OpTic legends Scump and H3CZ aren’t too thrilled by the possibility of the Call of Duty League swapping back over to YouTube after recent success on Twitch in the 2023 season.
When the Call of Duty League kicked off in 2019, restructuring the competitive scene into a franchised system, it did so with an exclusive broadcasting deal. Every match over the first three seasons was streamed on YouTube, with no watch parties allowed on rival platforms.
While occasional marquee matches still climbed into six-figure territory, overall viewership generally dipped from the previous era. As a result, we saw mega-stars like Nadeshot willingly giving up their Twitch partnership in order to co-stream on YouTube and help the League amid its early struggles.
To kickstart the 2023 season, the CDL announced its pivot to Twitch, much to the delight of the community. Early events have already soared with record-breaking viewership, select games even clearing 300,000 live viewers.
However, this newfound resurgence comes amid new reports from Dexerto’s own Jacob Hale that the League is in active talks with YouTube over a new deal. One that could see competitive CoD move back to the Google-owned platform in an exclusive capacity for another three years.
As this news broke, H3CZ immediately lashed out, claiming the 12 partnered CDL organizations hadn’t been consulted on this possible deal.
“I don’t think that rumor is true,” he said at the time. “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.”
Now, in the February 9 OpTic Podcast, H3CZ and Scump went in-depth on the possible shakeup, further venting their frustrations in light of major success on Twitch.
“If that is not the League looking at this thing and saying ‘we really don’t care’… I don’t know what is,” H3CZ stressed. “If they would have checked with owners… and they didn’t. They didn’t call me, I didn’t get an email, they didn’t check with any of the owners, of course not.
“Let us be a part of that conversation and see what the financial gain is for the organizations too. But to just make a decision without checking in with your partners, that is just completely out of line. We should have a say.”
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H3CZ & Scump discuss the CDL x YouTube reports at the 53:55 timestamp below.
Outside of the main CDL broadcast itself, collaborative watch parties have also been thriving on Twitch in recent months. With the likes of Scump and ZooMaa helping lead the charge, collective viewership is surging like never before.
As a result, H3CZ is adamant that staying on Twitch in the long-run is vital to the League’s continued success. “For me, staying on Twitch is not only important, but it’s imperative that we do for the betterment of Call of Duty as a whole. Them allowing watch parties to happen was just step one.”
“We broke records,” Scump chimed in, addressing the 300K+ fans that tuned into the recent Major 2 event, a feat the League never quite accomplished on YouTube.
“What the f*** are they gonna get on YouTube? Not that,” he added.
“The teams have bought into this. For them to make decisions that hurt everyone’s investment, and they didn’t tell anybody about it…I mean… For it to just keep flip-flopping, it’s insane to me. We’ve done everything to build this.”
Obviously, for the time being a deal is yet to be struck. While talks are reportedly ongoing, it’s unclear if the League officials may have changed their stance following record-breaking success over Major 2 weekend on Twitch.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted with any further developments, but it’s clear not everyone is onboard with the idea of moving back to YouTube.