Activision Blizzard, the video game publisher behind the professional Call of Duty League, has asked owners to consider having the 2021 season played from a central location in a bubble-type environment similar to what the NBA and other sports leagues have done this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple sources have told The Esports Observer. This would require all of the league’s teams to relocate for the upcoming season in order to compete. The two cities mentioned on the call were Las Vegas and Dallas.
While this suggestion from Activision was not the only proposal under consideration, there were varied discussions among the owners on the possibility and probability of this particular scenario being realized. While some owners were in favor of the suggestion, others shared their concerns surrounding contract provisions possibly being in contradiction with the move and that a move in particular to Dallas may be unfair as the Dallas Fuel already has a home there.
TEO has learned that some player contracts with teams in the league include provisions regarding where players and staff will reside during training camp and the competitive season. With some contracts already signed for the upcoming season, some teams would have to revise those contracts if the move to Vegas or Dallas actually occurs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the esports community as live events and those played on LAN–local area networks–have been replaced by online play which has caused some competitive integrity issues. One of the most prominent examples came to light during the Seattle Surge’s July 17 loss to the London Royal Ravens when its team captain inexplicably disconnected from a match while being ahead in points during the fourth map of the best-of-five contest. Subsequently, the player was unable to return and the Surge lost the map playing a man down. A similar situation occurred during the playoffs when a Royal Ravens player was unable to stay connected to the server during the team’s playoff match with the Toronto Ultra, which ultimately led to a Royal Ravens loss.
The proposals being put forth by Activision Blizzard is its attempt to avoid the spread of COVID-19, while at the same time solving the problems associated with competitive integrity issues that can manifest themselves during online play. And while there have been no decisions made as of yet as to what the CDL will do, the league and its owners will continue to look for ways in which to alleviate these problems going forward in 2021.
TEO has reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment and will update this story should more information become available.
Published at Mon, 21 Sep 2020 20:05:02 +0000