If you’re an avid console gamer, we’d wager good money that you’re more than familiar with the first-person shooter game Call of Duty.
Having originated as a PC title on Microsoft Windows 15 years ago, it has since formed the basis for one of the most successful gaming franchises of all-time. To underline this, the Modern Warfare 3 edition of the franchise sold a staggering 30.71 million units globally upon its release in 2011, while six other titles have also broken the £20m barrier.
Given this and the nature of the game, it stands to reason that this second world war-inspired title should have emerged as a popular addition to the competitive eSports market. We’ll explore this below, while asking what format the game takes during tournaments.
All about the game
There have been 15 games released in the Call of Duty franchise since 2003, the most recent being Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. This was launched on October 12th 2018, following collaboration between the separate development teams at Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games.
This is an example of the franchise evolving during the last 15 years, with these three developers all playing a key role in diversifying the game and its story arcs.
Infinity Ward was the team that created the original game back in 2003, while Treyarch came on board two years later. Sledgehammer Games have been involved for the last seven years, and they have proved influential in moving away from the second world war theme and bringing the franchise into the modern age.
The latest release will underpin the hotly-anticipated Call of Duty World League 2019 Season, with the game the first in the franchise to feature a “Solo Missions” mode.
This focuses on the backstories of individual multiplayer characters, who are known as specialists and will be required to undertake a number of death-defying challenges.
What’s the format of a competitive Call of Duty tournament?
Activision and developers Treyarch have recently announced details of the upcoming World League Season, which will see a significant format change and a dramatic increase in the total prize fund (to an estimated $6 million overall).
The new season with see the format switch to 5v5 player gameplay in time for 2019, with this now being confirmed as the default setting for both casual and competitive tournaments.
This will require teams to compete in teams of five against one another. Though it has prompted scorn from professionals like two-time world champion Patrick “Aches” Price, it has been welcomed by those who want to encourage others to play the game professionally.
This year will also see all competitions played in three distinct game modes: Hardpoint, Search and Destroy and Control.
Control is a new signature game mode in the eSports arena, and one that has been designed to bring out the best in tactical gameplay. In essence, it combines the best elements of Search and Destroy and Hardpoint, while this format will also see each competing team alternate between attacking and defending two predetermined objectives based on specific maps (featured here).
At the beginning of every match-up, the teams receive a collective 25 lives per round, while competitors can claim victory when they either capture both hills on offense, run the out the clock on defence, or kill off their opposition team members.
Teams will also have to compete with various weapon restrictions in 2019, with the use of Titan, Hades, VKM 750, MOG 12, SG12 and Hellion Salvo being limited across all game modes.
The same rule applies to specialist equipment such as sensor darts and tactical deploy, although the use of these items will only be restricted in the Hardpoint and Search and Destroy modes in this year’s World League.
For fans of the Pro League, this will continue to feature 16 teams spread across two divisions, while this competition will get underway in February.
This remains one of the most popular and widely-viewed Call of Duty tournaments, while its play-offs will now be called the “CWL Finals” and hosted in a major arena.
Call of Duty betting and wagering requirements
The format changes and new restrictions will fortunately be of little consequence from a betting perspective, as the switch to 5×5 gameplay will not impact how or where you place your wagers.
UK and EU bettors are also fortunate in that they can wager on the leading Call of Duty eSports tournaments without restriction, regardless of whether they’re competing directly or simply streaming the event online.
However, it’s still important that you select a betting operator that is both licensed in the UK and capable of offering you access to a wide array of eSports and Call of Duty markets.
Betway offer a relevant case in point, as this highly reputable brand remain heavily involved in the competitive eSports space and even sponsor a number of teams and events.
In terms of strategy, you’ll probably be best served by betting on a relatively simple market and game mode like Search and Destroy (there’s a restricted range of markets available anyway for now, but this is one that offers relatively good value for money).
This mode requires one team to defend and another to attack a predetermined target, making it easier to determine outcomes and identify which group of competitors is more likely to succeed.