Sources: Activision exploring unifying brands across CDL and Overwatch League
According to Dexerto sources, Activision has floated the idea of enforcing a mandate across the Call of Duty League (CDL) and Overwatch League (OWL) to have franchises unify their brands across both leagues, sharing a name rather than using separate ones.
When the Overwatch League first launched in 2018, there were 12 teams with brands based around the city they chose to operate in, with the likes of Toronto, London, Los Angeles, and more all included with their new brands.
Two years later, the Call of Duty League launched, with similar city-based franchises, including some owned by OWL organizations. For example, OverActive Media owns both Toronto Ultra in the CDL and Toronto Defiant in the OWL.
There have already been rumors of possible changes coming to the city-based franchise system, with it being said by one owner that they may abandon the city bases altogether.
Unifying CDL and OWL team brands
One topic that has been discussed between Activision Blizzard esports executives and league partners is the idea of unifying brands across both leagues.
In practice, this could mean, for example, both Boston Breach (CDL) and Boston Uprising (OWL) teams taking on the Boston Breach (or Uprising) name and branding across both leagues.
One could theorize that this is the reason for Seattle Surge’s rumored move to Vancouver as they own the Vancouver Titans Overwatch team, though with no other franchise being reported to change with immediate effect, this may not be related.
Here are the teams that could be affected if this change were to take place, as they are owned by the same parent company:
- Boston Breach (CDL) and Boston Uprising (OWL)
- Toronto Ultra (CDL) and Toronto Defiant (OWL)
- LA Guerrillas (CDL) and LA Gladiators (OWL)
- Atlanta FaZe (CDL) and Atlanta Reign (OWL)
- Vegas Legion (CDL) and Vegas Eternal (OWL)
- OpTic Texas (CDL) and Dallas Fuel (OWL)
- New York Subliners (CDL) and New York Excelsior (OWL)
- Seattle Surge (CDL) and Vancouver Titans (OWL)
- Florida Mutineers (CDL) and Florida Mayhem (OWL) (though the Mutineers are reportedly partnering with Heretics to become Miami Heretics)
While a decision hasn’t been made on this change yet, multiple sources have confirmed that it is something being explored by Activision.
Dexerto has reached out to Activision for comment.