Call of Duty League 2021 Season Structure and Details Finally Revealed

by in Call of Duty | Jan, 20th 2021

It is very exciting to bring you some true, official news for the Call of Duty League 2021 season after we have waited for so long. Activision has finally laid down the structure and general details for the season, revealing how the highly anticipated season will work. 

Call of Duty League 2021 Season Structure Finally Truly Revealed

The Call of Duty League 2021 season has been formally revealed on the league’s official website this week. We finally learn how the general format and schedule of the season will work, how the teams will earn points during the competitions, and how the progression will work.

All in all, it is a pretty unique format and style for the season, totally different from what we had last year. In hindsight, the league’s format for the inaugural season in 2020 was relatively tame in comparison and not at all complicated compared to how things are happening this year. 

For one, there is the fact that everything matters much more in the Call of Duty League 2021 season. The Home Series Weekends matter, the leaderboard matters more, and the teams’ points over the season matter a lot more. 

It is a pretty astounding change and evolution of the seasonal format that we saw last year and one that should shake things up considerably for both the teams that are playing and, us, the fans who are watching. Here’s everything that we know about the Call of Duty League 2021 season at this time. 

Five Stages Will Dominate the Format

Beginning the Call of Duty League 2021 season’s details is the general format that it will take. The bulk of the season is dedicated to stages that the 12 main teams in the Call of Duty League will participate in. For the record, here is a reminder of the 12 teams that will be there this season:

  • Atlanta FaZe
  • Dallas Empire
  • Florida Mutineers
  • London Royal Ravens
  • Los Angeles Guerrillas
  • Los Angeles Thieves
  • Minnesota Rokkr
  • New York Subliners
  • OpTic Chicago
  • Paris Legion
  • Seattle Surge
  • Toronto Ultra

The number of teams remains the same this season, but the actual names, branding, and whole rosters are vastly different from what we saw last year. This means that we will likely see a much different competition from the one in the 2020 season.

Matches throughout the Call of Duty League 2021 season stages will feature the game Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War that was released in November 2020. Five stages in total will happen over the next several months leading up to the postseason’s playoffs.

Each of the five stages will work mostly the same as the previous one, acting as a fresh restart of sorts for the 12 teams. These stages will differ in how the makeup of it works, but the general format and match styles will be largely the same. The reason for the change in every stage comes down to the teams themselves. 

Stages Will Feature Different Groups Each Time

There were no stages used during the 2020 inaugural season unless you include the fact that we had in-person events for one part of the season and then switched to online and remote play. That was a significant shift that changed up the league considerably. 

But the five stages will offer something that is wholly unique to the Call of Duty League and what it is trying to do this year. You see, each stage will focus on group play of a sort. Teams will be divided into groups. They will compete based on the group that they are in. 

This was similarly done last year during the Home Series Weekends, but it was random, all over the place, and not very consistent at all. The groups that would happen at one Home Series would be different from the next competition, and it was just so messily done. 

But this year, the stages will make the groups more standardized and make a lot more sense. Also, they will have a lasting effect on the competition itself. This is largely because each of the five stages will have a different team entirely that will be in them. 

There are two groups per stage, with the 12 teams divided into groups of six teams each. These two groups are not randomly selected, either, as the top two teams after certain milestones will be the ones who select the first picks for each group. It will work uniquely. 

How it works is that the top two teams from each stage will then be put into separate two groups. The first-place team at that time in the first group will select a team to be put into the opposite group, and then it will switch to the second-place team. 

The second team will then select a team to be put into the opposite group; the first one. It will go to the team that was first picked by the No. 1 team. The team will have the opportunity to select the next team to join the opposite group.

It sounds complicated and a bit confusing on paper, but it is generally pretty simple. Essentially, the top two teams are placed in different groups after each stage. Every team picked gets to pick a team to join the opposite group until there are six teams in each of the two groups.  

From there, the next stage will proceed until it concludes the process starts all over again. Presumably, this will ensure that not every stage plays out the same as there should be different groupings every single time, so long as the competition doesn’t stagnate this year. 

