Is it possible that the Infinite Warfare season could be the greatest year for Call of Duty esports in the history?
At the time of writing we know little to nothing about how the CoD World League will work, but we’ve made a list below of 9 reasons, if they come true, why competitive CoD will reach new heights.
It goes without saying, but this article is NOT endorsed or paid for by Activision or any other third party.
1. Bigger Prize Pools
It appears that every major game in esports is getting its own version of crowd funding and Activision only really have two choices.
They can either introduce crowd funding or increase the prize pool themselves. Either way, the professional players and scene win because there more is on the line.
2. A Global Esport
It’s not gone unnoticed that regions such as South Africa, the Middle East and South America have had investment from the CoD World League towards the end of Black Ops 3. And it’s fully expected that for Infinite Warfare the CWL will have a more global approach.
The regions outside of EU, ANZ and NA won’t get the same level of support, but you can expect online leagues, invitational events by local organisers and the chance to quality for the major international competitions.
The obvious benefits of a global game is that there is more eyes watching. More people will get involved from a regional level and that will turn into support for the top teams and new players looking to be the next big name.
3. More Events
Arguably the biggest lesson learnt during Black Ops 3 by Activision was that events provide far more fan engagement than online leagues. Not only that, but the players also prefer it because it’s the pinnacle of competing. More events means less complaining and more Call of Duty action.
We’ve reported previously that we expect the CWL to have more events throughout the year and whilst online leagues will continue to be used, they won’t have such a big impact.
4. Increased Skill Level
Whether you like it or not, the wall running style of Call of Duty is here for at least another year. That’s not a bad thing though.
Instead of pro players learning an entire new engine mechanic and style of play, they’re instead picking up where they left off. This means that roles and positions don’t necessarily need to change and we don’t have to sit and figure out who the best at the game from scratch.
With pro players now calling this their full time job, the game will be competitive ready in a number of weeks, with lines of sight, weapons and timings all figured out. This will allow for teams to practice at being better as a squad and will increase the level of competition across the board.
5. More Competitive Grade Maps
The maps in Infinite Warfare have been designed with a competitive view in mind, focusing on a three lane approach to reduce the risk of the dreaded ‘CoD timing’ and getting flanked because you can’t cover all the angles.
The three lane approach will allow teams to create consistent strategies and play styles that will force face to face combat, rather than rewarding lucky players who don’t get spotted.
6. More Press Attention
If you hadn’t noticed, the world of esports literally exploded in 2016 and now even your parents know about it. This is good news for Call of Duty fans who can finally enjoy media attention from more than Dexerto.
With more press attention comes more in-depth analysis, better coverage of events, more pictures and more interviews with the top players.
This ability to identify and connect with the cream of the crop will encourage everything from new talent to compete through to providing job opportunities and careers.
7. More Investment
With more eyes on Call of Duty esports than ever before, that means more investment from major esports organisations, celebrities and venture capitalists.
The investment will allow more semi-professional players to make it full time whilst the top players will be rewarded for competing instead of making Youtube videos.
Investment should also bring in new training practices, including ways to make sure players aren’t burning out and will improve smart training.
Overall it will increase the standard of competition across Call of Duty, because players will be better paid and will be training correctly.
8. More Rivalries
At the end of Advanced Warfare, everyone knew that OpTic Gaming were the undisputed kings and that FaZe Clan were hot on their heels. Going into Infinite Warfare and it’s all up in the air.
Team EnVyUs were the undisputed champions of CoD XP 2016, but no one is going into IW thinking that they’re going to stay on top, because the landscape is a different one to what we saw last November.
Teams such as Rise Nation and Luminosity Gaming have stuck together for a considerable amount of time and have put in their own top level performances, creating their own fan base to match the likes of OG, nV and FaZe. It makes even the less important matches have more on the line.
On top of that we now have a genuine regional rivalry now that Europe has caught up with North America. It sets up Infinite Warfare to be a truly impressive year of competition.
9. MLG Running The Show
It’s been widely accepted that MLG will be running the CoD World League for Infinite Warfare after being bought by Activision in early 2016. There’s a reason the entire casting team suddenly moved to New York.
ESL did a good job of running the show during Black Ops 3, but the history and knowledge that MLG possess when it comes to console esports is unparalleled.
Large scale open tournaments, online leagues and invitationals in North America can now all be played and organised by one company. From a logistical point of view that’s going to be less hoops to jump through, but it’ll also allow players and fans to know who to interact with when it comes to decisions being made.
Perhaps it’s naive to think, but it’s also expected that MLG will fight to make Infinite Warfare rules as competitive as possible.