Will COD Champs 2024 Suffer From Record Low Viewership?

call of duty league

As the 2024 season has unravelled, viewers have become less interested in the Call of Duty League. Last year, record-high numbers were recorded, but the 2024 season hasn’t delivered against expectations, which wasn’t helped by Activision pivoting to an exclusivity deal with YouTube late last year.

Since Major I took place in January, viewership has declined with each successive tournament, with Major IV – which took place behind closed doors – landing a peak viewer count of just 109,764 users, a woeful low for Call of Duty esports.

If this trend continues, the 2024 Call of Duty League Championship could suffer immeasurably from a lower viewer count.

Are COD Esports Dying?

Call it a disappointing game or foul decisions made by the tournament organisers, something somewhere has gone wrong with the Call of Duty League. This monopolised, franchised tournament has rubbed fans wrong since day one, with Activision Blizzard opting to scrap the more open-ended COD World League in favour of something stricter and more regimented back in 2020.

This season has been particularly miserable for fans. Here’s the downward trend we’ve noticed in terms of peak Major viewership over the year (data courtesy of escharts.com):

  • Major I: 245,437
  • Major II: 244,478
  • Major III: 238,499
  • Major IV: 109,764

Traditionally, things are kicked up a notch when COD Champs rolls around, and this is where all the viewers come out of the woodwork to tune in, watching the best Call of Duty teams in the world fight for the lion’s share of a $2.3 million prize. However, viewership still isn’t back to where it was during the first season of the COD League where Champs is concerned:

  • Champs 2020: 331,000
  • Champs 2021: 238,794
  • Champs 2022: 275,244
  • Champs 2023: 294,178

Last season, Major III pulled in record-high viewership figures, with a peak count of 335,170 users tuning in to catch the action unfold in Texas. It was an intense tournament that saw Toronto Ultra win a chip, with controversial rookie, Scrap, securing the MVP award. Modern Warfare 2 proved to be a solid title for the CDL, and the COD Champs Grand Final last year saw records broken and dreams shattered – and achieved – in a monumental fashion.

But there’s just no real appetite for it this year, it seems. Modern Warfare 3 was a disappointment, the map pool isn’t inspired, and a lot of beef behind the scenes and on the stage has led to many feeling a bit bummed out overall. We’ve had concerns about abuse in the League this year, and some sketchy updates have flipped the meta around too inconsistently for most players to track.

Will this year’s Call of Duty League Championship, which is being hosted by OpTic Texas, be a success, or will the viewer count drop yet again? We’ll know soon enough – the tournament takes place between July 18 – 21.

Let’s see what happens.

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