Rise Nation Is Looking to Become the Next Call of Duty League Team

by in Call of Duty | Jun, 26th 2020

Rise Nation is back and in action once again. The popular esports organization that is focused mainly on Call of Duty games has reinvented itself and is looking to come back with a fresher logo, design, and more. But that isn’t all that the team has in store for the Call of Duty community.

Rise Nation Could Join the Call of Duty League

Rise Nation revealed that it has plans to join the Call of Duty League in possibly Season 2, which would make it the first team to join the league post-launch. This is an exciting idea as we haven’t heard anything about the league expanding beyond the 12 teams that we currently have.

The news of this possible expansion into the Call of Duty League comes via an interview and report from ESPN. The team, co-founded by the Tennessee Titans lineman Rodger Saffold as well as business partner Kahreem Horsley, spoke to ESPN about looking to move into the space in a new and bigger way than ever before.

In the report, Horsley noted that the organization wishes more into the Call of Duty space than it currently has, including the Call of Duty League itself. The league is the pinnacle of Call of Duty esports currently, becoming the first pro league branded, franchised, and city-based like the NFL itself and other sports.

The first season of the Call of Duty League is going on right now, but Rise Nation is already looking to the future of what the league could be like with them included as part of the roster. According to co-founder Horsley, the organization has already been in talks with Activision and the league for some time.

Joining the League Is Only the First Target

Those talks date back to last year, which would have been in the early stages of the league before it started its first season. And those talks have continued past last year and into this year, going back as recently as the last few months.

This points to some possible interest on both sides, including Rise Nation itself and the Call of Duty League. In the meantime, while we wait for the second season of the league, Horsley noted that the team is still figuring everything out to secure a spot in the league.

Oddly enough, they noted that they aren’t just going to “restrict” themselves to just that goal, but it is the first target. This is an interesting statement, as it points to the organization wanting to do more than just joining the Call of Duty League in possibly its second season or beyond that.

This could indicate that Rise Nation isn’t just looking to join the league in the future, but to dominate it and go as far as possible against the other teams. This is intriguing for a team that previously bowed out of the Call of Duty games back in 2018.

Why Rise Left Call of Duty Games

The team was first formed in 2014 with Call of Duty and its team did quite well throughout the next few years, winning several open events in the Call of Duty World League as well as taking first place in the first stage of the Pro League, too, beating existing Call of Duty League teams like OpTic Gaming in the process.

This would all come to an end in 2018 when the Call of Duty League began forming and getting ready to happen this year. Spots for teams in the league reportedly cost a massive sum of money — around $25 million each — so this led to Rise dropping Call of Duty in 2018.

But it looks like the pieces are in place for Rise to rise back up again and make its return to the Call of Duty games with the official league itself. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the team launch its own Call of Duty League team in Season 2, as that seems likely to happen.

Even before Rise spoke on its attempt to join the league, it seemed natural that the league would expand some in the second season next year. The closest similar esports league to the COD League is the Overwatch League, which expanded to more cities after its first season.

What Could Happen if Rise Joins the League

Given the world nature of the Call of Duty League, it seems only natural to expand to new cities, states, and countries that haven’t been touched yet. The question remains: Where would the Rise team be located if they do indeed get one in the future?

Well, Saffold himself currently lives in Los Angeles, but that makes things problematic as we already have two LA-based teams. A third one doesn’t seem all too likely at this point. Rise could lean into the Tennessee Titans background and have a team located in that state, which is possible.

Nashville Rise sounds pretty awesome to us, so we could see that. But do we need more teams in the United States? After all, there is only one team from Canada right now and two in Europe. More teams from Europe or even dipping into Asia a bit would be great, so the possibilities are endless at this point.

But it also brings up the question of how many other teams would join the league in 2021? Having Rise be the only one to join the league wouldn’t make sense as that would put the league in a place of having an odd number of teams, which likely wouldn’t work at all.

There would need to be at least one more new team, but is that in the works right now? We haven’t heard about other interested teams, but it is possible that this could be happening behind the scenes. For now, we will have to wait and see.


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