Call of Duty

The crazy estimated cost of CDL Champs in a ‘NBA bubble’ format

by Calum Patterson

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Much to fans and players' disappointment, the $4.6 million Call of Duty League Playoffs are currently being played online, rather than on LAN, due to ongoing travel restrictions and social distancing rules. While some have lamented the decision, former MLG events operator Adam Apicella has shed some light on how much it would cost to have the event on LAN.

Currently, the world's best professional CoD players are competing for life-changing money, from the comfort of their bedrooms.

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While this was deemed a necessary move by league organizers, it has caused countless problems with internet issues throughout the season, and removes the intensity of the physical, LAN environment.

OpTic Dashy and SlasheR
OpTic Gaming
Dashy had to step in at the last minute on the first day of Playoffs, due to connection problems.

The issues caused by online play were on full display on the very first day of the event, as OpTic Gaming LA's star Kenny 'Kuavo' Williams had to be replaced by Brandon 'Dashy' Otell due to connection problems.

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Dexerto's Mike Kent suggested that the League could have adopted a similar format to the NBA's ongoing 'bubble', allowing the season to go on.

But, it wasn't cheap, as this 'bubble' is said to have cost the NBA around $170 million, an investment to "protect its season."

Cost of running CDL Champs bubble

Apicella provided his take on a rough cost if the Call of Duty League was to have attempted a similar feat for CDL Playoffs, estimating a total layout of at least $7 million.

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Despite his experience in the field of event organizing, Apicella clarifies that his estimate could be as much as 100% lower than the true cost, given the extraordinary circumstances.

What about LoL Worlds?

However, despite the cost of such an event being held offline in the current climate, another esport has actually done just that.

The LoL World Championships 2020, the equivalent of CDL Playoffs, will be held in a single-city, bubble hub format in Shanghai, China. The LoL esports team explained how they would manage the event and ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BweTV5AtmSw

Worlds is often the most-watched esports event of the year, as millions watch online. Even without spectators in a stadium, the event will be played entirely offline. The finals of the event will be held at the Pudong Football Stadium in Shanghai.

The financial and administrative cost of this will undoubtedly be very high, perhaps even more so than a LAN CDL Playoffs would have cost, even by Apicella's estimations.

However, to reduce the cost for the CDL, the league could have held only the final stages of the event at LAN, therefore reducing the number of teams and players at the event.


Keep up to date with all the action at CDL Playoffs and Championship Weekend with our dedicated coverage hub.