The Call of Duty League is the top tournament on the Call of Duty platform, and it’s a multi-million dollar competition. However, it’s also a very young competition, having only experienced its inaugural season in 2020, on the Call of Duty Modern Warfare title.
Before the Call of Duty League was the Call of Duty World League, a remarkably similar competition that ran successfully from 2016 to 2019. But, if there’s one thing the Call of Duty landscape is used to, it’s change – and the Call of Duty League has shown massive promise in its infancy.
Today, it’s the true home for competitive Call of Duty. It’s both the top tier and foundation of Call of Duty esports, and where Call of Duty betting is concerned, the ‘CDL’ is king. The competition features the best Call of Duty talent in the world, both remarkable rookies and veritable veterans, and it’s adored by fans the world over.
Aside from the ever-popular Challengers scene, there’s no competition more important to Call of Duty than the Call of Duty League.
How is the Call of Duty League Structured?
There are twelve teams in the Call of Duty League, each of them built on a franchise basis. Reportedly, it cost each individual team $25 million to break into the Call of Duty League, giving it immediate and massive financial backing. The tournament is operated by Activision Blizzard, the competitive brain behind the likes of the Overwatch League.
Although Call of Duty has been the biggest first-person-shooter since it first launched way back in 2003, it is only recently that the esports scene has really taken off. There has been an air of true competitive spirit since 2008, with the launch of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, but recent titles have really energised the platform.
It’s no big secret that Call of Duty is nowhere near as prominent as the likes of League of Legends or DOTA in the esports space, but it’s certainly coming up.
In the Call of Duty League, twelve teams go head to head across a regular season that is ultimately capped off by a play-off stage. This regular season is broken up into several stages, each of which is punctuated by a high-stakes Major Tournament.
The ultimate victor is crowned the Call of Duty League champion – just as Dallas Empire was in the inaugural season in 2020.
Which Teams Play in the Call of Duty League?
The Call of Duty League teams are made up of some of the finest talent the world has to offer. It’s a stage for the best of the best, and the teams truly reflect that fact. They’re all heavy hitters, massively popular contenders, and at this point, household names.
- Atlanta FaZe
FaZe is one of the most instantly recognisable brands in modern gaming. It’s a dominant force with a following of tens of millions, and it can be found often overwhelming any opponents brave enough to face it.
- Dallas Empire
Dallas Empire features some of the most cracked veteran talent in the League, and it holds the honor of being the inaugural champion of the Call of Duty League.
- Florida Mutineers
The Mutineers make for a capable side, but they’re more of a mid-table team that occasionally surprises viewers.
- London Royal Ravens
One of just two European teams in the Call of Duty League, the Royal Ravens make up one of the true underdog sides in the League.
- Los Angeles Guerrillas
The Guerrillas is a relatively team that features some capable veteran competitors, but it too is a mid-table side.
- LA Thieves
The LA Thieves is one of the newest teams in the Call of Duty League, coming in fresh for the 2020 season. It’s a capable team with huge financial backing, but it’s not the most consistent side on the table.
- Minnesota Rokkr
Rokkr is a team that is altogether quite unpredictable, flitting between dominant winning sprees and underwhelming losing streaks. It’s a mid-table side that cannot be counted out, but it’s not the best the League has to offer.
- New York Subliners
NYSL is the straight definition of the underdog, having entered the 2021 season of the Call of Duty League with low expectations. However, it performed a huge sweep and climbed the table with eagerness and tenacity, and is now a side to be feared.
- OpTic Chicago
Call of Duty and OpTic go together like peanut butter and jelly – they’re made for each other. OpTic Chicago is a franchise that only entered the League in 2021, but it’s made up of some of the most advanced talent the Call of Duty scene has to offer.
- Paris Legion
Paris Legion is the second European team in the Call of Duty League, and although there is some skill in the roster, it often lacks exhilarating performance. It’s a low-table side that struggles to gain traction in many situations.
- Seattle Surge
Although the Seattle Surge side has great players on the roster, it often fails to secure the big wins over more capable teams. Like Paris, it’s a low-table side that often has unfavourable odds where Call of Duty betting is concerned.
