Call of Duty League Championship Format and Other Changes Revealed

by in Call of Duty | May, 19th 2020

The Call of Duty League is one of the most exciting and interesting esports competitions of 2020. With so many events and tournaments canceling or postponing due to the coronavirus epidemic, this league is going strong. It even just announced changes including the new Call of Duty League Championship format for this season.

Call of Duty League Changes Are Coming in the Middle of the Season

As we reach a crucial turning point in the first season of the Call of Duty League, Activision has released a blog post that is in celebration of the midway point for the inaugural season. This blog post isn’t just a celebration of what has come thus far, but it announces many changes as well.

Though the Call of Duty League has already gone through so many changes over time in just its first season alone, there are more on the way soon. Activision revealed that the entire league recently voted on whether or not to change the maps and game modes that they compete in, for instance.

Also, the entire Call of Duty League is changing up considerably with the new Call of Duty League Championship format that was recently revealed. And fans have a lot to look forward to as well, with new additions like the ability to earn in-game rewards like drops and more.

These changes are rather surprising, though, as the Call of Duty League just reached its midway point in the season and it already had some insane changes in the past with the COVID-19 global pandemic. That caused the league to move to a remote, online-only format for the remainder of the season.

But the changes that happened with that event going on in the world were only among the first. The changes that were announced today will change the league forever and are surprisingly great. We are glad to hear about them, as they will enhance the quality of this already awesome first season.

Call of Duty League Championship Format Changed

First and foremost, the biggest change of them all is the fact that there is a brand new Call of Duty League Championship format. The official esports league that uses Modern Warfare for competing will no longer follow the original formula that it was going to use for determining the overall winner.

Originally, the league was going to be a lot like the NBA and NFL sports leagues that seem to have inspired the overall style of the COD League. Given that it has franchised, city-based teams that are at the crux of the league, this seems to be the case for sure.

Like its physical sports brethren, the Call of Duty League was going to have a normal season that went for months on end, followed by a playoff season that would be only exclusive to a certain number of teams. This would only feature the best of the best teams and players across the league.

In particular, of the 12 teams that are in the league, only the top eight would earn the honor of making their way into the playoffs tournament. That tournament would determine who among the eight would come out on top as the champion team for the first season of the Call of Duty League.

It was an understandable and welcome approach to the normal esports formula, as it would allow the best eight teams to still have a chance to shine, even if there would be the bottom four teams left in the dust. That said, the new Call of Duty League Championship format is much, much better.

Under the newly improved and announced format, all 12 teams in the first season of the league will have a chance at the championship trophy. No longer is any team barred from making their way into the grand finals of the entire season, as everyone will have a fair chance to win it all.

Everyone from the number one team at the end of the regular season to the team in last place with the least number of league points will have a shot at winning the top prize in the league, which includes the championship trophy and a whole lot of cash on the line.

Taking place sometime in August with more details on the dates and schedule for the event to come in the future, the new Call of Duty League Championship will feature all 12 teams in the league competing in a classic double-elimination style tournament bracket.

Now, this might have you concerned and wondering what the point of the league’s first season is if everyone is just going to have a chance to play in the final tournament anyway. Well, that is a valid concern, but thankfully, this new format will alleviate the problem in a great way.

How the Tournament Brackets Will Work

While everyone will compete in the final tournament together, the final placements of the 12 teams on the Call of Duty League standings will determine how fair and possible it is for them to make it to the finals and win the entire tournament.

As with many double-elimination tournaments, there will be two brackets that will be used for the main event: the winners bracket and the losers bracket. If a team starts in the winners bracket, they will not be eliminated for good if they lose a match.

Instead, they will be sent to the losers bracket where they will have a second chance to climb out of the gutters and possibly make it to the grand finals. But if a team ends up in the losers bracket and loses again there, they will be eliminated for good from the entire event.

This is the standard format that a lot of other esports competitions currently use for their tournaments. So, the double-elimination format will not only be used for this championship event, but it will be used to give some teams advantages over the others.

