The 2022 Call of Duty League (CDL) season is finally starting, with last weekend’s Kickoff Classic event the first in-person LAN of this year’s competition. CDL players, however, already have some concerns when it comes to player safety around COVID-19.
Following the tournament in Arlington, Texas, which allowed fans into the Esports Arena to watch the Kickoff Classic live, several cases of COVID have been recorded by both players and fans. One of these cases is NYSL’s James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks, who has since taken to Twitter to express his dismay at the CDL’s handling of the event.
Clayster claims that there has been an “absolute breakdown” from the CDL when it comes to the COVID-19 safety of the Kickoff Classic – just one of several LAN tournaments scheduled for the 2022 CDL season – a sentiment that is echoed by LA Thieves’ Dylan ‘Envoy’ Hannon.
In a Tweet, Clayster says players pushed for “no fans” at the LAN tournament and “daily testing” for CDL staff and players in attendance – something that has been commonplace for sporting events for some time. However, the Kickoff Classic LAN event went ahead without any masking requirements for fans in attendance and only a single negative test was needed for players there to compete.
This event took place as COVID cases surged in North Texas. Last week, Tarrant County, where the Esports Stadium in Arlington is located, recorded 32,000 cases alone. It’s no surprise then that players have some concerns when it comes to their safety.
Absolute breakdown from the CDL to only require 1 negative test on Thursday for players and have zero rules for fans (even though we pushed for no fans, daily testing for players/staff) and of course there's a ton of positive tests coming from this weekend. So braindead.
— NYSL Clayster (@Clayster) January 25, 2022
— Cam (@theCamSteadman) January 22, 2022
“Not surprised teams are testing positive,” Envoy says on Twitter. “Record cases around the world, why would we risk it for a 30k Kickoff event? On top of that, the CDL is still not doing the minimum at the event to keep players safe.”
The CDL’s website states that every in-person event is being conducted “subject to local public health laws and regulations”. It also states that all upcoming LAN events’ dates are subject to change – this could mean a shake-up of the schedule if things get worse.
Activision has been contacted for a comment, but for now, the CDL is set to proceed as planned.