Call of Duty League moves to PC for 2021, but mouse and keyboard isn't allowed

(Image credit: Activision)

The Call of Duty League is one that we don't generally cover, because it's played on PlayStation 4 consoles, and in case you weren't aware that's not what the P in "PC Gamer" stands for. That will change for the 2021 season, however, as the league said today that it is moving to PCs for the 2021. Somewhat surprisingly, however, it will not allow the use of mouse and keyboard setups in competition. 

"Today, the League is announcing it will move pro team competition to PC + Controller beginning with the 2021 season," the League said. "This means that all pro matches will be played on PC and all pro players must use a League-approved controller of their choice."

"Call of Duty League competition will maintain exclusive use of controllers for the upcoming season. This change provides players with expanded choice of controller, allowing them to select the League-approved controller style that works best for their game. More details and rules pertaining to peripherals will be released at a future date."

It seems odd to me that the Call of Duty League would move away from consoles, yet insist that its players continue to interact with the game in the same way. There's a reason you don't see controllers being used in top-tier CS:GO or Overwatch League matches: All due respect to my button-mashing buds out there, but all else being equal, a mouse and keyboard provides a level of flexibility and precision that controllers simply cannot match. 

My guess is that the league wants to give its current players a decent amount of time to make the adjustment, rather than simply throwing everyone into the pool and hoping for the best, and that we'll get the "full PC" for the 2022 season. I've reached out to the league for more information and will update if I receive a reply.

The league also announced that Call of Duty Challengers, an open, amateur circuit that serves as a feeder for the Call of Duty League, will go cross-platform for 2021—but, like CoD League competition, will continue to require the use of controllers, regardless of a player's chosen platform.

Thanks, Dot Esports.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.