Call Of Duty League Final On YouTube Breaks CoD Esports Record – Forbes

Sunday’s five games to one win by the Dallas Empire over the Atlanta FaZe in the first Call Of Duty League finals was the most watched CoD esports match in the game’s history, peaking at 331,000 viewers on YouTube.

“Call of Duty has been a long time personal favorite,” Ryan Wyatt, Global Head of YouTube Gaming, said via email, “so bringing the league to YouTube and seeing its positive momentum in viewership and subscribers throughout the season has been a massive win.”

The previous record in the league’s first season was a peak of about 200,000 live viewers, according to league figures, so the final certainly shattered its own mark. Like it sister league Overwatch League, the Call of Duty League was supposed to have a full season of weekly tournaments in its home markets that were inevitably canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. So both had to quickly pivot to online play, with YouTube being the match platform for both outfits. Overall viewership for the finals on Sunday was 206,000 AMA across all YouTube owned channels, per the league, with co-streaming viewership and VOD numbers to come.

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“What an epic finale to an amazing Call of Duty League Championship Weekend,”said Johanna Faries, Call of Duty League commissioner. “Congratulations to the Dallas Empire as the League’s first-ever champions, to the entire Envy Gaming organization, and to the great city of Dallas. You all earned the glory with a dominating performance. Thanks as well to all of our 12 CDL team franchises for making this inaugural season so successful, exciting, and memorable.” 

Wyatt pointed out that the league passed one million YouTube subscribers over the weekend and are now up to 1.1 million. That’s already well ahead of Overwatch League’s 571,000 subscribers. The Dallas Empire get $1,5 million for winning the league as well as a custom throne and the championship trophy.

Activision Blizzard ATVI , which owns Call of Duty and Overwatch, is hoping for greater success ahead after a trying year due to COVID-19. As I first reported for Forbes, Activision Blizzard recently hired former Major League Baseball deputy commissioner and COO Tony Petitti as its new president of sports and entertainment. He’ll be mainly tasked with improving these two leagues when it comes to the televised product and growing the games in their respective local markets.

“As soon as we get back to operating in local markets, I think you’re gonna see in-person experiences that rival traditional sports,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told me last month. “We’re in the first inning when you think about the opportunities around the world. I think there’s an enormous opportunity for us to build and grow those in their local markets.”

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