Activision Blizzard announced earlier today that it had sold the first five franchise spots for the upcoming city-based Call of Duty league. Many details remain unclear, but ESPN’s March report on the league stated that franchises would carry a price tag of about $25 million each.
The franchises will be located in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris, and Toronto. All five of the organizations behind the Call of Duty deal are also owners of Overwatch League franchises. Of these groups, Team Envy (Dallas) and Splyce (Toronto) are well-established throughout the esports world, while other organizations such as the Paris Eternal and Sterling VC (the company behind the OWL’s New York Excelsior) are using this opportunity to expand into another first-person shooter.
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Activision Blizzard has not yet announced an official start date or format for the Call of Duty league, though it is likely that it will take some cues from the Overwatch League, whose first home game event was a ratings success for the company.
“The upcoming launch of our new Call of Duty esports league reaffirms our leadership role in the development of professional esports,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement. The executive confirmed that the company will continue to announce deals with more owners and locations over the course of the year.