Warzone accused of “whitelisting” streamers after data reveals easier lobbies

Theo Salaun
call of duty warzone streamers whitelisted easy bot lobbies

Call of Duty: Warzone players are knee-deep in conspiracies and rage after recent fan investigations revealed data suggesting that streamers get easier lobbies than normal players. Now, “whitelisting” is the topic du jour.

As we know better than most, if you post a clip of a Warzone streamer pulling off a highlight play — the majority of responses will be about them being in a “bot lobby.” It’s become a running theme among vocal fans, who seem convinced Warzone’s best somehow always get lobbies against Warzone’s worst.

So this was bound to happen. Somewhere in the intersection between CoD players and data analysts, a Redditor decided to analyze their lobby data and compare it to the stats for big-name streamers.

And the results of that study are fairly shocking. After Reddit’s ‘Quaisy’ revealed their findings, both posts have been deleted, but not after thousands of upvotes and hundreds of comments — most noting the proof that streamers get “whitelisted” and gifted easier lobbies.

Warzone streamers “whitelisted” for easier lobbies?

After their Reddit post got deleted, Quaisy took to YouTube to dive into their data. The player, after running into some problematic lobbies, decided to compare their previous 64 matches to that of pros and content creators like Aydan and Tfue.

Perhaps unsurprising to some, the data is… interesting. Quaisy has an above-average 1.75 K/D (kill-death ratio), which is negligible compared to the 4-plus K/Ds enjoyed by the professionals. Still, the only big streamer who had harder lobbies on average was ScummN.

On the contrary, streamers like Tfue had relatively easy lobbies. While only about 4.7% of Quaisy’s games had an average lobby K/D under 1.1, Tfue got lobbies underneath that range in a whopping 65.6% of his matches. And that’s despite his K/D being a nasty 4.33.

Of course, the data only takes into account 64 matches so it has to be taken at face value. CoD’s developers are very private about how SBMM (skill-based matchmaking) works in their titles, so it’s impossible to know exactly how lobby strength is determined.

But Quaisy’s research brings up some interesting discussion points and the community is centering on one conclusion: that streamers are “whitelisted” and given easier lobbies so that they can make better content.

If that’s the case, a lot of people’s conspiracy theories have been justified. If it’s not the case, Activision may need to step in and tell people how SBMM really works.