallas Empire, Atlanta FaZe and, of course, the Huntsmen, will be hot on their heels.