While the Call of Duty League gets off to a historic start, reports indicate that the Overwatch League’s Washington Justice and CDL may have a shared passion for bringing CoD to DC moving forward.
Like the OWL, the CDL debuted with just 12 franchised teams. Unlike the OWL, global circumstances prevented the league from expanding in its second season (during which the OWL expanded to 20).
Instead, the CDL’s OpTic Los Angeles spot was vacated and soon filled by the Los Angeles Thieves, keeping the league at 12 just organizations for its 2021 season.
Looking forward, though, league expansion for the CDL is most certainly on the horizon. Among the possible future locations for a new franchise, Washington DC (home to the Justice) has apparently risen toward the top of eligible suitors.
According to The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, “there is mutual interest around potentially expanding CDL to DC” between the CDL and Washington Justice groups. This would make Justice owner Mark Ein, an investor and philanthropist who also owns a DC-based tennis team (the Washington Kastles), a top candidate to bring a new esports team to his hometown.
As Stern elaborates, that prospect is feeling more and more likely: “Sources now say that the league is indeed interested in expanding to the nation’s capital and that Ein is in the running to land the CDL slot.”
Considering the hype over CDL Week 1, Ein’s interest is warranted. In a historic weekend, the league earned 1.4 million hours of matches watched and a record 131,000 viewers for the OpTic Chicago vs. Atlanta FaZe match.
As for DC residents, they should be interested in receiving a CDL spot particularly because of the turnaround shown by their OWL team. While the team struggled to an 8-20 record in its 2019 inaugural season and a 4-17 in 2020, things changed dramatically during the playoffs.
After picking up Gui-un ‘Decay’ Jang (albeit, in a controversial move), Washington stormed into Round 3 of the North American Winners Bracket before losing 2-3 to the eventual-champion San Francisco Shock.
Now, the Justice have made a series of other highly touted roster changes and move into 2021 with stronger expectations than ever. For DC fans, that’s an encouraging commitment to winning and hopefully a sign of things to come should they earn a CDL spot.