According to ESPN Activision Blizzard will be hosting an offline league for COD in the upcoming year. This follows the play model of many organisations such as Riot and Eleague which prefer purely offline tournaments as opposed to Online + Offline.
Activision Blizzard, a conglomerate of the two game development and publishing titans, purchased Major League Gaming and the company’s assets on Jan. 4.
Activision said if it goes through with this plan, it will provide housing and relocation costs for all teams who participate. In between the splits of this proposed league, similar to the previous Call of Duty World League online competition, there will be a midseason transfer period.
Activision did not provide insight into the visa approval process that European and Oceanic competitors would have to go through to compete in this league. Traditionally, since December 2013, esports athletes wanting to compete in the United States regularly have applied and obtained P-1A internationally recognized athletes visas.
The proposal of changes comes after the Call of Duty World League system brought new challenges to the tournament structure. Occasionally, the PlayStation Network would crash for hours on end, causing matches to be canceled or rescheduled.
Should it choose to finalize these changes, Activision will join the growing list of publishers or leagues to host offline tournaments instead of online events. League of Legends developer and publisher Riot Games began its offline league, the League Championship Series, in 2013 to much fanfare, moving each team to Santa Monica, California, and Cologne, Germany. Additionally, Turner Broadcasting launched ELeague, an offline Counter-Strike: Global Offensive televised league, in 2016.