JoeWo claims the CDL held Warzone in a “chokehold” during Verdansk era

Ryan Lemay
Helicopter flying over Verdansk

Warzone viewership and competitive interest peaked in 2021, and JoeWoe explained why it will be hard to achieve the same success in WZ2.

According to Stream Charts, Warzone 1 accomplished a peak concurrent viewership of 1.6 million viewers, and tournaments played a major factor. Esports Charts recorded over 440,000 people tuning in for the 2021 World Series of Warzone. The website also tracked a total prize pool of over $6.3 million from every tournament combined that year.

If you compare those numbers to Warzone 2, just north of 55,000 is the highest viewership and the total amount of money handed out plummeted to $49,000. A staggering decline in the esports battle royal scene could boil down to less overall interest.

However, Warzone streamer JoeWo believes CDL restrictions make it harder for the Warzone 2 esports scene to thrive.

Did the CDL hold Warzone esports back?

During a recording of the Pullze Check podcast, JoeWo claimed: “The CDL has a chokehold on our game, and it’s sad.”

He elaborated that there were more eyes on Warzone tournaments than the CDL during Warzone 1’s peak with the Verdansk map. JoeWo said sponsors were willing to throw in money, but CDL organizations didn’t want the battle royale to take their eyes away from its league matches.

It costs $25 million for an organization to purchase a spot in the Call of Duty League. JoeWo looked at it from an organization’s perspective and wondered if purchasing a team over signing Warzone players was worth it.

“Why would I ever pay $25 million dollars for a CDL spot and then have to pay a salary which is inflated for all of these players when I can just sign a few Warzone players, and they are competing for the same money at times as the CDL is?”

A good example is CDL legend Scump, who competed in the 2021 WSOW while still playing with OpTic. The former professional CoD player won $100,000 by winning the Solo YOLO Tournament. For comparison winning a CDL major that season won teams $200,000.

JoeWo took to Twitter and added: “Many of those (Warzone 1) tournaments stopped in Warzone 2 because we need CDL approval.” He claimed that sponsors are willing to host six-figure tournaments, but there is now a capped dollar amount for Warzone prize pools. This makes it less appealing for CDL pros to have an interest in playing the battle royale.

Hopefully, WZ2 Ranked boosts competitive interest, just as it did when MW2 Ranked Play launched.

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About The Author

Ryan is a former games writer for Dexerto. Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer for the Morning Times newspaper before joining Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan.