Call of Duty League this weekend is returning to having its teams play in-person for the first time since the pandemic, and it’s rolling out a light-hearted digital campaign to promote the event.
The Stage 4 Major competition will be held Thursday through Sunday at Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas under Local Area Network (LAN) conditions, meaning players from all 12 teams will be on site playing through the same offline network. That is instead of playing through their own networks at separate locations as they had been doing the last year with online-only play.
While there will be no fans on site, this is the first time CDL has held a LAN event since the pandemic started; fans will start returning to fellow Activision Blizzard Esports property Overwatch League with a match at Esports Stadium Arlington next month. The last LAN event in CDL was last March.
To promote this weekend’s competition, Activision has produced the “It’s Been a While” digital campaign that includes several tongue-in-cheek spots. Among other things, the ads portray CDL players and a Dallas-area barista getting ready for the action. Activision will start sharing the videos tomorrow but has given SBJ/TEO an exclusive sneak peek.
One of them shows Minnesota Rokkr player Dillon “Attach” Price getting a strange look from someone checking ID because he has much more facial hair now than he does in his ID photo. Another shows Dallas Empire player Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro refusing to let go of his computer as someone tries to load it into a car.
A third ad shows a barista trying to pronounce some of the CDL players’ nicknames after their coffees are finished. Finally, a fourth, shows the players’ jerseys looking crisp on a dry-cleaner rack.
CDL GM Daniel Tsay told SBJ/TEO that getting back to live-event competition “has been hotly anticipated by players, fans, and the entire team at the Call of Duty League all season long.”
He added: “We’re excited to finally make that a reality, with safeguards in place for all in attendance. Since transitioning to online-only competition, the League has made strides to best replicate the live-event environment. Throughout the past year, we’ve been able to reduce some of the technological hurdles we faced with online competition, but we’ve also been able to use this time to be more innovative and truly elevate our broadcast. As our new campaign calls out, it’s been a while, but we’re thrilled to be back.”
The Stage 4 major begins Thursday at 3:00pm ET on YouTube.
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