How to watch Call of Duty League Launch Weekend - Dexerto
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How to watch Call of Duty League Launch Weekend

Published: 19/Jan/2020 17:50 Updated: 25/Jan/2020 14:07

by Andy Williams

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Activision’s inaugural Call of Duty League launch weekend kicks off in Minnesota on January 24. Here’s everything we know about how and where to watch the new COD League.

The highly anticipated COD League’s first season starts on January 24. Hosted by the Minnesota RØKKR, the opening weekend will feature all 12 franchise teams from the league.

Activision’s CDL is three tiers of pro, amateur and fan competition. There will be a total of 12 pro matches broadcast throughout the course of the launch weekend, alongside a plethora of Call of Duty Challengers games happening live at the event. 

All 12 Call of Duty League teams.
Activision
All 12 CDL teams will battle it out in Minnesota on January 24-26.

Call of Duty League stream

On January 24, it was announced that YouTube Gaming had obtained the exclusive streaming rights for all Call of Duty League matches and events. We have included the stream below:

For all of our on-site coverage and interviews, as well as results and more, check out our CDL Launch Weekend event hub.

Not going to be around for the action? The League is expected to post VODs online, so be sure to catch-up on everything through the Call of Duty League’s official YouTube channel

CDL Launch Weekend Schedule

The first matchup of the 2020 CDL is a clash of the titans, as the two pillars of the Call of Duty esports scene lock horns once again. 

Both Hector ‘Hecz’ Rodriguez and Mike ‘Hastr0’ Rufail will be watching with a keen eye, as the Chicago Huntsmen and Dallas Empire get the season underway on January 24 at 14:30 (PST) / 17:30 (EST) / 22:30 (GMT). 

Then, two more matches will take place on January 24. Seattle Surge will take on Florida Mutineers, while the Los Angeles Guerrillas will attempt to cause a home series upset versus Minnesota RØKKR.

Each match is scheduled to last approximately one hour 15 minutes, but the length of each series will vary depending on the match outcome. A full breakdown of the weekend’s action, with corresponding dates and times can be found below.

Full match schedule for the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend
Call of Duty League
Full match schedule for the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend.

What’s the format for the CDL launch weekend?

Matches will be played as a best-of-five series, with each team fielding five players. Each series will be comprised of multiple game modes, including: Hardpoint, Search & Destroy and Domination. 

For the first time in Call of Duty esports history, players will be able to use mid-series substitutions, which will provide a fresh dynamic for players and spectators alike. 

The opening weekend will adhere to a regular head-to-head format, where teams will accrue points. Week 2 will revert back to a more traditional tournament-based bracket, providing an opportunity for host teams to be crowned victors for their respective event.

Players will be playing on Competitive Settings Version 1.6 for the event. For full details of the game rules, maps and modes, check out our comprehensive breakdown here.

Business

Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun

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Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.