London, Seattle, and Chicago unveiled as latest Call of Duty franchises - Dexerto
Call of Duty

London, Seattle, and Chicago unveiled as latest Call of Duty franchises

Published: 13/Sep/2019 12:38 Updated: 14/Sep/2019 10:36

by Ross Deason

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Activision Blizzard have announced what are expected to be the final three teams that will compete in the first ever Call of Duty franchised esports league. 

Chicago, London and Seattle franchises will be joining the likes of Paris, Toronto and New York in the 12-city league, which kicks off in 2020.

Activision had confirmed in February 2019 that the open CoD World League model that has been in operation since 2016 would cease, and would be replaced by a franchise model that is traditionally seen in North American sports leagues. In the past, any team, even amateurs, had the opportunity to make a name for themselves each year by qualifying for the league, but the new model requires organizations to purchase one of the franchises for a substantial fee.

MLGCall of Duty will move to a franchised model for the 2020 season.

Following in the footsteps of the Overwatch League that launched in 2018, franchises are tied to a city and bidders are required to pay a reported $25 million to secure a spot, with the promise of shared wealth via an ecosystem that would distribute any money made in brand deals.

Nine cities had previously been confirmed for the CoD league, including some (Dallas, Los Angeles, London) that are represented in the OWL. Now, on September 13, we have finally discovered more about the remaining three.

All about the Chicago Call of Duty team

The organization behind the Chicago Call of Duty franchise is NRG, a name that has become synonymous with esports in recent years. Established in 2016 by Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, the co-owners of the NBA basketball team Sacramento Kings, NRG also own the San Francisco Shock in the Overwatch League.

Miller described the all-new Call of Duty esports league as as the “perfect opportunity” to get involved in CoD’s competitive scene:

“NRG has loved Call of Duty and the competitive pro and amateur scene for a long time now,” he said. “The formation of the new Call of Duty esports league provided the perfect opportunity for the org to jump in. The prospect of having Chicago written across our team’s chests was the icing on the cake. We hope to transfer our winning formula from the San Francisco Shock of the Overwatch League to the new Call of Duty esports league and our Chicago team.”

Overwatch LeagueNRG own the Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock.

All about the London Call Of Duty team

Heading up the new London franchise will be ReKTGlobal, the parent company of Rogue, a global esports organization that has been growing rapidly since its inception in September 2016. They count musicians Steve Aoki, Nicky Romero and Imagine Dragons among their investors.

Amish Shah, the Founder and Chairman of ReKTGlobal Inc., said that the organization were excited by the opportunity to grow their brand in the UK, a country which showed that it was home to some of the most passionate CoD fans in the world when the 2019 Call of Duty World League came to London during the Black Ops 4 season.

“On behalf of the entire ReKTGlobal organization, we are thrilled that we’ve landed the London team for Call of Duty,” said Shah. “My co-founder, Dave Bialek, and I feel that some of the most enthusiastic esports fans are based in London and we are not only excited but welcome the challenge to represent the city, while gaining larger visibility and growing our brand within the UK.

“Our core UK team is eager to bring the championship home with the support of the community, their family and friends, and investors such as Steve Aoki, Imagine Dragons, Nicky Romero and DrLupo. We also have a number of surprises in store for the fans so get your popcorn ready and join us on our championship journey.”

ESLRogue found success in Overwatch before the introduction of the franchised league.

All about the Seattle Call of Duty team

The Seattle Call of Duty team will be owned by the Aquilini Group and Enthusiast Gaming. Founded more than 50 years ago by Luigi Aquilini, The Aquilini Investment Group is a family business that’s known for its involvement in American sports. The group’s entertainment division currently includes NHL ice hockey team Vancouver Canucks, the National Lacrosse League’s Vancouver Warriors and the Overwatch League’s Vancouver Titans.

Enthusiast Gaming is a digital media company that will be recognised by many esports fans as the parent company of Luminosity Gaming – one of the most well known organizations in competitive gaming and a staple in competitive CoD since 2015.

Francesco Aquilini, the Managing Director of the Aquilini Group, said: “Esports has shown extraordinary growth and we’re excited to continue to be at the forefront with a new Call of Duty esports team. We are thrilled with the performance of the Vancouver Titans in the Overwatch League in their inaugural season, and with the continued support and expertise of our partners at Luminosity and Enthusiast Gaming, we believe the new Call of Duty esports league is also well positioned for success.

