Everyone's favorite gaming franchise, Call of Duty, launched its esports league Jan. 24 to the excitement of fans across the globe. Owned by Activision Blizzard, the Call of Duty franchise continues to be their most popular brand and the company is hoping to capitalize on that success with this new league.
That's right: thousands of people are gathering in stadiums to watch other people play video games. Just like toddlers like to watch toy unboxing videos, middle-aged women like to watch other people buying houses, gamers came out in droves to watch some of the best in the world go head to head playing Call of Duty.
The league makes sense: one of the Call of Duty titles has been the best-selling game in the U.S. for nine of the past 11 years, according to market analysis firm the NPD Group.
According to ESPN's Jacob Wolf, Call of Duty League franchise owners paid $25 million or more to secure their place in the Call of Duty League, which boasts 12 professional teams, representing 11 markets across North America and Europe. The teams are:
Call of Duty Esports League Teams
Here is the rundown of the Official Call of Duty League Rules:
- Pro teams compete in 5-vs-5 Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare multiplayer matches, on PlayStation®4.
- Call of Duty League matches will be played around the globe in the home market of each team in the league.
- The league features the best Call of Duty esports players from around the globe.
- Players are paid; starting salaries range around $50k.
- At the end of the regular season, the top 8 ranked teams, including four wild card spots will advance to the playoffs.
- During the Call of Duty League Championship Weekend, the final six Playoffs teams will face off in double-elimination competition until the final two pro teams go head to head in the Call of Duty League Championship.
- Teams will be battling to take home the glory of being the best in the world and reportedly over $6 million in prizes. Yes, we said $6 million.
Want to get in on this? There are plenty of ways for fans to get involved, according to the Call of Duty League website:
Launching later this season (2020), fans may sign up as duos to compete in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare "Gunfight" matches for a chance to win prizing and to compete at a Call of Duty League event. More details about the City Circuit will be announced in the coming months.
Additionally, throughout the season the Call of Duty League will unlock new opportunities for spectators and amateur players to participate online and at league events to be announced in the future.
Here are the results from opening weekend.
Call of Duty League Standings
Fans can vote for their favorite players on the website as well as see league standings. Get ready to buy all the merch.
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