How Will The Call Of Duty League Look When Vanguard Releases?
Despite only being in its second season, the Call of Duty League (CDL) has been faced with a number of obstacles in its short history. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the geo-located franchise league transition from in-person Home Series events taking place in an offline environment, transition into an online league where the stakes were just as high, and the production was just as slick and professional.
The start of the third stage signifies that the 2021 season has now surpassed the halfway point, meaning that eyeballs will soon begin to move away from Black Ops Cold War and turn towards the rumoured release of WWII: Vanguard, which is expected at some point during the fourth quarter of the year.
With a change of title on the horizon and talks of potential expansion taking place during the upcoming off-season, there is every possibility that the CDL could look very different heading into 2022. So what can fans expect the top level of competitive Call of Duty to look like in the not-too-distant future?
Back On LAN
With the world slowly beginning to recover from the pandemic and with more countries beginning to host in-person events once more, it is likely that the CDL will be returning to offline competition for the 2022 season. Activision Blizzard has already confirmed that select 2021 events will be held offline, and depending on their success (where the safety of all involved is paramount), the chances of regular offline competition returning are relatively high.
Whether spectators will be allowed to attend events is another matter. If they can prove that they’ve been vaccinated and agree to follow any health and safety procedures put in place, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a crowd of adoring fans cheering on their favourite players in 2022.
Talks of the CDL expanding for the 2022 season have been speculated upon for several months, with some reports already suggesting that Washington D.C is already eyeing up one of the available expansion slots. There are currently 12 franchises representing cities across Europe and North America, and with several cities reportedly interested in getting their piece of the Call of Duty pie, the CDL could have as many as four brand-new franchises for 2022.
The possibility of expansion is certainly positive news for European Call of Duty fans in particular. With just two teams representing the entire continent, 2022 could well see the return of the Spanish with a franchise of its own featuring the very best Spanish talent on offer. Known for its incredibly passionate fans, Spanish Call of Duty is arguably one of the largest scenes outside of the UK and USA, and made its presence felt on the international stage after Team Heretics managed to qualify for the CWL Pro League back on Black Ops 4. Since then, a number of familiar names and new talent have risen to the top of the European Challengers scene, and with the potential of a Madrid franchise slot opening up, an all-Spanish roster could well be making an appearance in the near future.
It’s not just Europe that could benefit from the league expanding to 16 franchises. In Southeast Asia and Latin America, Call of Duty esports has been thriving, and due to a lack of tournaments endorsed by the CDL, the talent in the two regions rarely gets the chance to be showcased on the big stage. A franchise hailing from Japan or Brazil could expand the CDL into a truly global esport.
All Change For 2022
With so much potential change on the horizon, the differences between the 2021 and 2022 seasons could be a stark contrast. Online tournaments could be a thing of the past while the addition of new franchises and potentially new regions could see professional Call of Duty expand in a way that has never been seen before.
When Vanguard releases, competitive Call of Duty could well change massively - for the better.
Images via Call of Duty League