“Along with the Titans, we look forward to continuing our engagement with the esports community in the Pacific Northwest with this new Seattle-based Call of Duty team, and delivering on our goal to create first-class fan experiences.”

MLGLuminosity found success during Call of Duty’s Black Ops 4 season.

Chicago, London, and Seattle join the previously announced teams in Atlanta, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Paris, and Toronto, as well as the two teams in Los Angeles. All 12 of these franchise teams will host games in their home market when the season begins in 2020.

The fact that there are 12 teams in the Call of Duty esports league is significant as fans of the Overwatch League will remember that it too started with 12 franchises, before Activision Blizzard increased the number to 20. While nothing has been confirmed at this point, it is likely that we have now been introduced to every team that will compete in the inaugural season of Call of Duty’s franchise league.

The other announced ownership groups are Atlanta Esports Ventures for Atlanta, Envy Gaming Inc. for Dallas, Misfits Gaming for Florida, WISE Ventures for Minnesota, Sterling. VC for New York, c0ntact Gaming for Paris, and OverActive Media for Toronto. Immortals Gaming Club and Kroenke Sports and Entertainment own the two respective Los Angeles teams.

However, some of the biggest names in Call of Duty will not be involved in the first season. 100 Thieves and Gen.G opted not to buy into the league, along with FaZe Clan – an organization that is synonymous with Call of Duty – and 2019 Call of Duty World League champions eUnited.

CWLCWL Championships 2019 winners eUnited have yet to announce a franchise.

They join the likes of Enigma6, Evil Geniuses, compLexity, Heretics, and Vitality as Call of Duty powerhouses that have not yet announced a franchise or have already ruled themselves out of contention for the 2020 season.

Call of Duty’s franchised league will mark a new beginning for a competitive scene that has been growing and evolving for over a decade. Names that have been linked to the CoD esports landscape since its infancy will disappear as a new era of city-based franchising is ushered in.

While some community veterans, including 100 Thieves owner Nadeshot, have expressed concerns about the change, others – such as Team Envy owner hastr0 – are seeing it as an opportunity to grow something brand new.

One thing’s for sure – the passion of Call of Duty’s esports fans, players, and franchise owners will continue to shine through as it always has.

Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War Season 2 update: full patch notes

Published: 25/Feb/2021 4:52

by Albert Petrosyan

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Black Ops Cold War Season Two is here, and we’ve got our hands on the official patch notes – here’s a breakdown of all the changes Activision and Treyarch have shipped in the huge February 25 update.

Tons of new content has already been confirmed for Black Ops Cold War, including several new maps, weapons, Operators, Battle Pass, and, of course, the massive new Outbreak Zombies mode.

In addition to all of this new stuff, Treyarch has implemented numerous changes as well, all of which can be found detailed in the official Season 2 patch notes below.

Black Ops Cold War Season 2 update patch notes

Please note that these are just the patch notes in terms of what’s been changed in multiplayer & Zombies. For a walkthrough of all the new content, make sure to check out our “What’s new in Black Ops Cold War Season 2” page.

GLOBAL

Event

  • Outbreak Event (Feb. 25 – March 11)
    • Complete new undead challenges across Outbreak and Warzone to unlock all-new rewards.
    • Available for a limited time: Feb. 25 – Mar. 11. 

Weapons

  • FARA 83
    • New assault rifle available to unlock in the Season Two Battle Pass.
  • LC10
    • New SMG available to unlock in the Season Two Battle Pass.
  • Machete
    • New melee weapon available via in-game challenge or Store bundle.
  • Groza
    • Unlock challenge available for the Groza assault rifle.
  • Mac-10
    • Unlock challenge available for the Mac-10 SMG.

Battle Pass

  • New 100-Tier Battle Pass available in Season Two.
  • Added attachment flyout descriptions on weapon previews in the Battle Pass.

Operators

  • Naga
    • New Operator available to unlock in the Season Two Battle Pass.

Vehicles

  • Sedan
    • New vehicle available in Season Two for Outbreak and multi-team modes.
  • Light Truck
    • New vehicle available in Season Two for Outbreak and multi-team modes.

