The Call of Duty League has begun its second season. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, Activision is moving forward with its breakthrough esports league's sophomore outing. There were hopes that the outbreak would have subsided to the point that live tournaments could move forward, but that does not appear to be the case. Nonetheless, the CDL is going on in an online-only format.
The action is kicking off with Opening Weekend, hosted by the Atlanta FaZe. Even without live crowds, the players of the Call of Duty League are ready to go back to work. Among them is Los Angeles Thieves team captain and star player Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat. He didn't have much time to spare since he was busy preparing for Thursday's opening match with the Minnesota Rokkr. However, he did make just enough time to briefly speak with Shacknews prior to Thursday's season opener.
Shacknews: What are your thoughts as you head into the Call of Duty League's second season?
Austin "SlasheR" Liddicoat: Heading into the 2nd CDL season, I have the same thoughts as any other season I've played in. I not only want to work hard to be the best player I can be individually, but I also want to help my team get better every single day so we can win championships.
Shacknews: Does the start of this season feel different at all, considering that you'll be competing in an online-only format?
SlasheR: Yes, definitely - the start of this season has a different feel to it for me. I moved my entire life away from my home in California to Texas in order to give my team a better chance in this online-only format.
Shacknews: How do you prepare for online-only games, as opposed to live LAN games?
SlasheR: My preparation for online games versus LAN games is pretty similar, but I do have to try harder to get myself fully into the match when playing online. It is so much easier getting pumped up to play a match in front of a crowd on stage compared to your bedroom or team house.
Shacknews: A new Call of Duty League season means a new game. How has your team adjusted to Black Ops Cold War versus Modern Warfare? What have been the biggest differences in the two games for you? 5. How heavily has your team been impacted by the switch from 5v5 to 4v4? How have your strategies changed?
SlasheR: The biggest change from last year to this year is the switch back to 4v4 COD. It has taken some time to get readjusted back to the 4v4 pace and to get rid of the bad 5v5 habits, but we are only going to continue to get better the more time we have on the game.
Shacknews: How do you feel about Domination being phased out of League play?
SlasheR: I am super happy that Domination is no longer a game mode, and I also think Control is more fun to play and watch.
Shacknews: What teams are you looking forward to playing against the most this season?
SlasheR: I am looking forward to playing whoever is considered the best at that time; I don't really have any particular opponent team preferences just yet because the season hasn't even started.
Shacknews: Lastly, do you expect that the Call of Duty League will go back to physical tournaments at any point this season? Or are you prepared to play the entirety of the season online?
SlasheR: I have no clue what to expect, but I hope that we can make our return to LAN sooner rather than later because I believe I thrive in that environment. In my opinion, online Call of Duty will never truly be fair and LAN will show the fans who the real best players are.
Season 2 of the Call of Duty League is now underway. The Los Angeles Thieves opened their season with a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Rokkr. They're back in action this Saturday against the New York Subliners. You can watch every game this season live on the Call of Duty League YouTube channel.