Article:The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about the 2019 CWL Reveal

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about the 2019 CWL Reveal

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about the 2019 CWL Reveal

With the 2019 CWL reveal stream just wrapping up, I decided to talk about the biggest takeaways from the stream, and what to look forward to in 2019.

The Good

-Increased AM support. With the announcement of an amateur circuit with its own prize pool, this will allow AM teams increased flexibility to compete at a professional level as well as supporting themselves financially. Another benefit of this is the new rule surrounding substitutes, which states “Pro League rosters will now require a sixth player as a substitute from outside of the CWL Pro League.” AM players will be able to showcase their talent

-This year will feature the largest prize pool in Call of Duty history, with a whopping 6 million dollars being paid out throughout 4 Open Events, the LAN League, and CWL Champs.

-One large complaint about the WW2 season was the qualifying system for Season 2 relegation, with only 4 spots dished out to teams in the online qualifier for a chance at the League, with a second LAN tournament held with the 4 qualifying teams as well as the 4 relegated teams. This year, in addition for the top 4 finishers at CWL Vegas automatically qualifying for the CWL, the final top 32 teams will battle for the final 12 spots in an offline setting. Furthermore, the region locks for spots in the league are gone, so the competition will be on an even playing field. This system massively benefits the AM scene, as it has been traditionally been very difficult for them to qualify for the league. Time will see if they can compete with the best.

-Rosters are not locked throughout the CWL season, with there to be a period of time for shuffles yet to be announced. This benefits all teams, as they won’t be stuck in the same roster throughout the year. Rostermania won’t go away, and neither will the memes.

The Bad

-One negative about the season structure is the noticeable lack of events this year, with a total of 6, comparing to 8 in the previous years. With the number of Open Events reduced as well as there being only 1 stage of the LAN League, one must hope that the reduction of LAN’s is filled with the weekly league matches, which start in January/February.

-Despite the announcement of the 6 major tournaments to be held this year, the locations and dates of the final 5 events were not revealed. With 1 of the 4 Opens located in Vegas and presumably having the traditional Anaheim event, there is too much gray area surrounding the locations of the final events. Many European viewers have expressed worries about the lack of events held in the region, with WW2’s Birmingham event having one of the strongest crowds in recent memory. This isn’t necessarily a big problem, more of an annoying one- I can’t wait to find out.

The Ugly

-5v5. There is no sugarcoating this, the switch to 5v5 is an ugly one. With zero testing going into this decision, the decision making around this was made for all the wrong reasons. The blatant disrespect shown to players, teams, and orgs by not informing them of the change until weeks before the season begins is a poor look for MLG/Activision. Furthermore, the reasoning behind this decision, whether it was an attempt to look “legitimate” by imitating Tier 1 Esports like Counter-Strike, Overwatch, or Dota 2, or in catering to the casual, public match audience, the change goes against the grain of the game. Call of Duty at its core has always been 4v4, and jealousy or a wish to imitate other, more mainstream success should not be a driving force for change, especially with Call of Duty's largely successful track record. This is the make or break for the games competitive future, and I hope to god it works out.

-Qualification for the CWL being solely based off 1 event. With the top 4 teams at CWL Las Vegas qualifying for the CWL, and the other top 28 battling for their spot, too much emphasis is being placed on the season opener. With qualification beginning immediately, teams won't be able to settle in to the meta in time, potentially leading to a situation like MLG Vegas in the Infinite Warfare season, where the meta wasn’t seen at any other event for the rest of the year, and the two finalists, Rise and C9, failing to place as high as 4th until C9 at Anaheim (with 50% of the roster changed), and Rise at Champs finishing 4th. We could potentially see the same scenario this year, with a wacky event unduly influencing the rest of the season. Finally, beginning the league after 1 event won’t show who the best players/teams are, evidenced by Rise Nation in the World War 2 season, with the core of Loony, TJHaly, and Gunless not forming until after the first event of the year.

Published on 20. Sep 2020
Written by Druid / Twitter - @Druid__00'

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