What the Call of Duty League 2022 Season Needs to Change
The Call of Duty League 2022 season is still a few months away, but that does not stop us from noting the changes that we wish to see in the league. The league is in a decent place, but it could be doing better if it made the right changes to some of the more problematic parts.
What We Know About the Call of Duty League 2022 Season Thus Far
As for what we know about the Call of Duty League 2022 season thus far, the most obvious point that will change with the new season is the game. While 2021 was played on Black Ops Cold War, the upcoming season will feature Sledgehammer Games’ new title, Call of Duty Vanguard.
This will be the first time Sledgehammer will have a game featured in the CDL, so there is the chance for this season to be even more intensely different than the jump from Modern Warfare to Cold War was. This is especially the case since this is a World War II-set season.
We also know that there will be some huge roster changes, as already seen in the Los Angeles Guerrillas announcing an impressive roster that includes some of the most experienced veterans around, including Slasher, Gunless, Asim, and Huke.
Furthermore, other teams have also dropped their entire rosters and will aim for a new lineup in the upcoming season. It looks like there are only three teams that will not be changing. They are Toronto Ultra, Minnesota Rokkr, and the current champs, Atlanta FaZe.
Then there is the fact of LAN. Though the pandemic is ongoing and even more variants are beginning to appear globally, this did not stop Activision from hosting some LAN events this year. We imagine that it will not stop the publisher next year, so we expect even more LAN content in the 2022 season.
This could, in turn, lead to a more balanced year that is focused mainly on the LAN events that will help the season to be more in line with previous years of Call of Duty esports before the COVID-19 situation. For many of the players in the league, that would be a blessing.
What the Season Needs to Change
However, though there are those changes that we know about already, there are still other Call of Duty League 2022 season changes that we want to see. Ranging from how the rules and regulations are handled to the game modes offered and more, some changes should happen this season.
Of course, there are some changes that I would like to see that will not happen this season, so I won’t even mention them in the list below. For instance, I still want to see an expansion in the league, much like some players, to have more teams in the league than ever before.
Having 16 teams or more in the league would open up the opportunities for more competition and even the chance for more rookies to appear and shine through. However, that will not happen this year based on everything that we have heard from organizations.
As such, that one is off the table here. Instead, I will focus on this list with the main Call of Duty League 2022 season changes that I think could still happen. Without further ado, let’s look at the four main areas where I think the Call of Duty League could improve.
For starters, it is time for the Call of Duty League 2022 season to shake up the game modes that it includes once more. Without a doubt, there will be three main modes that the teams compete in with Vanguard, but I hope that it is not the same ones that we had during the Cold War season.
Control, for sure, needs to go. Though I grew to like it over time, it was not a great game mode for competitors, in my opinion. It highly favored a couple of teams in the entire league over everyone else when both Hardpoint and Search & Destroy at least left room for upsets.
The problem with Vanguard is figuring out the third mode that will replace Control in the upcoming Call of Duty League 2022 season. I do not expect Control to return in Vanguard, so that is without a doubt out of the question.
When it came to the first CDL season, Domination filled that slot, but that was for an Infinity Ward game. In all honesty, from my time playing Vanguard, I am not a fan of how Domination is being handled in that game. I would be disappointed if I was a player and it was chosen.
It is most likely going to be similar to what was used in the previous Advanced Warfare and WWII seasons. As such, I would not be surprised if Capture the Flag made a triumphant return next season, which would be an amazing addition, in my opinion.
Oddly enough, Capture the Flag has not been confirmed for Vanguard when writing this, nor was it available in the beta. It would be crazy, though, for this classic mode to be missing from the successor to World War II, so here’s hoping that it returns and is the third mode in the CDL.
But the problem does not end there. At this point, Sledgehammer has yet to confirm that traditional Hardpoint is making its way to Vanguard. Instead, it is hyping up Patrol, a new game mode like Hardpoint but slightly different.
The difference is that the point is always on the map and continuously moves around the map in a slow, predictable pattern. This wild new game mode has grown on me over time, but I still think it is too chaotic and messy to be competitive-friendly.
So, hopefully, Hardpoint is available in Vanguard and will remain one of the three main game modes alongside Search & Destroy. After all, I do not see any other game modes taking the place of any of these other modes since Uplink will likely not be in this game.
