Tying viewership rewards to esports is nothing new. Last year, Call of Duty League allowed players to earn a number of emblems, calling cards, double XP tokens, and other in-game rewards for watching the various broadcasts throughout the season. But this year, CDL might e upping its game. In an interview with Sports Business Journal, Chief Commercial Officer of Activision Blizzard esports Brandon Snow said that high-end viewership rewards like operator skins are coming this year.
While Activision Blizzard’s own Overwatch League has been doing viewer rewards for years, last year was the first time Call of Duty League has explored account linking, letting players earn in-game rewards for viewership. The shift to exclusively using YouTube was a transition period. Twitch supports drops, while YouTube requires players to be logged into their accounts and viewing through those avenues. CDL is looking to make the process easier this year as viewership for the esport rises.
Other rewards that CDL viewers will be able to earn include weapon charms, emblems, calling cards, and XP tokens, through a tiered system that grants rewards after reaching certain viewership thresholds. The teased operator skins are expected to be on the higher end of this tiered system, requiring viewers to watch quite a few hours of the broadcasts in order to earn these rewards. Activision will undoubtedly have more official announcements about how to link your accounts to earn rewards and what exactly those rewards will be as we approach the CDL 2021 season opener on February 11th.
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Warzone already has a purchasable CDL Operator in the game, with two variants that reverse the black and white color scheme of the outfit (seen below). Any Operator Skin viewership rewards will most likely be linked to the CDL operator, adding more variants and outfits.
Call of Duty League 2021 is being played within the latest game, Black Ops Cold War. In a big change, league play is now done on PC with controller, rather than a PlayStation console. This may have been due to the PS5’s limited availability at launch and waiting for Sony to iron out the bugs, but it’s unknown if league play will return to the console for the 2022 season.
Will you be watching Call of Duty League this year to earn the high-tier exclusive Operator Skins?