Why Paris Legion getting Las Vegas CDL spot disrespects the rest of the league

Jacob Hale
Paris Legion at Call of Duty LAN

For three seasons now, Paris Legion have rarely ventured beyond being the most maligned team in the Call of Duty League. Their apparent disinterest has been clear for all to see — so why are they being rewarded with a move to a premier franchise location?

On June 2, 2022, after the rumor mill started to run, it was announced that parent company DM Esports would be relocating and renaming their two franchises. In the Call of Duty League, the Paris Legion, and in the Overwatch League, the Paris Eternal.

They will be moving to Las Vegas, a premier spot in any franchised league across sports or esports, and one of the most famous cities in the world.

It’s a spot that comes with a lot of pressure to perform and represent in the best way possible — an attribute that can hardly be used to describe either Paris franchise.

At the time of writing, with most of the season out of the way, Paris Legion sit dead last in the CDL standings, having won just two series’ all year. They entered the season with a ragtag roster of rejected talent, much like they did in both 2020 and 2021, and, to nobody’s surprise, the results have been the exact same.

The franchise itself disappears on social media while the others do what they can to engage their fanbase and grow their audience. It seems to only be during the current 2022 season that they remembered their Twitter password, having posted to their fans just a handful of times between the culmination of Champs in August and mid-October 2021. All the while, other teams made sure they were engaging their fans, posting memes, clips, or questions to keep conversations going.

It may seem a trivial complaint, but the franchise’s reluctance to do more than the bare minimum for their fans, the wider CDL community, and in particular their players, is something that has been discussed (and mocked) widely within the scene.

Paris Legion players Jimbo Temp and John
Despite top performances from players like Temp (middle), Paris have once again failed to get the ball rolling.

To make matters worse, we know for a fact that DM Esports wasn’t the first organization to enquire or ask about the Las Vegas spot, with at least one team owner publicly admitting that they asked for it and were point-blank denied.

It could almost be forgiven if that team owner wasn’t OpTic Gaming’s Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, who built one of the largest brands not just in CoD but in esports as a whole.

In 2021, H3CZ confirmed that he had initially asked for the Las Vegas CDL spot, but that they were not opening that slot for anybody, hinting that the league had big plans for Vegas in particular.

Was this their top-secret plan? To hand the keys to Vegas over to the Legion three years into their disappointing tenure as a franchise? The ‘Sin City’ alias has rarely been more apt.

To make matters more bizarre, there appears to have been a real possibility that DM Esports would be pulling Legion out of the CDL entirely.

According to CoD esports leaker CDL Intel, and confirmed by Dexerto sources, popular French streamer Corentin ‘Gotaga’ Houssein had planned to buy Paris Legion alongside a group led by a French television broadcasting channel. This had been in the works since 2021, when the Paris Legion trademark was abandoned.

Their motives for wanting to sell up aren’t clear — many fans have long believed that the organization simply no longer had any interest in being a part of the league, and this may well have played a part in their decision to enter negotiations in the first place.

Alternatively, the CDL might have wanted to keep DM Esports in the league and offered the Vegas spot as leverage which, if this were to be the case, really would be a spit in the face of the other franchises that have consistently gone above and beyond to help the league grow.

There are a lot of secrets around what’s happened with Paris Legion to get them the Vegas CDL spot. Nobody really saw it coming, and for many fans, it feels like an odd move, especially when we know the caliber of the other team owners who will have asked for it.