Call of Duty League Inaugural Season 2020
We will start covering the inaugural Call of Duty League as a part of our premium membership, starting with the first competitive week 2020 season, which is slated to kick off in Minnesota on January 24, 2020.
History of competitive Call of Duty esports scene
Call of Duty was first released in 2003 as an FPS game title, developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision and in a matter of a few years quickly became a widely popular multiplayer game, which started the demand for a competitive scene, where the best of the best will be able to show off their skills.
CoD made their first baby steps into the competitive scene with the help of a company named Major League Gaming (MLG), which bought the website GameBattles.com in 2006 where they started hosting competitive CoD matches, which. That would eventually become the foundation of CoD esports. In years that followed, MLG hoster majority of CoD esports events, with other companies like UMG, GFinity, ESWC and ESL to follow suit.
That being said, the Call of Duty esports scene took off in 2007 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which was the title that kickstarted the competitive CoD scene. In years that followed, we got introduced to some of the best CoD players, who are to date known as CoD legends, most of which are still heavily involved in the esports industry as well as teams that evolved into one of the biggest esports organizations in the industry. Fast forward to 2009 and Call of Duty released its sixth installment of the series – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which took the CoD esports scene to a whole another level, partly due to the huge popularity of the game which took the FPS scene by storm. As years passed, the CoD scene continued to grow with new game titles, new game modes, new rivalries and new faces entering the scene. In 2013, Call of Duty Championship was held for the first time with a record US $1,000,000 in the prize pool. CoD Championship remained in the competitive scene up to 2016, when it got renamed into Call of Duty World League. As time passed, CoD esports continued to grow and with it, we got to see the rise and fall of some of CoD greats as well as a huge influx of new talent in the league. That said, everything changed after 2019 CWL when it was revealed, Call of Duty competitive scene will introduce a new franchised league, the Call of Duty League (CDL), which will start a new chapter in CoD esports.
What is Call of Duty League
Call of Duty League (CDL) is a professional franchised offline CoD league, operated by Activision and MLG. On January 24, 2020, the first competitive event will be held in Minneapolis, which will mark the start of the inaugural CDL season.
Unlike CWL, CDL will be a franchised league, meaning it will introduce 12 teams, who will represent their cities from North America and Europe. Much like in CWL, the CDL will continue to use the same 5v5 setup, with all games played exclusively on PlayStation 4. That being said, the league format will drastically change as it will switch to a home-away format.
There will be a total of 12 teams from 11 cities participating in the 2020 CDL, nine of which hail from North America and two from Europe. Competing in the teams, we will see the return of some of the biggest stars from CWL as well as new faces, who have proven themselves and will now look to make a statement on the big stage. CDL lineup seems to be stacked with talent and potential, resulting in one of the most competitive CoD leagues to date.
If you’re interested in our pre-season power rankings, check out our CDL team power rankings, where we dig deep into each team and rank them based on their potential, talent and chances to triumph in the upcoming season.
Atlanta Faze — Atlanta Esports Ventures
Chicago Huntsmen — NRG Esports
Dallas Empire — Envy Gaming, Inc.
Florida Mutineers – Misfits Gaming
London Ravens — ReKTGlobal, Inc
Los Angeles Guerrillas — Immortals Gaming Club (IGC)
Optic Gaming Los Angeles – Kroenke Sports & Entertainment
Minnesota Rokkr— WISE Ventures
New York Subliners — Sterling.VC
Paris Legion – c0ntact Gaming
Seattle Surge — The Aquilini Group
Toronto Ultra — OverActive Media
Each team will consist of seven to 10 players on their roster, with each player guaranteed newly implemented benefits, which will increase the security of their job and prevent any exploitation from the teams. Those benefits include healthcare, retirement benefits, provided housing throughout the season and a guaranteed minimum salary of $50,000. Adding to that, each team will be required to split at 50% of all tournament winnings with its players, with an option that would allow the teams to set the % higher than that.
The inaugural season of Call of Duty League will introduce a 5 versus 5 format with all matches throughout the season played as best-of-five (Bo5). Because Sony owns an exclusive right for the 2020 CDL season, all matches will be played on PlayStation 4.
The ruleset revealed by Infinity Ward revealed several changes, which will be implemented into the competitive CoD. The first announcement unveiled CDL will be played in three game modes: Search and Destroy, Hardpoint and Domination, each with its own dedicated maps.
