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Call of Duty

CDL Pros Are Probably Leaving For the HCS

Olivia Richman

The esports industry is pretty new but trends already exist. Remember when all of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros left for VALORANT? That is possibly happening once again.

Halo Infinite esports HCS

Is the HCS about to see an influx of CDL players? (Image courtesy of 343 Studios)

Halo has returned to the esports scene with a bang, introducing the action-packed Halo Championship Series. The official stream for the North American Halo Championship Series Open series reached over 56,500 viewers.

With nine partnered teams from major organizations, a hefty prize pool, and a tournament-filled calendar, the HCS is making waves before Halo Infinite even officially dropped.

And Call of Duty pros are taking notice.

Call of Duty League Continues to Suffer

It’s no secret that nobody cares about the Call of Duty League, including Activision Blizzard. Viewership is down and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Players care more about Warzone and Activision hasn’t done too much to make fans hype about the competitive side of the series.

Seeing the excitement over the HCS seemed to make the Call of Duty League’s shortcomings even more blatant.

Said Christopher “Parasite” Duarte on Twitter: “Watching competitive CoD die is like watching half of my life literally vanish into thin air. No 12th league spot. Competitive CoD being backburned every year. Warzone ruining CoD by design by introducing noob mechanics. The state of ATVI/Blizzard. Franchising… The list goes on and on.” 

LA Thieves’ Sam “Octane” Larew said that “COD needs a kick in the ass,” stating that the esport is down 5-0 in a 1v4 against Halo after seeing Halo Infinite all over his timeline during the game’s first online tournament on November 21.

Even worse, Octane added afterward, was that Activision Blizzard was most likely not going to listen to any of the concerns, complaints, or advice anyway. Without any belief in the company or the franchise, it’s clear to see why Call of Duty players are growing increasingly frustrated as other esports thrive.

Halo Infinite Continues to Impress

Just because the Call of Duty League is failing doesn’t mean that pros will automatically leave for Halo Infinite — although it wouldn’t be surprising. But Call of Duty pros have already started playing the crap out of Halo Infinite, making it a very familiar scenario. Remember when CSGO pros started playing VALORANT? Remember what happened after?

100 Thieves’ Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag said Halo Infinite has been “nothing short of incredible” thanks to its exciting ranked play and promising tournament plans. Tyler “TeeP” Polchow, a Call of Duty champion, called Halo Infinite’s balance “refreshing,” taking shots at Call of Duty’s ongoing imbalance and bugs.

Now is the perfect time for Call of Duty pros to start grinding Halo Infinite and make the switch. The esports scene is still young, meaning FPS veterans can easily solidify themselves at the top of the leaderboards — and make an impact with fans.

There are currently only nine announced and official HCS teams. While they are from major organizations, that is still very little competition. And with the Halo Championship Series open to anyone at the start of the circuit, that means it’s anyone’s game — especially anyone with pro FPS experience.

The Call of Duty community, including pros, have no faith in Activision Blizzard nor in the future of the series. So why hold on? CSGO pros had no faith in Valve and saw how promising Riot’s shooter was — and look what happened. CSGO veterans are dominating the VALORANT scene with ease.

Don’t be surprised if Call of Duty pros leave in droves to start competing in the Halo Championship Series. And don’t be surprised if they finally get the recognition they deserve.