Future of CoD Esports – Going Global?

Published: May 22, 2024

What can be done to take Call of Duty esports to the next level, improving its stand in Europe and other regions?

Call of Duty esports kicked off back in 2013, with the first CoD tournaments mostly in the United States. From day one, Call of Duty was celebrated as one of the few true North American shooter titles, competing with the likes of Halo and also Overwatch.

More than 10 years later, CoD esports has enjoyed an all-time peak viewership of 439,776 viewers and a steady esports scene structured by the Call of Duty League.

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Image Credits: Activision Blizzard

CoD Esports – Born and raised in the USA

Call of Duty esports maintains focus mostly on its North American community, with the following manifestations:

When it comes to player distribution in Call of Duty esports, 80% of players are from North America. It’s clear that CoD esports has a strong relationship with North America – what about Call of Duty betting?

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Image Credits: Minnesota Rokkr

Thanks to an esports betting report from Abios, we know everything and anything about CoD esports betting trends. Firstly, Call of Duty esports betting is the fifth most common esport for users to bet on. Furthermore, CoD esports betting ranks 4th across all esports in North America:

Market divison by Esports Title

  1. Counter-Strike – 56%
  2. League of Legends – 24%
  3. Dota 2 – 14%
  4. VALORANT – 3%
  5. Call of Duty – 2%

Regional COD Esports Betting Rankings

  • North America – #4
  • Latin America – #7
  • Europe – #6

Of all the franchised teams in Call of Duty, FaZe Clan is the organization that users tend to bet on. Once again, undisputed proof that North America is the leading region for CoD esports.

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Image Credits: Call of Duty League

Market limits are hindering Call of Duty Esports

Now that we have some context, let’s list the reasons why CoD esports hasn’t expanded very well into other regions:

Those are the two main contributing factors, which have resulted in the shift towards NA followed by a similar shift for CoD Esports betting.

The problem? – Limiting your entire esport to one region can be very risky and in the long run, doesn’t contribute to a sustainable esports scene. Overall, a global approach provides more security and stability for the esport. This is especially true with the European scene having the biggest esports bettors out there.

How exactly can CoD esports shift to a global status?

Solution #1 – Expand the League

A few years ago, the Call of Duty League featured two European franchises. Namely, Paris Legion and London Royal Ravens enjoyed two to three years of rosters. However, after finding limited success, both organizations rebranded to North American locations.

Lack of other European organizations made practising very difficult for these teams, who found it difficult to locate talent for their rosters.

Reworking the league to encourage expansion back into Europe and possibly other regions could definitely be an improvement.

free live scores and esports data lan
Image Credit: Call of Duty League

Solution #2 – European Venues

Before recruiting European franchises and expanding that way, CoD esports really needs to embrace venues outside North America. The principle holds – “out of sight, out of mind” – if other regions don’t see the competition, they aren’t going to be interested. If you ask any veteran in CoD esports which venue is the best, London has proven to be the most exciting and thrilling venue ever with great esports odds.

Why Blizzard Entertainment hasn’t returned to this region is a mystery. With the insane Esports World Cup prize funds, it’s strange COD hasn’t at least embraced an opportunity to join the other big titles on the biggest stage this year.

Solution #3 – Open Viewership

For whatever reason, Blizzard has maintained a relationship with YouTube, resulting in exclusivity deals. This has proven to restrict viewership for Call of Duty esports in result, hindering the potential growth of this esport into other regions.

More exposure to other regions will result in the general growth of CoD esports and effectively, CoD esports betting.

The Crux of the Matter

Earlier this year, the Call of Duty League announced massive changes to overhaul the league following the demise of the Overwatch League.

By improving the finances, it seems that smart decisions following the acquisition by Microsoft are down the pipeline – reaching a crossroads.

The crux of the matter is simple – does CoD esports even need to go global in the first place?

Blizzard Entertainment needs to figure out whether it’s worth investing in an expansion (and potential reap the rewards and risks) or to maintain what’s already been built.

Either way, CoD esports could decline or not change at all – what risk is worth taking?

Gabriel Sciberras

Since: February 7, 2023

Gabriel is a content writer and editor at EsportsBets, covering every related esports scene and topic under the sun, apart from plenty of experience in the realm of technology and gaming. When he's not covering international news, he's focused on the local Maltese scene.

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