Esports journalist Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau has explained why Activision Blizzard "needs" OpTic Gaming, FaZe Clan, and 100 Thieves in their franchised Call of Duty esports league if it's going to be a success, raising concerns about what might happen if they're not around.
Call of Duty esports fans are still waiting for more details to surface about the upcoming move to a franchised league - including whether or not their favorite team will even be in the league, and if they are, there are lingering questions about their original names remaining in the first place.
While the first five teams have already been announced, with Team Envy even securing a spot, three of the biggest names are still yet to be announced as having a place. For Slasher, that’s something that will have to change because Activision Blizzards “needs” them, regardless of who has already bagged a spot.
“Gen.G is not the first team that I think of like whos missing,” started Slasher, speaking to Cheddar Esports. “Right away, it’s where's FaZe, where's OpTic, where's 100 Thieves? FaZe and OpTic especially are like Call of Duty history - they’re the two teams. That’s why people tune into Call of Duty esports now.”
Slasher explained that when those teams don’t compete, as some CoD fans may expect, the viewership doesn’t match the highs of when they do. He also noted the three organizations relationships with Activision Blizzard, as OpTic have an Overwatch League team in the Houston Outlaws whereas FaZe and 100 Thieves are yet to invest into having a team.
“They do not have an initial relationship with Activision Blizzard right now, but Activision Blizzard needs them in the league,” added Slasher. “I don’t know what’s going to happen if the Call of Duty league starts and there’s no FaZe, no OpTic or 100 Thieves.”
Slasher followed up his comments on Twitter, expanding on why he believes Activision Blizzard needs the teams - adding that they all have “leverage in negotiating" whenever that happens.
FaZe, OpTic, and 100T have the leverage in negotiating with Activision Blizzard who need them for Call of Duty to succeed, but will still end up paying tens of millions of dollars— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) May 10, 2019
Acti Blizz NEEDED Twitch for the first season of OWL and Twitch still paid them $45 million a year
While many fans might assume that the OpTic, FaZe, and 100 Thieves are pretty much guaranteed a spot, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Plenty expected OpTic, at the very least, to be within the first batch of teams announced - yet that didn’t happen.
Things become complicated for FaZe and 100 Thieves as they could try and compete for the same Los Angeles-based franchise spot. The notorious CoDBurner, an insider on all things CoD esports, has already claimed that the Los Angeles franchise spot had become the subject of a huge bidding war - with FaZe not interested.
However, it still remains to be seen if any of the iconic Call of Duty brands are able to work their way into the upcoming franchised league anytime soon.