100 Thieves have announced they will not take part in the 2020 Call of Duty League season as a direct result of the league moving to a city-franchise model, according to owner Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag’s announcement on Thursday.
The former captain for OpTic Gaming’s Call of Duty team uploaded a video to Twitter on Thursday announcing his organization’s decision.
“100 Thieves will not be a part of competitive Call of Duty next year. We will not be part of the CDL. We will not have a team competing for our brand. And I wouldn’t say this is the end,” he stated, “but we will not be fielding a roster.”
Nadeshot’s reasoning for such a decision was that a commitment of that size would require vast resources and that 100 Thieves is about more than just Call of Duty. The organization can’t commit such resources to buy a franchise spot he said, without depriving other parts of the brand.
“It’s just a risk we can’t take right now … We’re still a new company. To make a financial commitment as large as this just isn’t possible for us right now.”
According to ESPN reports from March, Activision Blizzard has set the price for a franchise spot at a sizeable $25 million USD. 100 Thieves are not yet in a position to find a home base according to Nadeshot and the Call of Duty league intend to launch with a home-and-away format in 2020.
“We’re not prepared to find a city, either. We’re not prepared to put our flag down in one place and say, ‘This is our home,” Nadeshot said, also adding that the organisation had already considered and explored the idea, with no suitable solutions found.
This comes as somewhat of a shock after 100 Thieves caught fire in competitive Call of Duty over the summer. The team managed to take first place at the Call of Duty World League events in London and Anaheim in May and June. A third place finish at the CWL Pro League playoffs followed those as well as a second place finish earlier this month at the CWL Championship held in Los Angeles.
This announcement has come as a blow to everyone in the organisation stressed Nadeshot.
“I’m sad, I’m upset … This is going to sting for a very long time.”
When the 2020 event will take place is yet to be confirmed, though nine teams have confirmed their franchise spots so far. The cities confirmed at time of writing are Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Florida, Minnesota, Paris, New York and Toronto; Los Angeles will be serving as a home base to two teams.