Activision Blizzard eSports, announced today that January 24, 2020, is the start of the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League. It will run for three days, spanning from January 24 until January 26 at the Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The first event will have all twelve pro teams competing, playing the freshly launched Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It will be hosted by the Call of Duty League team Minnesota Røkkr. The home team is operated by WISE Ventures eSports and is owned by Wilf Family and Gary Vaynerchuk.
The inaugural season will last 28 weeks and have 26 events as each team will have the opportunity to host an event as the home team twice. The prize pool will be over 6 million dollars, and the players on the team are guaranteed at least 50% of all prize earnings.
Here is the announcement from the official Call of Duty League Twitter:
Call of Duty League is played in a five vs. five professional match format, and the league will follow a home vs. away format.
The 12 city teams make up four different countries, and the rosters are assembled with the best Call of Duty players in the world.
The city teams that are a part of the league are Minnesota, London, Florida, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Toronto, Paris, New York, and two Los Angeles teams.
Each team will be made up of seven to ten players. Furthermore, each player will receive a minimum salary of $50,000, along with retirement benefits and health care.
The January event will feature the first Call of Duty Challengers Open tournament. It will be put on for amateur players around the world as they play in an open bracket. Starting in November, amateur players will be able to play online via tournaments and climb the ladder. There is a total prize pool of more than one million dollars during the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League. This amateur system is being looked at as a sustainable way to cultivate the next crop of young pros.
Bringing in the city-based team structure is stride forward for eSports. Call of Duty has been one of the biggest franchises in the gaming industry for years. Having city teams face off in high profile matches is a sure-fire way to bring in a more conventional sports feel to an eSports league.
There are mass amounts of money being funneled into Activision Blizzards eSport’s leagues.
Investors have purchased the city teams for tens of millions of dollars.
These are exciting times for the gaming industry as the Call of Duty League will be a great indicator of how well eSports can engage the general sporting demographic.