Big yikes coming from many fans of the Call of Duty League coming from the inaugural season last year, where constant disconnects that were allegedly due to DDoS attacks (which the franchise has turned a blind eye to for years), sneaking in nerfs that would violently shake up the meta without informing players; Activision is at the helm and it shows, for better or worse.
Yet all of this may pale in comparison to the newest announcement that has many offering a bit of a chuckle: the first-person shooting league Call of Duty is switching entirely to controllers next year on PC; no mouse and keyboard allowed.
So, once again, we have to weigh the merits of competitive integrity as another colossal company continues to fumble around in esports while they attempt to figure out what they are, precisely; aim-assist on controllers is widely considered to be cheating within the esport community, as they remove a massive element of skill.
The fundamental purpose of aim-assist is that it snaps onto an enemy when you scope; in Halo competitive game modes are almost impossible to play against controller-users as the aim-assist is hilariously dialed up, allowing anyone to melt you before you’re actually seen by them. The cross-platform play announcement with Apex Legends similarly caused a bit of a stir, as it has threatened to go from who has the best tactics coupled with aim to ‘who can zoom and un-zoom at a high vantage point first’.
People get death threats over this in CS:GO; it’s widely considered, at the very least, to be cheating.
The Call of Duty League has announced that the 2021 season will be played with controller on PC. pic.twitter.com/RdhASJzeiJ
— Call of Duty News (@charlieINTEL) September 14, 2020
The League previously played on PlayStation 4 consoles, so they were already snapping their aim to each other with reckless abandon; the announcement that they’re shifting to PC had excited many that we would begin to see fierce aim-duels coupled with a low TTK (a mechanic that has been explosively popular in CS:GO and Valorant) is being dashed for the sake of ‘League approved controllers’.
This is all packaged with a cross-platform amateur circuit called Call of Duty Challengers which similarly requires PC players to only use a controller; who wants to spend their time in a first-person shooter aiming when they can sprint around and ADS like an epileptic at his first rave?
It’s bizarre to the point of toeing the line of obscure satire, but this is what Activision has currently settled on.
Aim doesn’t matter, aim-assist will either work in favor of you, or your foe. Some are speculating that the 2022 season will finally offer mouse and keyboard set-ups, but that admittedly does rely on the organizers understanding esports in the first place; we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath lest you pass out.
CDL is no longer restricted to consoles, yet Activision is ensuring that the greatest limitation of console play stays well intact with their League.