- Toronto Ultra
The only Canadian side in the Call of Duty League is certainly a force to be reckoned with. However, throughout the 2021 Call of Duty League season, the side of Ultra was comprised entirely of European talent, which says something quite bold, we think.
How is the Call of Duty League Played?
The Call of Duty League is quite a simple competition, relying on traditional modes and measures. Throughout the tournament, two teams will go head-to-head in ‘best-of-five’ match-ups that take place across pre-defined maps and game modes. These games will rely on the following pattern:
- Search and Destroy
- Search and Destroy
There are relatively strict rules to follow, but for the most part, the League is easy to understand. There’s a massive focus on in-game movement and ‘gunny’ ability, but there’s also considerable importance placed on map knowledge and tactical decisions.
If you’re a fan of Call of Duty, you’ll be playing in the exact same scenarios as the top competitive talent. It can help give you a serious edge if you’re looking to dabble in some Call of Duty betting. As the season unravels, there are some changes made to rulesets, ‘Gentlemen’s Agreements’, and maps, but they’re often not too disruptive.
Like many other games, Call of Duty delivers updates throughout the course of any given year, and these updates impact the League. There are weapon balances applied, the ‘meta’ may change, and certain exploits or tactics come and go.
How to Watch the Call of Duty League
As with most esports tournaments, the Call of Duty League is streamed on YouTube by the organisers. However, it can also be watched on Twitch. At the moment, it’s not broadcasted on any traditional television platforms, but it’s likely just a matter of time before that fact is changed.
When you watch the Call of Duty League online, you’ll often be given an opportunity to take part in giveaways. In many cases, platforms will offer viewers exclusive ‘goodies’ simply for tuning into the event. Furthermore, watching the Call of Duty League live gives you an edge when it comes to in-play esports betting.
Although, owing to the natural occurrence of timezones, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the Call of Duty League schedule. The schedules are usually published in EST, and if you’re located in the United Kingdom, you’ll need to stay up late to catch the action.
How to Bet on the Call of Duty League
Call of Duty grows bigger with each passing day, and so too does the number of esportsbooks covering the tournament. As esports becomes bigger, esports betting becomes much more lucrative and tempting. However, how do you go from knowing nothing, to making money with Call of Duty betting?
Firstly, you’ll need to find which esportsbook works best for you. There are plenty out there to choose from, ranging from GG.bet to Betway, and from Unikrn to Cyber.bet, but which is best? In truth, there’s no real way to answer that, as every esportsbook is different.
It’s best to play the field, take advantage of the offers each esportsbook presents, and try to find the best odds on each platform.
However, specialist esportsbooks like GG.bet and Unikrn will always be the better option, and they’ll often offer more diverse markets.
Although, these markets won’t ever be too diverse. You’ll easily find outright winner markets, but you can also expect to see markets centered around kill counts, map wins, or even MVPs.
Top Tips for Call of Duty League Betting
As with many sports and esports, it isn’t advised to just jump in and place blind wagers. Here are the top Call of Duty League betting tips you’ll need to succeed:
- Take the time to do a little research. While the Call of Duty League (and the game itself) is relatively easy to understand, you’ll need to know a few things. Firstly, learn which players are considered the ‘top dogs’ of the title, and try to study team tactics. While the odds will sometimes suggest which team is most likely to win, you’ll need to know if there’s anything going on behind the scenes that might help you.
- Have faith in the underdog. As with any sport, placing your faith in the underdog often pays off extremely well. There are several teams in the Call of Duty competitive scene that might not be at the top of the table, but they’re just as tenacious and determined as the best teams. Take the risk, and the rewards will be tangible.
- Try to actually watch the game itself. There are plenty of opportunities to watch a little Call of Duty, starting with streams, and ending with spectating the tournaments themselves. Whenever a new title launches, it’s quite important to watch people play it (if you’re not already playing it yourself). By doing this, you’ll learn about the maps, key game modes, weapons, and even the players themselves.