CoD Black Ops Cold War SBMM - Why the Massive Debate?Thursday 24th September 2020, 06:21 | written by: Gabriel Sciberras
The Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Alpha was probably the best piece of surprising news this year, as I hastily jumped onto my PS4 after its announcement. While the Alpha itself was only a small representation of the future title, one aspect of it threw the community into a massive debate on whether it should or shouldn't be implemented. This argument extended beyond the Call of Duty community as personalities such as Ninja also threw in their opinion. We're talking about SBMM, Skill-Based-Match-Making. Read on as I'll explain exactly what's going on.
What is SBMM exactly then? Luckily, its definition doesn't escape its namesake by much. The concept involves matching players against equally skilled players in online lobbies, evaluating skill through in-game statistics such as Damage Per Game, K/D or Score. Such an idea is quite common in ranked playlists in any game, to effectively allow people to slowly climb up the ladders and allow for fair matches. However, for Call of Duty, the argument comes about the fact that SBMM, for the Alpha at least, was implemented in casual lobbies.
So after playing some incredible games myself, I suddenly began to match up against significantly tougher and 'sweatier' opponents. Yes, it's definitely tougher and more rewarding should a victory be earned, but it's half as fun. Meanwhile, on the other side of the argument, many were quick to defend the casual player - why should he/she be stomped by tryhards and not matched up against other new players?
That's basically the entire argument, as content creators found it difficult at times to create enjoyable gameplay due to this. Here are some Tweets on the subject by certain people:
Above is a commonly referenced thread on the matter, as professional fighting player TSM Leffen stood out into the limelight to challenge Hitch, a Call of Duty content creator. Beyond these two, we've got quotes from three more personalities for you to enjoy:
SBMM does not belong in Call of Duty. There should be a ranked playlist for people to sweat in. I’m not trying to play Scuf wielding game fuel chugging demons with szn in their psn on Miami TDM. Also, to the noobies that are gonna cry about this tweet, hold this choppy gunny.— Seth Huntsmen (@scump) September 19, 2020
Here's what Ninja and Shroud both have to say on the matter too:
“You can’t be good at a game, like, way better than your average gamer and then complain when you matching with people that are on your skill level,” said Ninja.
"It's weird, why do they have that [SBMM], it kind of makes Ranked Play irrelevant," he commented. "PUBG is way more fun than that, I'll tell you right now, way more fun than that. [...] As unfortunate as it is, part of the fun of playing BRs is to sh*t on some noobs." - Shroud
A bunch of point of views here - pro players, pro CoD players, streamers and content creators all with their own opinion. I think it all stems from what the specific person wants to experience from lobbies. In fact, to get around the SBMM, players such as "Scump" have publically confessed to having to smurf (using new accounts) or stats dumping (purposely entering lobbies and doing horribly) in order to match with worse players. The pressure is definitely on content creators to get that content.
Otherwise, it's still in the Alpha stages and Treyarch will probably need to revise SBMM and come out with a public statement on the matter. Let's see how this turns out.
What about you? Did you experience aggressive SBMM in the Alpha were you suddenly matched against way tougher opponents? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!