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New details on 2020 Call of Duty esports Season: 5v5, Console Play, and Roster Transfer

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Activision has shared on the Call of Duty competitive Reddit new details, including information about rosters, contracts, and open tournaments for the 2020 Call of Duty esports season.

The 2020 season will be played on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and will once again be 5v5. It will be played on console, presumably PS4, but that was not mentioned.

Here’s the details from Activision, shared to Reddit:

This weekend, the Call of Duty World League season wrapped another stellar season with eUnited capturing the ultimate prize: The Call of Duty World League Championship. Congratulations to all competitors and thank you to the teams, players, and staff members from all over the world who helped make this past season so special.

Looking ahead, Call of Duty professional esports will begin to transform into a city-based franchised league with teams around the world. Today, we outline below some of the roster construction parameters set forth for all teams in the new city-based league as they begin to develop their pro player rosters. This information was also shared in person with pro CWL players last month.​

PRO TEAM ROSTER CONSTRUCTION IN 2020

The process set forth below is designed to foster competitive balance within the league; to provide players with the opportunity to compete regularly during the season and to promote player development at all levels of competitive Call of Duty; to provide the best Call of Duty players in the world with the opportunity to compete in the new city-based league if they so choose; to provide players with the flexibility to sign with any team in the new league on fair terms; to incentivize investment by team owners in player development in competitive Call of Duty outside of the new city-based league system; and to incentivize team investment in the Call of Duty Path to Pro amateur program and player pipeline development generally; and to provide team owners with fair compensation for their investment in player development.

Below is a summary of key roster construction points for aspiring Call of Duty esports players, as teams in the new league begin to build their rosters in the coming weeks and months:​

  • The next season of Call of Duty esports for Pro Players will begin in 2020.
  • Pro match play will be 5v5 Multiplayer team versus team competition, played on console. The rules may include midseries substitutions.
  • The minimum pro roster size per team is 7; the maximum pro roster size per team is 10.
  • An Open Signing Window for all pro players begins September 3, 2019. This means that any player may negotiate and sign a new contract with any team in the league at this time. For the avoidance of doubt, players who are currently under contract with an existing organization remain subject to the terms of that contract while they negotiate new league contracts.
  • Existing Call of Duty World League organizations who are transitioning into the new league as a city-based team will have the ability to sign players who are currently on their 2019 CWL rosters to new contracts 8 days earlier than any other organization beginning August 26.
  • All players will be required to sign a new form contract in order to be eligible to compete in the upcoming league.
  • Contract negotiation is between a player and teams. The League Office will not advise players or teams in contract negotiations.
  • All pro players in the league will receive a minimum base salary of $50,000 USD per year, health care benefits, and retirement benefits. Teams are required to distribute at least 50% of their prize pool earnings to players directly.
  • All pro player contracts will be guaranteed contracts; thus, any team that drops a player from their roster without cause is required to pay out that player’s remaining salary.
  • All teams may offer their players housing in the form of a suitable place to live or cash stipend but are not required to do so. If a team does not offer housing, it must submit a plan to the League Office detailing how it will assist its players in finding housing during the season. The League does not require that players live in the cities they represent.
  • Teams are responsible for coordinating and acquiring any visa paperwork required for players to compete around the world. The League Office will support teams and players in this process as needed.
  • Teams may send up to 2 pro players from their roster to compete in the Path to Pro events held throughout the season. Teams may contract up to 4 total pro players to have 2-way contracts at a given time.

For current Call of Duty esports players who are under existing contracts that extend through January 2020:

  • Existing Call of Duty World League teams that are transitioning into the new league will have the right to match a competing offer made to a player on their current roster from another team in the new league. The matching period will be limited to a maximum of 7 days from the date of the initial contract submission to the league.
  • All Call of Duty World League teams will have the ability to negotiate a contract buyout fee to be paid by the team in the new league. Buyout fees carry no set minimum and are capped at 100 percent of the player’s salary in the new league plus any applicable guaranteed bonuses.
  • The right to match and buyout fees are subject to any contractual limitations on such fees that the player has negotiated in the player contract with the Call of Duty World League team.
  • Player trades among teams in the pro league may take place through majority of the 2020 season.

PATH TO PRO: ONLINE & OPEN BRACKET TOURNAMENT COMPETITION RETURNS IN 2020

We recognize the importance of a thriving Path to Pro competitive scene in Call of Duty esports, which has continued to garner strong participation and prizing each year. Going forward, we will support and administer extensive amateur competitions, both online and via open bracket tournaments in cities around the world, with dedicated prize pools. More details about the path to pro system and upcoming open bracket tournament events will be shared in the coming months.

