CDL Issues Statement on Kickoff Classic COVID-19 Protocols Following Player Backlash

Photo by Call of Duty League

The Call of Duty League issued a statement Jan. 26 regarding its Kickoff Classic event COVID-19 protocols following player and fan backlash.

New York Subliners player James "Clayster" Eubanks tweeted a positive COVID-19 result Jan. 25, two days after the event concluded, saying "Really happy I had to attend a meaningless kickoff single elim event without proper testing and regulations. Fucking pathetic."

A follow-up tweet further elaborated on the event's protocols which he called into question.

"Absolute breakdown from the CDL to only require 1 negative test on Thursday for players and have zero rules for fans (even though we pushed for no fans, daily testing for players/staff) and of course there's a ton of positive tests coming from this weekend."

Call of Duty League Issues Statement Regarding Kickoff Classic COVID-19 Protocols Following Player Backlash

The Call of Duty League issued a statement in response to the backlash.

"We're sad to hear that some of our players tested positive following the Kickoff Classic. The safety and wellbeing of our players and staff is extremely important to us.

"All teams were required to provide the CDL with a plan to be tested for COVID-19 prior to traveling to Arlington. Upon arrival, all staff and players were also required to test and produce a negative test prior to entering the venue. Also, in line with our policy last season, the Kickoff Classic had a mask mandate within the venue and staff and signage to remind our fans of this requirement. Lastly, we offered re-testing to all teams and staff on day three.

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."

Reponses to the announcement called out instances during the broadcast where fans in the crowd could be seen without masks on. Other responses pointed out that even if a mask mandate was in place, it appears it wasn't enforced.

Other players also chimed in, notably Los Angeles Thieves player, Dylan "Envoy" Hannon, discussing issues they had with the event and the health and safety protocols.

"Let's promote no masks front row all weekend too, barely 6 feet from our walkout places. Look the event is lit!!! I'm watching staff have masks on their chins, talent taking pics with fans sand seeing them back stage minutes after," Envoy said.

Call of Duty League analyst and former professional player, Anthony "Nameless" Wheeler, also posted on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 following the Kickoff Classic.

The Call of Duty League has not responded regarding enforcement measures of its mask mandate for the Kickoff Classic.