Toronto-based esports organization OverActive Media announced that it has acquired the rights to a franchise in the new global, city-based Call of Duty League.
The parent company of esports outfit Splyce, OverActive Media is now the only esports organization in the world to own permanent franchises in the League of Legends, Overwatch League and Call of Duty professional leagues. The company runs the Toronto Defiant, who landed a franchise expansion slot in the Overwatch League.
“Our expanded partnership with Activision Blizzard and the acquisition of the Toronto Call of Duty franchise signals yet another significant step toward our goal,” Chris Overholt, President and CEO of OverActive Media, said. “Today, we stand alone as the only organization who can offer our marketing partners, investors and fans access to the three most important esports leagues in the world.”
In addition to Toronto, four other teams have been awarded spots in the league: Atlanta, Dallas, Paris, and New York. Like Toronto, all four have Overwatch League franchises.
“We are very excited to be a seminal franchise in the new city-based Call of Duty league. We can’t wait to launch this new team, introduce our players to our great city and to our incredibly passionate Toronto fan community in the months ahead,” Overholt added.
Activision Blizzard, whose subsidiary Activision produces the Call of Duty series, is one of the most successful gaming and entertainment companies in the world. Alongside Call of Duty, the company develops and produces popular games such as World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment owns the Overwatch League, while Major League Gaming, another Activision subsidiary, runs the league.
Major League Gaming also operates the Call of Duty World League, which features league-style competition and open events throughout the year, including an amateur circuit. Esports organizations such as OverActive Media’s Splyce, OpTic Gaming, and 100 Thieves compete in league play.
The new Call of Duty league will rely on Blizzard’s experience with the Overwatch League model of city-based franchises. Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, stressed the importance of familiarity in creating the league.
“In each of the five founding franchises announced today, we are partnering with existing Overwatch League team owners who have first-hand experience of our esports vision and capabilities and recognize the scale of the opportunity for a global, city-based Call of Duty league,” said Kotick.
The league is expected to announce more information about the five franchises and other team sales in the coming months.