This might seem unfair, but we think it is valid since some of the teams will have performed much better during the regular season than others. Where the teams start in the tournament will be determined by the final placements on the leaderboard at the end of the normal season.

For instance, the bottom four teams that are placed ninth through 12th places will have a chance to participate in the event when they wouldn’t have been able to before. The catch, though, is that all four of them will start in round one in the elimination bracket.

In this way, two of those four bottom teams will be eliminated after the first round is over and only two of the bottom four will have a shot at moving on, winning the overall championship, and earning some cash in the process for doing well.

From there, though, the rest of the eight teams that would have been in the original playoffs will start in the winners bracket. Fifth through eighth place will feature four teams that will be in the first round of the winners bracket where they will compete against one another.

Two of them will move onto round two while two of them will lose in the first round of matches and be dropped into the losers bracket to face off against the winners of that first round there. This leaves the top four teams, which will each have some advantages and round byes over the others.

The third and fourth place teams, for instance, will get a single round bye into the second round of the tournament. They will start out the competition in round two of the winners bracket, facing off against the two teams who won in round one.

And last but not least, we have the first and second place teams from the normal season of the league. They will automatically be placed in round three of the winners bracket for the championship tournament. They will get to skip not one but two of the rounds of the event.

They will show up in the third round of the event and face off against the two teams who moved on from the second round while the other two teams who lost in round two will drop into the losers bracket. From there, the competition will likely continue until a winner is crowned in the upper bracket.

And the bottom bracket will continue until a winner is crowned there. And then the grand finals will have the winner of the upper bracket and the winner of the lower bracket face off for the championship trophy. Overall, it sounds like a long and drawn-out process, but an exciting one.

This way, a team could start in the bottom bracket and work its way to the finals. It would be a long fight to get there, but it is possible. In this way, anything could happen in the final tournament and we think that is exactly what Activision is banking on.

This all makes sense given what happened in the most recent event of the league. The Florida Home Series Weekend saw the craziest event yet where two of the top five teams, Minnesota Rokkr and Florida Mutineers, couldn’t even make it to the finals round when up against bottom-tier teams.

They lost in the initial section of the Home Series Weekend tournament, which caused the finals to have three teams that no one expected to be there alongside the current number one team: Atlanta FaZe. This was insane and showed that anything is possible in the league.

As such, it only makes sense to allow all 12 teams to compete in the championship event, as one team could show up and give it their all and end up in the finals or place better than they would have otherwise. This would even be better, as it would give them a chance to earn some sweet prizes.

How Prizes Will Work in the Championship Tournament

The prizes in the finals tournament will be determined by the end placement in the event when all is said and done. The prizes are pretty impressive overall, and the teams will get some nice cash for doing well. It all starts, though, with the two teams in last place.

The two teams who start in the bottom bracket and lose in the first round will get nothing for the event, which is unfortunate. But the two teams who tie for ninth place in the tournament will get $75,000 for their single win in the tournament.

The two teams who tie for seventh place will earn $125,000 while the two teams tied for fifth place will get $200,000. The single team that ends up in fourth place will receive $300,000 for making it to the top four in the event while the third place team will get a whopping $500,000.

From there, the top two teams who win the winner and bottom brackets, respectively, will get a whole lot of cash. The second place, runner-up team will get $1 million for making it to the grand finals but not ultimately winning the entire competition.

Meanwhile, the first place champion team for the first season of the Call of Duty League will earn themselves $2 million for their troubles. This is very impressive and we can’t wait to see who ends up the champion, but until then, some other changes will take precedence.

Teams Voted on Map and Mode Changes

Interestingly enough, the teams in the Call of Duty League recently voted on what to do for the remainder of the season when it comes to the multiplayer maps and game modes that are used. They had a chance to change the format overall and have new maps or modes introduced.