As per usual, LMGs, Shotguns, Launchers and Riot Shields have all been disabled for the competitive scene as well as several scorestreaks and perks. As for major changes in comparison to Black Ops 4, there are none, with the sole exception being the introduction of Domination into the game mode list.
All the official rules can be found on Call of Duty’s official website.
The season will be split into two splits, each with 11 competitive weeks/events, which will be hosted by the teams in their respective home markets – with OpTic Gaming and Guerillas hosting an extended week in Los Angeles. Following the first 11 competitive weeks, the league will host Call of Duty Midseason Weekend, said to take place in early May 2020. After that, CDL will see another set of 11 competitive weeks which will culminate with the Championship Weekend in August.
Throughout the season, teams will be ranked based on their W/L ratio to determine which teams will earn a spot in the playoffs. The post-season will feature top eight teams, including two wild card spots.
During the Championship Weekend, the final six teams will face off in double-elimination competition with the final two teams facing off the title of inaugural Call of Duty League champions.
How to bet on Call of Duty
Call of Duty competitive scene is not only interesting to watch with its fast-paced gameplay and exciting moments each match brings, but it’s also one of the best esports titles to bet on. One of the biggest factors which make CoD very appealing for bettors is the fact that it’s a very simple game to understand and it’s easy to figure out what is happening on the battlefield. Furthermore, the widely popular FPS title also offers punters a lot of options to bet on.
There are four major types of betting markets available when it comes to betting on Call of Duty:
Outright winner market
Match winner market
When it comes to betting on Call of Duty or any other esports title, you must understand what the game is all about and have a fair amount of knowledge about the game itself. While that does not necessarily mean you need to also play the game yourself, it surely helps with understanding the gameplay, strategies and overall goal of the match. For non-gamer types of people, there are always streams available, where anyone can see how the game is played, how pros approach it and what the goal of each game mode is.
While having some knowledge about the game itself is crucial, understanding how betting works can make or break your bank. Knowing when and how to place a bet, as well as having solid bank management are all crucial aspects of any(e)sports betting no matter on what sport or esport we place our wager on.
When you have all the basics covered, then comes the hardest part. Figuring out which team/player to bet on. There is a lot that goes into determining the optimal bet, from betting odds, team form, team’s performance against each other (h2h), team news, injuries, internal team struggles, map and game modes selection and more.
The last thing we need to address is one of the biggest factors every sports bettor is very familiar with – home field advantage.
Home field advantage in esports
It’s widely accepted that teams who play at home in competitive sports tend to perform better compared to playing away from home/at opponents stadium. But does HFA also apply to esports
While home field advantage is rarely mentioned in esports, mostly because there are very few esports titles that use home-away format for their fixtures, things change when we talk about Call of Duty League. As mentioned above, CDL will for the first time in the history of competitive CoD implement the home-away format, making the topic of HFA and its effect on performance very intriguing for this esports title.
In the betting world, home field advantage refers to the perceived advantage the home team enjoys over their opponents in a sporting event and there is data to back those claims up. There are many factors that influence the HFA, such as not having to travel long distances, the familiarity of surroundings, home fans… etc. In soccer, HFA is very noticeable, seeing how teams that play at home tend to produce more shots, more goals and ultimately earn more points. That being said, things in esports are different.
Looking at data from CS:GO tournaments, teams produced some intriguing results. While some teams benefited from playing in home countries, others performed better when playing away from home. There are many theories that can be used to explain this phenomenon, however, it’s not too hard to figure out why HFA is not as notable in esports as in more “traditional sports”. Unlike football matches which are played on different stadiums, which provide different surroundings, temperatures, and atmospheres for teams and players, esports events are played in mostly the same conditions every time.
That being said, the new home-away format which will find its way in both CDL and Overwatch League could change that. Unlike CS:GO events, which we used to determine whether HFA exists, CDL will be played in different cities all over the globe each competitive week, meaning some teams will have to travel long distances into hostile territory to play their matches. With the new branding and franchised teams, we can also expect very loyal fans, who will make sure to make the atmosphere as hostile as possible for the visiting teams. While we know HFA doesn’t have such a big impact on esports as compared to football, basketball and other sports, it’s not completely nullified, and we can not completely disregard it.