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Volume 26 No. 178
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New Call Of Duty Esports League At Capacity With 12 City-Based Teams

The yet-to-be-named Call of Duty esports league has "officially capped its Season 1 membership at 12 teams and will begin play in teams' home markets" in '20, "furthering the Activision Blizzard vision of anchoring competitive gaming franchises to specific cities and regions," according to Mike Hume of the WASHINGTON POST. The 12 teams were "sold via the same franchise model Activision Blizzard employed in its creation of the Overwatch League." Some franchises will "carry over" from the Call of Duty World League, which was "shuttered this summer." However, the new league will not include "old-guard CWL franchises 100 Thieves and FaZe Clan, both among the more popular teams in the Call of Duty competitive community." The league will "include several ownership groups from the OWL that are new to Call of Duty." In all, 10 of the league's 12 ownership groups also will "operate teams in the OWL." ReKT Global is a "newcomer to the Activision Blizzard-run leagues," while WISE Ventures -- backed by the Vikings Owners, the Wilf family -- is "new to esports altogether." Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said that there are more than 12 "interested parties for the league, a fact that bodes well for potential expansion." The asking price for franchise slots was rumored to be $25M per team, though new Call of Duty league Commissioner Johanna Faries "declined to comment on the accuracy of that figure" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/26).