The Call of Duty League has announced that the playoffs for its inaugural season will be played entirely online, dashing the hopes of both fans and players that the league would return to LAN events.
The CDL only managed to play four events offline (the Launch Weekend in Minnesota and Home Series in London, Atlanta, and Los Angeles) before being forced to run Home Series online, and now the league has confirmed that CDL Playoffs will also be played remotely. While player safety is quite rightly the number one priority, some players – such as London Royal Ravens’ Matthew ‘Skrapz’ Marshall – are concerned about the vast amount of money that is on the line (a $4.6 million prize pot to be precise) for something that is being held online on Modern Warfare’s sometimes unstable servers. There has also been concerns throughout the online Home Series about players potentially using prohibited, gameplay-enhancing controller adapters on their home setups.
In order to combat these issues, the CDL will be making more of an effort to police and monitor such things and outlines its three new “integrity measures” in a blog post.
The first fix (which will be put into action this weekend at the New York Subliners’ Home Series) will be a stricter camera policy. This will see every player and their setups – including controller, console, and monitor – monitored by multiple cameras, and all players must be seated and on camera before the “ready check status” of each game.
In light of continued COVID-19 health risks, the CDL postseason will be held online. The League and teams are collaborating on additional competitive integrity measures to be taken. More updates to follow in delivering the best experience for all. https://t.co/nyGMEZNAI4
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) July 5, 2020
Secondly, the league will make changes to server selection during Playoffs. Currently, teams are given three potential servers which they can veto to end up with a server that best suits both teams. For Playoffs, this will be increased to five, giving a better chance for both teams to find a server that is stable.
Lastly, the CDL is upping the amount of staff on its books for Playoffs across “production, technical, and officiating.” The league says this is so it can be “ready to handle any and all issues that might crop up in an online competition environment.”
The CDL Playoffs will be the biggest esports tournament in terms of prize money to be played online during the coronavirus pandemic, with most other events of its size being postponed or rescheduled for later dates.
With the winners taking home $2 million, the CDL’s focus on improving competitive integrity is definitely a welcome sight.