Everything You Need to Know About the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend
Activision announced the Call of Duty League last year near the launch of Modern Warfare, the latest entry in the long-running first-person shooter series. The league would be the new version and replacement of the esports competition for the franchise, supported for years to come.
The Call of Duty League takes the tried and true formula of having favorite fan teams battle it out against one another and puts a franchised twist on it. It is much like the Overwatch League and traditional, physical sports like basketball and football.
The best pro players from around the world are divided up and scouted out by city and region-based teams in various parts of the world from North America to Europe. Those teams are in their locations (for now), but the rosters could change like in regular sports teams.
Those 12 franchised teams compete each week to see who will earn points and wins as the league goes on. Various competitions, both home and away for each team, show off their skilled players to see who can make the playoffs and championship for the season.
Call of Duty League Kicks Off Its First Season This Weekend
But before we can get to the playoffs and championships, it all starts here with the very first event of the very first season of the Call of Duty League. The launch weekend is happening this week with 12 teams from the league kicking off the action against one another.
The Call of Duty League launch weekend is a massive event Activision is rightfully treating as such. It is quite unlike most other events of this kind that will happen throughout the season as it has a lot of hype, competition, and other events surrounding it.
Players have been looking forward to the event for some time now as it gives us our first look at how the rest of the season will go. At this time, we aren’t sure which of the teams will be the best of the best. But, these first matches will be crucial in setting up the league leaderboard and setting each team out on the right (or wrong) foot.
Call of Duty League Launch Weekend Basics
The Call of Duty League launch weekend kicks off January 24-26 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The weekend-long affair features a ton of other side events and competitions happening at the same time.
The launch weekend hosts one of the 12 teams, the Minnesota ROKKR, which is the usual format for the league this season. Each of the 12 teams hosts some of the other teams each week at their home location, offering everyone the chance to have the home advantage at some point.
However, Minnesota has an interesting advantage as they kick off the season with the launch weekend in their backyard. Also, unlike the other home events happening throughout the season, all 12 teams in the league compete this weekend to start the season off right.
In other events like this one, only around eight of the 12 teams compete. Groups rotate to give everyone a chance to battle it out against one another. The teams compete live and in-person for the three days of matches.
Matches play out in 5v5 bouts between two teams on the PlayStation 4 Pro console only. Each match divides up into the best of five rounds with various maps and modes breaking up the rounds to keep things interesting, as well as ensure teams vary in skill.
Currently, three-game modes confirmed for the league are Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, and Domination. Only some of the maps from each of those three game modes are available for use in the league to keep the competition fierce.
In the middle of matches, teams will have the opportunity to substitute one of their players out for another on their team, much like in traditional sports. Each of the 12 teams has a full roster of five main players on their team plus a few substitutes who can jump in whenever necessary.
How to Watch Call of Duty League Launch Weekend
While the action in the Call of Duty League launch weekend is exciting, it will only be the case if you can watch it. Thankfully, you can watch the event live and in-person if you are local to the area or are willing to travel to Minnesota for the whole event.
The event takes place at The Minneapolis Armory, an events venue suitably named for this launch event. If you want to purchase a ticket to the event, you will find that it is quite pricey for this opening weekend. There are a few different options that you have like at concerts and the like that you can choose from, depending on how close and personal you want to get.
? YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE ?— Minnesota RØKKR (@ROKKR) January 20, 2020
Venue Passes for the Call of Duty Launch Weekend ARE RUNNING OUT. We have less than 100 left PER DAY and they are selling quickly.
Don't miss out on the biggest esports event Minnesota has ever SEEN ? Get your tickets NOW: https://t.co/X0n4Z2tduo pic.twitter.com/JARNYnTtAf
The cheapest ticket options are set at $25 each, but these are just basic venue passes only. You can watch the event from the standing areas only, so you have to stand around for the matches you are there for.
