An unprecedented change will come on the competitive stage of Call of Duty, with an Overwatch league style league in 2020: franchises, an entry fee for teams, and attachment to a locality. These changes did not please 100Thieves, who left the scene.
Next year, competitive teams on Call of Duty will no longer qualify via tournaments, but the teams present will have a fixed entry fee. According to sources, the price of this entry fee would be $25 million (more than the Overwatch League the first year): a price that would be too high for the structure of 100Thieves.
The eSportive structure has no doubt the means to afford this place if it wanted. But as its director explained, this investment would involve too much risk for 100Thieves, because in addition to the entry price, its presence in the league will require logistics costs and a total rebranding. Not to mention the great unknown that is the audience.
If we compare this future model to the Overwatch League, the publisher who has his say on the eSports scene of Call of Duty is Activision. The requirement to relinquish one’s brand name to one’s locality is directly inspired by the other league, which draws on traditional sports such as the NBA.
For its first-year franchise league, which will launch in the spring of 2020, 9 teams have still been confirmed. Here are the localities and businesses behind these investments:
- Atlanta (Atlanta Esports Ventures, who also has a team in Overwatch League: Atlanta Reign)
- Dallas (EnvyUs, who also has Dallas Fuel in OWL)
- Florida (Misfits, who has Florida Mayhem in OWL)
- Los Angeles 1 (Immortals, which has Los Angeles Valiant)
- Los Angeles 2 (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which has LA Gladiators)
- Minnesota (WISE Ventures, who does not have another team)
- New York (NY Mets, who owns NY Excelsior in OWL)
- Paris (c0ntact Gaming, which has Paris Eternal)
- Toronto (OverActive Media, which has Toronto Defiant in OWL)
It is clear that the publisher has negotiated with teams already present in Overwatch League to recruit his teams in the inaugural season of the league franchise of Call of Duty.