The Call of Duty League has announced that it will be switching platforms for the 2021 season and will see top level Call of Duty esports played on PC for the first time in the scene’s history.
Despite being a console-only esport for the best part of a decade, this switch means that Call of Duty will now be brought in line with Activision Blizzard’s other franchised competition, the Overwatch League, and virtually all other top-tier esports. However, the switch to PC does not mean a switch to mouse and keyboard. Players will still have to play with controllers.
In its announcement post, the CDL says that the transition to PC “provides players with expanded choice of controller, allowing them to select the League-approved controller style that works best for their game.” While some purists may be against the move away from traditional consoles, the majority are in agreement that this is the right move, as PC is the optimum platform in terms of game performance. It is interesting though that the league has decided to ditch consoles just before the next generation is released.
Consoles will however still be around in Call of Duty esports in some capacity. The Call of Duty Challengers division, in which the best amateur teams compete for healthy prize pots and the opportunity to get their names noticed by the 12 CDL franchises, will be cross-platform for 2021. Players will be able to compete on PC or console, but again only controllers will be permitted and not mouse and keyboard.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) September 14, 2020
The announcement states that Challengers players can use “their platform of choice,” insinuating that this could also bring Xbox consoles (both current and next-gen) into the fold after years of exclusivity to PlayStation.
The situation between the CDL and PlayStation, which previously sponsored parts of the broadcast, is yet to be explained.
CDL has also addressed one of the main criticisms of the amateur scene, which was exposure for its top performers. The league has now promised more coverage and content around Challengers which will aim to highlight the best talents in the division.