Custom gun camos are unavailable to players in Call of Duty League matches, but OpTic Gaming Los Angeles’ Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, Atlanta FaZe’s Chris “Simp” Lehr and other pros have appealed for that to change.
Weapon skins have an illustrious history in Call of Duty, existing in the game as rewards for in-game achievements since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare back in 2007. And, while they have typically been eligible for use in professional contests, that has not been the case in the CDL’s inaugural season.
With popular CoD content creator Davis “Hitch” Edwards championing for their return to professional play on Twitter—the league’s pros have jumped on board and clamored for a chance to express themselves with colorful weaponry once again.
"Is there a reason why everyone's guns have to be so boring," Hitch inquired on Twitter, tagging a bunch of CDL & Infinity Ward personnel. "I just want to know the reasoning behind the players not being allowed to customize their weapons and I don't know who to ask."
It’s not entirely clear why the CDL disallows weapon skins, but there are a few different explanations and theories. The simplest explanation is that, since the league’s players use different accounts than their personal ones, they don’t have their usual unlocks.
@Maven @JoeDeLuca @JoeCecot @MilesTheRoss @ChanceCasts @Benson_EU @Momo is there a reason why everyone’s guns have to be so boring? i just want to know the reasoning behind the players not being allowed to customize their weapons and i don’t know who to ask
— davis. (@hitchariide) June 13, 2020
Joe Cecot, Co-Design Director of Multiplayer at Infinity Ward, chimed in with a response, explaining that weapon blueprints are restricted from the CDL ruleset, and regular camos can't be accessed on the accounts that players use for official matches.
i feel like unblocking the blueprints in the CDL rule set and giving the CDL players access to all of the blueprints and camos on their tournament accounts would give a nice personality to the players and increase entertainment value. would also help sell blueprints (cont)
— davis. (@hitchariide) June 13, 2020
But this seems easily remedied by unlocking everything on CDL accounts. There is a second theory though, as raised by caster Joe “MerK” Deluca, that players might not want to use camos anyway because of visibility concerns. This has been immediately debunked by Slasher, Simp and various other pros.
What id love to rock a camo I always have I legit don’t have the option to lol IW 2020 👍
— Austin Liddicoat (@SlasheR_AL) June 13, 2020
After Hitch expanded in a couple of different Tweets that CDL accounts should have access to every single skin, a variety of other pros joined in agreement, including OpTic Gaming’s Martin “Chino” Chino, the Toronto Ultra’s Danny “Loony” Loza, and aforementioned Simp.
Loony and SlasheR have apparently been the most vocal proponents of having such customization enabled, each citing that they’ve made the request before but without much luck. And Chino was not shy at all about his stance, dictating a succinct, caps-locked “PLEASE.”
Simp called it “a pretty good idea," and having the league’s frontrunner for MVP express such an opinion should be enough to convince people that this isn’t a fluke concept or one likely to be the subject of pros’ GA (Gentleman Agreement) removals.
It appears that this is a movement a lot of pros are willing to back, and why wouldn't they? Just as Hitch argued in his initial tweet, there seems to be no good reason for why this feature wouldn't be enabled in the game's official esports scene.
There has been no word from the CDL on how they feel about the topic, but players’ GA’s were recently publicized on the official broadcast and, to some extent, added to the league ruleset (with the Merc Foregrip being disallowed in pro play). This suggests that high-profile players are being listened to and that this request for weapon skins could soon elicit an official response too.