Call of Duty

Why Call of Duty League players aren’t using Sniper Rifles

Published: 25/Jan/2021 5:46

by Brad Norton

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The world’s best Call of Duty players haven’t been using Sniper Rifles in Black Ops Cold War but there’s a good reason behind it. Here’s why.

Sniper Rifles have long been a staple of the CoD franchise. Some of the biggest moments in competitive history have come as a result of the one-shot killing machines. However, they’re completely absent at the very highest level in Black Ops Cold War.

While the Call of Duty League hasn’t officially started it’s 2021 season, we already have a sense of how things will look at the first proper event. Thanks to early scrims and the Kickoff Classic, we’ve seen how matches play out with Snipers gone from the game.

But why aren’t they making an impact? Why aren’t some of the most freakish aimers getting to flex their skills and produce more montage-worthy highlights this year? Let’s break down why snipers aren’t on display.

Sniper Rifles unofficially banned from competitive CoD

Black Ops Cold War sniping gameplay
Activision
Snipers have been unofficially ruled out for competitive play in Black Ops Cold War.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the difference between the official competitive ruleset and the unofficial Gentlemen’s Agreements (GAs). Each and every year, a formal list of competitive settings are implemented across the competitive scene. These are outlined by CDL administration and apply to all levels of play from the League itself to the Challengers scene.

Meanwhile, GAs are unofficial rulings that all professional players follow. These essentially allow for the best players to further balance the state of competition. Certain guns overpowered but not addressed in the proper ruleset? They’ll be GAd in a matter of days. Perks or various equipment making too much of an impact? GAs will have them pulled from the game in no time.

These are mutual agreements among the world’s most experienced professionals. All players abide by the ever-evolving list of GAs.

With Black Ops Cold War thrust into the spotlight, it soon became apparent that Sniper Rifles were causing issues. While the weapons themselves are extremely accurate this year, with minimal flinch and high damage output, snipers themselves weren’t the root cause of the issue.

No smoke grenades, no snipers in the CDL

Black Ops Cold War smoke grenade
Activision
Smoke grenades are the primary reason why snipers aren’t currently in play.

It was primarily smoke grenades that led to all Sniper Rifles being GAd. Smokes have always been the main counter for snipers. Blocking key lines of sight essentially negates a powerful gun on the enemy team for a short period.

This can set up the perfect window for a flank, allow your team to take a more aggressive position, or even help you sneak to the objective. Unfortunately, smoke grenades don’t quite work as intended in Black Ops Cold War.

Weeks in team practice and top-level scrims, players began noticing more and more issues with smokes. There is currently a game-breaking exploit that allows players to see clearly through smoke from certain angles. In fact, some players simply don’t see smoke whatsoever.

One player could think they’re completely masked by the smoke effect, while another instantly locks onto them and guns them down without a hassle. Naturally, with the equipment being a major exploit, it was soon added to the list of GAs.

Shortly after, Sniper Rifles were added too. Without this piece of equipment to counter snipers, they were able to run wild on any given map. With one-shot kill potential, there needs to be some form of counter-play but it simply didn’t exist.

Will Sniper Rifles come back soon?

This choice wasn’t made overnight. Players experimented with various levels of restrictions before coming to this decision. From running snipers without any attachments to restricting them in specific game modes, everything was tested. It’s clear that if snipers could be in play, they would. Players are all for it with many of the biggest names calling out the ‘boring’ nature of CoD without them.

“No snipes is boring,” Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow tweeted on January 24. “Totally understand why, but SND without snipes and smokes is a snooze,” Tyler ‘TeePee’ Polchow chimed in.

For the time being, it simply isn’t meant to be. Snipers without smokes to counter them would be near impossible to play against.

Until a fix for the one-way smoke exploit makes its way to Black Ops Cold War, don’t expect to see snipers back in effect. As soon as Treyarch resolves the issues, however, it’s entirely likely the fan-favorites make an immediate return.

Call of Duty

Top 20 highest earning Call of Duty: Warzone players

Published: 24/Feb/2021 20:00 Updated: 24/Feb/2021 20:32

by Theo Salaun

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Although hackers and stream snipers seem to have broken spirits across Call of Duty: Warzone, the battle royale remains a premier title in the field. As of February, 2021 — here are the 20 highest-earning competitors in terms of total tournament winnings. 

