What is the Call of Duty World League without Call of Duty?
As a member of the team that created and managed Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Ashton Williams has not only been one of the many public faces of the Infinity Ward studio, but she has also worked closely with the CWL to make sure their game meets the league’s competitive standards.
Here is what we learned from Ashton Williams when we sat down with her at the Call of Duty World League Championship 2017:
What do you do as the Community Manager for Infinity Ward?
I kind of do a “catch-all” of things regarding communications for the studio, so everything from interacting with the fans in person and on social media, to also talking esports with media. I work with a lot of the teams to figure out what the weekend events for the games are going to be, what kind of hacks and contracts we put into the game, and any kind of promotions in general.
I also work with public relations and marketing on the Activision end to help promote the game in general.
What has your involvement been with the Call of Duty World League this year?
My involvement had changed throughout the season. Initially when the season started, and even before then, I was working a lot with players to figure out what the system was going to look like. We had a rig draft and a weapon draft, which we dropped before the PlayStation Experience event. So, I’ve worked with the players in conjuction with the CWL, but I have also focused a lot on the CODCaster. I talked with a lot of casters to make sure that the CODCaster worked properly and had a pleasurable viewing experience for fans.
What has the journey of this game been from the first tournament at PSX all the way up until the Call of Duty World League Championship 2017?
The journey has been overwhelmingly awesome!
We’ve seen this game transition from its pre-E3 and pre-announcement stages to working with the pros, getting feedback, and building up what the competitive scene would look like. But then, we’ve also moved into where we are now, where we have fixed things like how you pass the drone, collision, map rotation, bomb site locations, and of course the weapons.
There has been a huge arc in progression from where we were a year ago to where we are now.
Infinite Warfare was integrated into the Call of Duty World League, but how has the CWL put itself into the general Infinite Warfare experience?
There are two big ways where we implemented the CWL and competitive Call of Duty into Infinite Warfare.
The first feature was our event viewer. If you are someone who wants to watch the CWL at home, you don’t have to click into another app or go anywhere else, you can actually view all the competitive Call of Duty content on MLG in the game itself. We also have a video on demand player, so you can go back and watch videos to check things out.
The second feature we added was GameBattles. It was so exciting to have that because I used to play on GameBattles way back in the day, and it was so crazy to see how that has evolved. Today, you can be on your console, find matches, and potentially get yourself into the World League by seeing how you can play against these pros.
What has impressed you the most in terms of what competitive players have been able to do with Infinite Warfare?
For me, it is seeing how they use the advanced movement system and also how they have been using payloads. On Friday we saw how Josiah “Slacked” Berry used the FTL jump on Throwback to advance the drone, and that is an example of some of the advanced playstyles we are seeing that you would never see on public matches online.
For some people, it might seem odd, weird, or not impressive, but when you are doing those moves and playing for this amount of money, it really and truly is impressive.
Do you personally have a favorite event of the Call of Duty World League 2017 season?
My absolute favorite event was the CWL Vegas Open.
I say that because it was the first time we were seeing Infinite Warfare in a competitive environment, we were in Las Vegas, and we saw some really interesting teams come up. I mean, Rise Nation took home the trophy at that event. So, to me that was an incredible experience in general as we saw the game being played competitively, but also seeing Rise Nation win.
Finally, what would you like to say to all the fans of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Your feedback and conversations with us have been amazing, and you are what shapes Call of Duty. The community is absolutely what shaped Infinite Warfare, so I cannot thank our fans enough!