The future of Call of Duty Esports is bright and builds on a strong legacy of competitive excellence. We are committed to supporting our incredible player community, teams, fans, and partners in its next chapter.

The company today announced two more spots for the 2020 league, including a second LA spot and a Florida team spot. There’s 9 teams currently in the league, but reports says Activision wants 12 for the first season.

We’ll keep you updated on all things esports as we get into this new phase.

SOURCE: Activision

Call of Duty League

CDL Kickoff Classic 2021: Stream, schedule, teams

The 2021 Call of Duty League season starts with the CDL Kickoff Classic, a 12-team exhibition event with matches voted for by fans.

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Scump and Clayster

Call of Duty League is officially back for 2021 and before the full season swings into action, all 12 teams will compete in the Kickoff Classic — a six match exhibition event to celebrate the league’s first anniversary.


  • 12-team online exhibition on January 23 & 24
  • Every CDL team in action, three of six matches voted for by fans
  • Dallas Empire play New York Subliners, OpTic Chicago vs LA Thieves

The 2021 CDL regular season starts in February, but Call of Duty fans will get an opportunity to see teams’ updated lineups for the first time this weekend at the Kickoff Classic, where each team will compete in a special show match to celebrate one year of the competition.

The Kickoff Classic runs over two days on January 23 & 24, with three matches each day. Like a large part of the 2020 season, this event will take place online.

CDL Kickoff Classic promotional image

CDL Kickoff Classic stream

As always, the Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic will be live broadcasted on their official YouTube channel.

CDL Kickoff Classic Day 1 Stream

CDL Kickoff Classic Day 2 Stream

CDL Kickoff Classic Schedule

Saturday, January 23

MatchPSTESTGMTAEDT
Dallas Empire vs New York Subliners12:00 PM3:00 PM8:00 PM7:00 AM (Jan. 24)
LA Guerrillas vs Seattle Surge1:30 PM4:30 PM9:30 PM8:30 AM (Jan. 24)
Atlanta FaZe vs Florida Mutineers3:00 PM6:00 PM11:00 PM10:00 AM (Jan. 24)

Sunday, January 24

MatchPSTESTGMTAEDT
London Royal Ravens vs Paris Legion12:00 PM3:00 PM8:00 PM7:00 AM (Jan. 25)
Toronto Ultra vs Minnesota ROKKR1:30 PM4:30 PM9:30 PM8:30 AM (Jan. 25)
OpTic Chicago vs LA Thieves3:00 PM6:00 PM11:00 PM10:00 AM (Jan. 25)

CDL Kickoff Classic team lineups

The CDL Kickoff Classic sees a number of new rosters make their competitive debuts for the first time, with all 12 teams forced to drop a player following the decision to revert back to 4v4 after spending two years playing with 5 members of each roster.

For 2020 Call of Duty League Champions Dallas Empire, the switch lead to James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks departing the roster just days after securing his third ring. Empire fans won’t have long to wait to see him back in action though, as his New York Subliners squad was voted by fans to be their Kickoff Classic opponent.

Sunday sees the triumphant return of a H3CZ-owned OpTic to Call of Duty, as they face off against the team owned by one of OpTic’s all-time greats, Nadeshot’s LA Thieves. Atlanta FaZe face a tough task against Florida Mutineers, while it’s an all-European affair for the London Royal Ravens and Paris Legion.

TeamRoster
Atlanta FaZeSimp, aBeZy, Cellium, Arcitys
Dallas EmpireCrimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY
Florida MutineersSkyz, Havok, Owakening, Slacked
London Royal RavensSeany, Alexx, Dylan, Zer0
Los Angeles GuerrillasSiLLY, Assault, Vivid, Apathy
Los Angeles ThievesKenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp
Minnesota ROKKRAttach, Accuracy, Priestahh, MajorManiak
New York SublinersZooMaa, Clayster, Mack, HyDra
OpTic ChicagoScump, FormaL, Dashy, Envoy
Paris LegionSkrapz, Classic, AquA, Fire
Seattle SurgeOctane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony
Toronto UltraMethodz, CleanX, Cammy, Bance

Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

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Warzone to join Call of Duty League confirms Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard’s Head of Leagues confirmed that competitive Warzone will be coming to the Call of Duty League.

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Activision Blizzard’s Johanna Faries has revealed there are plans to add Warzone to the Call of Duty League.

Call of Duty’s battle royale has been an instant hit since its launch in early 2020, so it’s no surprise that an esports scene has blossomed from the popularity. Unlike the official Call of Duty League, these events have been hosted by third parties, and often take the form of kill-races.

