An amateur Call of Duty: Modern Warfare tournament was held in person after it was announced that the tournament had been canceled due to COVID.
An amateur Call of Duty LAN tournament was held in secret despite having been “cancelled” due to health and safety concerns. The COVID-19 Pandemic has put a stop to a large number of in-person events in and out of the world of gaming. However, some gamers put their desire to go pro over the health and safety of others.
The Indianapolis Open was an amateur Call of Duty: Modern Warfare tournament slated to take place in person on August 1. In the late afternoon of July 31, the event was cancelled due to a discussion between representatives from the event and from Activision. The in-person tournament was cancelled, and The Indianapolis Open’s format was changed to an online tournament. It quickly became apparent that the tournament was not actually taking place online, but that players had met in secret to hold the competition in-person.
The American Gaming Network was the party in charge of hosting the event and had initially tweeted the statement that claimed the in-person event had been cancelled. Shortly after the event began at 8 a.m. EST, social media posts started to appear with photos and videos of a large number of contestants playing in-person. AGN denied that they had anything to do with the players meeting in person and that the contestants were asked to play at home or at their BnB. Twitter user Boston_Stats claimed that the facility in which the event was originally supposed to take place was open and that contestants willingly ignored the guidelines AGN had set in place.
Apparently, the 11-hour window between AGN’s tweet and the start time for the event was not long enough for players to be notified of the event’s format change. As such, quite a few gamers were in close proximity of one another yelling, high fiving, and sweating during the Modern Warfare tournament. The videos above clearly show that social distancing was not monitored during the event. And the threat of the coronavirus didn’t stop anyone from playing.
While AGN is taking most of the heat for this incident, the entirety of the blame can’t fall on their shoulders alone. Yes, they did change the format less than half a day before the tournament, and they did so via a tweet, but the players are also responsible for their own actions. Regardless of the event, the health, safety and well-being of others should come before Call of Duty.