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Volume 26 No. 109
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Activision Sells Two More Franchise Slots For Call Of Duty League

Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues today will announce that it has sold two more franchise slots for the forthcoming Call of Duty esports league to Misfits Gaming and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. Activision is doubling down on the city-based, franchised model for esports by launching the CoD league next year, while also running the second-year Overwatch League. Misfits’ team will be based in Florida -- no city was named in a press release -- while KSE will run a second team in L.A. Activision is selling slots in the CoD league for a reported $25M, and the addition of these two brings the league’s currently announced total to nine. OWL started its first season off with 12 teams, and the same minimum amount is expected here. Esports outlet Dexerto recently cited an Activision sales deck that indicated the league wants to eventually expand to 28 teams.

BUILDING A BASE: Misfits’ team in the OWL is called the Florida Mayhem and it is planning to host events next year in both Miami and Orlando, so it could take a similar multi-city approach with the new CoD league team. Immortals Gaming Club, which also owns the L.A. Valiant in the OWL, is the other L.A.-based team in the new CoD league. KSE also owns a second L.A.-based team in the OWL in the L.A. Gladiators.

DEALING WITH THE UNKNOWN: The Washington Post's Noah Smith takes a look at the new CoD league and the "absence of information" surrounding it. Even the "players and teams that have populated the competitive scene know little about what lies ahead." The new league will be "run by" former NFL VP/Club Business Development Johanna Faries, but beyond that, there "remains rumor and conjecture." Activision declined to comment on the new league, though a spokesperson said that "learnings from Overwatch League will be applied to the new CoD League."

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.