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Published: March 30, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov


  • Players have long disliked Al Bagra Fortress for its imbalance on attack
  • There was a vote to replace it with Himmelmatt Expo
  • Unexpectedly, CDL pros initially voted to keep Fortress before changing their minds after receiving backlash

An intense back and forth between devs and pros resulted in Al Bagra Fortress being removed from the competitive map pool for both pro and Ranked Play, replacing it with Himmelmatt Expo.

Pros Wanted to Keep Fortress

March 15 marked the start of Season 2 Reloaded of CoD: Modern Warfare II and with it came Himmelmatt Expo. As soon as that happened, talks started over whether or not the map should be added to the competitive map pool. Many players wanted to bring the map to replace Al Bagra Fortress. The reason for this is that the latter map has an incredibly low success rate on offense, making it unsuitable for competitive play.

Professional players from the Call of Duty League spearheaded the discussion. But despite many fans being in favor of removing Fortress and replacing it with Expo, it seems many of the CDL pros had a different opinion. On March 28 it was announced that following a vote on the matter, CDL teams voted overwhelmingly in favor of KEEPING Al Bagra Fortress in the competitive queue. 

Why Was This the Case

The decision to keep the controversial map and not replace it with Himmelmatt Expo did not sit well with many fans of the game. It was not long before they started asking how come pro players have voted like this. After all, pros should know better than everyone else how broken attacking on Al Bagra Fortress can be.

Rumors started circulating that CDL teams intentionally wanted to keep Fortress in the ranked queue, perhaps because they are comfortable playing with it. Meanwhile, the names of some of the teams that voted for replacing Fortress with Expo surfaced. These included Atlanta FaZe, LA Thieves, and possibly Vegas Legion or OpTic Texas.

The situation was thrown into even bigger chaos as just a few hours after the first announcement, a new one came that stated another vote had taken place. This time, after receiving a lot of backlash from the MWII community, it was decided that Expo would officially replace Fortress in the map pool.

Himmelmatt Expo will be first seen this weekend at the Major 4 qualifiers kick-offs. With teams not having much time to practice on the map, we might be in for some interesting matches.

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