Vancouver Canucks buy Call of Duty pro esports team

Sep 13 2019, 1:20 pm

Canucks Sports & Entertainment is diving even further into the growing esports scene.

The organization has announced that they’ve partnered up with Enthusiast Gaming, a video game and esports company, and franchised a professional Call of Duty team. The announcement comes less than a year after the Vancouver Titans, Vancouver’s professional Overwatch team, were unveiled to the public.

“Esports has shown extraordinary growth and we’re excited to be at the forefront with a new Call of Duty esports team,” Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. “With the continued support and expertise of our partners at Luminosity and Enthusiast Gaming, we believe the new Call of Duty esports league is also well-positioned for success.”

See also:

The newly-franchised team won’t be sharing space with the Canucks, the Titans, or the NLL Warriors, however. Day-to-day operations and home games of the new team will be based out of Seattle.

The Aquilini Group and Canucks Sports & Entertainment will oversee the new franchise, while Luminosity Gaming, another partner esports organization, will handle player recruitment.

The league they’ll be playing in

The Seattle-based team will be playing in a brand new league owned by Activision, the video game company responsible for Call of Duty.

From 2016 to 2019, the company owned and oversaw the Call of Duty World League (CWL). Activision recently announced on Reddit that they would be closing the current professional league and creating a brand new one. Similar to the Overwatch League (OWL), the new league will be franchised with city-based teams from around the world.

Activision said that so far, there are 12 teams included in the league: Seattle, London, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Paris, Toronto, and two teams in Los Angeles.

Teams will have between seven to 10 members and similar to other professional sports leagues, players will sign contracts and enter free agency.

The company also says that in this new league, pro players will receive a minimum base salary of $50,000 (USD) per year, health and retirement benefits, and housing. At least 50% of a team’s prize pool earning must also go towards the players.

More details about the league, its franchised teams, and how play will work will be announced in the near future.