Activision Blizzard Esports League today announced the appointment of Johanna Faries as the new Commissioner for the upcoming franchised Call of Duty League, set to begin in 2020.
Faries joined Activision over a year ago to be the Head of Call of Duty Esports, but is now transitioning to lead the entire business as Commissioner. She was part of the NFL team before joining Activision.
The Activision Blog had an interview with Faries discussing her new role and some of what is changing through the new appointment.
During my initial phase on the job, my team’s focus was really on setting a new product vision for Call of Duty as a city-based franchised league and to design an experience that we believe can grow to become one of the biggest sports leagues on the planet. Now that we have begun to sell franchises to ownership groups all over the world, it’s less about going from a white sheet of paper to what we have shaped now, and more about operating and managing this competitive ecosystem in a best-in-class way.
That’s not to say we aren’t still editing – I think every sports league is always in ‘edit’ phase even decades in! But now that we have a strong product vision and business model to share, and have sold in several team franchises in the process, we can now shift gears toward the planning and execution phase of our work. The role of Commissioner oversees all aspects of those dynamics and the key stakeholders involved in making the system go, so it’s a broader platform for management than where we were back in August when the focus was primarily internal-facing and design-driven.
She also re-confirmed the franchised league is launching in 2020 with the seven cities announced so far, with more to be announced although a final number of teams is not confirmed.
We plan to launch next year, so 2020 is a big moment for all of us. To date, we have announced seven teams for the league: Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New York, Paris, and Toronto and they all bring with them world class vision and insight that will supercharge this space. We are also working closely with the Call of Duty franchise team and studio partners to continue to think big about how we can innovate around the competitive experience, with an eye toward being the best league in the world.
Our ambition is quite large, but it’s also what gets us up every day feeling so energized by the potential scale of what Call of Duty esports can deliver. It’s a rush that can feel scary at times, but that thrill is typically where greatness can happen. I feel honored to be a part of it.
Call of Duty League 2021 season platform will be PC with controller
The Call of Duty League has announced a massive change for the 2021 season and the future of the league itself.
The league announced on September 14 that the 2021 season will be played with controllers on PC.
All Pro players who are part of the CDL will be required to compete on PC platform using a league sanctioned controller. A list of allowed controllers will be announced in the near future.
The League is announcing it will move pro team competition to PC + Controller beginning with the 2021 season. This means that all pro matches will be played on PC and all pro players must use a League-approved controller of their choice.
As part of this transition, Call of Duty League competition will maintain exclusive use of controllers for the upcoming season. This change provides players with expanded choice of controller, allowing them to select the League-approved controller style that works best for their game. More details and rules pertaining to peripherals will be released at a future date.
This marks the first time Call of Duty esports will not be played on a console. Activision’s first real sponsored esports event was the 2011 Call of Duty XP, which was played on Xbox 360. Call of Duty esports went on to play on the Xbox console for through 2015.
Call of Duty transitioned to PlayStation as the premiere partner of esports in 2015 with Black Ops 3, and all league matches have been on PS4 since then.
Call of Duty Challengers
Activision has also announced a big change for the Call of Duty Challengers division.
Call of Duty Challengers will be switching to crossplay, which means players on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC can all compete in online Challenger events in the 2021 season.
For the first time in Call of Duty esports history, competitors will be able to compete online in Call of Duty Challengers on their platform of choice across console and PC. We will continue to test platform hardware and make restrictions if necessary.
Players are required to use controllers. Mouse and keyboard peripherals will not be allowed.
Any LAN Challengers event that takes place during the season will be played on PC. Competitors may plug in their League-approved controller of choice.
More information on the 2021 season schedule to come. Stay tuned.
SOURCE: Call of Duty League
Call of Duty League won’t expand to new teams for 2021 season
The Call of Duty League does not plan to expand beyond the 12 teams for the 2021 season, according to ESPN Esports.
ESPN reports that sources tell them the Call of Duty League made the decision to hold expansion for now because they want to work on showcasing the power of bringing the league to LAN. The 2020 season was switched to online due to the pandemic.
The Call of Duty League Commissioner has stated that there’s a lot of interest from new city owners to join the league, but they don’t plan to expand for the 2021 season.
In a press conference, Johanna Farris, Commissioner, said:
“We continue to see great demand for CDL coming in from a lot of different places which is always exciting to see,” Call of Duty League commissioner Johanna Faries said Friday. “Breaking the viewership records that we’ve had with our playoffs run shows what the possibilities are for us in this nascent stage. However, our heads are currently down and focused on our 12 teams that have been with us since the beginning. We were oversubscribed with demand when we settled on our 12, and will do right by that demand at the appropriate time.”
ESPN reports that the league intends to expand to new cities and markets for the 2022 season with new team sales set to begin in summer 2021.
It’s not clear at this time which cities are interested in joining the league. So far, 11 cities are part of the league with 4 countries represented.
Activision Blizzard did not respond to request for a comment.
Call of Duty League returns to 4v4 for 2021 season
The Call of Duty League has announced that the league will return to the 4v4 format for the 2021 season.
The news was announced in a teaser video posted to the CDL social channels titled “Season 2 Intel.”
The 2021 season going back to 4v4 marks a return to the traditional Call of Duty esports format. The format was changed to 5v5 with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in 2018. Treyarch wanted to blend casual with competitive, and matched the standard game experience to esports.
In a post on the CDL site, the company confirms this decision was made after consulting the teams, players, and management.
With a new season comes new announcements across many fronts. Today we shared that we will be transitioning to starting roster sizes of four players per team for Season 2, marking a kind of ‘return to our roots’. This decision was made in close collaboration with our teams and players, and it was not made lightly. We know that this transition also brings new implications for both pro and amateur players with rostermania season fast approaching. Over the course of the offseason, we will share more news regarding plans for the 2021 Season — including details on maps, modes, formats, schedule, and more.
More news on the 2021 season to come. Stay tuned.
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