Call Of Duty’s esports scene is quite heavily based on America and Europe, with the smaller Australia and New Zealand region fairly one-sided in its competition. Not any more.
Developer Treyarch has announced that the ANZ region will be expanded in 2017 to include Asia, and will be renamed to the Asia-Pacific region. This will combine Asian teams with Australian teams for a more rounded regional league. Specifically this will mean teams from China and South East Asia.
In addition to this, it was revealed that there will be more regional and global events throughout the year, bulking out the Call Of Duty World League with more matches to follow along with.
The first will be the NA regional match MLG Las Vegas that will be taking place in December, but no further details regarding the schedule of these additional events was provided.
This newly expanded Asia-Pacific region will also have its qualifiers taking place in December.
Alongside this announcement – which came via a livestream hosted by Treyarch’s director of brand development and esports Jay Puryear – a big change to Call Of Duty competitive play was revealed.
The way that weapons are selected is changing in competitive play, with the existing protects and bans format changing to force more strategic decisions from each team.
Rather than selecting a build for each map in the series, the new rule will instead require players to pick two weapons and a combat rig which will then be locked in for that series and can then no longer be chosen by other players – on both teams.
In addition to this there will be a base list of banned items that cannot be selected.
This means that players won’t be able to pick particular loadouts built for specific game modes and, instead, will need to make more decisive choices that will be best suited to the entire series.
Treyarch hopes that this will force teams and their players into specific roles, and will enable much more strategic play than in previous World Leagues.