The developer Activision has decided to create a franchise league for electronic sports teams who want to compete in Call of Duty, one of the most popular first-person shooter games in the world. According to ESPN, the teams had to pay at least $25 million each to obtain one of the 12 franchises offered.
The Call of Duty video game series is one of the best sellers of all time, with regular releases that attract millions of followers every year. According to Business Insider , the latest installment in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, is already the best-selling game of 2019, barely a month after its release. More than 100 million people have also downloaded the Call of Duty Online mobile phone game in the first month of its release.
Building on these successes, and in response to the explosive growth of e-sports, Activision Blizzard decided to take advantage of the situation by creating a professional league for Call of Duty competitors called Call of Duty League . It will have 12 teams and will be officially launched in January 2020.
For years now, the company has been supporting various series-based international competitions, but this time it is launching an official league that operates on a multi-million dollar system of franchises and adopts a structure similar to that of sports. major leagues.
This is the second franchise league of electronic sport for Activision Blizzard, after the very popular league centered on the game Overwatch , which ended its second season in September 2019.
A base salary of US $50,000 per year
Call of Duty League teams will have between 7 and 10 members each. Players enjoy a guaranteed base salary of US $50,000, as well as health insurance and pension benefits. Teams do not have to house their players, but they will have to prove to the league that they have at least helped them find a home during the season.
Teams can earn extra cash prizes during the season, and each franchise must share at least 50% of those prizes with members.
The 12 teams that have managed to secure a place come from four different countries. Here are the cities or states that will be represented: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, London, Los Angeles (two teams), Minnesota, New York, Paris, Seattle and Toronto.
Participants will compete against Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in five-on-five games on the PS4 console. The season will begin on January 24 and end in August or September 2020. The route will bring teams around the world, with two stops in each city represented.
Several teams left behind
Activision has created a franchised league with a limited number of places to offer added value to investors who want to monetize e-sport in the same way as traditional sports.
Proof that the model works, the Overwatch League has negotiated multi-million dollar contracts with the ESPN sports channel and the Twitch streaming service, as well as seeking out major sponsors like Coca-Cola, Intel and Toyota.
According to ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, the teams had to spend 25 million US dollars, about 33 million Canadian dollars, to secure their place in the league. This left several competitive teams behind, which failed to reap the necessary investment. This is the case of Team 100 Thieves, who had gone to the finals of the Call of Duty World League Championship last summer.