OpTic CDL Lawsuit Seeks $680 Million From Activision Blizzard

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OpTic Gaming (and others) has just filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard and is seeking a whopping $680 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges that Activision has held an anticompetitive monopoly over the Call of Duty esports scene since the foundation of the Call of Duty League in 2020. In the filing, it was claimed that Activision has a tight and unlawful hold over organisations in the space, controlling almost every aspect of their operations.

A special note has been levelled against Activision’s ‘extortionate’ entry fee to the Call of Duty League, which stands at an eye-watering sum – $27.5 million. Since moving away from the more open structure enjoyed by gamers during the COD World League, Activision has pushed hard into the CDL’s franchise-based model. This has been to the disappointment of fans the world over, and the struggles of the last four years have now culminated in a staggering lawsuit that could cripple the CDL.

Rules Upon Rules

optic cod lawsuit

Scump is leading the charge in the OpTic x Activision lawsuit

In the lawsuit, which could arguably be the largest of its kind in esports history, OpTic Gaming’s Seth ‘Scump’ Abner and Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez lead the charge. It’s unclear at present if other organisation owners have gotten involved with the suit, but it’s widely believed that certain personalities will back the litigation effort. After all, this impacts every team in the Call of Duty League and could quite clearly lead to the collapse of the tournament.

Last year, the Overwatch League ended as teams withdrew, marking a collapse of the ‘sister tournament’ to the CDL. While the Overwatch esports ecosystem has been revitalised with a new structure, there’s no indication of what might happen next if the Call of Duty League should succumb.

Activision Blizzard is accused of having a strict and strangling monopoly over the Call of Duty esports space. There are claims that the company:

Controls sponsorship deals and decides who organisations can partner with;
Prohibits growth in an ‘anticompetitive’ nature;
Blocks those signed to the CDL from participating in or supporting any tournament other than the CDL;
Has threatened employees with exclusion if they don’t agree to last-minute changes

Read also:

COD Pro Players Are Sick of Cheaters in MW3 Ranked Play

Prepare for War

In a swift response, Activision’s legal representatives fired back at Abner and Rodriguez’s lawsuit:

‘Mr. Rodriguez (aka OpTic H3CZ) and Mr. Abner (aka Scump) demanded that Activision pay them tens of millions of dollars to avoid this meritless litigation, and when their demands were not met, they filed. We will strongly defend against these claims, which have no basis in fact or in law.

We are disappointed that these members of the esports community would bring this suit which is disruptive to team owners, players, fans, and partners who have invested so much time and energy into the Call of Duty League’s success.’

The litigation has already drawn support from the Call of Duty esports community, which has long been up in arms about the state of the biggest tournament in the space. There might be solid viewership and plenty of money floating around, but the heart of the Call of Duty esports scene has weakened irreparably, and many blame the foundation of the CDL for that.

We’ll have all the latest news on this topic as it breaks.

Read also:

Will TSM return to COD Esports as the CDL suffers?

For more Call of Duty news, stay tuned to Esports.net

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