Call of Duty League Championship Modifications - ‘Warzone Weekend’ Event Is Added

Updated: 5 Jun 2020 11:29 AM PDT
Posted: 28 May 2020 3:40 PM PDT

Call of Duty League Championship Modifications - ‘Warzone Weekend’ Event Is Added

As most who follow the news know, many public gaming events have been postponed or outright canceled. Though the Call of Duty League Championships was not canceled, many of the original plans for the Championship did have to get modified. Unlike many other events, though, these modifications came in the form of doing more rather than less. With more people watching e-sports than ever before, Activision Blizzard had a unique opportunity to put more eyes on its games. This, in turn, led to a surprising addition to the weekend - the introduction of the all-new Warzone Weekend featuring the players from the top Call of Duty teams.

What is Call of Duty: Warzone?

warzone-1 Call of Duty - Warzone Weekend | Credit:

Warzone is one of the more popular features of Call of Duty, allowing massive numbers of players to compete against one another in Call of Duty's version of the popular Battle Royale genre. This free-to-play iteration has a fairly dedicated fanbase and tends to attract a somewhat different crowd than the traditional Call of Duty matches, but it's still an easily-identifiable part of the franchise. It is notable, though, that Warzone isn't generally considered to be one of the Championship-caliber Call of Duty modes - it's just a separate multiplayer game that shares the same assets and engine.

What is Warzone Weekend?

warzone-8 Call of Duty - Warzone Weekend | Credit:

Warzone Weekend was a special event added to the Championship League. Given that the League was looking for extra content due to the format changes, it made perfect sense to try and leverage one of the other Call of Duty properties to give viewers something new to watch. Instead of changing the tournament formatting or throwing in more matches in the traditional model, the organizers made the call that they would be having a special Battle Royale, one that involved all twelve of the teams that were already slated to take part in the Championship weekend.

Warzone Weekend leveraged the Warzone platform by creating a unique public lobby that was reserved just for the 48 players from the twelve teams. Though there were still the same team lineups as one would see in the traditional matches, this was a winner-takes-all Battle Royale. That led to not only a fairly exciting new type of match but to a format that would allow each individual player to test his or her skills against those of the rest of their team. This mode also had its own prize pool, which let the winner walk home with $10,0000.

It's important to note that Warzone Weekend was considered to be an extra part of the championship festivities rather than a replacement for any part of the more traditional product. This was more of a side trip to produce a little bit of extra content for a hastily-altered weekend than an attempt to integrated Warzone into the Championship league. As such, the Warzone weekend proved to be a very exciting diversion but also one that had little overall relevance on the championships. It's perhaps best to look at this as an experimental exhibition rather than any sign of where Call of Duty is heading.

Watching the Warzone Weekend

warzone-10 Call of Duty - Warzone Weekend | Credit:

The Warzone Weekend was, surprisingly, not a live event. Instead of holding it during the Championship league, the event was pre-taped so that players wouldn't have to split their attention between the main event and this side game. This also gave the League a bit more time to ensure that it created a more polished product for viewers, which further helped it to ensure that it would have high-tier content to help its broadcasting relationship with Youtube to gain more traction and more interested viewers.

One of the more logical reasons to hold the Warzone Weekend was to help make up for any content gaps that might have occurred due to the current global issues. Since Activision Blizzard has signed with Youtube to stream exclusively on that platform, it makes sense that it would ensure that there was plenty of footage for people to watch over the weekend. That, combined with the relative ease of putting together a battle royale match remotely, made it a given that the pre-taped version of the game would ultimately end up taking a streaming spot during the Call of Duty League Championships.

What it Means for the Call of Duty League

warzone-11 Call of Duty - Warzone Weekend | Credit:

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Warzone Weekend is not how it turned out or why it was chosen in the first place, but rather what it will end up meaning for the Call of Duty Championship League. Warzone is a free-to-play game mode that doesn't necessarily have the same player base as Call of Duty, but the amount of overlap between the two games does mean that it would be fairly easy for professional players to cross from one game to the other during a championship season.

The streaming numbers are certainly going to play a big role in determining what this is going to mean for most players. If more people watched the Warzone Weekend than the traditional games, you can expect Activision Blizzard (and probably Youtube) to start pushing for the integration of Warzone into the Championship League. On the other hand, a poor showing is going to hurt the further development of Warzone and make this a one-off sort of engagement. Only time and metrics are going to be able to determine exactly how adding Warzone Weekend will end up playing out for Call of Duty fans.

Warzone Weekend was a unique attempt to bring in new content during a fairly trying time. While it wasn't exactly a huge expansion of the weekend, it was a great look at a secondary game mode for those viewers who might not have been interested in the game. Whether more Warzone Weekends are in the cards is hard to determine, but one thing is for sure - Warzone is still enough of a priority for Activision Blizzard that the company felt confident in showcasing it during one of its most important championship events.


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