Main Lobby

  • Updated main lobby theming and animations for Season Two.
  • Added new Screen Saver mode when the player is idle on the main menu screen.
  • Addressed an issue where party members’ equipped weapons would not be shown in the main lobby.

Combat Record

  • Added Shot Tracker to the Combat Record’s Multiplayer Weapons screen.
    • For each weapon, this displays the distribution of hits across the different body parts as well as the damage multipliers assigned to some of these body parts.
  • Addressed an issue where earned Medals were not displayed anymore.

After Action Report

  • Implemented a smoother transition between leveling up animation and displaying current level rewards.
  • After Action Report now only shows rewards of the last level when leveling up several ranks at once. 

Prestige Levels

  • Four new Prestige Levels added in Season Two (Prestige 8-11). 

Prestige Shop

  • New legacy Prestige rewards available to unlock starting at Prestige 8. 

Music Player

  • Original Treyarch tracks from Black Ops II now available in the Music Player, once unlocked via War Tracks in the Battle Pass: “Main Theme,” “Adrenaline,” “Damned 100ae,” and “Shadows.”
  • “Lost” (Easter Egg song from “Firebase Z”) now available in the Music Player once unlocked in-game after the launch of Season Two.

New Features

  • Bundle Locker
    • Access all of your owned Store Bundles at the new Bundle Locker at the Weapons menu in any mode and the Store.
  • Quick Equip
    • Equip certain items straight from the Battle Pass, Store Bundle Preview, and the Bundle Locker with the tap of a button. 

MULTIPLAYER

Maps

  • Apocalypse
    • New 6v6 map available in Multiplayer.
    • Apocalypse 24/7 featured playlist available in core modes, and in Hardcore via Quick Play.
  • Cartel
    • Made cover adjustments, including reducing the heights of bushes in certain locations to increase predictability of engagements.
  • Crossroads Strike
    • Improved character visibility in key areas.
    • Made cover adjustments to address unintended or exploitable sightlines.
    • P4 Hardpoint zone moved to the crates on the frozen lake.
  • Satellite
    • Closed small gaps in cover that could be abused in the map center.
  • Moscow
    • Trimmed unused space near starting spawns to address areas that cannot be flanked in certain game modes.
  • Raid
    • P1 Hardpoint zone radius reduced to match the Control zone radius.
    • Players can now mantle onto the van inside of the garage.
  • Express
    • Addressed an issue that would allow players to spawn in front of the active train.

Modes

  • Gun Game
    • Available in Multiplayer at the start of Season Two.
    • Progress through a set of 20 weapons from pistol to Knife, advancing to a new weapon with each elimination. Melee kills set the target back a level in their weapon progression. First player to kill an enemy with each weapon wins the match.
  • Gunfight Blueprints
    • Added new Blueprints to loadouts in Gunfight Blueprints during Season Two.
  • Search and Destroy
    • Addressed an issue where both teams could get points if the last players traded kills in Search and Destroy.
  • UI
    • Reduced opacity of waypoints while ADS and when looking at Hardpoint, Control and Search & Destroy objectives. 

Featured Playlists

  • Apocalypse 24/7 [NEW]
  • Gun Game [NEW]
  • Gunfight Blueprints [New Season Two Blueprints]
  • Snipers Only Moshpit
  • Nuketown 24/7
  • Face Off

Scorestreaks

  • Death Machine
    • Now available in Multiplayer for 2200 score.
  • Air Patrol
    • Reduced cost from 2700 to 2400.
  • Attack Helicopter
    • Reduced cost from 5000 to 4500.
  • VTOL Escort
    • Reduced cost from 7000 to 6500.
  • Counter Spy Plane
    • Increased cost from 1200 to 1400.
    • Cooldown increased from 60 to 90 seconds.
  • Care Package
    • Addressed an issue where the Care Package marker could remain stuck if the player skipped the Killcam while it was still visible.
  • Cruise Missile
    • Addressed an issue where the Cruise Missile could inconsistently lock on in multi-team matches.
  • Spy Plane
    • Addressed an issue where a player who was previously hidden by the Jammer could remain hidden from enemy Spy Planes.
  • H.A.R.P.
    • Addressed an issue where a player who was previously hidden by the Jammer could remain hidden from enemy H.A.R.P.s.

Equipment

  • Smoke Grenade
    • Player vision is now degraded when inside a smoke grenade cloud. 

