2020 Call of Duty League Championship to be held online amid COVID-19 pandemic

The $4.6 million event will not be on LAN this year.

Photo via Call of Duty League

The 2020 Call of Duty League Championship will be played online due to “continuing health risks associated with COVID-19,” the league announced today. This is the first time since Activision began hosting an annual world title event that it will not be played on LAN.

To prepare for an online $4.6 million tournament, the CDL announced it is implementing new ways to “further monitor for competitive integrity.” Some of these changes include providing every player with a “universal camera setup,” which will allow the league’s officials to see a player’s console, controller, and monitor during the game. This system will be in place for the New York Home Series event, which begins on July 10.

The league also said teams will be allowed to test and choose from five servers, an increase from the original three. Since matches moved online, numerous players have criticized the server veto system, with OpTic Gaming Los Angeles’ SlasheR being especially vocal about how it hurts teams with West Coast players.

More production, technical, and officiating staff will be hired in preparation for the CDL Championship, the league announced. During the online portion of the season, players and the league itself have experienced several issues, including server-wide lag and the production team’s system completely crashing.

After hosting several Home Series events in various cities in North America and Europe, the CDL announced on March 12 it would shift to an online-only format as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths increased worldwide. There was hope among fans and players, though, that the CDL Championship, which will feature the largest prize pool in Call of Duty history, would be held in an offline setting.

The league has not revealed an exact date for the end-of-season event, although the CDL said it will be sometime in August. The final event of the Challengers circuit has been scheduled for August as well.