Five Potential Replacements For Paris Legion
Despite being one of the very first teams announced to participate in the Call of Duty League (CDL), the Paris Legion franchise is arguably the worst out of the 12. For the vast majority of its three-year history, the franchise has sat at the very bottom of the league table, despite fielding some of the very best Call of Duty talent from across the globe.
Throughout 2022, the franchise is beginning to interact with the community more even if results aren’t going in its favour. While fans are starting to rally around the Legion, there’s a chance it could be too little too late for the team owned by C0ntact Gaming.
Considering there are plenty of other cities and organisations that could do a better job, it wouldn’t be difficult filling the gap. With that said, what exactly is preventing Paris Legion from moving up the CDL table and which other cities would make a great addition if the French wave au revoir to Call of Duty?
Is There A Way Back For Paris?
Throughout the Vanguard season, Legion’s social media presence in addition to its fan interaction is improving. Giving the franchise some kind of personality after almost two seasons of radio silence gives fans a reason to root for Paris even when the odds are stacked against them. The only thing missing for the franchise is a roster capable of contending with the likes of OpTic Texas and Atlanta FaZe. Over the last 12 months, the CDL has seen several rosters manage to reverse their fortunes with the likes of Seattle Surge and Los Angeles Guerrillas managing to give the powerhouse rosters a run for their money, so there’s nothing stopping Paris Legion from doing the same - or is there?
During 2020, c0ntact Gaming struggled financially like many companies trying to stay afloat during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Statements from former staff members claiming the company were unable to pay them along with releasing the majority of the Paris Eternal Overwatch League (OWL) roster all but confirmed the Legion’s fate for Black Ops Cold War. With no funds to attract any top players, despite a deep pool of available talent, Legion fielded a roster of players past their prime and with limited amounts of experience, and it showed as other franchises capitalised on a new wave of talent working their way through the Challengers system.
With 2022 well underway and although Legion has the services of 2016 world champion Johnathon "John" Perez on its books, the franchise shows glimmers of brilliance in amongst the seemingly endless stream of defeats. The arrival of Thomas "GRVTY" Malin and Bryan "Jimbo" Sabman in March is a statement of intent for Paris. The injection of fresh talent has the potential to drive the team into the congested midfield battle. While the early days looked bleak for Paris Legion, there’s certainly a light at the end of the tunnel.
What if things don’t turn around for the Legion and c0ntact Gaming decides to pull the plug? With only 11 teams competing at the highest tier of Call of Duty esports, there’s a high chance c0ntact looks for a buyer. Prior to the arrival of Boston Breach, talks of a Washington DC franchise were heavily rumoured but Oxygen Esports made its entrance. Considering Paris is one of two European franchises, selling it to another city within the continent would make sense.
Talks of a Madrid franchise surfaced when the CDL was unveiled, but a deal managed to fall through much to the frustration of the immensely passionate Spanish fan base. Alongside Madrid, perhaps a German CDL franchise may pique the interest of any potential investors. A team with a Berlin or Munich location would also benefit the German scene which has slowly depleted in recent years.
Alongside Berlin and Madrid, there are plenty of other replacements for Paris if it does disappear from the CDL. The Australian market is often ignored despite possessing an incredible talent pool that has shown it can compete against the very best North Americans. Sydney or Melbourne would act as excellent locations for a franchise.
The fifth and final replacement for the Legion is an interesting one. Although there’s a lack of coverage, Japan and Southeast Asia have a thriving Call of Duty scene making Tokyo a prime location for an all-new franchise to set up shop. However, it would take the second franchise slot out of Europe, but it would expand the presence of the CDL into a region with plenty of untapped potential.
Is Paris Legion Leaving The CDL?
For now, Paris Legion is staying put despite the turbulence in recent years. Now armed with a roster that is capable of mixing it up with the other 11 franchises, laying some solid foundations during the remainder of the Vanguard season in preparation for what Modern Warfare 2 has to offer is essential if a reversal of fortune will happen.
A strong showing in the remaining two Majors and Champs can spark the momentum. It took Seattle Surge a couple of seasons before it started contending near the top of the league so let’s hope Paris Legion can progress to create an even closer competition.