For the Future of the CWL

Call of Duty was one of the very first games I played when I was younger. Sitting in the multiplayer lobbies with school friends, turning the game off when I realised that I didn’t even know the controls and felt under pressure every time I stepped foot into a game. That changed. I found my love for Call of Duty; the competitive aspect of the game. Throughout my perspective of keeping up-to-date with the latest team news, game updates and some special surprises here and there, There is so much that could still be improved for the CWL.

Event Diversity

If you look back at previous seasons (Infinite Warfare, onwards) Call of Duty’s competitive format has significantly changed. We could say the same for the Black Ops 4 season with the 5v5 roster format. In terms of LAN events, Call of Duty held the same event, but in different regions. For example, in Black Ops 3, all three regions (APAC, EU and NA) held offline events for the pro league playoff series: Sydney, Cologne and Burbank respectively. Now, the pro league is held globally in Columbus, OH where 16 teams across regions compete in stage 1 and 2.

For the LAN open events, similarly with the Pro Leagues from 2017 and before, Call of Duty had many events for different regions such as UMG and MLG for NA, Gfnity and EGL for EU and ESL for APAC.

Denial Esports after winning Call of Duty Championship 2015

Since then, the schedule remains tight for the Call of Duty cycle as for Call of Duty: WWII and Black Ops 4, there is only one CWL event in the European region. Last season was CWL Birmingham, hosted at the NEC — a popular event that hosts many conventions such as the Insomnia Gaming Festival.

Personally, I believe that the CWL has been very much so American dominant, this can be seen since their World League introduction to Call of Duty in 2016. How can it be named a “World” League if the events that take place are subjected to one region? Yes — the rosters, on the other hand, are global but that doesn’t take into account that there should be an increase in event diversity.

OpTic Gaming after beating eUnited at CWL Las Vegas. (Credit: MLG)

Regardless, nearly all teams fly to each offline event and a lot of European/APAC teams who want to participate struggle to find the funding to fulfil their passions. The CWL should consider more UK locations or go back to their roots in Paris. Not necessarily saying that MLG should only be looking in these two locations, but should also consider European countries such as Italy, Spain and The Netherlands. It shouldn’t be subjected to NA and EU regions for Offline events, as I believe it would be interesting to visit CWL events in Asia and APAC. Don’t worry, I’ll cover my opinions on the Asian region shortly.

What CWL event locations would you like to see?

Professional Females in the Call of Duty Scene

I am an advocate for women in esports. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of women who aspire their passion for gaming. In terms of Call of Duty, female gamers struggle with the unnecessary toxicity from mostly male figures in the community over the gender differences in gaming (I’m sorry men, I’m not saying all men are doing this, but from a female’s POV — it’s male dominant.) You’ll hear the saying “men are better than females at this, this and this” primarily down to the evolution of time. I don’t like this, other females don’t like this and men who stand with women don’t like this. I would love to see females rising through events, whether that’s a full female roster or a mixed roster.

Jess Brohard at CWL Las Vegas, one of the leading females in broadcasting.

Now, I’m saying this to everyone because it works both ways: if you have a passion for something, live for it. Don’t allow any person to tell you that you can’t do it. Also, don’t tell yourself you can’t do it. You can. You may feel like you’re not as good as someone else and lead your way through a spiral of comparison, but practise makes improvement — It may not be perfect but you will improve. If you have a goal in mind, drive it. If you want to be making those performances you see top-flight teams making, then spectate their performance and find those key points to make yourself better. Prove your worth and don’t let anyone take that away from you.

That got deep…next point?

CWL Recognising More Asian Talent

Asia is a part of the APAC region, which in Call of Duty, is predominantly known for it’s Australian and New Zealander teams. However, how many times have you heard from Japanese or Chinese teams this season?

Japan’s next National Qualifier is on January 26 in Japan for CWL Fort Worth — the champion of the tournament will head to Texas to compete in the second open event of the series.

Rush Gaming during Black Ops 4: WWII season

One Japanese team mostly known to the community is Rush Gaming: an organisation consisting of the best Japanese players in their region: winning multiple community cups in Black Ops 3. They made their way to CWL Las Vegas in December but unfortunately placed T112. They came third in last season’s Japanese Pro League, below Detonation Gaming and Libalent Vertex. It seems for me, Japan is very discreet with their on/offline competitions and it would be a great development to see more recognition.

Overall, I’d love to see Call of Duty develop as one of the leading esports in the industry. For CWL Las Vegas, Call of Duty achieved the highest peaked viewership of December 2018. The development of each season will only get better — and it’s not just the events that draw more people towards the competitive side of Call of Duty, take Blackout as an example — one of the best Battle Royale games (personally, sorry Fortnite) and with the hype over it’s tournaments and watching celebrities such as footballers Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Geordie Shore’s Gaz Beadle and many more live streaming their gameplay. Call of Duty will continue rising.

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Alisha Wicks

That typical esports writer. Covering Call of Duty, Rocket League & general esports. Twitter: @alishalmao