Despite some initial uncertainty as the coronavirus outbreak caused a rash of cancellations to big events, the Call of Duty League 2020 season is back on track with all-digital online events that will run through July. After its launch in January and running four events through March 7, the 2020 season was brought to a halt as the pandemic grew. After a month hiatus and planning for fully-online functionality, Call of Duty League returns this weekend.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many scheduled events as the world isolates to mitigate the spread of the virus. This includes effectively canceling most all of 2020’s sporting events and seasons. Esports, however, have a distinct advantage, in that they can be done in a completely digital format when physical attendance isn’t possible. Players and fans alike don’t need to be physically present in order to compete or spectate. League Commissioner Johanna Faries said “I spent many years at the NFL, and saw firsthand how sports can lift the human spirit. No one wants to be in this situation, but we are, and we’re thankful that Call of Duty League can forge ahead and deliver live competition to fans when it’s probably needed most.”
There’s certainly nothing quite like being there live, but with that opportunity gone, Call of Duty League is making the most of its ability to hold digital events to finish out the inaugural season. Call of Duty League launched the 2020 season earlier this year with some significant changes from the previous Call of Duty World League events—the biggest perhaps being the franchising of teams to specific cities.
The online season continues on Friday, April 12, and fans can watch exclusively on YouTube. The Home Series Weekends will be held every other weekend until July 10, with the final three events taking place three weekends in a row. Plans for the Championship Weekend have yet to be announced, but it’s likely it will also take the form of an online event. You can check out the full schedule below:
Following the tournament structure of the live events, each weekend will span three days, starting with group stage play on Friday, knockout and semifinals matches on Saturday, and the big championship matches being held Sunday, where one team will be crowned champion. Of course, some of the original planned features of the League season are understandably absent here, including the celebrity-filled Hype Battles that would have provided a bit of a breather in between team play. Hype Battles themselves have faced a few roadblocks so far this season, with the very first one in January canceled due to Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. It seems like we won’t see the complete realization of this idea until the 2021 season, at least.
The first Home Series Weekend is Dallas, with the first match beginning at 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern on Friday, April 12. You can view the full schedule of events for the weekend (and all future weekends) on the Call of Duty League site.
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