Call Of Duty Pro Player Slams CDL Event For Lack Of COVID Testing

Call of Duty's CDL Kickoff Classic event sparks concern over lack of COVID-19 safety regulations.


The Call of Duty League hosted a preseason CDL Kickoff Classic event for Vanguard this past weekend, but professional player James "Clayster" Eubanks of the New York Subliners tweeted criticism of the event's lack of safety precautions.

The weekend-long Kickoff Classic event featured a return to the LAN environment for the first pro event for Call of Duty: Vanguard's 2022 season. The Toronto Ultra took down the Seattle Surge 3-1 in the grand finals of the preseason tournament, and while it was great to see the return of pro league matches, the event now seems to be overshadowed by safety concerns from pro players as the pandemic continues.

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Clayster tweeted a picture of a positive COVID test and said, "Really happy I had to attend a meaningless kickoff single elim event without proper testing and regulations. F***ing pathetic."

Clayster elaborates in another tweet to say that the Call of Duty League only required one negative test on the first day of the event. Apparently, there weren't any rules in place for spectators at the event, even though Clayster says, "We pushed for no fans, daily testing for players/staff, and of course there's a ton of positive tests coming from this weekend."

Another pro player, Dylan "Envoy" Hannon of the Los Angeles Thieves replied to Clayster's tweet with his concerns by saying, "I’m watching staff have masks on their chins, talent taking pics with fans and seeing them backstage minutes after."

In a statement released on Twitter, the official CoD League account said it was "sad to hear" about players testing positive and noted that teams were required to provide a plan to be tested for COVID before traveling to the event. It also pointed to the mask mandate it implemented before adding, "Player, fan, talent, and onsite personnel health and safety remain a top priority for all CDL events. Unfortunately, there is inherent risk at live events now and we wish it weren't so. However, our health and safety protocols will always meet or exceed any local regulations."

The Kickoff Classic was a preseason event that did not award any CDL points to pro teams, and hopefully the Call of Duty League can take better precautions for the safety of everyone moving forward with in-person events. Vanguard's regular season officially starts on February 4 with online qualifiers, and the first major LAN tournament is scheduled for March 3-6 with fans in attendance.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is scheduled for a Season 2 update on February 14. Activision is currently being acquired by Microsoft, pending regulatory approval, but the deal isn't expect to go through until later this year.

This story has been updated with CDL's statement.

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