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Call of Duty League

Three new Call of Duty League franchise cities announced: London, Seattle, and Chicago

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Activision Blizzard has announced three more cities that will be part of the Call of Duty League in 2020, which is set to begin with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in the new year.

More details on the actual league are set to come later on, but the company is now announcing three more cities that will be part of the League ahead of the start. This brings the total to 12 teams.

The new teams announced today:

  • London – owned by ReKTGlobal, parent company of Rogue Gaming
  • Seattle – owned by Aquilini Group and Enthusiast Gaming, which is partnered with Luminosity Gaming
  • Chicago – Owned by NRG, which is the owners of NBA basketball team Sacramento Kings. NRG also owns the San Francisco Shock OWL team

“We aspire for Call of Duty to be one of the biggest and best leagues on the planet. The addition of best-in-class organizations in Chicago, London, and Seattle is a strong step toward this ambition,” said Johanna Faries, Commissioner of Call of Duty Esports at Activision Blizzard Esports. “Alongside nine previously announced teams in Atlanta, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles (2), Minnesota, New York, Paris, and Toronto, we are honored to partner with incredible organizations that share our commitment to delivering epic experiences for players and fans around the world.”

“NRG has loved Call of Duty and the competitive pro and amateur scene for a long time now,” NRG CEO, Andy Miller, said. “The formation of the new Call of Duty esports league provided the perfect opportunity for the org to jump in. The prospect of having Chicago written across our team’s chests was the icing on the cake. We hope to transfer our winning formula from the San Francisco Shock of the Overwatch League to the new Call of Duty esports league and our Chicago team.”

“On behalf of the entire ReKTGlobal organization, we are thrilled that we’ve landed the London team for Call of Duty,” said Amish Shah, founder of ReKTGlobal. “My co-founder, Dave Bialek, and I feel that some of the most enthusiastic esports fans are based in London and we are not only excited but welcome the challenge to represent the city, while gaining larger visibility and growing our brand within the UK.

“Our core UK team is eager to bring the championship home with the support of the community, their family and friends, and investors such as Steve Aoki, Imagine Dragons, Nicky Romero and DrLupo. We also have a number of surprises in store for the fans so get your popcorn ready and join us on our championship journey.”

Francesco Aquilini, Director of Aquilini Group: “Esports has shown extraordinary growth and we’re excited to continue to be at the forefront with a new Call of Duty esports team. We are thrilled with the performance of the Vancouver Titans in the Overwatch League in their inaugural season, and with the continued support and expertise of our partners at Luminosity and Enthusiast Gaming, we believe the new Call of Duty esports league is also well positioned for success. Along with the Titans, we look forward to continuing our engagement with the esports community in the Pacific Northwest with this new Seattle-based Call of Duty team, and delivering on our goal to create first-class fan experiences.”

These three teams join the previously announced 9 teams of New York, Toronto, Paris, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles (Immortals), Los Angeles (Kroenke Esports), Florida and Minnesota.

The 2020 Call of Duty League is expected to adopt the Overwatch League format with home and away games, as players and teams will travel to the cities to compete during homestead style weekends for the new season.

Activision announced a few details on the 2020 Season, stating that it will be 5v5 and played on console. There will also be a pro and amateur leagues with Open Events still happening, but the details on that are still pending.

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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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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