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How to watch the 2022 Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic: Schedule, bracket matchups, and more

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The 2022 Call of Duty League season is almost ready to begin, but the league’s 12 teams will get a high-stakes warm-up this weekend with the Kickoff Classic.

The Kickoff Classic is the fun before the real fight begins in a couple of weeks. The season officially starts on Feb. 4 with the first matchups of the Stage I Major, culminating in the Stage I Major LAN tournament on March 3.

For this weekend, all 12 teams will take part in a single-elimination bracket to show off what Call of Duty: Vanguard has to offer as a competitive title. The top team will take home a $30,000 prize and bragging rights heading into the beginning of the year.

All of the matches will be broadcast on the official CDL YouTube page at YouTube.com/CODLeague. The league’s broadcast talent will be on full display, commentating and analyzing each match throughout the three-day event.

Here’s the full schedule of matches for the 2022 CDL Kickoff Classic.

Jan. 21

  • 3pm CT: Florida Mutineers vs. Los Angeles Guerrillas
  • 4:30pm CT: Seattle Surge vs. London Royal Ravens
  • 6pm CT: New York Subliners vs. Boston Breach
  • 7:30pm CT: Los Angeles Thieves vs. Paris Legion

Jan. 22

  • 3pm CT: Atlanta FaZe vs. Seattle or London
  • 4:30pm CT: Toronto Ultra vs. Florida or L.A. Guerrillas
  • 6pm CT: Minnesota RØKKR vs. New York or Boston
  • 7:30pm CT: OpTic Texas vs. L.A. Thieves or Paris

Jan. 23

  • 3pm CT: Semifinal one
  • 4:30pm CT: Semifinal two
  • 6pm CT: Grand final with $30,000 prize

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CDL announces broadcast information, and YouTube is conspicuously missing

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No longer will you watch Call of Duty League on YouTube. You’ll have to find it elsewhere, as the streaming platform isn’t listed among the accessible websites for the upcoming 2023 season.

The CDL starts on Dec. 2, with Boston Breach against Atlanta FaZe, but fans won’t have the luxury of instantly clicking onto YouTube to get their CoD fix for the evening. Call of Duty posted a Tweet regarding the commencement of the league; however, fans noticed a key streaming player missing from the accessible streams.

For this season of the CDL, fans can head to either Twitch or the Call of Duty website to watch all the CoD they could dream of. 

The tweet said “The season starts tomorrow, here’s where to watch,” leaving its usual streaming service of the last few years out of the mix. Interestingly, no broadcast rights have been announced for the CDL this year as of yet.

YouTube’s partnership with Activision Blizzard to broadcast the company’s two major esports leagues came to an end after their three-year deal finished earlier this year. The deal commenced in 2020 with the beginning of the Overwatch League’s third season, leaving years of Call of Duty on YouTube alongside it for the next couple of years.

The league’s deal with YouTube was worth $160 million, but there’s now concern over Twitch and YouTube’s willingness to place money in a title with “less-than-stellar viewership statistics.”

Either way, the CDL will be available to stream on Twitch as soon as it commences, so gear up and prepare for the season ahead.

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US Army planned on targeting Twitch viewers for recruitment through Call of Duty

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The U.S. Army uses billions of dollars to bolster its already massive military, also spending on advertising and sponsorship in gaming in the effort to bring more soldiers into the fold. Sponsoring events like ESL’s CS:GO tournaments doesn’t seem to be the last step for the U.S. military in the gaming sphere, however, as streamers were the next choice for the front line of the army’s advertising. 

According to Vice, “internal Army documents” shared by Motherboard disclose that the U.S. military planned on sponsoring Call of Duty events, but after recent sexual harassment allegations within Activision, they decided against the sponsorships.

The documents shared the military’s target audience, with a primary “focus on the growth target of females, Black & Hispanics” and people aged 18 to 24.

$3.8 million was spread across several different organizations, with WWE, Twitch, the Call of Duty League, and the Paramount Plus Halo television series acquiring large portions of the funds provided.

Image via Vice

IGN was at the upper end of the allocated funds, with $600,000 being dedicated to the gaming news publication. 

OpTic Chicago and Texas were also on the list of names associated with the funding. A total of $600,000 was allocated from Dec. 1, 2021, to Nov. 30, 2022 for Chicago, and from February to late September 2022 for Texas. 

Stonemountain64, a Warzone 2 streamer with 2.32 million subscribers on YouTube, was allocated $150,000. Other streamers like Swagg and Alex Zedra were also mentioned in the documents. Next to Zedra and Swagg’s names was an asterisk, highlighting that their allocated funds were “based on conversations” with the streamers. 

While this amount of funding seems like a large sum of money, it’s merely a $3 million drop in the $773 billion U.S. defense budget for 2022.

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OpTic reaffirms commitment to Halo amidst Invitational postponement, HCS 2023 concerns

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The start of the 2023 Halo Championship Series season is off to a shaky start, as the OpTic Halo Invitational planned for this month has “been postponed due to challenges with getting enough Halo teams to commit to the tournament.”

The news first broke courtesy of a user on the competitive Halo subreddit, who claimed to have received an email that their in-person tickets to the LAN event in Arlington, Texas had been refunded. An alleged follow-up email said that the postponed event was due to teams not committing to the event, but that OpTic hoped to reschedule the event for some time in 2023.

Soon after the posts on Reddit, OpTic released an official statement confirming the postponement of the Invitational. As OpTic founder H3CZ says in the video, there were simply too many “moving parts” going on with the Invitational to hold it, but that the org wants to postpone and not cancel the event. This would give those who bought tickets a chance to still see the event when it happens, which H3CZ said would take place sometime next year.

The OpTic Halo Invitational was originally billed as an invite-only LAN event “in the heart of OpTic Nation,” with promotional material for the event on the primary HCS Twitter account as recently as two weeks ago. Leading up to the official announcement from OpTic, there were several OpTic fans with concerns about the status of the tournament in the org’s mentions.

The postponement comes during an ongoing time of worry about the future of Halo esports. Numerous partnered teams like Cloud9, eUnited, and Fnatic have dropped their rosters during this offseason, with no clear plans for next year set yet. The C9 roster has already been picked up by Spacestation. Two new teams in Quadrant and Complexity are joining the HCS as partners for the second season of Halo Infinite.

Since the OpTic Halo Invitational is postponed, the first HCS event will now be the online Spacestation Spartan Snowdown beginning Jan. 13, followed by HCS qualifiers for the Year Two Kickoff Major at the end of January.

Dot has reached out to both OpTic Gaming and HCS for comment.

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