Skip to main content

CoD Black Ops - Cold War: League Play explained - this is how the rank mode works


CoD Black Ops - Cold War: League Play explained

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings League Play back. The league game mode is sort of the rank mode in the game. In the following we explain how league play works and what rewards are waiting for you.

What is league play?

With league game , or also called "League Play", CoD calls the ranked mode. There you will be divided into divisions based on your performance and play with and against players who are on a similar level to you. The league game mode is now integrated into the game and is available to all CoD Black Ops Cold War players.

To select the mode, you just have to press League Game in the start menu, where you can also select Multiplayer or Zombies.

These are the rules in league play

The rules are similar to the regulations from the Call of Duty: League  (CDL), the eSports part of the franchise. League play should appeal to players who are looking for a greater challenge and want to compete against similarly strong opponents. Only selected game modes and maps appear there, and some equipment is also prohibited:

Game modes and maps

  • It is played 4v4 .
  • Team fire is activated , "friendly fire" is on and you can cause damage to your team members.
  • CDL control: Checkmate, Garrison and Raid
  • CDL Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow and Raid
  • CDL position: Checkmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow and Raid

Prohibited equipment and excluded objects
  • Primary weapons: light machine guns and tactical rifles.
  • Secondary weapons: shotguns, rocket launchers, and the M79 grenade launcher.
  • Attachments: SWAT 5mw laser marker, yellow aiming point and Akimbo.
  • Tactical equipment: stimulus and decoy grenade.
  • Primary equipment: C4 and Tomahawk.
  • Field upgrades: proximity mine , directional microphone and gas mine.
  • Extras : paranoia, pass data and track reader.
  • Wildcard: daredevil.
  • Scoring series : battle bow, spy plane, counterintelligence plane, supplies, gun, air patrol and HARP

However, the rules are not taken one-to-one from the regulations from the CDL. In the “real” league, the so-called “gentlemen's agreement” still applies. These are unofficial agreements that the professional players make among themselves and that are tolerated by the CDL. As a result, the weapon class of sniper rifles or individual weapons such as the AK-47 are currently excluded from the CDL.

However, you can also put together and use your own class and weapons in the league game . The loadouts from the league game mode are independent of your setups in the multiplayer mode.

However, the developers have also pre-built some loadouts that can be found in the class editor. These are official setups from the current league operation and accordingly strong. Keep in mind, however, that they are affected by the “gentlemen's agreement”. You do not have these restrictions in league play mode. So you can still use some of the best weapons in League Play mode, such as the AK-47.

Skill divisions determine your level

In league play mode there are 5 skill categories, the so-called divisions. If you've never played the mode, then you don't have a division. You must first play 5 placement matches in League Play to determine your division. Your performance and the number of players in the divisions determine which division you will be assigned to. They are divided as follows:

  • Participants: Among the top 50% of the players
  • Advanced: Top 50% of players
  • Expert: Top 30% of players
  • Elite: Top 15% of players
  • Masters: Top 2% of players

The better you play, the higher you rise in the percentages, then the game is assigned to a better division. If you play worse, then you can also drop a division. Since the divisions are assigned a percentage of the players, you can move up or down a division without playing. If more players are better or worse than you, then the mode moves you accordingly.

For now, however, it remains unclear how exactly the division is calculated. The game only speaks of a "skill assessment", but does not name any details. Some players report that even after 5 wins in the placement matches, they were still classified in the "Participant" or "Advanced" division, even CoD professionals.

Events can help you move up in the ranks

Regardless of the divisions, there are still league game ranks. However, they do not affect your matchmaking, but only show how much and how well you are doing in League Play. There are a total of 30 league game ranks. With each rank you get a new emblem and every 5 ranks you get a business card as a reward.

The advancement in the ranks runs through the events. 2 of these events run every week and you have twice the chance to earn points for your league rank. The better you do at an event, the more "gems" you get:

  • Top 25: 2 gems
  • The best 10: 3 gems
  • The first 5: 4 gems
  • 1st place: 5 gems

So you can collect a maximum of 5 gems per event. According to Adam Riese, with 2 weekly events it makes a maximum of 10 gems per week. For the first promotion in your league game ranks you need 3 gems. So far, however, it is still unclear whether the required amount of gemstones increases with increasing rank or not.

This is how the events work

So every week there are 2 events with 50 participants each. So you will be compared to 49 other league game players in a certain period of time :

  • 1x within a week, i.e. from Monday to Friday.
  • And once on the weekend, from Friday to Monday.

As soon as you take part in an event, the game sorts you into a “division ladder”, which consists of players of equal strength. If you play matches, you collect points for this ladder and, depending on your performance, you can move up or down the ladder. You not only play against players in your “division ladder”, but are paired with fellow players and opponents from your ladder.

If you leave a game early, this leads to a ladder penalty, which also lets you relegate. If you win several matches in a row, you will receive bonus points for your ladder ascent. At the end of an event, the ladder rank you have reached determines how many gems you get for your league game ranks.

The rewards at a glance

You will receive emblems and business cards through the ranks achieved . The rewards are as follows:

  • Each time you rise in rank you get an emblem.
  • After 5 ranks the emblem is completed and you will also receive a business card.
  • Then the next emblem follows in a new style, which also offers 5 ranks again and then issues a business card again.
  • This procedure is repeated up to rank 30.
  • Take a place in the top 10, top 5 or 1st place to permanently change your rank symbol to silver, silver-gold or gold. If you take 1st place 6x, you will permanently improve your rank symbol to diamond.
  • A 1st place also gives you “Flames of Victory” that envelop your emblem and make it “blaze”. Flames persist until the next league match event ends.
  • Continuous 1st places in the events give you flames in different colors. If you should not reach consecutive 1st places, the flames will diminish or disappear completely.

The league game mode is certainly a popular alternative to normal CoD everyday life and is above all a challenge against equally strong players. What are your thoughts on League Play? Please write us in the comments, we are interested in your opinion.