Call of Duty Esports: Chicago team joins the 2020 league along with Seattle, London

Call of Duty World League
Call of Duty World League /

The newest rendition of the Call of Duty World League is taking the step to franchises next year. Three new cities were announced last week.

In February of 2019, Activision announced its new ambitious change to the Call of Duty World League. Structured, franchised city-based teams competing in one league. This is a big step for a game that had largely run on tournament circuits, an online league, a partially offline league, and now a fully regional league. Last week, Activision announced the newest cities to be receiving organizations. Among them was Chicago, Illinois. NRG Esports is the organization behind the team.

NRG, started by Sacramento Kings owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, also is behind the San Francisco Shock. The Overwatch league model is the only other major city-based eSports endeavor. Chicago is not a part of the Overwatch League. There are now 12 cities in the league that is set to start in 2020.

Despite never fielding a team of their own, Miller and Mastrov jumped on the chance to form a team. “NRG has loved Call of Duty and the competitive pro and amateur scene for a long time now,” Mastrov said. “The formation of the new Call of Duty esports league provided the perfect opportunity for the org to jump in.”

Joining Chicago is the likes of Seattle, London, Toronto, New York and Paris.

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Although not many big events have been played in Chicago, the area around it housed Optic Gaming, one of the biggest brands in Call of Duty for their formative years. Hector “Hecz” Rodriguez is one of the masterminds behind the Optic brand, and just a few days ago, NRG announced that he will come on board as a co-CEO of their esports organization.

NRG is quickly becoming one of the most successful organizations in eSports. With the San Francisco Shock going to the OWL Grand Finals, the Counterstrike squad placing in the top four at the major, and an exciting new Gears of War roster, NRG is a force to reckon with.

Mastrov, Hecz, and Miller have no intention of slowing down either. “We hope to transfer our winning formula from the San Francisco Shock of the Overwatch League to the new Call of Duty eSports league and our Chicago team,” Mastrov said.

“We aspire for Call of Duty to be one of the biggest and best leagues on the planet,” Call of Duty Esports Commissioner Johanna Faries said. “The addition of best-in-class organizations in Chicago, London, and Seattle is a strong step toward this ambition.”