Call of Duty Community Upset By Possible Black Ops Cold War Skill-Based Matchmaking in Alpha Test

by in Call of Duty | Sep, 21st 2020

Activision held the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War alpha testing phase for PS4 players this past weekend, and it was a solid time for players on that platform to check out the game for the first time. However, there was one controversial aspect of it: the supposed Black Ops Cold War SBMM.

Pro Player Leffen Shuts Down SBMM Arguments

According to many content creators and players in the community, Black Ops Cold War SBMM, or a skill-based matchmaking system, was in full force during the weekend. This is a controversial gameplay system that has been long hated in the online multiplayer community for shooter games.

While there was a lot of backlash towards the Black Ops Cold War SBMM and you can certainly find people talking about it all across social media, one scenario involved Call of Duty content creator Hitch, who got into a fight online with Super Smash Bros. pro player Leffen.

The Swedish pro player Leffen recently dived into the online beta himself and noted that he doesn’t get the whole argument that the community has against the skill-based matchmaking system. He noted that it looked like players wanting to “stroke their ego” and play against people worse than them.

It didn’t take long for the community to fire back against Leffen, including Hitch, who posted it on social media. Hitch, or Davis, noted in a tweet that it would make sense for Leffen to feel that way if he has never played an FPS game competitively.

Hitch Fires Back Against Leffen

It would make sense to think that it is like Super Smash Bros. or any other one on one fighting game out there. He compared it to basketball, where anyone of any skill level can go out and play some ball with each other and have a good time even if they aren’t the best.

But if you play casually with someone who is excellent at tennis and you aren’t, the differences will be clear, and it probably won’t be fun for either one of you. Essentially, Hitch was comparing the team aspect of basketball to the Call of Duty games and other FPS titles out there.

In a way, these are team sports, so you could have a wide mix of good and bad players and still have a good time playing together. But in a fighting game, that isn’t possible if it is one on one, like in tennis, since someone will destroy the other person, and it won’t be nearly as fun.

Hitch was trying to make the point that it is alright for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and other FPS titles not to have skill-based matchmaking, but it is necessary for fighting games since they are two different video game genres, which is fair actually.

Call of Duty League Pro Players Also Hate on SBMM

Hitch was far from the only person to hate on the Black Ops Cold War SBMM that was apparent in the alpha testing phase. Even pro players like Scump of Chicago Huntsmen fame noted that it is “nuts,” hinting that he may not like it.

Attach, the latest addition to Minnesota Rokkr, noted that SBMM doesn’t belong in Call of Duty as that is what a ranked mode is for. Other pros similarly felt the same way about the system. But in the end, this is no surprise since Modern Warfare also had skill-based matchmaking.

It seems that, for now, Black Ops Cold War is just continuing the trend of having SBMM in the game. It is possible, though, that if players continue to hate on it, Treyarch could change that before launch, but it isn’t guaranteed since SBMM is prevalent in most FPS games at this time.

It has become a major part of battle royale games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty Warzone, which has led many players in those communities to call for its removal. That is understandable given that the ranked mode is there to have that skill-based matchmaking system.

My Personal Experience With Cold War SBMM

But if I’m perfectly honest with my own experiences this past weekend with Black Ops Cold War, I didn’t experience too much SBMM. I played around 30 matches or so and didn’t come across the annoying system that other players were calling out.

Outside of maybe one or two matches in total, it felt like each match was a breeze to win or just enough challenge to make it more fun. I didn’t feel like I was matched up against players who were way too strong and too far above my level.

To be clear, by no means am I an excellent Call of Duty player. I have lapsed as Modern Warfare wasn’t my thing, so I am rusty at best. But I did find that the matchmaking was completely random for me, and it did help that I could stay in a lobby that I liked and keep playing with them.

Also, I did spend a lot of time playing the new Combined Arms Domination mode. There seemed to be fewer players playing that one as I had a hard time finding games, so it seemed to match me with anyone playing it, leading to a nice mix of matches. But that is my personal experience, whereas others had a more annoying time.


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