The Call of Duty League is facing backlash after seemingly promoting franchised teams to throw matches during a seeding game between the Los Angeles Thieves and Florida Mutineers.
Florida Mutineers and the L.A. Thieves walked away with two wins and three losses following the conclusion of the Major Three qualifiers. To determine which team would get the seventh seed at Major Three, the teams had to play each other. But the two teams that they would face depending on if they won or lost sparked controversy in the community.
A loss would mean the team would have to play the Minnesota RØKKR, who won all five of their qualifying matches. On the other hand, the winner would have to play OpTic Texas, who had just beaten the L.A. Thieves to put them in this position.
The Call of Duty League broadcast put out a Keys to Victory graphic for each team before the tiebreaker, which typically details what each team needs to do to win. But this time around, the graphic suggested scenarios for both Florida and L.A. that would mean they were actively throwing the match to not play OpTic Texas. For the Mutineers, the slide suggested that they “throw in some accidental team kills” as one of the keys. Meanwhile, for the Thieves, the slide actively told them to not “bounce back from a tough L” to not have to rematch OpTic.
These slides caused immediate outrage from various figures in the community, who questioned why the Call of Duty League was actively promoting for teams to throw matches.
“The stream (and most of the community) is advocating for a team to throw a match,” Los Angeles Guerrillas player SlasheR said. “Continue to impress me.”
“No shot I tweet a reference to this disrespectful nonsense from back in year 1 and they still allow it lmao,” Minnesota RØKKR team operations coordinator Joey “Nubzy” DiGiacomo said.
Even retired professional and co-host of The Flank podcast Parasite spoke out about the lack of respect toward the teams playing with a “wtf” on Twitter.
Florida won the tiebreaker 3-0, which means the Mutineers will face OpTic in the first round of the Major Three winners bracket while the L.A. Thieves will take on Minnesota. The action at Major Three starts on Thursday, June 2.