How OpTic Gaming’s Lawsuit Against Activision Could Change Esports Forever

a man counting money

Esports fans around the world were shocked when OpTic Gaming co-owner Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez and star player Seth “Scump” Abner filed a lawsuit against game publisher Activision Blizzard last month.

The lawsuit revealed some juicy details about Activision’s contract with Call of Duty League franchise owners, sparking speculation that the league’s revenue model could be set for a major overhaul.

What Does The Lawsuit Reveal About The CDL’s Finances?

According to the lawsuit documents, Activision Blizzard currently retains exclusive rights to the CDL’s most lucrative sponsorships, including deals with brands and console platforms.

The publisher also takes a 50% cut of all CDL revenue, leaving franchise owners feeling short-changed.

Franchise owners are now pushing to renegotiate the terms, allowing them access to bigger sponsorship deals and a larger share of revenue.

This could fundamentally change how money flows in the CDL and esports more broadly.

Why Are Fans Hailing This As A Landmark Moment?

For years, esports professionals have complained about the unfair revenue splits with game publishers like Activision Blizzard.

Franchise owners take all of the financial risks of setting up teams and venues, while publishers reap much of the reward.

This lawsuit finally reveals detailed figures on just how skewed the relationship has become in the CDL.

Fans are optimistic that the publicity will force Activision to compromise and allow a more equitable split of revenues.

There is a sense that this lawsuit could be a watershed moment for the whole esports industry.

A victory for H3CZ and Scump may inspire other franchise owners to push back against unfair deals.

What Changes Can We Expect To See In The CDL?

If the franchise owners get their way, expect more big-name brand sponsorships directly with CDL teams rather than the league itself.

This could dramatically increase revenue for franchise owners.

We may also see lucrative new revenue streams opened up, such as in-game skins and accessories featuring team branding.

With a bigger slice of the pie, owners will be eager to explore new money-making opportunities.

It’s unlikely Activision would hand over complete control to the franchise owners.

But a reasonable (70/30) revenue split in favor of the teams seems a realistic compromise target.

Will This Dispute Destroy The Call of Duty League?

Activision recently outsourced the Overwatch League to ESL FACEIT, so it’s possible the CDL could go the same way.

However, settling this lawsuit could actually save the CDL and cement its long-term future under Activision’s stewardship.

Both sides want to see the league survive and thrive.

With fan interest at an all-time high, now is the perfect opportunity to reset the relationship on a more equal footing.

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