Activision’s CoD League got underway January 24 but many fans were disappointed with what they saw. The camerawork put a lot of focus on third-person viewpoints and not on the player’s perspectives. Also, player introductions were way too long, and other minor production issues added up to make for a hard to watch opening night.
Fortunately, it appears Activision has been listening. Last night’s games were a significant improvement with many changes being made to improve viewing. For starter, almost all camerawork was first-person, albeit with the occasional aerial shot to give context. On top of that, player entrances were shortened, the scoreboard was easier to follow, and the mini-map was left on the screen to provide useful information.
Why the CoD League Wasn’t Really At Fault
To be fair, a lot of the criticism aimed at Activision is probably unjust. It’s pretty clear that a lot of the CoD League’s format was taken from their already successful Overwatch League. They tried to stick with a working formula but perhaps didn’t consider how well it would translate into Call of Duty.
One of the big differences between the Overwatch League and CoD League is how team fights are won. A third-person perspective makes much more sense in Overwatch where cooldowns and positioning are key. However, with the CoD League, most team fights are won with prediction and mechanical skill. Therefore, viewers are going to want to see a player’s aim over anything else.
Regardless, you have to give the CoD League team credit for taking action so quickly. I know other eSports that would have waited an entire season before taking any action. Making amends just one day after the initial complaints is impressive and well-deserving of praise.
As for the event itself, I thought it was okay. Clearly, there was an issue regarding the lack of gameplay variety. Every match felt very similar with only the M4A1, MP5, and AX-50 getting any significant usage. Hopefully, Infinity Ward takes note of this and tries to adjust the gun balance to encourage some variety.
Also, I’m personally not a fan of Gentlemen’s Agreements as I feel they make the CoD League less competitive. It’s up to Infinity Ward to balance the game, not the pros to ban things they don’t like. I couldn’t even imagine something like GAs existing in a truly competitive league where millions are up for grabs.