Sources have leaked that Activision Blizzard has started the process of selling the franchise spots for the city-based Call of Duty Pro League. The prices are reportedly $25 million per team.
Activision Blizzard confirmed the rumours regarding a franchised league during an earnings call last month.
Who has first picks
Over the course of the past week, Activision Blizzard has started holding meetings with potential buyers for the league. This includes Call of Duty professional teams and ownership groups of the Overwatch League.
Activision Blizzard has requested a non-binding indication of interest from teams over the next 14 days. Overwatch League teams owners will have the first rigtht of negotiation for the spots.
The geolocated franchise league is expected to start in 2020. Meaning the upcoming Call of Duty could very well be tailored towards Esports more than ever. This is also in line with the Overwatch League teams aim to move to their home markets.
We are still waiting on details regarding where teams will play in the first season of the franchised Call of Duty league. The current Pro League takes place in Columbus, Ohio. The current league is hosted at the MLG Arena.
Activision Blizzard acquired Major League Gaming (MLG) in the early stages of 2016. Activision Blizzard has begun to restructure internally. This is to create Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. The division will oversee all esports plans and developments in their respective titles.
How many spots are available
There are sixteen teams currently competing in the league. Teams that qualified for the league are from both North America and Europe. Relegation currently exists in the league. However, relegation will be removed once franchising is in place.
It is expected that between 12 to 16 spots will be available to buy for the franchised league. This is subject to increase. As we have seen in Overwatch after Season 1 additional franchise positions became available.