Days before a major Black Ops 4 event, Call of Duty pro players are agreeing to ditch their cosmetic items in order to avoid a bug that could affect the outcome of matches.
As originally reported on Dexerto, pro players have been using social media to spread word of a recently discovered Black Ops 4 bug that causes cosmetic items to affect the Recon Specialist’s “Vision Pulse” ability. Although cosmetic items are, by definition, only supposed to alter a player’s appearance in the game and not affect gameplay at all, camos, skins, face paints, and possibly even weapon charms can apparently cause a player to not be affected by Vision Pulse.
Recon is one of the Specialists in Black Ops 4 that is allowed to be used in the official Call of Duty World League. (Some powerful Specialists like Ajax and Nomad are banned from CWL play.) Recon’s Vision Pulse, used by many pro teams, will ping all enemy players, highlighting their bodies on-screen
in red for a brief period. With this reported bug, a player’s camo or other cosmetics could cause them to avoid being pinged by the opposing team’s active Vision Pulse.
“The team is aware of the issue and we’re investigating a fix,” a Treyarch representative told Kotaku via email. “In cases like these where addressing one bug runs the risk of creating new issues, we want to ensure all bases are covered before implementing a proper solution.”
A bug of this caliber is detrimental to competitive play, especially given how crucial Specialists’ abilities can be in Black Ops 4. This also presents very unfortunate timing for pro players, as the CWL Pro League playoffs are coming up fast. CWL Miami will run from July 19 through 21, giving teams one last shot to qualify for entry to Black Ops 4’s final event, the CWL Championship.
The unofficial CWL Intel Twitter account has tweeted that a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” has been reached, meaning that pro players have agreed to discontinue using cosmetics until such time as developer Treyarch issues a fix for the bug. This isn’t an official CWL ban on cosmetics—a Gentlemen’s Agreement, or GA, is instead created by the pro players in order to keep the competition fair.
Pros have used Gentlemen’s Agreements in the past to avoid overpowered weapons, scorestreaks, and attachments that remained a part of the CWL’s official ruleset. Early in the year, the Dart scorestreak and Firebreak’s Reactor Core equipment were part of the pros’ Black Ops 4 Gentlemen’s Agreements before being officially restricted in the CWL Ruleset.
With so little time left before players head to Miami, it’s uncertain if Treyarch will be able to implement a proper fix ahead of the Pro League playoffs. If not, hopefully players stick to the agreed ban, and no one sneaks a charm on their gun to get an unfair advantage. If they do, it’ll be perfectly legal in the tournament, if perhaps unsporting.