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esports
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Call of Duty esports switching to 5v5 format

We have full details for the upcoming Black Ops 4 season.

  • Text: Sam Bishop
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The official website for Call of Duty esports has revealed full details for the upcoming season of the Call of Duty World League (CWL) with Black Ops 4, where the biggest change is undoubtedly the switch to a 5v5 format.

The CWL prize pool has also been increased to $6 million USD, the largest in history, and region restrictions have been lifted from LAN events, meaning anyone from around the world can compete. Also, the full ruleset for the upcoming season, such as weapons and equipment, will be revealed before the start of online competition as well.

The first event we can expect is CWL Las Vegas from December 7 to 9, which will feature Open Bracket, Pool Play, and a Championship Bracket. Any teams who purchase a team pass will be able to play in the Open Bracket, while Pool Play will require teams to adhere to restrictions, as Stage 2 teams "must retain three of four players from their roster to qualify. Any top-12 team that does not retain the majority of its roster will be replaced by teams with the highest amount of combined CWL Pro Points from the 2018 season."

The final four Pool Play teams will then be determined by a relegation-style play-in tournament on December 6 in Vegas, with the top eight teams with the highest CWL Pro Points from the 2018 season qualifying into this, the top four going on to join the 12 teams in Pool Play, while the bottom four going into Open Bracket.

"Those familiar with last year's tournaments know the rest," the post reads. "The top-four teams out of Open Bracket join the 16 Pool Play teams. Pool Play teams compete for seeding in the Championship Bracket, and the four Open Losers Bracket survivors will be placed in the Championship Bracket Losers Round 1."

The CWL Pro League is also making a return in February, but qualification is different, as the top four teams from CWL Las Vegas will qualify for the competition, while teams placing between 5th and 32nd will fight for the last 12 spots at a qualification event at the MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio in January.

The 16 Pro League teams will split into two divisions, and there's not a relegation period or two separate stages any more. There's only one stage this year with 12 weeks of play, including between divisions, and teams will get a prize bonus for every match they win. There will also be roster change periods throughout the season, and all Pro League matches will be broadcast from Monday to Thursday from the MLG Arena.

The post also says the CWL wants to grow the amateur scene, which means they're launching a dedicated circuit for these players. Starting with the second 'Open' LAN event of the year and continuing through each 'Open' LAN afterwards, amateur teams have a double-elimination open bracket tournament with their own prize pool, taking place at the same time and venue as the CWL Pro League Cup, with the final also taking place on the main stage of the event. Again, no region restriction rule apply.

"This dedicated amateur circuit is not only a great way for up-and-coming players and organizations to get support throughout the season, but also for Pro League organizations to see and scout the biggest rising stars in the esport today. And that's pretty important, because Pro League rosters will now require a sixth player as a substitute from outside of the CWL Pro League. Each of the 16 CWL Pro League teams must designate one player from the amateur circuit as a substitute. More details will be available closer to the CWL Pro League kickoff in 2019."

National Circuit is also being changed into CWL National Qualifiers, in which 16 teams compete in an online tournament to win travel and accommodation for a future CWL LAN event, taking place in Australia and New Zealand, Canada, France and Belgium, Italy, Germany and Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, United Kingdom and Ireland, and United States. These will be locked to the country and region, however.

As for online competition, CWL Ladders and Weekly Pro Points tournaments will start after Black Ops 4 launches and will help determine seeding for LAN events, although the emphasis for the Pro League itself is still on LAN results.

And last but not least we have the CWL Finals, which is a dedicated event to the CWL Pro League Playoffs, with amateur circuit teams having their own playoffs at the same event, serving also as a last chance qualifier for Champs. As for the CWL Championship itself, this will feature the top 16 Pro League teams and top 16 teams from the amateur circuit.

More specific details like exact prizing, dates, and locations will be coming soon, but for now what do you think of these changes?

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Photo: MLG