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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War League Play mode release date, leaks, and more

Treyarch might answer Call of Duty fans' prayers by adding League Play soon.

Two characters with guns and fire behind them in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War League Play mode

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Wars first season is in full swing. Players are already enjoying the game’s first big update, which features new maps, guns, and more. Luckily, it sounds like even more is on the way soon because a recent leak revealed that a new mode might be coming to the game.

According to known Call of Duty leaker Tom Henderson, League Play is coming to the Black Ops Cold War sooner than fans might have been expecting. The rumor is a breath of fresh air for the game’s community which has criticized the game’s current matchmaking system over the past few months. Here’s everything to know about the rumor, including when to expect it and why it’s a big deal.

When is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War League Play’s release date?

According to Henerson’s sources, League Play is expected to launch this quarter, and in the first quarter of 2021. That vague window would mean it could drop anytime from now through March.

If Henderson’s information is correct, that would likely place the update in either this season or the next one. Season 1 was recently extended to February 11, so the next season won’t begin until next month. While it seems unlikely that the mode could come out by the end of Season 1, it seems more possible that League Play could launch alongside season two if the rumors are true.

What is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War League Play?

In the previous Call of Duty games, League Play was essentially a ranked competitive mode for high-level players. It was first introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops II back in 2012 and appeared in several games after. However, the mode was nowhere to be found when Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War launched in November.

Historically, League Play features different ranks that are awarded based on how well players do in matches. Players can climb the ranks and try to get into divisions like Platinum or Master. It’s similar to modes used in other competitive shooters like Overwatch that are meant to separate casual and hardcore players.

Why is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War League Play important?

League Play may sound like a simple quality of life addition to outsiders, but it’s a big deal for the Call of Duty community. There’s been a fierce backlash to the current game’s approach to matchmaking. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War uses skill-based matchmaking (SBMM), which means that all players are in the same playlist when they load up multiplayer. Opponents are determined based on a player’s current skill level, which means that high-level players will be matched up with other high-level players.

The esports community has been especially vocal about SBMM, noting that it forces them to play extremely competitive matches against other pros at all times. That means that players don’t have an option to play more casually by dropping into less competitive modes.

League Play would theoretically solve this issue by herding pros to one game mode. Granted, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the regular multiplayer mode would ditch SBMM entirely; it just means that it would encourage people who want to play seriously to migrate over.

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