This will have a huge effect on many players.
In a huge announcement that will shake up Call of Duty esports in a big way, the CoD League has announced that season two will feature four-vs-four gameplay.
CoD esports has traditionally been four-vs-four for many years, but it made the change to five-vs-five before the start of the 2019 season. With teams built around five-man starting rosters for the past two years, this move will have a tremendous ripple effect on many CDL franchises.
The CDL champion Dallas Empire, for example, will now have to choose which of their five star players won’t start in 2021. It’s a difficult decision to make considering all of them earned their playing time and roster spot this year.
“Today we shared that we will be transitioning to starting roster sizes of four players per team for Season 2, marking a kind of ‘return to our roots,” said CDL commissioner Johanna Faries. “This decision was made in close collaboration with our teams and players, and it was not made lightly. We know that this transition also brings new implications for both pro and amateur players with rostermania season fast approaching. Over the course of the offseason, we will share more news regarding plans for the 2021 Season—including details on maps, modes, formats, schedule, and more.”
This move could come with the addition of some expansion teams, adding onto the league’s 12 inaugural organizations—but this is unconfirmed at this time. Considering the starting rosters are being shaved down by one, those “fifth starter” players could end up forming entirely new teams on their own.
The 2021 season of the CDL will also introduce 14-day contracts, two-way contracts, and free agency. Starting on Sept. 14, the 2021 season will begin and any player not under contract will become a free agent, free to sign with any team.
The next Call of Duty title, Black Ops Cold War, is set to be released on Nov. 13.
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