Warzone & CDL pros call for ‘kill-races’ to be scrapped after controversial $100k event

Brad Norton
Warzone gameplay

Warzone has been out for 15 months now and a few unique formats have led the way for competitions all the while. A kill-race is one such format, but many pros and popular streamers have now lashed out, calling for them to be left behind.

Since Warzone’s release, tournament organizers around the world have been putting their own unique spin on what a competitive event should look like. While private lobbies exist, a vast majority of events play out in public settings. As a result, winning teams aren’t exactly free from criticism.

From VPN accusations to teams allegedly putting up their best efforts against ‘bot’ lobbies, we’ve seen all kinds of heated debates over the past year and a bit. Now, Warzone’s finest have called for one particular format to be scrapped: kill-races.

After the New York Subliners hosted a $100K kill-race in June, the wider Warzone and CoD community was quick to cast aspersions. Here’s why.

Warzone gameplay
Kill-races see teams dropping into their own separate lobbies in Warzone.

When players drop into a kill-race event, the leading factor behind their success is the quality of their opposition. Say 10 teams drop into their first lobbies of a new event all at once. Two of those squads may go on a tear if they’ve been blessed by a lesser skilled lobby. 

Meanwhile, the remaining eight could be matched against absolute demons. With higher average K/Ds across the board, tougher lobbies can be extremely limiting when it comes to kill-races.

What determines this is completely out of the player’s and even the tournament organizer’s control. It’s entirely down to chance and as a result, the community has called for this format to be left in the rearview mirror.

Pros call for kill-races to be “chalked”

“Timed kill race tournaments are chalked,” $200K HusKerrs Howl champ SuperEvan said following the latest NYSL event. “I was put into literally the most blender of blender lobbies,” world record holder MuTeX replied. “Navy Seals 6 team every single fight.”

Specific accusations were flying towards some of the more successful European teams on the day. Often referred to as one of the less competitive regions that NA teams VPN to, Hawaii was referenced by Warzone streamer Stukawaki.

“Hawaii can’t even compete with that host,” he said in relation to Team Emz and their exceptional scoreline across both days of the event.

Meanwhile, even Call of Duty League pros have now chimed in on the controversial state of Warzone affairs too.

“A Warzone tournament for 100K is being decided by if you get demon lobbies or bot lobbies,” Gunless outlined on Twitter. “I’d be praying to God and cuddling my router every night if i was a Warzone pro.”

Is there a Warzone solution?

So what exactly can be done to resolve these contentious issues in Warzone today?

For the most part, kill-races are fortunately already a rarity. Many of the biggest events drop teams into direct competition through bracket play.

With two Duos merging into the same four-stack, it assures that competition is more balanced than a kill-race. This way, competing teams are both part of the same lobby, so no accusations can bring down their efforts.

Other events have tested with private lobbies, and that’s exactly what Warzone’s biggest tournament will be using to settle the score: Activision’s own $1.2m World Series of Warzone will  drop 50 squads into the one custom game.

While it’s unclear how entertaining this format can be, it hasn’t sparked backlash quite like kill-races. With outrage stemming from the NYSL event, however, expect to see fewer Warzone kill-races moving forward.