Call of Duty (COD) is widely considered the most popular first-person shooter (FPS) franchise in history. Activision released the first COD game back in 2003, and since then twelve additional titles in the series have been released. Two more will be released in late 2016.
The earliest iterations of the game were built using an engine originally used in another popular FPS, Quake III. Call of Duty’s game plots revolve around the team aspects of warfare. All COD games have a campaign mode and a multiplayer mode which is played as a competitive esport.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the most recent version of the game and the most popular version currently, although earlier versions are still sometimes played competitively.
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How Call of Duty is played
- 1 Best Call of Duty betting sites
- 2 DraftKings Call of Duty DFS: US Players only
- 3 How Call of Duty is played
- 4 How it’s different from other FPS
- 5 Call of Duty wagering
- 6 Tournaments and prize pools
- 7 Gaining an edge with Call of Duty wagering
- 8 Latest CoD & Esports news
Call of Duty as an esport revolves almost exclusively around multiplayer death matches. Since the game’s original release, the number of options for multiplayer has grown significantly. In competitive esports, teams play each other in 3v3, 4v4, or 6v6 matches.
Several games from the COD series are still played competitively. Here are eight titles which are commonly played in esports leagues:
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
- Call of Duty: World at War
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Game modes in the COD series vary from game to game, although newer releases cater more towards competitive gaming by offering more complex game modes. The most recent COD release, Black Ops III, features tons of modes, but the following four are typically used for competitive play.
Search and Destroy
In Search and Destroy, one team plays offense while the other defends two bomb sites. Kills are typically worth five times what they are in most COD modes. The goal of S&D is to kill all of the enemy team or trigger one of their two bomb sites. In S&D, players only get one life per match. Typically this mode is played best-of-seven rounds, so the first team to win four rounds takes the match.
A hardpoint is a specific spot on a COD map which can be secured by either team. Each team fights for the hardpoint; while players from either team occupy the hardpoint, their team’s score increases. Points are awarded for every second a team holds the hardpoint. Securing a new hardpoint is worth additional points, as is securing a hardpoint that was previously occupied by an opponent.
Capture the Flag
Most gamers are familiar with the basis of Capture the Flag since it’s effectively the same across tons of video games. This mode has one objective- for teams to attempt to capture the other team’s flag and return it to their own team’s flag. Points are only awarded for bringing back the enemy team’s flag when your own team’s flag is safe.
Uplink Mode is the newest competitive Call of Duty mode. Teams must bring a satellite drone to their enemy team’s uplink station. Points are earned when a team’s drone is thrown in the opposing factions station. The first team to hit twenty points wins the game. Uplink Mode has a halftime; that’s when the teams switch sides ten minutes in.
How it’s different from other FPS
In the competitive gaming world, Call of Duty sometimes gets a bad reputation. It’s often argued that COD gives bad players too much of break because of its in-game shooting mechanics. This separates COD from other first-person shooters.
The main issue gamers have is the rapid fire attachment that some say remove a lot of the skill component. This attachment could potentially give your opponent a kill even if you are a more accurate shot. Despite the arguments against COD, it’s impossible to make the argument that COD isn’t an excellent first person shooter – criticism is usually focused on its viability at a competitive level.
Versions of Call of Duty are available on all major platforms, and another unique quality of the game is that competitive play isn’t exclusive to PC. Other popular platforms for COD for casual players are PlayStation and Xbox. A deal with Sony has lead to a large number of tournaments for Playstation.
While other games like CS:GO are more popular for competitive PC gamers, Call of Duty is likely the most popular console FPS.
Call of Duty wagering
Betting on Call of Duty is hardly new, but it is still maturing alongside the esports betting industry. Different versions of the game have existed since 2003, but most sportsbooks haven’t been offering lines on any esports for that long.
Virtual item wagering doesn’t exist for Call of Duty, and to our knowledge neither does real-money fantasy. However, play money fantasy Call of Duty is available through Vulcun. The concept is simple – you draft COD players to a team, and the performance of those players awards your drafted team points according to a pre-determined scoring system. The drafted teams with the highest scores win.
Considering the recent surge of interest in betting on esports, it’s very likely that when Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is released in late 2016, tournaments for it will be covered by a wider variety of sportsbooks than ever before.
Tournaments and prize pools
Call of Duty is on the lower end of the totem pole as far as earnings for professional matches. However, the game is certainly gaining attention and funds in the esports world.
The Call of Duty World League will be giving away three million dollars throughout the 2016 season. World League acts as a qualifier for the other big COD tournament, the COD Championship.
Thirty teams compete in world league, and another $1.6 million will be giving out during the championship.
Gaining an edge with Call of Duty wagering
Due to certain in-game mechanics of Call of Duty, the skill gap between players at the professional level is not as great as it is in other games. Therefore, it’s tough for any team to be an extreme favorite over any other team competing in major tournaments.
That may seem like a disadvantage because you can’t make any money on “sure thing” bets. But in reality, the opposite is true.
Whenever a sportsbook presents one team as a huge favorite over another, it’s worth considering placing a bet on the underdog. Because the skill gap isn’t very high in COD, upsets are more commonplace than they are in other esports.
It’s always important to know the game and players involved, as well – we’re certainly not advocating blindly betting on underdogs all the time. A great way to learn about teams and players is following the Call of Duty World League and watching streams from top players on Twitch.
Paying close attention to betting lines and understanding when weaker teams can reasonably pull off an upset will be key in your success with Call of Duty betting.
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