12 cities the CDL needs for future expansion franchises

Activision/Unsplash: Mike Boening

The Call of Duty League launched with 12 teams, but with the talent pool growing day by day, there’s a serious case to be made for having even twice as many teams in the league.

If there’s one thing the first two seasons of the CDL have shown us, it’s that there is some serious talent just waiting to shine on the biggest stage.

Mack, Shotzzy, CleanX, Cammy, Standy, Insight, and countless more have moved into the big leagues and put on a show, making the veterans we all know and love look like the amateurs.

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So, with different regions and cities vying for their own team to support, which markets should the CDL look to next? Here are our top 12 suggestions.

Las Vegas, USA

Las Vegas eiffel towerUnsplash: Mike Boening
Las Vegas is the perfect place for a CDL franchise.

Vegas is the first and most obvious choice. With Los Angeles and New York both having their own teams, Vegas is the next huge US city that deserves one.

It’s unclear why there isn’t one already, but don’t be surprised to see it pop up sooner rather than later.

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Madrid, Spain

Madrid cityUnsplash: Florian Wehde
Madrid would be sure to pull in the incredible Spanish viewers.

Madrid is a huge untapped market for the CDL, with some of the most passionate fans in the world.

With Heretics commanding huge support in the Black Ops 4 season, it would be great to see them and the Spanish fans arrive back in the league.

Washington DC, USA

Washington D.C White House at sunsetUnsplash: Casey Horner
Very few cities are as respected as Washington D.C.

Washington is one of the most historical and important cities in the United States, instantly commanding respect from the rest of the world as the home of the President.

Not to mention, given the nature of the city itself, there are some top opportunities for a great franchise name.

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Manchester, UK

ManchesterUnsplash: Will McCue
Few cities in Europe have seen as much success in sports as Manchester.

Maybe another UK-based franchise would be overkill this early in the league’s lifetime, but Manchester is a city of pure sporting heritage.

With two of the biggest sports entities in the world — Manchester United and Manchester City — based out of the northern city, there’s clearly scope for a big step into esports and the CDL.

Tokyo, Japan

tokyo tower skylineUnsplash: Louie Martinez
Tokyo could be the perfect city for the CDL to break into an emerging market.

The Asian market isn’t one typically associated with Call of Duty, but there are some very popular Japanese Call of Duty teams, such as Rush Gaming, who could open the CDL to an entirely new demographic.

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While the Overwatch League houses several Asian teams, Tokyo could definitely be the best opportunity for the CDL to capitalize on a market that’s just screaming for more representation.

Philadelphia, USA

Philadelphia skylineUnsplash: ActionVance
Philadelphia is no stranger to sports success.

Very few cities in the States can topple Philadelphia when it comes to sporting acumen or impenetrable fan support.

A Philadelphia team would be sure to bring more viewers into the league, and it seems only right to see Philly get involved.

Boston, USA

bston massachusettsUnsplash: Lance Anderson
Could a Boston franchise find its Tom Brady-esque star?

Much like Philadelphia, Boston has a proud sporting background.

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Sure, much of their success has been more recently thanks to one Tom Brady, but with the Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox, there’s no shortage of great sports teams in the area. Could a CoD team be added to the list?

Melbourne, Australia

melbourne buildingsUnsplash: Denise Jans
Melbourne has become a real esports hub for Australia.

Melbourne might not be the most famous city in Australia (the iconic Opera House often lets Sydney take that moniker), but it has a wealth of history in ANZ esports, a region that has typically not been afforded as many opportunities as EU and NA.

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Melbourne has also been the location of the only big-time CoD tournament with international teams, with OpTic Gaming flying out to the city in 2016 to take on some of the best in the region.

Columbus, USA

Columbus Ohio flagUnsplash: Dana Lewin
Ohio is a proud state, and Columbus an important city in the history of CoD esports.

Columbus may not be the first city you think of when you imagine the glamorous side of the States, but it should arguably have been one of the first cities included.

Not only is it a city with intensely fierce sporting prowess, but it’s also the home of so many incredible CoD esports moments. Where better to celebrate Call of Duty than the city that arguably made the esport what it is?

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Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico flagUnsplash: Jorge Aguilar
The Mexican fanbase could be a fantastic one for the CDL.

Mexican esports fans are rabid — if you’ve ever watched an event in Mexico City, you’ll be all too aware.

That kind of passion is almost unmatched in the esports world, and is something the CDL could seriously benefit from.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco golden gate bridgeUnsplash: Joonyeop Baek
Few cities boast global appeal like San Francisco, but another California franchise might be too much.

Another iconic global city, San Francisco has both international and local appeal. It’s somewhere fans would gladly travel to watch an event, and a place that could command a huge attraction to the best players.

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Plus, as the home of Silicon Valley, it seems only right that they build on that huge tech infrastructure with an esports team.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro Christ the Redeemer statueUnsplash: Raphael Nogueira
Could a Rio de Janeiro franchise capitalize on the South America fanbase?

The South American market is one that, given its close proximity, the CDL could really tap into.

Brazil has also created some of the finest sportsmen and women in the world, not to mention a passionate fanbase, so this is definitely one worth looking at in a little-explored demographic.

Of course, there are so many more great cities that would be incredible additions to the CDL. Vancouver, Barcelona, Charlotte, Milan, Shanghai and more are huge global cities that could help expand the league.

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It’s not yet known whether expansion is on the cards for 2022, but if it does come any time soon, these cities are well worth buying into.

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