Field Upgrades

  • Trophy System
    • Reduced the damage that a Trophy System will deal to a player.
    • The max damage that a Trophy System will now deal is 10.
  • Gas Mine
    • Players can no longer spawn in an active cloud of an activated Gas Mine. 

Movement

  • Addressed an issue where, if a player sprinted to cancel their reload the instant before ammo was replenished, the weapon could fire instantly as the reload was cancelled.
  • Small reduction to jump height and slowdown penalty after landing from a jump. 

Challenges

  • Increased the range for Point Blank weapon camo Challenge. 

Scoreboard

  • Addressed an issue where the scoreboard would sometimes show reversed information on the scoreboard for the opposite team. 

Custom Games

  • Addressed an issue where bots would not capture the A-side zone in Domination on Nuketown ‘84 in Custom Games. 

Main Menu

  • Added “Select/Deselect All” option in Quick Play menu. 

Theater

  • Addressed an issue where the Dropkick nuke post-match FX could remain stuck when rewinding in Theater.

LEAGUE PLAY

Scorestreaks

  • Score earned will now reset to 0 on death.
  • Players now only have access to the Artillery and Cruise Missile Scorestreaks by default.
  • Artillery cost reduced from 3000 to 1600.
  • Cruise Missile cost reduced from 3500 to 2000. 

Create-a-Class

  • Addressed an issue where players were unable to select their unlocked Zombies camos in custom weapon loadouts.
  • Addressed various issues with the Lobby and Create-a-Class loadouts not displaying properly. 

After Action Report

  • Addressed an issue where After Action Report rewards would not be displayed after a League Play match.

ZOMBIES

Outbreak

  • Outbreak available in Zombies at the start of Season Two.
  • Continue the Dark Aether story with your squad of Requiem agents in this new large-scale experience, complete with new team objectives, player rewards, in-game intel, deadly new enemies, and varied infiltration zones throughout the Ural Mountains.
  • Launches with three regions to explore: Ruka, Alpine, and Golova (Outbreak exclusive at launch), with more to follow. 

Skill Tiers

  • Added new Tiers IV and V for every Skill.
  • New Refined and Flawless Aetherium Crystals are now earnable to upgrade Skills to Tiers IV/V.
  • Added new Weapon Skill categories: Launchers and Specials. 

Field Upgrades

  • Frenzied Guard
    • Frenzied Guard Field Upgrade available in Zombies at the start of Season Two.
    • Base level ability: Force all enemies in the area to target you for 10 seconds. Armor takes all damage during this time.

Ammo Mods

  • Shatter Blast
    • Shatter Blast Ammo Mod available in Zombies at the start of Season Two.
    • Base level ability: Bullets deal explosive damage. Each bullet has a chance to explode, dealing additional explosive damage and destroying any impacted armor (25 second cooldown).

Support

  • Death Machine Support weapon now available in Zombies.
  • Addressed an issue where VO would not play when activating Napalm Strike, Cruise Missile, or Artillery.
  • Visual adjustments made to placement markers for Artillery and Napalm Strike.

Intel

  • New in-game Intel available in Outbreak and Onslaught.
  • All subtitles are now visible in the Zombies audio logs and radio transmissions.

 New Featured Playlists

  • Outbreak
  • Dead Ops Arcade: First Person (Private)
  • Onslaught Apocalypse (PS4/PS5)

Firebase Z

  • Stability
    • Fixed crashes related to the Mangler, Mimic, Intel, and side quests.
  • Gameplay
    • Closed various exploits around the Village and Firebase where zombies were unable to attack the player.
    • Closed various exploits where players were able to reach unintended locations.
    • Addressed an issue where zombies were getting stuck in spawn at the Village.
    • Addressed an issue where a notification was not being given when the door to Open Lot was purchased.
    • Addressed an issue where the prompt to retrieve Dimitri’s eye persisted after interacting with it.
    • Addressed an issue where the Orda’s health bar was not showing while in the Chopper Gunner.
    • Cleaned up collision and adjusted zombie traversals in Scorched Defense.
    • Addressed an issue where a spectating player was not seeing damage numbers.
  • Assault Rounds
    • Addressed an issue where the Orda’s weak spot was always vulnerable during Assault Rounds.
  • Wonder Weapon
    • Reduced the fire delay when switching to alternative fire mode.
    • Addressed an issue where the secondary attack would not trigger when hitting Manglers directly.
  • Main Quest
    • Addressed an issue where the boss was not properly scaling with round difficulty.
    • Addressed an issue that prevented catching a Mimic as a solo player with the Essence Trap.
  • Side Quest
    • Increased timeout of the reward chest after completing a side quest.
    • Addressed an issue where the upgraded Monkey Bomb was not killing the appropriate number of enemies.
  • Leaderboards
    • Addressed an issue where Critical and Elite Kills were not being tracked correctly on the leaderboards.

