Activision outlines new Call of Duty Esports 2020 team structure

Henry Stenhouse,

August 21, 2019 10:46 PM

With guaranteed salaries, health care and retirement benefits, things are looking up for Call of Duty Esports players.

With the Call of Duty World League wrapped up, Activision has big plans for the future of competitive CoD. In a post on the CoDCompetitive subreddit last night, an official account laid out the structure for the coming year, including details on the roster construction, salaries and contracts for the professional players.

As suspected, the competitive Call of Duty scene will be swapping to an Overwatch League-style format, with teams based on cities across the world. The good news for players? Things are going to get an awful lot more sustainable as any competing sides will need to offer their players a minimum base salary of $50,000 USD, as well as health care and retirements benefits. They’ll also get housing assistance from their own side when needed too. On top of that, at least 50% of any prize money the roster earns must go directly to the players.

The Call of Duty 2020 season will continue the 5v5 format of previous years, but teams will need to field a roster of between 7-10 players at all times. To avoid too much confusion and team swapping, current organizations who move into the new league format will have the first chance to sign their standing list of players.

The amateur circuit will also be continuing under the Path to Pro name. Activision will be involving themselves directly by helping to “support and administer extensive amateur competitions, both online and via open bracket tournaments in cities around the world, with dedicated prize pools.” More details are due to follow soon on the amateur circuit.

Here’s everything outlined in the post for the coming year and Call of Duty League:

  • The next season of Call of Duty esports for Pro Players will begin in 2020.
  • Pro match play will be 5v5 Multiplayer team versus team competition, played on console. The rules may include midseries substitutions.
  • The minimum pro roster size per team is 7; the maximum pro roster size per team is 10.
  • An Open Signing Window for all pro players begins September 3, 2019. This means that any player may negotiate and sign a new contract with any team in the league at this time. For the avoidance of doubt, players who are currently under contract with an existing organization remain subject to the terms of that contract while they negotiate new league contracts.
  • Existing Call of Duty World League organizations who are transitioning into the new league as a city-based team will have the ability to sign players who are currently on their 2019 CWL rosters to new contracts 8 days earlier than any other organization beginning August 26.
  • All players will be required to sign a new form contract in order to be eligible to compete in the upcoming league.
  • Contract negotiation is between a player and teams. The League Office will not advise players or teams in contract negotiations.
  • All pro players in the league will receive a minimum base salary of $50,000 USD per year, health care benefits, and retirement benefits. Teams are required to distribute at least 50% of their prize pool earnings to players directly.
  • All pro player contracts will be guaranteed contracts; thus, any team that drops a player from their roster without cause is required to pay out that player’s remaining salary.
  • All teams may offer their players housing in the form of a suitable place to live or cash stipend but are not required to do so. If a team does not offer housing, it must submit a plan to the League Office detailing how it will assist its players in finding housing during the season. The League does not require that players live in the cities they represent.
  • Teams are responsible for coordinating and acquiring any visa paperwork required for players to compete around the world. The League Office will support teams and players in this process as needed.
  • Teams may send up to 2 pro players from their roster to compete in the Path to Pro events held throughout the season. Teams may contract up to 4 total pro players to have 2-way contracts at a given time.

For current Call of Duty esports players who are under existing contracts that extend through January 2020:

  • Existing Call of Duty World League teams that are transitioning into the new league will have the right to match a competing offer made to a player on their current roster from another team in the new league. The matching period will be limited to a maximum of 7 days from the date of the initial contract submission to the league.
  • All Call of Duty World League teams will have the ability to negotiate a contract buyout fee to be paid by the team in the new league. Buyout fees carry no set minimum and are capped at 100 percent of the player’s salary in the new league plus any applicable guaranteed bonuses.
  • The right to match and buyout fees are subject to any contractual limitations on such fees that the player has negotiated in the player contract with the Call of Duty World League team.
  • Player trades among teams in the pro league may take place through majority of the 2020 season.

We’ll be sure to update you as soon as we have further details on the amateur and pro Call of Duty League structure for next year.


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