It may not feel as legitimized as esports like Apex Legends and Fortnite, but competitive Warzone continues to overcome cheater drama and the absence of a transparent SBMM system (or ranked league) to stay on top of Twitch’s viewership every week. With numerous high-paying tournaments every month since the game’s March 2020 debut, some players have stood out from the pack and made an impressive salary’s worth of prize winnings. We’ve seen incredible new world records set, a host of celebrities get involved, and a variety of high-stakes, big-bucks tournaments.

Using data from esportsearnings.com, we take a look at the top 20 Warzone players in terms of tournament winnings. We’ll take a more in-depth look at the top 3, and then provide a full list of the top 20.

3. Rhys ‘Rated’ Price – $100,658

Rated-100-Thieves

Winning tournament after tournament since partnering with Aydan, Rated has become the third competitor to crack $100,000 in Warzone earnings and simultaneously supplanted SuperEvan as No. 3 on the earnings list. With event wins during the $25K Code Red 2v2 and $25K Dallas Empire Challenge 2v2, Rated and Aydan continue to fly toward the top earnings spot.

A former London Royal Raven, Rated’s accurate mechanics and game sense have seamlessly transitioned to the battle royale. Given his individual talent and the unparalleled comms between he and Aydan, it’s hard to imagine the duo not taking the Nos. 1 and 2 earnings spots within a few months.

2. Aydan ‘Aydan’ Conrad – $135,721

Aydan Warzone

Based on his tweets and streams, it feels like the only thing that Aydan cares about right now is overtaking HusKerrs and becoming the highest earner in Verdansk. And, down by just around $1,000, he’s making serious progress toward that goal.

From Fortnite to Warzone, Aydan has been a longstanding figure in the battle royale sphere. But, for those unfamiliar with Epic Games’ third-person shooter, the charming beatboxer has truly made his mark on Verdansk by proving that his head is worth appreciating for more than its infamous dent. An absolute demon, Aydan has comfortably shifted from duos with MuTeX and Zlaner to winning every single 2v2 tournament with Rated.

Sitting atop our Warzone power rankings for consecutive months, it should not be long before Aydan overtakes Big Husk.

1. Jordan ‘HusKerrs’ Thomas – $136,150

Jordan ‘HusKerrs’ Thomas is a battle royale star who has also held a number of Warzone world records. He previously made a name for himself in both Black Ops 4’s Blackout and Apex Legends, but has since transitioned over to Warzone. And that transition has proved immensely profitable, as the calm, collected gamer has become the first Warzone player to collect over $100,000 in tournament winnings.

As the most decorated player on Verdansk, HusKerrs shoots straight, rotates with vehicles, and practically never loses his head amid pressure. That mentality complements his skill, resulting in numerous Warzone titles.

Now, Aydan is gunning for his spot and HusKerrs seems to have taken some offense to the hopeful usurper’s lack of confidence in the reigning top earner. Eager to maintain his place, HusKerrs has begun grinding wagers with a new duo, Zlaner, and is quickly regaining top-dog form.

Top 20 Warzone players: highest earnings (as of February 24 2021)

The full top 20 highest earning Warzone players are listed below. In total, across all 20, over $1 million has been earned through Warzone tournaments. And those numbers are sure to increase, as prize pools continue to get larger and larger.

Since this is just a list of the highest earners cumulatively, it doesn’t include averages earned per event, otherwise, some players like Jukeyz and Biffle (whose invitations are limited by region and school, respectively) would likely be higher on the list.

 No.  Player Earnings
1 HusKerrs $136,150.01
2 Aydan $135,720.83
3 Rated $100,658.33
4 SuperEvan $98,370.83
5 Tommey $87,154.46
6 Symfuhny $81,683.33
7 Biffle $73,741.67
8 ZLaner $72,666.66
9 WarsZ $69,888.07
10 Vikkstar123 $60,650.00
11 Frozone $59,454.16
12 MuTeX $58,087.49
13 Jukeyz $57,495.66
14 Swagg $53,233.34
15 TeePee $52,516.67
16 Almxnd $51,721.13
17 UnRationaL $46,100.00
18 DougIsRaw $42,566.00
19 BobbyPoff $40,525.00
20 GaGOD $38,066.67

While Warzone’s tourneys and prize pools dropped for a period of time as attention shifted to Black Ops Cold War and the Call of Duty League, the game is regaining momentum as Season 2 launches. Already, numerous huge tourneys have been announced and the landscape for top earners is on the precipice of shifting.

We will continue to update this article’s figures as the competitive Warzone landscape develops.