In these events, teams competing don’t actually battle each other on the same map. Instead, two duos drop into a quads game, and whichever team gets the most kills wins, or the top five matches over a three hour period count towards a final score.

It’s highly entertaining to watch, but the competitive integrity of these tournaments has been questioned. With players apparently abusing the skill-based matchmaking algorithm, as well as the possibility of cheaters and stream-snipers being in the lobby, they can never be absolutely fair.

With the success of these third-party tournaments, it seems that Activison have serious plans to bring these events under the Call of Duty League banner, according to an interview with the company’s Head of Leagues Johanna Faries from ScreenRant.

Call of Duty League logo

Warzone coming to Call of Duty League

In the interview, Faries said: “There are [plans to bring Warzone to Call of Duty League], and we’re excited to announce those plans in the coming weeks and months. We’ve been closely monitoring the introduction and the wild popularity of Warzone since last spring.”

She continued: “We did bring in Warzone-related content with our pros last season, but we’ve taken the off-season to think bigger about what a more structured investment could look like. There are really exciting things to come as early as this season.”

Here, Fairies refers to the CDL Warzone Weekends which took place during the 2020 season. CDL pros and coaches all fought each other in Verdansk to find out who the best battle royale players are.

CDL teams have hosted Warzone kill race tournaments in the past, but it’s clear that Activision wants to vastly expand how competitive CoD battle royale is run.

players fighting in Warzone's gulag

We’re not sure what these official tournaments will look like, but it’s very likely that they will have a system similar to Fortnite or Apex Legends, where all competitors must fight each other. And who doesn’t want to see the world’s best players 1v1 in the Gulag?

After joining the CDL as the LA Thieves, Nadeshot’s 100 Thieves are already gearing themselves towards this, adding CoD veterans Tommey and Rated to their competitive Warzone team.

With Activision now officially taking an interest in battle royale tournaments, we can hope that they will further address the number of cheaters that plague both casual and competitive Warzone.

And with Black Ops Cold War getting League Play during Season 1, perhaps a ranked Warzone mode will be coming along with this announcement.

Image Credits: Activision

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Call of Duty League

H3CZ explains why Nadeshot’s LA Thieves aren’t OpTic’s biggest CDL rivals

OpTic CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez explained in an interview, that the Los Angeles Thieves aren’t their biggest rivals.

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There is massive hype for the matchup of OpTic and the Los Angeles Thieves in the 2021 season, but CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez disagrees with fans’ claims that the two are major rivals.

Now that it’s 2021, it’s time for a brand new CoD Season where we’ll see members of the Call of Duty League compete over the course of the year. Fans are excitedly waiting to see the Los Angeles Thieves face off against H3CZ’s OpTic in the CDL Kickoff Classic.

100 Thieves owner Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag is an ex-OpTic player and remains close friends with H3CZ, and they’re both extremely competitive, so it’s understandable why fans are so excited to see their first CDL showdown.

There is a lot of hype for the 2021 CDL regular season starting in February, and H3CZ gave an interview in which he disagreed with the claim that the Thieves are OpTic’s biggest rivals.

The CDL Kickoff Classic 2021 will take place from January 23 -24.

Why LA Thieves aren’t OpTic’s main CDL rival

Anthony ‘NAMELESS’ Wheeler interviewed H3CZ on January 19, and asked him “Do you think that’s going to be your team’s biggest rival this year?” This was met with a direct and blunt response: “No.”

“I get it. I get we’re trying to hype this thing up,” he admitted. H3CZ doesn’t feel like the Thieves should immediately be considered their top challenger due to their history outside of the game.

“I just don’t think Call of Duty needs the added extra,” H3CZ explained. “Storylines are going to develop from the beginning.” He made it clear that he would prefer to see rivalries develop “organically.”

He followed this by standing by a statement he made back in December: “Everyone that doesn’t say FaZe or Empire is their number one rivalry is just playing for the crowd.”

The discussion takes place at the 14:00 mark below.

OpTic is massively talented, and H3CZ wants the Chicago lineup to show how competitive they can be in 2021. “Everybody here is going after Empire, period. If you’re not gunning after the champions… I don’t know.”

H3CZ considers this supposed rivalry to be something the fans made up, and with no grounds in reality. He considers this kind of thinking to be “too WWE,” and then elaborates: “For people to be like ‘oh, it’s Nadeshot vs H3CZ,’ we’re not those dudes.”

The triumphant return of H3CZ’s OpTic to Call of Duty, along with their battle against Nadeshot’s LA Thieves, will take place on January 24. We’ll keep you informed about any new updates in the CDL Kickoff Classic 2021.

Image Credit: Activision Blizzard / LA Thieves

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