When the Call of Duty League was made official, the league and Activision released a blog detailing the format for the 2020 season. This included the playing of home/away games, 5v5 teams, and more. However, one interesting piece of information was also made public. Open Bracket tournaments will be returning to Call of Duty for teams who are not in the league. Thought to be a thing of the past after the 2019 season, the tournaments will still be held in some capacity for 2020.
One of the hallmarks of professional Call of Duty has been the holding of Open Brackets. Held parallel to the professional tournament, any squad with a team pass and enough players could compete on LAN. In some events, the winners of the Open Bracket would enter into pool play for the actual tournament.
While no Open Bracket team ever won an event, it still gave amateur teams the drive to keep competing. A majority of the tournaments with an Open Bracket were thrown by Major League Gaming. However, it was announced that MLG would no longer hold official Call of Duty tournaments.
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) October 9, 2019
With MLG out, players and the community were worried Open Brackets would be ancient history. However, it appears that the Call of Duty League will step in and hold them in 2020. In a blog on the CDL website, the league details how the amateur scene is still a big part of their plans.
The second level of the logo represents the league’s amateur system, where aspiring players who seek to “go pro” can compete for dedicated prize pools. The amateur system will resemble the professional system’s gameplay and will feature both online and LAN (Local Area Network) open bracket events throughout the year.
The CDL maintains that the three levels to their system are the pro players, amateur players, and the community. It’s unclear how or when these events will go on, but both online and LAN tournaments are confirmed.
Continuing the tradition of Open Brackets is great not only for the community but for players as well. If one particular player does well at an Open Bracket tournament, he could theoretically be signed to an active CDL roster. The league is calling this practice “Path to Pro”, which has details coming soon.
Presumably, Open Bracket events will begin around the same time as the 2020 CDL season. Make sure to keep up with Daily Esports so you don’t miss any Call of Duty League updates!
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 5+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.