Astro Gaming & US Army vanish as CDL sponsors amid Activision Blizzard lawsuit
The Call of Duty League seems to have lost two more of its highest-profile sponsors, Astro Gaming and the US Army. This follows the loss of other CDL and OWL partners, suspected to be caused by fallout over the Activision Blizzard discrimination lawsuit.
In late July, the state of California launched a labor discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard centered around sexism and “frat boy culture” in the workplace. Around a week later, in early August, we noticed that one of the CDL and Overwatch League’s primary sponsors, T-Mobile, had suddenly disappeared.
First absent from the CDL’s website, T-Mobile then mysteriously vanished from the broadcast (including branding taped over on player jerseys) during the league’s biggest event of the year: Major 5.
CDL sponsor Astro Gaming disappears
Now, both Astro Gaming and the US Army seem to be bowing out as well.
Both sponsors took center stage during the 2021 season and are now missing from all web pages.
The most noticeable change is Astro Gaming. The partner was directly tied to the CDL’s MVP award and in-game “Astro Game Listen-In” segments, while also being worn by players for an exclusive headset collaboration.
Not only has the Astro branding been removed from the website entirely (including the MVP pages), but the company has also taken down its page devoted to the CDL collection.
US Army cuts ties
As for the US Army, whose advertisements have felt omnipresent to CDL viewers, removal from the partnership section has been noticed. This leaves Zenni, SCUF, Game Fuel, and USAA as the lone remaining CDL sponsors.
A similar purge has taken place on the OWL side of things, where brands and companies like Pringles, IBM, and State Farm have all disappeared.
As of yet, there has been no response for comment from the league or company representatives. The most widely accepted reasoning is that these brands are distancing themselves from Activision Blizzard, whose responses to the ongoing lawsuit have been dubbed “abhorrent” by employees.