Activision Blizzard admits concern about the longevity of CDL & OWL

Activision Blizzard OWL and CDL logo over a crowd of peopleActivision Blizzard

In a 10-Q SEC filing submitted on May 4, Activision Blizzard admitted that it has concerns over the future “longevity” of the CDL and OWL as both leagues face challenges.

Activision Blizzard submitted an SEC filing on May 4 and it revealed how the company views the Call of Duty and Overwatch leagues as both have been hit with financial, and other, struggles. In a section called Management’s Overview of Bussiness Trends, Activision Blizzard specifically talked about the CDL and OWL.

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“Our collaborative arrangements for our professional esports leagues (i.e., the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League) continue to face headwinds which are negatively impacting the operations and, potentially, the longevity of the leagues under the current business model. We continue to work to address these challenges, which could result in significant costs, and such efforts may prove unsuccessful,” the filing said.

Both leagues reportedly have teams that owe about $400 million combined in delayed franchise payments that have been deferred since 2020. The Department of Justice also settled its lawsuit over both league’s alleged salary cap on players’ wages in early April.

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Activision Blizzard gives grim outlook on CDL & OWL future

The Overwatch League specifically has had to deal with hardship as its Chinese franchise teams have had to deal with Blizzard titles being shut down in mainland China, which has caused one of its teams to not partake in the 2023 season so far.

The league also does not have any major sponsors for the 2023 season as many pulled out due to multiple allegations and lawsuits over Activision Blizzard’s workplace conduct among other things. The CDL seems to be in a healthier state as esports organizations are still looking to enter the league as Dexerto has reported Team Heretics are set to partner with the Florida Mutineers to create the Miami Heretics.

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The grim outlook from the SEC filing is in sharp contrast to the Head of the Overwatch League’s, Sean Miller, recent comments to Dexerto about the health of the esport league.