The Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic introduced the 2022 season, with Toronto Ultra ultimately winning the inaugural event. The victories, though, were few and far between, as viewership for the event showed a huge drop-off year-on-year.
The overall sentiment towards the current CDL season was already somewhat strained heading into the Kickoff event. With pros unhappy with the state of CoD: Vanguard and players leaving to compete in other titles such as Halo, the opening tournament was going to be a good measuring stick for how the season could end up going.
While the event was littered with highlight-reel plays and the dramatic action that the CDL has come to be known for, it failed to reach the lofty heights that Call of Duty has known in the past.
The Kickoff Classic peaked at just short of 80,000 viewers, with an average viewership of 46,511, according to stat tracking website Esports Charts.
The event was just shy of 1 million hours watched across the weekend, which would’ve been a great landmark figure to hit — but it actually represented a net drop across the board for viewership.
In 2021, the kickoff event peaked at over 107,000 viewers, with an average viewership of almost 60,000.
The hours watched in 2021 were only at 629k hours, but the event was also only on air for 10 hours, in comparison to 2022’s 20 hours, representing an overall drop of around 27% on average.
Overall, this also means a 25% drop in peak viewership and average viewers down by around 22% in comparison to the 2021 kickoff event.
While it’s difficult to ascertain exactly why this massive drop in viewership has occurred, it’s definitely something that people at the CDL will be monitoring and looking to fix when the regular season begins on February 4.