OpTic H3CZ says CDL teams not consulted in YouTube exclusivity talks

Ryan Lemay

OpTic CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez claimed the Call of Duty League did not consult team owners on a potential return to YouTube.

The Call of Duty League began exclusively streaming on Twitch at the start of the 2023 season after a three-year partnership with YouTube expired. Fans celebrated the move, and it paid dividends for viewership numbers. Just Under 193,000 viewers tuned in to the main CDL stream and separate watch parties during the season’s opening weekend.

Viewership numbers received another boost when Seth ‘Scump’ Abner retired after CDL Major 1 and transitioned into streaming. His first CDL watch party on Twitch peaked at around 95,000. Despite bolstering a strong following on Twitch, sources close to the situation told Dexerto that the CDL is in talks to bring matches back to YouTube exclusively.

H3CZ reacted to the news during Scump’s CDL Major 2 watch party and told fans he doesn’t believe the rumor is true.

H3CZ gives his take on potential YouTube CDL takeover

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The 2023 CDL season currently exclusively streams on Twitch.

Sources told Dexerto that the Call of Duty League will be transitioning back to YouTube following Major 2 in Boston.

During a live stream on February 3, H3CZ argued, “I don’t think that rumor is true because I don’t think that the league would not talk to their partners who paid a bunch of cash to be a part of this franchised league.”

Scump asked if he would still be able to host CDL watch parties if the league switched platforms, and H3CZ responded yes. However, the OpTic Texas owner also half-seriously said, “this may be the last watch party ever.”

Call of Duty community members reacted negatively to the rumor. Ben Nissim hosts CDL watch parties alongside former Call of Duty pros Thomas ‘Zooma’ Paparatto and Patrick ‘Aches’ Price.

Nissim responded, “Probably helps keep the lights on, but this is a massive blow to the community that has helped bring massive viewership on Twitch.”

LA Thieves player Sam ‘Octane’ Larew added, “If the CDL goes back to YouTube after all the positive growth from co-streams/Twitch culture, that’d be a huge L.”

CDL content creator KeviSkillz argued, “The CDL was driven to near collapse under the previous YT exclusivity deal. The open move to Twitch and the emergence of watch parties saved us.”

We will provide an update once the league provides more clarity after Major 2.

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