Activision reportedly considering mandate that would force OWL, CDL franchises to unify

Would this make things simpler or more confusing?

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

Activision Blizzard is reportedly showing interest in the idea of forcing organizations fielding teams in the Call of Duty League (CDL) and Overwatch League (OWL) to unify their brands under one name across both leagues.

Activision Blizzard esports executives have been actively discussing a mandate that would force teams to unify their brands, according to report by Dexerto’s Jacob Hale. Hale speculates that this could potentially be a reason behind a reported move that would send the Seattle Surge to Vancouver, where fellow Enthusiast Gaming-owned franchise the Vancouver Titans are located.

Looking at the two leagues, there are nine CDL/OWL franchise duos that are operated by the same company: Boston, Toronto, Los Angeles (Guerillas/Gladiators), Atlanta, Las Vegas, Florida, New York, Seattle/Vancouver, and OpTic Texas/Dallas Fuel. The groups based in cities like Boston, Toronto, or Vegas could very easily pick one of their two franchises and apply their branding/name to both.

Related: Heretics reportedly set to return to CoD, rebrand CDL team as part of merger

If this mandate does come to fruition, it could prove to be a little more challenging in places like Atlanta or Texas. The FaZe branding is used for the Atlanta CDL team owned by Atlanta Esports Ventures. But the company’s OWL franchise is the Atlanta Reign; FaZe Clan hasn’t operated in Overwatch since before the inception of the league.

The same issue could be presented to Envy, who own and run the OpTic Texas brand in CDL and the Dallas Fuel brand in the OWL. Another small roadblock for Envy applying OpTic branding to their OWL franchise is the fact that another Texas-based OWL team in the Houston Outlaws also runs with a green-and-black color scheme since it was formerly owned by OpTic Gaming.

Per Dexerto, “multiple sources have confirmed” that the potential mandate is being explored by Activision Blizzard, but no official decision has been made.

About the author

Scott Robertson

VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.

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