Die Maschine

  • Gameplay
    • Addressed an issue where the player could be teleported out of the map when exiting the Dark Aether.

Dead Ops Arcade 3

  • Stability
    • Addressed various stability issues.
  • Gameplay
    • Closed various exploits.
    • Addressed an uncommon occurrence where the Margwa would be removed during dynamic dungeon creation.
    • Addressed the Chalice/Shield Fates not being included as potential dungeon Fate awards.
    • Addressed an issue where spamming the Use button could accidentally activate an object which was some distance away (and possibly cause a key to be unintentionally spent).
    • Addressed an issue with too many additional bosses being spawned starting at round 125.
    • Addressed an issue where the bonus room War Store was removing vehicles when player exited the bonus area.
    • Addressed an issue where more than one player would donate a life to a downed player.
    • Gems now stop spilling once the player respawns. This will allow players to keep more of their multiplier, as well as enhance the Divine Chalice Fate, which has faster player respawning.
  • Enemies
    • Reduced Margwa swipe distance by 17%.
  • Events
    • Room of Justice should now always appear after round 65 is complete.
    • Time added to ROJ events based on player count. Four players still get the same amount of time.
  • Fates
    • Fortune Fate now adds 80% instead of 40% to timeouts.
    • Added Fate declaration sequence to Advanced Start mode, allowing players to choose a Fate to play with.
  • Bonus Areas
    • Player deaths are no longer counted in Slideways bonus areas.
    • Depending on level being advanced to in the Advanced Start mode, player will get additional lives, bombs, boosts to start with.
  • Leaderboards
    • Resetting Solo, Duo, Trios, and Quads leaderboards to allow for a fresh start for all players with new Season Two gameplay tuning and exploit fixes implemented. Career leaderboard will remain unchanged.

Perks

  • Tombstone Soda
    • Addressed an issue where the distance to the player’s Tombstone was sometimes not properly updating.

Challenges

  • Outbreak
    • Added new Outbreak Challenges, including a new Zombies Dark Ops Challenge for Outbreak.
  • Daily Challenges
    • Melee attacks will now correctly contribute to various Daily Challenges.
    • Addressed an issue where eliminations with Pack-a-Punched weapons were not contributing to Daily Challenges.

Combat Record

  • Added Frenzied Guard to the Zombies Field Upgrades tab.
  • Added RAI K-84 to the Zombies Combat Record.
  • Addressed an issue where the Hide and Seek Medal for the Aether Shroud in Zombies was not being tracked.

Gunsmith

  • Gunsmith in Zombies will now default to Zombies camos tab when in Zombies lobby.

Customization

  • Added Vehicle Customization menu in the Zombies lobby.

Onslaught (PS4/PS5)

  • Apocalypse
    • Apocalypse Onslaught map available on PlayStation at the start of Season Two.
  • Express
    • Addressed an issue where Manglers would not attack players when standing in certain areas.

And from Beenox:

PC

  • Stability
    • Added various crash fixes.
    • Fixed a rare crash when using 3rd-party software overlays while playing full-screen and minimizing/restoring the window.

General

  • Improved messaging when attempting to load an uninstalled game mode.
  • Gesture Slot 4 is now usable and can be triggered with Numlock.

When does Black Ops Cold War Season 2 start?

The download for the Season 2 update in BOCW is already available on all platforms, but the actual S2 launch won’t take place until February 24 at 9PM PT.

Season 2 global launch times:

  • February 24
    • 9:00 PM PT
    • 11:00 PM CT
  • February 25
    • 12:00 AM ET
    • 5:00 AM GMT
    • 6:00 AM CET
    • 4:00 PM AEDT

Remember that there is a totally separate S2 patch going live for Warzone as well – for details about the new BR content, visit our “What’s new in Warzone Season 2” page.