New Call of Duty Cold War Gentleman’s Agreements Ban XM4 and Restrict AK74u

Posted on March 9, 2021 - Last Updated on March 10, 2021

If you’re entering the Call of Duty competitive scene for the first time, you might be blown away by the number of rules that exist. I’m not just talking about the legitimate, industry-enforced rules, but also the GAs (Gentleman’s Agreements) that are commonplace across the landscape.

It seems that there’s an amendment to the ruleset on a daily basis, changing up every aspect of the game, from the weaponry you can use to the attachments you can install. Alternatively, you’ll see rules restricting you to only using a certain number of tactical accessories, like a Trophy System, or rules that restrict how you play.

Snaking, we’re looking at you.

However, following the closure of the Call of Duty League 2021 season’s first Major Tournament, a wealth of GAs have poured into the community, backed by industry giants, effectively turning the competitive scene on its head.

It started with a GA that essentially banned the XM4 from any EU competitive scenarios, such as GameBattles, or privately-arranged tournaments. It was a blow to the community, as the XM4 is one of the most capable, versatile, and, yes, overpowered assault rifles in Black Ops Cold War. It’s also the favourite of many professional players, so it came as a shock when it was also GA’d in North America, meaning it will definitely come to impact the Call of Duty League.

Furthermore, the AK74u, the SMG of choice for CDL players, has also received smaller, but just as impactful GAs. It has been decreed that the Muzzle Brake 5.56 and the Spetsnaz Compensator muzzles are now GA’d – they were the last remaining muzzles that players could use, owing to decisions made ahead of the launch of the CDL. These decisions have been made simply because there are imbalances present: the XM4 is over-powered, and the AK74u is far too stable, even at a longer range.

The Call of Duty League competitors took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the decisions, with NY Subliners’ veteran, Clayster, exclaiming:

The QBZ is another assault rifle featured in Black Ops Cold War, albeit a strange one that nobody really uses. It certainly isn’t considered a meta, and it too may be struck down in the coming days. As we bridge the gap between Stage One and Stage Two of the Call of Duty League, changes are bound to happen to balance play for the coming weeks.

Admittedly, this will make it harder for those engaging in a little Call of Duty betting, as the guns that the players have been using for the last six weeks will now change irrevocably. We’ll be seeing the competitors wielding somewhat unfamiliar weapons as Stage Two of the Call of Duty League kicks off, but that’s just the way it is.

Let’s all cross our fingers and hope the CDL and Black Ops’ League Play doesn’t become a two-gun meta, with everyone using the MP5 and the Krig.


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Grant Taylor-Hill

Grant is a jack-of-all esports journalist, covering everything from Call of Duty to League of Legends, and from esports betting to streamer controversies. If he's not writing about games, he's probably playing them or creating content focused on them.

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