News of Activision Blizzard starting a new franchised Call of Duty World League came out earlier in the year. Similar to the , team owners have to pay a fee of $25 million to be part of the city-based professional gaming league. So far, five franchises have paid the fee, with the publisher saying more markets are on the way.
The first five cities in the Call of Duty World League are Atlanta, owned by Atlanta Esports Ventures; Dallas, owned by esports mainstay Envy Gaming Inc.; New York, operated by Sterling.VC, which also owns the New York Mets; Paris, owned by c0ntact Gaming, LLC; and Toronto, owned by OverActive Media.
"We're continuing to enhance our leadership position in esports," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said during the company's first-quarter earnings call Thursday. "We're seeing enthusiastic demand for our professional, city-based Call of Duty league franchises. We have already sold the first five Call of Duty teams ... to owners who recognize the scale of the opportunity from their partnerships with us on the Overwatch League."
The new franchises won't see any Call of Duty action until next year because the current World League is already underway. Teams will likely have to play a new Call of Duty game, which Kotick said during the call would be announced by the end of the current fiscal quarter, or June 30.