Call of Duty

Tainted Minds change name in takeover as they leave Call of Duty

Published: 19/Feb/2019 11:38 Updated: 19/Feb/2019 11:57

by Matt Cotton


ICON Esports have acquired leading APAC esports organization Tainted Minds, announced shortly after news that Tainted Minds decided to release their Call of Duty roster and exit the esport.

The Tainted Minds Call of Duty roster failed to qualify for the recent Call of Duty World League (CWL), signalling their exit from the title in 2019. It can be very costly for an esports team to operate at the top level, but this is even more so the case when you aren’t being represented at the biggest stage.

Detailed in Tainted Minds’ farewell post: “When you factor in the costs of travel and accommodation sitting close to $12,000 per event, as well as salaries and bootcamps”. Especially as they didn’t qualify for the CWL, it perhaps would have been unsustainable to hold on to the team.

Tainted Minds have competed in Call of Duty since 2015.

Giancarlo ‘Nimble’ Vagnini, Hayden ‘Damage’ Handakas and Mark ‘Zepa’ Zepackic have been released from the organization, while Jayden ‘Setzy’ Hewitt has made a move to rival organization Mindfreak. Kainen ‘Swiftazor’ Kini has retired from professional Call of Duty.

As part of their farewell message, Tainted Minds said “With any esports league there should absolutely always be a pathway to the top, not just buying your way in.”

ICON Esports

Shortly after the announcement of their exit from Call of Duty, Tainted Minds revealed they will rebrand as ICON Esports, after being acquired by the organization. They will relocate their headquarters to Sydney, and will continue to field teams in CS:GO, PUBG, Rocket League, Fortnite, and Overwatch.

Nick Bobir, founder of Tainted Minds stated: “Stay tuned for a few exciting announcements coming out over the next month.” 

Clearly this switch may also have its benefits as a high-performance training center is also apparently in the works, “ICON has a clear strategy to become a leading esports firm in the region.”

Call of Duty

Best League Play loadouts in Black Ops Cold War

Published: 20/Jan/2021 13:46

by Jacob Hale


League Play is right around the corner in Black Ops Cold War, and with CDL competition preparing to heat up, these loadouts will help you in your attempt to keep pace with the pros.

It feels like competitive players have been waiting forever for a ranked system to arrive in Black Ops Cold War, and it has finally been confirmed that League Play will be coming prior to the end of Season 1, which is due to finish on or around February 24.

While the pros and devs are still working together to make sure the ruleset is perfected by the time the league rolls around, we’ve got a pretty clear idea of the main weapons pros are using to maximize their slaying abilities in competitive play.

With options for every type of player, including the main AR and SMG loadouts, here’s what you should be practicing with to get ahead of the game.

AK74u League Play loadout

ak74u on wall black ops cold war
The AK74u is the best-in-class SMG.
  • Muzzle: Muzzle Brake 5.45
  • Barrel: 9.3” Extended
  • Underbarrel: Spetsnaz Speedgrip
  • Stock: KGB Skeletal Stock
  • Handle: GRU Elastic Wrap

The AK74u is probably already a weapon you’re familiar with if you’ve been grinding Black Ops Cold War, as the leading weapon in the SMG class.

This loadout, straight from OpTic Chicago’s Envoy, will always keep you ready to take on a fight, maximizing speed while refusing to sacrifice accuracy, which is going to be incredibly important when breaking hills and in sudden gunfights.

Krig 6 League Play loadout

bocw krig 6
The Krig 6 has become the main assault rifle in pro play.
  • Optic: Millstop Reflex
  • Barrel: 19.7″ Ranger
  • Underbarrel: Field Agent Grip
  • Handle: Airborne Elastic Wrap
  • Stock: Raider Pad

The Krig 6 is going to become your best friend if you’re a main AR player, able to mow down enemies over longer distances and keep objectives clear for your teammates to push in and win games.

The optic on this is optional, but most will run the Millstop Reflex or Microflex LED, and we would advise finding which of these is your preferred. Otherwise, this loadout is perfectly built to maintain accuracy across long distances and play the AR role perfectly.

XM4 League Play loadout

Xm4 black ops cold war
The XM4 is becoming an increasingly popular flex gun.
  • Optic: Microflex LED
  • Muzzle: Infantry Compensator
  • Barrel: 13.7″ Extended
  • Underbarrel: Field Agent Grip
  • Magazine: 40 Rnd
  • Handle: Airborne Elastic Wrap
  • Stock: Raider Pad

The XM4 seems to be finding its way into the pro meta, especially for flex players looking to engage in gunfights across all ranges and support their team as much as possible. As such, using Gunfighter to stick more attachments on it is vital for getting the most out of this weapon.

As the first assault rifle you unlock, you should have a decent amount of experience with this one, so expect to see it pop up a lot, be it in League Play or the Call of Duty League itself.

AK47 League Play loadout

ak47 black ops cold war
Pros have GA’s the AK47, but if it remains in League Play, it will likely become your go-to weapon.
  • Optic: Microflex LED
  • Barrel: 20″ Liberator
  • Underbarrel: Spetsnaz Grip
  • Handle: GRU Elastic Wrap
  • Stock: KGB Skeletal Stock

While the AK47 isn’t being used among pros through a Gentleman’s Agreement not to run one, we don’t expect the same rules will be applied to League Play.

This AK loadout operates similar to the XM4, though offers a little more accuracy at range, perfect for smaller maps that might not need a permanent Krig on the map.

Those are our main suggestions for League Play loadouts in Black Ops Cold War, taken from watching the top pros and seeing what they run.

There have been rumors that pros will be playing on pre-set classes, determined by themselves and the devs, when the CDL kicks off, but we have not yet been able to verify this.

If this is the case, it will be interesting to see whether the same pre-set classes are applied to League Play, or if players are given more freedom and creativity in their choices. Either way, these loadouts are what the pros are running and will likely continue using once the CDL kicks off.