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Since Activision Blizzard announced the start of a Call of Duty franchised league, a few teams have purchased slots. With a franchise slot buy-in for $25 million (£18.7 million), many organizations in the Call of Duty World League are seeming to shy away. According to the New York Post, 100 Thieves is reportedly looking to secure an additional $25 million to lock in their Los Angeles Call of Duty slot.
Call of Duty franchising
When Call of Duty franchising was first announced, organizations that also were a part of the Overwatch League were given first dibs. This franchising system did not catch people off guard, as it was previously announced when it confirmed a city-based league. The Overwatch League is another franchised esports league that is owned by Activision Blizzard. Initial buy-in costs for the Overwatch League went for $20 million (£14.9 million). However, with the popularity of the Overwatch League, expansion slots went for reportedly 1.5-3 times the original cost.
In Activision Blizzard’s 2019 first-quarter earnings report, they announced that five cities had secured franchising slots. Atlanta Esports Ventures, which also owns Atlanta Reign of the OWL, purchased the Atlanta, Georgia slot. Sterling Equities, the owner of the New York Excelsior team, purchased the New York, New York slot. Dallas Fuel’s parent organization, Envy Gaming, purchased the Dallas, Texas slot. The last two organizations included French c0ntact Gaming and Toronto-based OverActive Media.
“In each of the five founding franchises announced today, we are partnering with existing Overwatch League team owners who have first-hand experience of our esports vision and capabilities and recognize the scale of the opportunity for a global, city-based Call of Duty league,” said Bobby Kotick, the Activision Blizzard CEO, in a release. “We look forward to announcing more details around these cities and other team sales in the coming months.”
100 Thieves most recently raised $25 million in their Series A funding round. Scooter Braun and Drake led the funding round and joined as organization owners. Other venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital, Green Bay Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, and more participated. Raising more funds to purchase the Los Angeles franchise location is a good choice as the organization is also based in the city.
With the city-based franchise league, organizations will be rebranding the teams with city-specific names. What do you think 100 Thieves will choose if they manage to secure the Los Angeles franchise slot? Los Angeles Thieves? Keep up with all of the latest Call of Duty news and content at Daily Esports!
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.