The recent final of the Call of Duty League’s first season brought the discipline to the new heights. The FaZe vs Dallas Empire match has gathered 331k Peak Viewers, thus breaking the record of the 2018 World Cup.
First of all, it should be reminded that we've already talked about the COD League's first season. In our series of articles, you can find the summary of the results of the first half of the season, its regular stage, as well as some talk about the competition's most popular teams.
For Call of Duty, the year didn't stat that great: the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has put the existing plans for the competition into question. The league's format was changed to an online one within the shortest possible time. This caused the discipline to lose the home and away matches – in other words the very content that was supposed to serve as its newest attraction.
As we've noted in the previous articles, the initial impact of changes was negative, with the online stops failing to attract the proper number of viewers in the beginning. Still, there was a growth of viewability as the final stage approached.
This allowed the Call of Duty League 2020 Finals to show the pinnacle of the discipline's performance to date. The event's final match of Atlanta FaZe vs Dallas Empire has attracted 331 thousand peak viewers – which is 2% more than the previous record set by the Call of Duty World League Championship 2018.
The discipline's popular streamers have gathered much excitement around the event. Responsible for attracting the public interest were such personalities as Vikkstar123 and CouRageJD. However, their contribution is not as huge as one could expect – for example, Vikkstar brought the finale only 2.8% of the total hours watched.
The English-language broadcast brought the event the main part of its audience. The French-language stream contributed less than 1% to the total hours watched. Overall, the titular championship of the discipline didn't provide that much of a variety of language – which is, obviously, because Call of Duty (or rather its 5x5 mode) is popular exclusively in North America. Meanwhile, the other continents tend to follow only the shooter's battle royale mode.
Chicago Huntsmen certainly stood out among the other participants of the league. The team started to gain a powerful momentum starting from the very beginning of the season. Nearly every tournament they've participated in resulted in the team becoming the most popular one in the average viewers ranking.
During the playoffs the representatives of Chicago lost the final match of the losers bracket, thus finishing the season by arriving to the third spot and earning $600 thousand. Dallas Empire became this year's champion. The first spot brought the “imperials” $1.5 million, while their rivals from the final Atlanta FaZe earned $900 thousand for the silver spot.
Comparison by results of the finals alone makes Atlanta FaZe the most popular team. The matches of the clan of "trick-shooters" gathered 182 thousand average viewers. In turn, the champions from the Dallas Empire came second with 168 thousand. Closing the top 3 were the favorites of the regular stage – Chicago Huntsmen, with the result of 128 thousand viewers.
Talking about the tournaments, it's worth comparing the Call of Duty League to the Overwatch League – given that both competitions were attracting a decent number of viewers, and both began to be broadcast on YouTube in 2020. The tournament has already surpassed the peak viewers result of the last year's season of Overwatch League by a few percent – but its average viewers indicator is still inferior to that of its counterpart. Overall, given that the results of OWL saw a huge decline this year (which is something that we've talked about), CDL seems to be doing more than fine.
From the other side, CDL City Circuit 2020 Championship turned out to be much less popular. The event gathered merely 57 thousand peak viewers – which, compared to the finals, was quite unimpressive.
The first season of Call of Duty League was quite successful. The league brought a new format to the discipline, one that the viewers have enjoyed. This is proven by the new record set by the game, which makes the process of waiting for the next season of the competition all that much more exciting.