Activision has announced two new cities that will be joining the franchised Call of Duty League: Los Angeles and Minnesota.
The Los Angeles Spot will be owned by OpTic Gaming and their new parent company Immortals Gaming Club. Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) is the world’s first vertically integrated, truly global esports and gaming company. IGC owns and operates IGC esports, which houses the company’s competitive esports brands Immortals, Los Angeles Valiant (Overwatch League), OpTic Gaming and MIBR; and Gamers Club, the leading matchmaking platform and community hub for gamers in Brazil and Latin America.
Minnesota’s spot will be owned by WISE Ventures, a new group funded by Gary Vaynerchuk and Wilf family, owners of Minnesota Vikings. WISE Ventures, an investment fund based in Manhattan focused on early and growth stage investment opportunities that leverage our strategic value. Led by an ownership group with deep sports & entertainment and real estate experience, WISE is able to assess, champion, and add value to next-gen companies in those industries.
- Bobby Kotick, CEO at Activision Blizzard:“I’m excited to welcome the newest teams, Los Angeles and Minnesota, to our incredible lineup – Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris and Toronto – for Call of Duty esports. Together, these ownership groups represent some of the very best organizations in esports and traditional sports who will join us in paving the way for the future of professional, city-based competition for Call of Duty.”
- Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO at Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues: “We’re very excited to welcome WISE Ventures into the esports community and to partner with both WISE Ventures and OpTic Gaming for the future of Call of Duty esports. Activision Blizzard Esports is dedicated to partnering with organizations that have a passion for competitive entertainment and share our vision for the future of esports.”
- Ari Segal, CEO, Immortals Gaming Club (LOS ANGELES) –“By participating in the city-based model, we recognize the opportunity that the new Call of Duty esports league creates for us to tap into two existing sources of affinity: regional or city-based pride, and affinity for Call of Duty itself. Call of Duty League also allows us to scale the relationships we’ve been fortunate to build with both Activision Blizzard Esports leadership and senior management into a new and largely distinct market segment.”
- Jonathan Wilf, WISE Ventures (MINNESOTA) – “Esports and competitive gaming has clearly emerged as a major force in the sports and entertainment industry. We have explored various opportunities in esports over the past few years, and we believe the new Call of Duty esports league is well positioned for long term success.”
OpTic Gaming (Immortals) and WISE Ventures join the five previously announced teams — Atlanta, Toronto, New York, Paris, and Dallas — as Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues prepares to franchise the official Call of Duty League to match the Overwatch League format. There’s seven teams now secured for the new 2020 CDL.
The franchised Call of Duty League is expected to being in 2020 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Activision says more details on how the new League will work will be discussed in the months ahead. There’s a lot of questions fans have about the league, so hopefully Activision delivers some of those answers.
Activision Blizzard CEO mentioned back in early May that the entry fee to secure a spot was “dramatically” higher than that of the Overwatch League, which was around $10-15 million in Season 1. ESPN reported earlier this year that Call of Duty League team spots are going for $25 million each.