CDL Major III breaks viewership record as most-watched event in CoD history

CDL Major III breaks viewership record as most-watched event in CoD history
Call of Duty League

Written by 

Jack Marsh


13th Mar 2023 17:23

After suffering three long years being haemorrhaged on YouTube, the Call of Duty League is thriving for the first time since franchising was introduced. Now, the esports scene is more popular than ever before.

Activision’s deal with YouTube saw the League be beneficiaries of a huge cash injection, although teams might claim otherwise. Sadly, the broadcast partnership ultimately failed and a return to Twitch has now come into play.

Back on the Amazon-owned platform means the CDL is getting more eyeballs than ever, and the most recent Major has broken Call of Duty viewership records.

CDL Major III breaks Call of Duty esports viewership record

Hosted by OpTic Texas, CDL Major III saw the 12 teams surpass the halfway mark of the season, with OpTic themselves being the focal point of the weekend’s storylines.

Having been beaten in the first round, OpTic secured four consecutive wins in their lower-bracket run to the grand final, where they faced off against Toronto Ultra - including one massive upset against Atlanta FaZe in the lower-bracket final.

With OpTic featuring in both, the matches became the highest-peaking games in CoD history, with over 330,000 viewers each, according to Esports Charts.

Click to enlarge

OpTic's fan base contributed much to the success of the matches, and FaZe Clan's also helped set the record at 335,170 views across all streams. The grand final dipped just lower at 334,730, but both are the highest-watched matches ever. 

The Major III finals topped the Modern Warfare 2020 views (which were inflated through Black Ops: Cold War beta key giveaways), which held the previous record of 331,558 peak viewers.

Fans also stuck around for the longest time ever too, having totalled 5,575,333 hours watched (whilst live), beating the 2018 World Championships.

Co-streaming has elevated Call of Duty League viewership

According to Esports Charts, over 65% of fans watched Major III through co-streams, with Seth "Scump" Abner, Thomas "ZooMaa" Paparatto, and Alexandra Botez being the most impactful three.

Scump especially contributed more fans than the main CDL stream during OpTic's matches and even reunited the dynasty team for the first time since they broke up in August 2017, as they all sat together to watch the matchup against Atlanta FaZe.

It's clear to see that the move back to Twitch has significantly increased the viewership for Call of Duty esports, and amid rumours of another YouTube deal being formed, it's going to be an interesting off-season to see where the game will land in the future.

Modern Warfare 2 player count plummets ahead of Season 3
Massive Modern Warfare 2 leak reveals every gun still coming
MW2 realists slam ‘useless’ Tempus Torrent gun attachments
Syndicate claims Call of Duty devs ‘failed’ the franchise
'Impossible’ Easter Egg confirms Zombies do exist in Modern Warfare canon