Just a day removed from receiving criticism for their ‘minimum’ prize pool, Chicago Huntsmen announced that they are more than doubling the amount of cash on the line for the Challengers event at their upcoming Call of Duty League home series.
The Chicago Call of Duty franchise has felt a little bit of heat this past week, but it’s not because of their shocking semifinals loss to the Mutineers at CDL Atlanta or their new partnership with Zippo.
The Huntsmen drew attention from some of its own fans on February 25, when they announced a $400 Challengers Pass, which amateur teams will require at the Chicago Challengers Open.
Ready to compete? Here's your chance.
Challengers Pass on sale tomorrow 2/26
-10K Prize Pool
-Winners recognized on Main Stage by @H3CZ
-Winners receive Meet & Greet with team
-2 hours of gameplay analysis from our Coaching Staff for winning teamhttps://t.co/IsSdKM8fOC pic.twitter.com/oSvlvjdYYg
— Chicago Huntsmen (@Huntsmen) February 25, 2020
Initially, it was advertised to include a $10,000 rize pool, a meet & greet with the Huntsmen roster, on-stage recognition from co-CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, and two hours of gameplay analysis from the team’s coaching staff.
A day later, the franchise acknowledged the feedback they had received from their original announcement and revealed a new prize pool of $25,000, more than twice as much as what was originally listed.
We heard you. Prize pool is now $25K.
Challenger passes are now available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
— Chicago Huntsmen (@Huntsmen) February 26, 2020
A number of fans and players complained that $10,000, the minimum prize pool figure by CDL Challengers standards, wasn’t enough. Several noticed that it was the lowest prize pool of any Challengers event announced so far.
$400 team pass yet only have a prize pool of 10k lol
— Shalin (@IndieBoy22) February 25, 2020
I promise u no top am team is getting hyped to meet the huntsmen. They’d much rather have more money than a meet and greet with scump.
— uh (@psycohype) February 25, 2020
Other users online argued that the level of competition is high enough that additional prizes like a meet-and-greet and coach analysis aren’t that enticing, and that they’d rather earn more prize money than meet the pros.
Mike ‘Hastr0’ Rufail turned up the heat on the Huntsmen a little more, posting on his Twitter account less than two hours later that the Challengers event at the Dallas Empire’s home series would feature a $25,000 prize pool. He made a point to mention the extra $15,000 the organization was adding in to support the scene.
We tossed in an extra $15k of our own organization’s money into the prize pool because we care about all of you grinders. GLHF. More on Thursday.
— Mike Rufail (@hastr0) February 25, 2020
The two teams have not been shy in dissing out banter towards each other, and Empire star Clayster couldn’t help himself in his team owner’s replies. H3CZ admitted he had to restrain the urge to fire back.
I can jab back super hard right now, But, I won’t. BUT just know that I can.
— Hector Rodriguez (@H3CZ) February 25, 2020
But a day later, Huntsmen did counter the Empire again, with the announcement that they had their prize pool up to the $25,000 mark. They acknowledged their feedback from fans, saying “We heard you.”
Team passes for the Chicago Challengers Open, as well as the Los Angeles Open, are both still available in the MLG store. The LA event, hosted by OpTic Gaming and Guerrillas takes place much sooner, March 7-8, while Chicago’s takes place at the beginning of April.