Call of Duty: Warzone has for some time now had an issue with its "pay-to-win" Roze skin - but right now it seems more popular than ever.
Last year the Rook skin was sold as part of the Season 5 premium battle pass (it was a tier 100 unlock) and it didn't take long for players to accuse it of being a "pay-to-win" microtransaction. The issue has to do with the way the outfit looks: it's entirely black without any reflective surfaces, which means it's very difficult to spot in dark areas of the game. Even Roze's eyes are surrounded in black facepaint.
Anyone who's played Warzone knows there are plenty of dark areas in the map to hole up in. Playing the battle royale in solos can feel like a particularly campy time. Add to this Roze's Rook skin, and you can end up in situations like this:
Roze's Rook skin has been an issue ever since it was released, but it was thrust back into the headlines recently after it was used by participants in the high-profile $250,000 Twitch Rivals tournament (the one that led to accusations of cheating).
Redditor caribou_drew drew attention to a lobby packed with Roze skins waiting to drop into the Warzone tournament. The image was taken from the livestream of one of the tournament participants, NRG player Jordan "Huskerrs" Thomas:
Now, it feels like Warzone is home to more "sweaty" Roze skins than ever before, with some prominent Call of Duty content creators as well as members of the community calling for its removal - or at least a change to its look.
Warzone solos is more toxic than ranked League of Legends. I played 4 games and every single enemy was wearing the all black Roze skin. All but one of them sat in a dark corner the whole time and did nothing until I walked by them.— Drift0r (@Drift0r) January 26, 2021
Can confirm there were 14 cheaters and 67 Roze skins hiding in the trees. https://t.co/3z2ObI4C2b— Westie (@MrProWestie) January 22, 2021
Currently, Call of Duty players are surfacing clips of all out war against players using the Roze skin - even squads full of them.
And of course the memes are in full effect:
@Activision @CallofDutyUK @CODLeague I see you have had some complaints from players about a certain operators cosmetic skin aka roze "rook". It was a dominant choice in the recent tourney? Please see my redesigns for your consideration. Let me know what you think 👍 #warzone pic.twitter.com/0i3biL8BXG— Old Man Junky (@geekmethod) January 25, 2021
I don't think it's likely that Activision will pull Roze's Rook skin from the game, given it was sold via the premium battle pass. But current Warzone custodian Raven Software is now under pressure to change how it looks in order for it to be considered balanced for the battlefield. Perhaps it will be banned for tournaments.
The saving grace here is this Rook skin cannot currently be bought as it was a season five battle pass reward. Will Activision sell it via the in-game store at some point? If they did, it would probably make a killing.
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