C9 and London Spitfire CEO on potentially joining CoD franchise league

Alan Bernal

Call of Duty franchised team, and with his org already have a strong presence in the United Kingdom by owning the London Spitfire, it could be a smart play.

Blizzard Activision is getting ready to give Call of Duty esports a massive overhaul that would make it more in-line with the Overwatch League. While many specifics about the league’s structure are still murky to the public, organization owners are working with more details to calculate if a CDL investment will pan out.

The massive price tag of $25 million for an org to take a slot in the Call of Duty league has already seen prominent brands in the scene confirm that they wouldn’t be entering next year’s competition.

Cloud9 YouTubeThe Cloud9 CEO isn’t shutting out the possibility to enter the CDL.

In Cloud9’s Sept 5 episode of “The 9’s,” host Christopher ‘Montecristo’ Mykles sat down with the orgs top brass CEO Etienne and touched on the org’s outlook for expanding into other games.

“Call of Duty (is) franchising right now,” Montecristo said. “A lot of the Overwatch League teams have started to get into that. Is Cloud9 going to be another one of those?”

Without breaking stride, the CEO responded with tamed enthusiasm as it seems like the door isn’t closed for a Cloud9-backed CDL team.

“It’s super interesting,” Etienne said. “I can’t get specific but it’s really interesting, and I’m checking it out.”

(Timestamp at 11:52 for mobile viewers)

At the time of writing, there are nine confirmed teams entering the Call of Duty League based around the cities of New York, Toronto, Atlanta, Paris, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, and two separate Los Angeles teams.

But the Call of Duty scene is huge in the United Kingdom. With Cloud9 already operating the London Spitfire for the Overwatch League, it could be a natural segway to open up a team-based around that city. Overwatch League owners do have first market rights on teams in their market, after all. 

Since there is already a team planned for France’s capital, the English Channel rivalry series between the Paris CDL team and a potential London franchise could keep European fans locked into the new league all season.

While the Cloud9 CEO was restrained in revealing any future plans that might be in the works, the prospect for a CDL team with near-exclusive rights to all of UK’s fans could be too enticing to pass up.

About The Author

Alan is a former staff writer for Dexerto based in Southern California who covered esports, internet culture, and the broader games/streaming industry. He is a CSUF Alum with a B.A. in Journalism. He's reported on sports medicine, emerging technology, and local community issues. Got a tip or want to talk?