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Call of Duty League opening weekend gets fourth highest viewership in CDL history cover image

Call of Duty League opening weekend gets fourth highest viewership in CDL history

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The Call of Duty League is looking promising this season, with some record-breaking viewership numbers the opening weekend.

The opening weekend of the Call of Duty League has proven that the esport is continuing to grow in popularity.
The 2023 season of the Call of Duty League has arrived, with pros competing in modes and maps from the brand new Modern Warfare 2. With the game a huge success for the franchise, it's no surprise that the first-ever CDL using the new game was also a hit. According to Esports Charts, the opening weekend became the fourth-highest viewed event in Call of Duty's history.
The highest-viewed match during the qualifiers had 192,943 views, a game between Florida Mutineers and OpTic Texas. Optic's match against the Minnesota RØKKR was in second with 170,766 views.
The qualifiers weekend's viewership was only surpassed by the last three Championships. It comes as no surprise that Champs would have the most views since it's the culmination of the entire season where one team leaves the stage with the title. But to see a qualifier land right below it in terms of viewership is most definitely a testament to how popular the esport has become.
The Call of Duty League became a franchise in 2019, creating a more organized tournament structure with city-based teams, similar to the Overwatch League. But it also meant that the action would stream exclusively on YouTube. This has caused the CDL and OWL to struggle immensely in terms of viewership, but the CDL announced a return to Twitch at the start of the Modern Warfare 2 season, proving that a simple platform switch has also increased the views significantly.
Despite the qualifiers being quite low stakes compared to Champs, fans were tuning in on Twitch from all over the world to watch their favorite teams play. These matches were qualifiers for the first Major, which will be a LAN in Raleigh, North Carolina, which takes place December 16-18.
Only time will tell if Call of Duty fans stay hype for the esport, but it's safe to say that the new game and new streaming location have made a huge impact on the popularity of the Call of Duty League.
Olivia Richman
Olivia Richman
Editor | Twitter @y05h1eggz
Olivia Richman is a seasoned esports writer and editor who enjoys creating unique content about Smash, Apex Legends, Halo, Rainbow Six Extraction, Call of Duty, and basically every other game! Olivia enjoys the Pokemon TCG, Kirby, and being a persuasive thief in Fallout and Outer Worlds.