Activision Sued Over Alleged Call of Duty Esports Monopoly

a man counting money

OpTic Gaming Takes on Activision in Massive $680M Lawsuit Over Call of Duty Esports ‘Monopoly’

The esports world has been rocked by a massive $680 million lawsuit filed against Activision by senior members of OpTic Gaming, one of the most prominent organizations in the Call of Duty esports scene.

The lawsuit alleges that Activision has maintained a strict monopoly over the Call of Duty esports ecosystem, imposing restrictive policies and excessive costs on teams and players.

Who’s Suing Activision, and Why

The lawsuit was primarily filed by Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez and Seth ‘Scump’ Abner, two influential figures within OpTic Gaming.

According to the lawsuit, Activision has exercised an iron grip over every aspect of the Call of Duty esports scene, from sponsorships to tournament organization, fostering an anticompetitive environment that has enriched Activision at the expense of teams and players.

The Call of Duty League: A Controversial Venture?

At the heart of the controversy lies the Call of Duty League (CDL), a franchised esports league launched by Activision in 2020 to replace the more open Call of Duty World League format.

However, the prestigious CDL was met with widespread backlash from fans and organizations alike because of many reasons:

  1. Excessive entry fees: Teams or Esports Organizations have to pay a staggering $27.5 million to secure a spot in CDL
  2. Sponsorship restrictions: Activision apparently restricts teams from securing their own sponsors, limiting revenue opportunities.
  3. Tournament participation: Players are allegedly prohibited from participating in non-CDL tournaments, restricting their ability to earn outside of the league.

Activision’s Response

Activision swiftly dismissed the lawsuit’s claims, asserting that Rodriguez and Abner had demanded “tens of millions of dollars” to avoid litigation.

The company vowed to “strongly defend” against the allegations, labeling them as “meritless” and lacking factual or legal basis.

The Future of Call of Duty Esports

With Microsoft’s recent layoffs affecting Activision Blizzard employees and the collapse of the Overwatch League last year, concerns arise about the Call of Duty League’s future.

Will this lawsuit further fracture the CDL, or will Activision’s grip on the esports scene remain unshaken?

Sources: Bloomberg Law, Microsoft layoffs news

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