The only possible one I can come up with could be Demolition, which I think could be an interesting choice for a respawn mode replacement, but I also doubt it would be balanced enough to work as a CDL mode while also being a little too close to S&D to make sense.
Rules for Loadouts
The next Call of Duty League 2022 season change that I want to see is about the weapons and loadouts available in the season for players to use. This is a major one since it affects the players and likely also those of us who will jump into whatever the ranked mode in Vanguard is.
While I love Cold War gameplay, I think that the CDL became too limited in nature during the 2021 season. Every team was using the same general makeup and guns that it felt too stale and lacked the necessary variation to have more fun in the esports scene.
One of the changes has to be the grand return of sniper rifles in Vanguard, especially with the longer feel to the matches that it has compared to Cold War. Having snipers back in the mix would alone shake up the formula and return to the craziness we have had in the past with long shots and the like.
It would also be great to have more weapon variety available in the meta for different options for SMGs and ARs that teams can choose from. Having everyone using the same weapons repeatedly is pretty annoying and can make the matches feel too similar.
Having some players opt for a more burst-fire assault rifle that appeals to their playstyle while someone else goes for a standard fully automatic weapon can help each team and strategy stand out on their own. It also does not force teams to adhere to a single playstyle, which they might not be as good at.
Regarding equipment and perks, I think that regulation here is good, but I would like to see more variation in this area as well. While I’m not sure the Molotov cocktails have a place in the league, I want to see more options besides the standard grenades and other equipment items.
Moving more into the actual format of the 2022 season, I think the format of the stage is great, but it needs to be tweaked a little bit. Having the five stages in the 2021 season was great and added some necessary structure to the mess we had in 2020.
Having the three weeks of group play mixed with the Stage Majors helped give some organization and competition to look forward to. The problem here is that the Stage format removed the importance of the Home Series Weekends that were pretty cool in 2020.
Putting the focus on one of the teams most weeks out of the season is a great idea and a way to hype up the franchised nature of the league. However, naming the week after the team, and it does not mean much at all, can be pretty lame.
Hopefully, we will have LAN events again so that teams can host these events and have that home-field advantage again. If that cannot happen, though, there needs to be some way to ensure that it means something.
If that means that the home team is the only one to play two or three matches in that week, then so be it. This would likely require some of the other teams to take that week off to make that happen. It would require some overall rebuilding of the seasonal schedule.
Playoffs Really Needs to Change
And then there are the playoffs, where the new champion is crowned. This year, the championship tournament was pretty interesting, despite only eight teams competing. The result was pretty predictable overall.
But much of the predictability of the playoffs was due to the format and the low number of teams. With no expansion happening in 2022, there needs to be a drastic change to have a more interesting final tournament of the year.
It is sad when the five Majors are honestly more interesting and longer than the playoffs due to all 12 teams being there. I’m not going to ask for all 12 teams to have a chance at playoffs since I understand the importance of trying your best all season and earning your way there, but there needs to be a balance.
There are two main ways to see the playoffs change next year that I think would help it out some. The first is by having a group stage in the playoffs themselves, similar to past world championships. If we stick with the top eight teams, we should have two groups or something like that.
Maybe an upper bracket group and a lower bracket one. It could work that the teams all battle against one another in their group once and then the points are added up. For the bottom bracket group, have the bottom two teams eliminated from the group stage and the playoffs as a whole.
As for the upper bracket group, have the bottom two teams there play against the top two teams. Whoever loses will move to the bottom bracket to play against the two remaining teams there. The second option that I could see happen is to have more than eight teams in the tournament.
While I’m not going to say to have all 12 teams there, having 10 would be great and help out a lot. What could happen is having the bottom four teams compete in a small group stage last chance qualifiers event before playoffs.
All four teams will have the chance to move on to the playoffs, but only the top two will do it. Then those two teams will start in the bottom bracket and be at a disadvantage compared to the other teams in the tournament.
I could even see a mix of the two formats with 10 teams in the playoffs, the top two teams in the upper bracket with a bye for the group stage, and continuing with the same four-team groups that I mentioned before. That could work well and have a deep, slightly more complex event than the simple playoffs we’ve had thus far.
Part of the playoffs is that some teams have it easier since they will never have to face the better teams at defeating them. Having group stages thrown in there requires everyone to play against almost everyone to earn the right to become the champions, which is a great way to truly cement that they are the best team in the entire league for that year.