Overall, it is a pretty impressive system that we expect to work well this year as it should make the whole season more interesting. There is a level of strategy involved as you may want to ensure that a tough team for your roster is in the opposite group, so you don’t have to deal with them as much, hopefully. 

For instance, perhaps you have Atlanta FaZe, the king of the last season, until they lost in the playoffs to the Dallas Empire, who is the only team that gives them trouble. They might want to avoid Dallas Empire and select them any chance they get so that they can, hopefully, be amazing throughout the season. 

Teams Will Earn Points in the Home Series Weekends

Once the groups for the stage have been selected, they will compete in three Home Series Weekends for that section of the Call of Duty League 2021 season leading up to a Major tournament. We will likely have around 15 Home Series Weekends this year.

The best part is that all 12 teams will compete in all three weeks of the stage, unlike last year, where only eight of the 12 teams competed in each event. The group play matches will happen in the Home Series Weekend events. Teams will earn points based on how well they do there. 

For this year, 10 points will be awarded to teams for each of the Home Series Weekend matches that they win. The point will matter a lot this year and not be some arbitrary system like last year. They will determine several things, including seeding and the playoffs at the end.

How the actual Home Series Weekends work is something that we are unsure of at this time. There were groups in each event last year, but it was only four per group, not six like it is this year. Does this mean that groups will only battle against one another or start in their groups, and then the top teams will make it to a more standard tournament like last year?

These are details that we don’t know of currently. While six teams is an even number, it doesn’t work super well with a group stage of play so it will be interesting to see how everything will play out in the various Home Series Weekends. 

After three weeks of Home Series Weekends in a stage have passed, we will come to the first of five Majors. These are the stage-ending tournaments that will give teams the chance to earn a whole lot of points. These tournaments will involve all 12 teams in a double-elimination format. 

Think of the format used for the playoffs last year but happening five different times in the season. The points that a team has will determine the seed that they get for the Major event. And then the place that teams get at the Major will determine how many more points they get.

The Majors’ points are a lot compared to the Home Series Weekends, with first place getting 75 points, second getting 60, third getting 50, and so on until the two last-place teams get nothing. It is a pretty unique system that could reward teams who might not do well in the Home Series but a lot better in the Majors. 

The points will add up across the five stages until the playoffs arrive. This isn’t mentioned in the announcement but based on what we know, the top eight teams with the most points will compete. The four bottom teams will not even have a chance at the championship title. 

Prizes for the Call of Duty League 2021 Season Revealed

Since all 12 teams are competing this year for the Majors and Home Series Weekends, the prizes given out will be different. There’s a total of $500,000 at stake in each of the five stages, for $2.5 million in total. 

And then there is another $2.5 million that will be at stake in the playoffs, with the 2021 champion winning $1.2 million alone, making for a $5 million esports league this year. That is a lot of money on the line for the 12 teams. There will be plenty of chances to earn a fair amount as the year goes on. 

Here’s how the prizes work for each Major this year:

  • 1st place: $200,000
  • 2nd place: $120,000
  • 3rd place: $80,000
  • 4th place: $40,000
  • 5th/6th place: $20,000 per team
  • 7th/8th place: $10,000 per team
  • 9th-12th place: Nothing

Call of Duty League 2021 Season Will Begin With Atlanta Home Series

Everything will kick off this year truly, except for the Kickoff Classic this weekend that will be a warm-up, with the first Home Series Weekend next month. The Atlanta FaZe Opening Weekend will act as the first Home Series and feature all 12 teams competing in this format for the first time. 

The actual groups have yet to be decided, but that is because the Kickoff Classic will be where the first stage’s groups will be determined. Since Dallas Empire and Atlanta FaZe were the top two teams last year, they are automatically placed in the top different groups and will be the first to select teams for the other group in stage one. 

Be sure to tune in this weekend to see the groups determined by the teams for the first stage and see some warm-up matches that could give us an idea of how the season will play out. We will follow up with more info once we know more about the stage groups and how the first Atlanta FaZe Home Series Weekend will work. 


Leave a Reply