Activision confirms city-based franchised league for Call of Duty


After weeks of hints and teases from various members of the Call of Duty community, Activision have finally confirmed that they are launching a franchised league for Call of Duty. 

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The CWL has been growing since it began in 2016 and numerous clues in recent months had all but confirmed the league’s next step into becoming a permanent fixture in esports.

During their Q4 2018 Earnings Call on February 12, Activision gave official confirmation that the Call of Duty World League will be moving to a franchised format. 

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Under the current system for the Black Ops 4 season, most Call of Duty teams had to compete in a grueling qualifier before the start of the season just to play in the CWL. Under a franchise system, teams would be locked indefinitely and wouldn’t have to compete for their spot. 

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Hours before Activision’s official announcement, a Hitmarker listing for a new Brand Manager who “will help manage the look and feel of the Call of Duty World League with franchise owners, broadcasters and other external partners” appeared, lending more credence to the coming arrival of franchising. 

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The Hitmarker listing gives good confirmation that franchised Call of Duty will look to create a unified structure much like what has been seen so far with the Overwatch League, which was also confirmed by Activision Blizzard’s CEO during the Earnings Call. 

We also intend to build on our experience with the Overwatch League to launch a professional, city-based Call of Duty league that drives franchise engagement and represents a size-able incremental economic opportunity.

Although switching to a franchise might make it harder for up-and-coming teams to compete at the highest level, those already in the league can enjoy long-term development that could give way for expansions in the future.

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The CWL has put on extravagant shows before, and will look to continue that trend with steadier competition.
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Being a part of a franchised team in an esport as storied as Call of Duty will be a coveted tag for any organization owner to acquire if the price is right.

The current season of the CWL Pro League is currently in its second week and will be the last chance for teams and players to compete in a non-franchised setting.