For years, Activision has been dabbling into the growing eSports trend. Activision first dabbled with a tournament series called “Call of Duty World League” in 2016, and continued into the 2019 season. Activision decided to forego the World League in favor of the new franchise model that closely resembles sports franchising. In fact, they acquired MLG in 2016 to solidify their intent of being the “ESPN for gaming.” In 2017, they tested a franchise model with Overwatch. It was called Overwatch League, and the way it works is that you’ll need to pay $25 Million to Activision/Blizzard as a franchise fee to be installed as the “home” team for that location. The result was the following: It garnered over $200 Million in sponsorships and broadcasting. Most package deals are around $10 Million a contract. Activision recently revealed Call of Duty League, which is launching in 2020.
There was two teams that wanted to participate in the new Call of Duty League. Optic Gaming, and 100 Thieves. Optic Gaming was acquired by Immortals Gaming Club in June. The founder of Optic Gaming left the company, and joined a different gaming organization called NRG. 100 Thieves, on the other hand is a company that was founded by Matthew Haag, otherwise known as “Nadeshot.” Matthew was a part of Optic, so when he said 100 Thieves isn’t participating in the Call of Duty League, controversy ensued. Same with Optic, well, they’re going to have a Call of Duty League spot, but the Immortals acquisition made the founder of Optic leave.
In any case, here’s Nadeshot’s comments about the decision to not participate in the Call of Duty League…
To learn more about the new Call of Duty League, go to the official website of the league. It shows only two teams with spots: Los Angeles is taken by IGC, and KSE. IGC is “Immortals Gaming Club” as mentioned earlier, I’m not sure what this means, though – are they going to use the IGC name or Optic Gaming…? The other spots listed has been taken, and they are as follows:
- Atlanta’s franchise spot was taken by Atlanta Esports Ventures.
- Dallas’s franchise spot was taken by Envy.
- Florida’s franchise spot was taken by Misfits Gaming.
- Minnesota’s franchise spot was taken by WISE Ventures Esports.
- New York’s franchise spot was taken by Sterling.VC
- Paris’s franchise spot was taken by c0ntact Gaming.
- Toronto’s franchise spot was taken by “Toronto” (Yes, that’s a team name.)