Throughout the storied history of Call of Duty esports, there have always been a handful of teams that have been in contention for championship success. The Black Ops 4 season appears to be different from past seasons in the sense that nearly all 16 teams competing in the CWL Pro League are in with a chance of taking home a trophy.
With the first three open events of the season concluded, there have been no repeat winners so far. OpTic Gaming won CWL Las Vegas, Luminosity took home the trophy in Fort Worth and 100 Thieves most recently won CWL London. So why have there been no back-to-back champions so far?
Pro League structure improving competition
The introduction of the CWL in 2016 was a big step forward in terms of providing more regular competition between the world’s best teams. In 2017, the CWL moved all league matches onto an offline environment in order to prevent any external issues affecting the games. Moving the league to Columbus, Ohio has enabled teams to get the best possible standard of practice against the best teams.
Team Elevate may not have the best team on paper but thanks to a better practice environment, the Franco-American roster had a flawless performance in week nine of the Pro League, much to the surprise of many within the community.
The LAN league is certainly an integral reason to why this season has been the one of, if not the most competitive season of Call of Duty to date but it has not always been the case. In 2018, Epsilon Esports lost all but two of their games during stage one but towards the end, the team were beginning to find their feet with wins over Evil Geniuses.
Scheduling has also contributed greatly in regards to the competitive nature of the Black Ops 4 season. Since the Pro League began in January, open events have taken place in March, May and will take place in June with minimal time off in between Pro League matches.
Multiple teams are championship contenders
Back in 2018, Rise Nation managed to take home three championships in a row. Repeating a similar feat on Black Ops 4 is looking more unlikely as the second half of the season begins with CWL Anaheim.
The improvement in practice obviously plays a big part and so does the game itself. Compared to World War 2 last year, the overall pace of Black Ops 4 is considerably faster. Thanks to the new style of play, we have seen more new talent break into the CWL than ever before. The likes of Brandon “Dashy” Otell, Dylan “Dylan” Henderson and Chris “Simp” Lehr have all become household names within the past few months thanks to their aggressive styles of play and often overwhelming speed.
Coaches becoming more prevalent
The role of the coach in Call of Duty has become more prevalent during the Black Ops 4 season. Reigning and defending champions, 100 Thieves bought in 2015 world champion, James “Crowder” Crowder prior to CWL London in an attempt to reverse their slow start to the season.
Since his addition to the team, 100 Thieves has quickly become the team to beat after struggling with roles within the team and communication. It’s only a matter of time before every team in the league has a coach or an analyst to help refine and perfect strategies.
Now the Black Ops 4 season is heading towards its end, the level of competition is only going to increase, giving the season ending world championship the potential to be the most competitive Call of Duty tournament in history.