Activision Blizzard announced today that two new teams will be joining the existing five teams in the Call of Duty eSports league, Call of Duty World League. The two newest teams joining Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris, and Toronto will be based in Los Angeles and Minnesota. The Los Angeles-based team will be owned by Immortals Gaming Club, represented by OpTic Gaming, who they recently acquired. The Minnesota-based team will be owned by WISE Ventures who is in turn owned by the Wilf family. “We’re very excited to welcome WISE Ventures into the esports community and to partner with both WISE Ventures and OpTic Gaming for the future of Call of Duty esports,” says Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports. “Activision Blizzard Esports is dedicated to partnering with organizations that have a passion for competitive entertainment and share our vision for the future of esports.”
Los Angeles’ new owners, OpTic Gaming by way of Immortals Gaming Club, are adding yet another team to their diverse portfolio of eSports teams, including the Los Angeles Valiant of the Overwatch League, and MiBR, the Brazilian CS:GO professional team. “By participating in the city-based model, we recognize the opportunity that the new Call of Duty esports league creates for us to tap into two existing sources of affinity: regional or city-based pride, and affinity for Call of Duty itself,” says Ari Segal, CEO of Immortals Gaming Club. “Call of Duty League also allows us to scale the relationships we’ve been fortunate to build with both Activision Blizzard Esports leadership and senior management into a new and largely distinct market segment.”
The new owners of the Minnesota team, the Wilf family, are making their first venture into the world of eSports, though are no stranger to professional team ownership. The Wilf family are the owners of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. Also joining the fold as an investor is Gary Vaynerchuk, bestselling author and CEO of VaynerMedia. “Esports and competitive gaming has clearly emerged as a major force in the sports and entertainment industry. We have explored various opportunities in esports over the past few years, and we believe the new Call of Duty esports league is well positioned for long term success,” says one of the new owners, Jonathan Wilf.
The new teams are slated to begin play at the start of the 2020 Call of Duty World League season, though no specific date has been announced yet. Keep up with news on the new teams, as well as the upcoming 2020 season via the Call of Duty World League Twitter page.