The Call of Duty League is scheduled to make a comeback on April 10th, several weeks after the original schedule was put on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with coming back, the remaining CDL matches will be streamed online instead of live in-person events to enforce the concept of social distancing. “No one wants to be in this situation, but we are, and we’re thankful that Call of Duty League can forge ahead and deliver live competition to fans when it’s probably needed most,” commissioner Johanna Faries said in this statement on the official league website. The Call of Duty League also had this to say on their Twitter page:
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) April 6, 2020
Without the CDL, Call of Duty has still managed to gain a massive boost in popularity due to the launch of the free-to-play battle royale game Warzone. To watch this weekend’s line up, the website with the schedule can be found right here. Plays for the league will follow a standard tournament format, with eight teams facing each other in the first “Home Series”, and group stage matches will take place on Fridays, followed by multiple knockout rounds and semifinals round on Saturdays. To tie it all together, the championship matchups will take place on Sundays.
The Call of Duty League debuted in 2020 as a follow up to the Overwatch League, which is run by Activision’s Blizzard. Both are esports leagues consisting of teams homed in cities around the world that come together to play matches like a traditional professional sports league. Both have games being played both domestically and internationally by participants where a winner comes out on top at the end. However, with the current health crisis of COVID-19, both of these leagues have been put on hold due to the large crowds of watchers they bring.
Both the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League are broadcast on YouTube for those that cannot make the physical events anymore, but still want to watch their favorite teams battle it out to the top. The online shift is something many esports and sports leagues around the world are dealing with, including the ESL Pro League and Flashpoint. At the same time as all of this, ESPN has also begun broadcasting competitive gaming on their channel, the NBA has started showing player only 2K tournaments, and pro racing drivers who have started competing in virtual events.