From there, general admission floor seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the main floor plus having access to the standing areas as with the venue pass. Those seats run for $65 while the reserved seats are just a little bit more at $75. It guarantees your seat on the main floor just feet from the stage itself.
Lastly, we have the Valhalla VIP pass for $150 for true fans out there. These seats are closest to the match action. VIP pass holders get preferred entry, can skip the line entirely, and get exclusive merch. This pass is described as a behind-the-scenes venue tour.
Unfortunately, the issue is paying those prices per day. Yes, that is per day and not for the entire weekend. This is good for those who only want to watch their favorite team or player compete. For those wanting to watch everything, it’s going to cost you.
There are weekend passes for the entire event available at a slight discount for some of the options. You can get the normal venue pass for the standard price of $75, the general admission floor seats for $160, the reserved seats for $190, and the Valhalla VIP for $390 instead of $450.
For those who can’t attend the event, you can watch the action live on the official Call of Duty Twitch channel. If you miss the action, you can catch the matches on demand later on the league’s YouTube channel.
Launch Weekend Teams and Match Schedule
For the Call of Duty League launch weekend, all 12 teams compete in the event as opposed to eight for most other home events throughout the inaugural season. You can find the full list of all 12 teams below:
- Atlanta FaZe
- Chicago Huntsmen
- Dallas Empire
- Florida Mutineers
- London Royal Ravens
- Los Angeles Guerrillas
- Minnesota ROKKR: Hosting team
- New York Subliners
- Optic Gaming Los Angeles
- Paris Legion
- Seattle Surge
- Toronto Ultra
Each team competes in around two matches throughout the weekend, with a break between their respective matches. The schedule for the weekend begins with the doors opening on Friday at 3 p.m. and open until approximately 8:30 p.m. local Minnesota time.
Though the doors open rather early, the first match won’t be happening until 4:30 p.m. local time with the very first match in the league being the Chicago Huntsmen taking on Dallas Empire, two of the most highly anticipated teams in the league.
At 5:45 p.m., the second match of the league takes place with the Seattle Surge versus Florida Mutineers. Following that, at 7 p.m., it’s Los Angeles Guerrillas versus Minnesota Rokkr in the show-stopping match.
The first night of the Call of Duty League launch weekend concludes at 8:30 p.m. with the musical performance of Shredders. Events continue on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. with the match between the New York Subliners and London Royal Ravens.
From there, we have the Toronto Ultra versus Seattle Surge in their second match of the event at 2:45 p.m. local time. At 4 p.m., the Los Angeles Guerrillas takes on Florida Mutineers in both of their second matches for the event.
At 5:15 p.m., Optic Gaming Los Angeles and Paris Legion make their league debuts against each other. The final match on Saturday starts at 6:30 p.m. as Atlanta FaZe squares off against Dallas Empire in its second match of the launch event.
The day concludes with a special event at 7:45 p.m. On Sunday, the first match kicks off at 1:30 p.m. local time. Paris Legion and London Royal Ravens battle it out in their second matches of the launch weekend.
Then at 3 p.m., the Chicago Huntsmen takes on Optic Gaming LA. While that match is going on, the league’s celebrity showdown match goes down in a 2v2 format. Following that, New York Subliners takes on the Atlanta FaZe at 5 p.m. The final match of the event begins at 6:15 p.m. with Minnesota Rokkr and Toronto Ultra.
League Challengers and Other Events Happening This Weekend
Even if your favorite player or team finishes competing in the event, there is a lot to do during the Call of Duty League launch weekend in Minneapolis. While all of that is going on, the first live Challengers event takes place on a secondary stage.
Amateurs and pros who aren’t in the actual league can compete to make a name for themselves, earn some cash, and, hopefully, catch the eye of one of the 12 main teams in the pro league.
Besides that, the celebrity hype battle takes place on Sunday. It offers something unique for fans to check out if they want a break from the normal 5v5 matches. Lastly, there’s also an old-school arcade set up at the venue for fans to take a break to show their skills.