The Call of Duty World League is the official esports tournament for the Call of Duty series and it’s organised by Activision Blizzard themselves. It’s no longer news at this point that the company wants to evolve the league by implementing a franchising aspect to the League, similar to the Overwatch League (OWL).
Recently, the folks over at Dexerto have obtained a bunch of information regarding the COD Franchise League including minimum salaries for players, team sizes, prize money distribution, and more.
According to Dexerto’s sources, teams taking part in the league will have to appoint a general manager and be comprised of 7-10 players in a team. It’s been agreed that players will be paid a minimum salary of US$50,000.
There’s no stipulated salary limit for players but the league will have a “competitive balance tax” similar to the Overwatch League. Apparently, the maximum player payroll before competitive balance tax is set to be US$1.575 million in year 1. Here’s how the tax basically works:
When a player is paid above US$1.575 million, every dollar above that amount is divided by the rest of the team who are paid within in the limit and distributed to them. In traditional sports, this is also known as a a luxury tax.
The teams will pay salaries directly to the players and prize money distribution is decided by the teams themselves. However, Activision Blizzard plans to set a minimum of 50% of the prize money must go to the team’s players and it can then be divided according to the team’s discretion.
The document that Dexerto acquired also stated that teams will be “responsible for costs and expenses of fulfilling their responsibilities and exploiting their rights”.
As per any Franchise Leagues, the franchise slots must be bought and it’s expected that a slot will cost over US$45 million in ten years time which means that they plan to support and develop this project for a long time.
It was also said that media rights are expected to be worth approximately US$20 million in year 1 but it wasn’t specifically stated how this will be earned.
The League is proposed to run from January to July and is due to start in 2020. New Call of Duty releases will be scheduled for Fall on the calendar. In total, the League hopes to expand to 28 city-based teams.
Dexerto has confirmed that the leak is trustworthy but another source added: “currently these details are subject to change between now and the official announcement.”
The outlet reached out Activision for comments and received the usual corporate response saying that they can’t say much about any unconfirmed information regarding the League but they pointed out that some of the information was inaccurate.
“As a matter of policy, we don’t typically comment on rumors and speculation. What we will say however is that there are factual inaccuracies in this reporting. Further information on the future of Call of Duty esports is forthcoming and we look forward to sharing it with the community soon. In the meantime, we’re watching and celebrating the 2019 Call of Duty World League Championship taking place this weekend.”
– Activision Blizzard, responding to Dexerto.