Activision Blizzard has announced details on the 2020 Call of Duty League season, including info on the amateur circuit.
The company revealed that there will be a total of 26 events in the 2020 season, including the home stead events hosted by each of the city teams. Each city team will host 2 home stead weekend events where teams will travel to the city to compete.
There is 12 teams in the Call of Duty League that will be part of Season 1 for this new format.
There is a new Call of Duty Challenger series which offers ways for players to go on the path to pro.
Here’s the details, from Activision:
Today, Activision Blizzard Esports officially reveals details for the new Call of Duty® League™. The League is scheduled to begin home-vs-away 5-versus-5 professional match play in early 2020 with 12 teams in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, London, Los Angeles (2), Minnesota, New York, Paris, Seattle, and Toronto, in addition to select League-run major events throughout the season. Each team in the league will host two ‘Home Series’ weekend events in their respective markets in 2020, one in a spring split and a second in a summer split. Multiple pro teams will compete at each Home Series event, giving fans a wide range of must-see competition throughout the weekend. In between the spring and summer splits, the League will host a special Call of Duty League™ Midseason Weekend event where all 12 teams will be featured in special all-pro tournaments and more.
Professional regular season competition will feature best-of-five-matches series played in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare on Playstation®4. Pro teams with the best win-loss records will advance to the postseason, where they will compete in a double elimination Playoffs until the season champion is crowned. Playoff berths will include 2 wild card slots, and both the Playoffs and Championship matches will take place at the Call of Duty League™ Championship Weekend in Summer 2020.
In addition to pro play, the League will continue to foster the growth and development of emerging player talent with Call of Duty Challengers™, its amateur path to pro competition system. Call of Duty Challengers will include online ladders, online tournaments, and open tournament event competitions throughout the year beginning in November 2019, with a dedicated prize pool of over $1 million. Several Call of Duty League pro teams will also support amateur player pipeline development by hosting Call of Duty Challengers competitions in their markets. More details regarding amateur events can be found on CallofDutyLeague.com.
Fans will also be able to compete on behalf of their cities, in a new, casual competition system called the Call of Duty League City Circuit™. In the City Circuit, fans can compete on behalf of their favorite pro team cities through online or LAN (local area network) tournaments held exclusively by the 12 Call of Duty League teams. This fan-focused competitive circuit – set to launch later in 2020 – will feature a duos-based format in the Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare mode “Gunfight.” Call of Duty League City Circuit carries its own prize pool and will culminate in a finals event at the Call of Duty League Championship Weekend. Call of Duty League’s vision is to engage fans in dynamic ways across all 12 team markets and beyond. Home Series Weekends will showcase the best Call of Duty esports players in the world as well as the unique energy and passion of teams’ local fanbases.
“It is an honor to introduce the Call of Duty League, built to reimagine what esports can be,” said Johanna Faries, Commissioner of the Call of Duty League. “We’ve partnered with top-tier organizations who share our commitment to supporting the best players in the world and to entertain fans in unique ways. Together, we seek to bring incredible experiences to our pro, amateur, and fan communities, and to blaze new trails for the future of sports entertainment.”
Activision also said players on “additional” platforms will be able to participate in some way, but those details are not announced.
The new Call of Duty® League™ website is live here.
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.
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 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
|Dallas Empire vs New York Subliners||12:00 PM||3:00 PM||8:00 PM||7:00 AM (Jan. 24)|
|LA Guerrillas vs Seattle Surge||1:30 PM||4:30 PM||9:30 PM||8:30 AM (Jan. 24)|
|Atlanta FaZe vs Florida Mutineers||3:00 PM||6:00 PM||11:00 PM||10:00 AM (Jan. 24)|
Sunday, January 24
|London Royal Ravens vs Paris Legion||12:00 PM||3:00 PM||8:00 PM||7:00 AM (Jan. 25)|
|Toronto Ultra vs Minnesota ROKKR||1:30 PM||4:30 PM||9:30 PM||8:30 AM (Jan. 25)|
|OpTic Chicago vs LA Thieves||3:00 PM||6:00 PM||11:00 PM||10:00 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.
|Atlanta FaZe||Simp, aBeZy, Cellium, Arcitys|
|Dallas Empire||Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY|
|Florida Mutineers||Skyz, Havok, Owakening, Slacked|
|London Royal Ravens||Seany, Alexx, Dylan, Zer0|
|Los Angeles Guerrillas||SiLLY, Assault, Vivid, Apathy|
|Los Angeles Thieves||Kenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp|
|Minnesota ROKKR||Attach, Accuracy, Priestahh, MajorManiak|
|New York Subliners||ZooMaa, Clayster, Mack, HyDra|
|OpTic Chicago||Scump, FormaL, Dashy, Envoy|
|Paris Legion||Skrapz, Classic, AquA, Fire|
|Seattle Surge||Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony|
|Toronto Ultra||Methodz, CleanX, Cammy, Bance|
Image Credit: Activision Blizzard
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.
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.
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.”
- Read more: How to watch the CDL Kickoff Classic 2021
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.
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
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.
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.
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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