Call of Duty League Franchise Coming to Toronto, In Partnership with Overwatch League
Alex Handziuk |
May 2, 2019
Activision Blizzard has confirmed the first details for their upcoming, city-based Call of Duty esports league.
The company has already sold the first five franchise slots to Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris and Toronto. Each of these cities already has a professional Overwatch League team and will retain the same ownership group for both leagues. In Toronto’s case, Overactive Media bought the Call of Duty slot and the company owns the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant. Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard called the new league a significant step forward for the company and its future in esports.
“The upcoming launch of our new Call of Duty esports league reaffirms our leadership role in the development of professional esports. We will announce additional owners and markets later this year. Our owners value our professional, global city-based model, the success we have had with broadcast partners, sponsors and licensees, and the passion with which our players have responded to our events,” he said.
There is no word yet on when the Call of Duty League will kick off but it could very well coincide the 2020 Overwatch League Season. This is significant because 2020 is the year that the Overwatch League is introducing home games and stadiums. Adding another esport to each organization helps make the case for home arenas stronger, since it will be used for multiple events. Chris Overholt, the President and CEO at OverActive Media called the move the next step in the future of esports.
“OverActive Media is building a global esports organization that will redefine the future of sport and entertainment, and today is another significant step toward that goal. We are really proud to have secured another professional esports franchise in Toronto and we are looking forward to launching our new Call of Duty team and players in front of our fans and supporters.”
Having two teams from different sports in one stadium is something that is a mainstay in traditional sports. Many NBA and NHL teams share arenas, although since most esports are played on PC’s, the changing in between games shouldn’t be as extreme as more traditional sports. That being said, the possibility of fans intersecting from the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League could go a very long way in securing a thriving future for city-based esports.