How League Play Works in Black Ops Cold War: All Divisions, Ranks & Rewards (UPDATED)

BOCW Crossroads Strike
League Play is here and we explain how it works. (Credit: Activision)

Last night, League Play finally went live in Black Ops Cold War. We explain in detail how League Play works, what divisions and ranks are available, how to improve your rank, and what rewards are available.

Wow, we can hardly believe it, almost four months after release we finally get a Ranked Mode in Black Ops Cold War! League Play went live last night and is selectable in the game menu as its own category alongside Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies. Why is it separate from multiplayer? Quite simply, it is based on the Call of Duty League and adopts all the rules and restrictions from it. But don't worry, we'll explain everything in detail in a moment.

How does League Play work?

As already mentioned, League Play is based on the Call of Duty League. The same game modes and maps are played, and the restrictions on weapons and equipment are also taken from the CDL rules. What does that mean exactly?

Maps & Modes

The following maps will be played in Hardpoint:

  • Checkmate
  • Crossroads
  • Garrison
  • Moscow
  • Raid

In Search & Destroy you can expect:

  • Checkmate
  • Miami
  • Garrison
  • Moscow
  • Raid

These maps will be played in Control:

  • Checkmate
  • Garrison
  • Raid

Prohibited weapons and items

The following restrictions also apply:

BOCW League Play restricted items en
All banned items in League Play were taken from Call of Duty League. (Credit: Activision)


After many players complained that some attachments, Scorestreaks and Perks that were still allowed were too op, Treyarch has published a list with more restricted items. They are not yet listed in the rules in the menu, but can already no longer be selected when creating a class.

Due to the restrictions in place, all class setups created in multiplayer are not available. Before you start your first league games, you should first create new classes, as well as re-select your scorestreaks. You don't have to pay attention to the restrictions yourself, all forbidden items have already been removed and can't be chosen. If you want to look up the exact round times, respawns per team, etc., you can do that in-game at any time.

Divisions & Ranks

All well and good, but how do I get matched against other players and how can I level up? We can explain that as well:

League Play will offer constantly changing events within which you can work your way up the rankings of your division to earn rewards. Before you can work your way up a leaderboard, you must first complete five placement matches - either in a team, with friends, or with randoms. The number of wins, as well as your personal performance (unfortunately we don't know exactly what all counts in the rating) in these five matches, will determine in which division you will be placed.

BOCW League Play Divisions
Depending on your performance in the placement matches, you will be assigned to a division. (Credit: Treyarch)

There are a total of five so-called skill divisions:

  • Master: Top 2% of all players
  • Elite: Top 10%-3% of all players
  • Expert: Top 15%-11% of all players
  • Advanced: Top 20%-16% of all players
  • Competitor: 50% of all players

Each player will be ranked within their division with up to 50 other players at the same skill level. Within this, you can then work your way up during the event to improve your rank. Wins move you up in the rankings, losses move you down. To prevent unsportsmanlike conduct, leaving a match early will be penalized with a loss and additional minus points.

At the end of each event, you will earn gems based on your ranking, which will permanently increase your rank and thus your rank icon.

  • 1st place: 5 gems
  • Top 5: 4 gems
  • Top 10: 3 gems
  • Top 25: 2 gems
BOCW League Play Ranks
Your rank icon can be upgraded from bronze to silver, silver gold, gold, and diamond. (Credit: Treyarch)

Initially, your rank symbol is bronze. If you place in the top 10 once, it becomes silver. After a top 5 placement, it becomes silver gold. After 1st place it becomes gold, and if you make it to 1st place six times you get the diamond rank badge.

For the pros among us, there are also the Victory Flames that you can earn for consecutive 1st place finishes. With a 1st place finish you get yellow flames around your rank badge, if you make it to 1st place several times in a row, the flames change color to blue and finally to purple. The flame effect lasts until the end of the next event and then slowly or completely disappears if you don't make it to 1st place again.

Now you know how League Play works in Black Ops Cold War. If you still have questions or just want to tell us what you think, feel free to write on Facebook or come have a chat on our Discord!

Original article by EarlyGame's Lukas Ballat.