theScore esports Daily (May 3): Activision Blizzard announces first five CoD franchise league spots, multiple Fortnite competitors receive bans

by Devin Jones May 3 2019
Thumbnail image courtesy of MLG/Activision

theScore esports Daily is a once-a-day briefing covering the top news stories from around the world of esports.

In a quarterly earnings report released Thursday, Activision Blizzard confirmed that it has officially sold the first five franchise spots in the upcoming franchised Call of Duty league.

"Following the blueprint we established and validated with the Overwatch League, we've now started the team sales process for our professional Call of Duty esports league and we're seeing strong demand for teams. We've already sold five franchises. In each case we're partnering with existing Overwatch team owners who have first-hand experience of our esports vision and capabilities and recognize the scale of the opportunity for a global, city-based Call of Duty league," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in an earnings calling.

While Activision Blizzard has yet to announce when the updated CWL will launch and declined to confirm how much a franchise spot costs, ESPN reported back in March that each franchise spot is going for a reported $25 million.

But according to a Tweet from Scott “Sir Scoots” Smith, that number could be closer to $40 million.

As noted in the earnings report, each of the five organizations who have purchased a franchise spot are existing owners of Overwatch teams competing in the Overwatch League, Activision Blizzard's first foray into competitive esports.

OverActive Media, the parent company behind OWL's Toronto Defiant as well as esports organization Splyce, is the Toronto organization involved. According to a press release from the company, "OAM is now the only esports organization in the world to own teams in the League of Legends, Overwatch League and Call of Duty."

Epic Games hands out multiple 14 day competitive bans for cheating

After social media was ablaze with allegations of cheating during qualifying matches for the Fortnite World Cup last week, Epic Games has stepped in and levied a verdict.

The result? 698 competitors including pro player Damion “XXiF” Cook were were given a 14-day competitive ban by epic for colluding across multiple games, a direct violation of rules 8.2.2 & 8.2.3 in Epic's official rulebook.

"Based on an internal investigation, we have concluded that a group of players attempted to undermine the Week 3 Fortnite World Cup Online Open competition on April 28 by colluding across several matches," Epic said in a blog post.

The ban will also see XXif forfeit his "Fortnite World Cup Finals qualification spot," according to Epic's official ruling. The post goes on to state that the "Next highest ranking player on the Week 3 Finals leaderboard for the NA-E region" will be given the qualifying spot.

But as to the disqualification of XXif, a lingering issue remains. If you read Epic's wording carefully, it seems that, after the 14-day ban, XXif will be free to continue to qualify for the $30 million final, a point Rod "Slasher" Breslau brings up during a Twitter thread addressing the situation.

Devin Jones is a content creator at theScore esports, you can follow him on Twitter.