Considering that we are around the midway point during the season and every team has had an equal number of events to participate in, this was the perfect chance to change things for the second half if some teams found that they weren’t happy with the current state of things.

The league held discussions with both the players and the teams’ management to figure out what to do about the maps and game modes for the second half of the 2020 season. A single idea that Activision revealed was to have Domination removed from the season entirely.

Domination is currently one of three game modes that are used in each match in the league to determine match winners; the other two being Hardpoint and Search and Destroy. With that idea proposed, the teams voted together on whether or not to remove Domination.

The majority spoke, though, and decided to keep Domination as one of the core three game modes used in tournaments. In addition to that, teams had the chance to propose the elimination or addition of multiplayer maps for use in those game modes for the remainder of the season.

Interestingly enough, no players suggested potential new map candidates and everyone agreed to just keep the map pool exactly what it is currently. This is especially interesting since new maps are being added to Modern Warfare with each new season of multiplayer.

For now, though, the Call of Duty League 2020 season will remain just how it was before except for the radically changed championship format.

Server Update and League Bracket Challenge Announced

That said, there are some interesting additions and changes that are happening in the background that won’t directly affect the overall Call of Duty League season. Since making the change to an online-only competition, the league has been further improving its online functionality.

Overall, Activision reports that the server quality increased from the first event under this new online format, the Dallas Empire Home Series Weekend, to the second one that was the Chicago event. This was further improved before the start of the recent Florida Home Series Weekend.

New servers were added to specific locations that allowed for testing between matches to reduce the broadcast wait times for when matches go live. This has seemed to help even more and testing is still being done leading up to the upcoming Seattle Surge Home Series Weekend.

For fans, there is something new on the way that will benefit you directly. The Call of Duty League bracket challenge is coming soon and will allow you to predict what you think will happen in the rest of the season. You will be able to populate your brackets with your predictions.

The new digital and interactive experience will let you personalize your predictions and share them with your friends. This will likely not just work for the championship at the end of the season, but for the Home Series Weekend events for the rest of the normal season as well.

This is a great way to join in on the fun directly besides just watching the events live as they happen. No rewards were noted in the announcement of this bracket challenge, but here’s hoping that fans will be able to earn some prizes for doing well in predicting what will happen next.

Regardless, this is a great move that will allow fans to show off their predictions and, perhaps, make personal bets with their friends to see who will be the closest to predicting the winner of the first season of the Call of Duty League.

Call of Duty League Drop Rewards Are Coming Soon

If that isn’t enough, there is a way that fans will be able to earn some special rewards during the rest of the Call of Duty League 2020 season. Drop rewards are coming soon to the league, similar to what is done on Twitch where players can watch streams and earn items.

Since the league is exclusively broadcasted through its YouTube channel, drops aren’t something that players are normally able to get since this is a function that YouTube has yet to implement. But Activision has found its way around this by announcing its tournament drops.

All players will need to do is watch the matches through the official Call of Duty League website or companion app while logged into their Activision account. While doing this, they will be able to earn some rewards like new team emblems, sprays, and animated calling cards.

These cosmetic items will be available across platforms, so it doesn’t matter if you play on PS4, Xbox One, or PC; you will still be able to earn these drops through watching the matches live as they happen. Unfortunately, no details were given about whether or not the drops will work for watching matches on-demand after they are streamed.

What’s Next for the Call of Duty League 2020 Season?

There are more details on the way about the Call of Duty League 2020 drops in the future. We will be sure to share those with you as soon as we have more details about what is happening with that and how you can earn them while watching the Home Series Weekend events.

It is uncertain if there will be any drops for the upcoming tournament that is happening this weekend. It will be the Seattle Surge Home Series event and will feature eight of the 12 teams competing for a share of the league points that will be offered there.

You can find the eight teams competing there below:

  • Chicago Huntsmen
  • Paris Legion
  • Los Angeles Guerrillas
  • London Royal Ravens
  • OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
  • Minnesota Rokkr
  • New York Subliners
  • Seattle Surge


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