SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Activision Blizzard Esports announces the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League™ will begin with the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend at the Minneapolis Armory from January 24-26, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The event will be hosted by Minnesota Røkkr – the Call of Duty League team operated by WISE Ventures Esports, under ownership of the Wilf Family (owners of the Minnesota Vikings), and investor Gary Vaynerchuk – will feature all 12 professional Call of Duty League teams competing across three days. The opening weekend of the regular season will feature additional fan and player experiences to celebrate the launch of Activision Blizzard Esports’ highly anticipated new city-based league.
The Call of Duty League follows a home-vs-away format with 5-versus-5 professional match play, with 12 teams in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, London, Los Angeles (2), Minnesota, New York, Paris, Seattle, and Toronto. Throughout the season, each team will host “Home Series” weekends in their market, with multiple pro teams competing at each event.
"We are thrilled with the continued growth of the Call of Duty esports footprint as an international, city-based league with 12 teams in 4 countries, all of which deliver epically entertaining competition to millions of fans around the world,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “Building on our city-based model’s success in esports first established by the Overwatch League, we are excited to unite the historic passion for the Call of Duty franchise with city-based fandom to create a league to rival the very best leagues in traditional sports in recognizing, celebrating and rewarding our players.”
Launch Weekend will also feature the season’s first Call of Duty Challengers™ Open, where amateur players from around the world can compete as teams in an open bracket tournament format. Beginning in November, Call of Duty Challengers competitors will begin battling via online ladders and tournaments for their share of an overall dedicated prize pool of more than $1 million during the 2020 season. Challengers team passes for Launch Weekend will go on sale in early December.
“We are thrilled to debut the Call of Duty League in Minnesota in partnership with the Wilf Family and everyone at WISE Ventures,” said Johanna Faries, Commissioner of the Call of Duty League. “Bringing together all 12 pro teams and the amateur community together for this special moment will usher in a new era for Call of Duty esports.”
“It is an honor to host the inaugural weekend of the Call of Duty League and welcome our ownership partners, players, and most importantly, our fans,” said Jonathan Wilf, President and Ownership Partner of WISE Ventures Esports. “We have been craving an esports event of this caliber in Minneapolis-St. Paul. With the success this community has in hosting world class events, we are excited to put on an incredible fan experience to launch the Call of Duty League.”
For more information on the new Call of Duty League, including first details on spectator passes to the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend, sign up for updates at callofdutyleague.com.
About Call of Duty League
Call of Duty League™ is the official esports league of the Call of Duty® franchise, from publisher Activision. The inaugural season of Call of Duty League includes 12 teams from four countries and spotlights the best Call of Duty esports players from around the world. Call of Duty League launches in 2020, and will feature fresh ways for pro players, amateurs, and fans to come together around one of the world’s most beloved games.
About Activision Blizzard Esports
Activision Blizzard Esports (ABE) is responsible for the development, operation, and commercialization of Activision Blizzard’s professional gaming properties including the Overwatch LeagueTM, the Call of Duty® League™, Call of Duty Challengers™, Hearthstone® Masters, the StarCraft® II World Championship Series, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship and Mythic Dungeon International, among others. ABE also operates Tespa, the leader in collegiate esports. It is ABE’s vision to be the most innovative, scalable, and valuable developer of global competitive entertainment.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision is a leading global producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Activision maintains operations throughout the world and is a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), an S&P 500 company. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activision.com or by following @Activision.
About WISE Ventures Esports & WISE Ventures
WISE Ventures Esports is based in Eagan, Minnesota and operates the Minnesota Røkkr Call of Duty Team. WISE Ventures is an investment fund based in Manhattan focused on early and growth stage investment opportunities that leverage our strategic value. Led by an ownership group with deep sports & entertainment and real estate experience, WISE is able to assess, champion, and add value to next-gen companies in those industries. The organization is built on the foundation of an innovative and visionary culture coupled with a committed team of talented people. WISE Ventures brings unmatched value to its companies through its deep industry networks and world-class management experience. Media inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2019 Activision Publishing, Inc. CALL OF DUTY, MODERN WARFARE, CALL OF DUTY LEAGUE and the CALL OF DUTY LEAGUE logo are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. OVERWATCH LEAGUE, HEARTHSTONE, STARCRAFT and WORLD OF WARCRAFT are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Blizzard’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about ticket availability and the dates, features and locations and the features of the Call of Duty League, Call of Duty Challengers, and Call of Duty League Launch Weekend, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Blizzard’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.