Call of Duty League 2021: Season 2 format, rules, teams, more - Dexerto
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Call of Duty League 2021: Season 2 format, rules, teams, more

Published: 21/Sep/2020 17:11 Updated: 21/Sep/2020 17:12

by Andy Williams


Activision’s Call of Duty League is set to return on Black Ops Cold War, but what’s in store for the CDL’s second season? Here’s everything we know about the 2021 season.

Activision’s inaugural Call of Duty League season kicked off with a bang. With the publishers at the helm, they dished out more than $6 million in prize pool throughout their opening season.

The first season of franchising debuted with 12 teams and carried over the five-versus-five format from Treyarch’s Black Ops 4 title. Since then, Activision have made the decision to revert back to Call of Duty’s competitive roots and have switched back to four-versus-four action for the 2021 season.


So with that in mind, there’s plenty of scope for change ahead of Treyarch’s game. Here’s everything you need to know to keep on top of the changes and what they mean for the Call of Duty League moving forward.

Call of Duty League Home Series event.
Will we see a return to offline Home Series events during the 2021 season?

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CDL 2021: Dates & schedule

There is no start date set in stone for the Call of Duty League’s first event of the second season as of yet. But there are some dates worth noting, as these will have an impact on how the season pans out.

Per the official roster construction guidelines, players whose contract was not extended prior to 11:59 PM (PT) on September 13 are now considered free agents. This means that from this time, free agents may enter into new player contracts with any team in the CDL.


It’s worth mentioning that September 14 marks the beginning of the new CDL season. With that said, it’s not yet known how Activision and Treyarch will work together to embed the CDL into Black Ops Cold War. So the first event may depend entirely on what the game looks like at release. Below are some notable dates.

  • Last year’s start date: January 24-26.
  • Contract extension deadline: September 13 at 11:59 PM (PT).
  • CDL Season 2 begins (transfer window opens): September 14 at 00:00 (PT).
  • Black Ops Cold War release date: November 13.
Dallas Empire fist bumping.
Can Dallas Empire go back-to-back and retain their CDL title after losing Clayster?

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Call of Duty League: Season 2 format

The most significant change to the Call of Duty League is no doubt that they’re reverting back to a four-versus-four format. What this means for the league is that one player from each roster will be culled. Activision has also confirmed that no teams will be added as part of Season 2, meaning that the total number of starters will be reduced from 60 down to 48.


Since competition for a spot on a CDL team is at an all-time high, players will be doing the utmost to land their spot on franchise. Whether the same online format will carry over to the start of the season or whether Activision will be looking into a bubble system — similar to the infrastructure adopted by Riot Games for Worlds 2020.

In terms of how events will be run, each team will take turns to either host an online or offline Home Series event. The same tournament-style structure from the inaugural season will likely carry over to Black Ops Cold War. Teams will be pitted into two groups of four teams, with four teams sitting an event out. The top two teams will progress from the Group Stage to Playoffs, which is a single-elimination bracket.


Call of Duty League launch event.
Who will be on the big stage at the end of the season?

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Teams will settle the score via a best-of-five match, in which the game modes will be Hardpoint, Search & Destroy and either Capture the Flag, Control or Domination. Teams bag 10 CDL Points for winning a match, which contribute to the Regular Season standings. For reference, here’s a breakdown of how CDL Point were allocated last season:

  • 1st – 50 CDL Points.
  • 2nd – 30 CDL Points.
  • 3rd/4th – 20 CDL Points.
  • 5th/6th – 10 CDL Points.
  • 7th/8th – 0 CDL Points.

Teams will battle for the best position in the league by competing in nine Home Series events throughout the season, which will grant them the opportunity to bag as many CDL Points as possible.

Another significant change for the upcoming 2021 season is that the CDL has transitioned to PC. Players will continue to slay on the sticks, but must use a League-approved controller of their choice. Presumably, this means that they’ll have an expanded pool of peripherals to use, so that they’ll be able to choose between either PlayStation or Xbox controllers (depending on preference).


Toronto Ultra competing in CDL.
Will competing on PC affect players significantly? Or will we see the same names at the top of the leaderboard?

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CDL Season 2 teams

Twelve teams are locked in for the second season of the Call of Duty League. While Activision has ambitions to expand the CDL, they have halted plans to do so, given the current travel restrictions imposed by the ongoing health situation. The confirmed franchises for CDL Season 2 are:

  • Atlanta FaZe
  • Chicago Huntsmen
  • Dallas Empire
  • Florida Mutineers
  • London Royal Ravens
  • Los Angeles Guerrillas
  • Minnesota RØKKR
  • New York Subliners
  • OpTic Gaming Los Angeles
  • Paris Legion
  • Seattle Surge
  • Toronto Ultra

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For the latest updates on team rosters, stay tuned to our dedicated Call of Duty League off-season rostermania hub. Keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll update this with the latest Call of Duty League news as it develops.